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Normandy Invasion D-Day Landing archive: Liberty Ship?s log, photograph album, and assorted ephemera
France and the United Kingdom, Primarily 1944. This collection of material was authored/compiled by a Signalman aboard the American Liberty Ship, S.S. William A. Jones. It contains a ?Signal Log? kept by George A. Lille and William E. Mixon, a photograph album, General Eisenhower?s D-Day Letter, the transcript of the 5 May 1945 message announcing that although reports of a formal German surrender were premature, ?Fuehrer Karl Donitz . . . read [an order] over the Flensburg Radio? that ended all offensive U-boat operations, a 1990s mimeograph guide and postcards from the Normandy invasion site, and a magazine clipping announcing the end of the Navy?s Signalman (SM) rating in 2003. All of the items are in nice shape. The front cover and first two leaves are little loose and have been reinforced with now-yellowed cello tape. Eisenhower?s invasion letter has folding creases and an ink annotation at the top margin reading, ?June 6, 1944.? The photograph album (5? x 8?) contains 55 pages with 109 4.5? x 3.25? photographs of convoy operations, firing practice, and life aboard ship. The highlights are 29 images of the Normandy Invasion including the ship at anchor on D-Day +1, allied soldiers and equipment on board awaiting landing craft, warships off the coast, Sherman tanks being off-loaded and going ashore, tanks advancing up Gold beach, sunken vessels used as a breakwater, a ship laying smoke, etc. The signal log (5? x 8?) contains over 120 pages recording every signal sent or received by the Jones between 6 March and 7 September 1944 as well as 43 pages of narrative entries for the same dates. Highlights include: * June 7, 1944: Convoy left Southend 0545. 28 ships, speed 9 knots. . . . Destroyers laid smoke screen and Swordfish aircraft dropped smoke pots to shield convoy from enemy at 1015. Enemy shore batteries opened fire at convoy at 1028. One near miss. Convoy was off the White Cliffs of Dover. Air raid siren heard on shore and General Alarm was sounded at 1048; * June 8, 1944: Arrived at invasion coast 0700 waited for orders. Moved to discharging anchorage, dropped anchor 1500. Continuous barrage by allied warships throughout day; * June 9, 1944: Warships continue barrage. Air raids during which 2 planes were brought down. We fired starboard 20mm, also used smoke apparatus. Two landing craft that were lost in smoke tied alongside for night. General Quarters for air raid at 2305. Port 20 m.m.?s opened fire. All clear at 2403. No planes downed as seen from here; * [June 10, 1944]: Air raid warning received at 0510. All ships used smoke apparatus. . . . Three LCT?s alongside at 0945 to unload cargo. L.C.T.?s come alongside all day. Number 4 and 5 hatches are finished at 1700. Troops are leaving with lorries; * June 11, 1944: At 1145 the forword (sic) boom broke and fell into landing craft. A truck was on the boom. . . . One man was injured. . . . We moved to a new position at 1600 and dropped anchor at 1745. . . . Still in section ?G?; * June 20, 1944: Through the Straits of Dover at 0230. They fired about 25 shells at us. One ship in the convoy was hit. Damage unknown; * June 23, 1944: One British L.C.T. came alongside at 1330 to start unloading. Landing craft alongside all afternoon. Underwent air raid. . . No damage but near misses; * June 25, 1944: Pilotless plane shot down by one of our gunners at 2046; * June 29, 1944: Three ships reported mined close by at 1532; * June 30, 1944: Two L.C.T.?s alongside at 0855. L.C.T.?s alongside all day; * July 13, 1944: 6 Depth charges dropped near our starboard bow at 1655; and * July 22-23, 1944: Underwent an air raid. Mine believed to have been dropped close to us. . . . Mine blown up by minesweeper. . . . Ship mined close on our port bow at 2115. Very scarce. As of 2016, no similar collections of D-Day naval material are in the trade, and neither ABPC of the Rare Book Hub contain any auction records. OCLC locates one institution holding a similar diary of the invasion, but no accompanying photographic record. This is a unique first-person record of one of the most significant events of the 20th century The William A. Jones was an active participant in the Normandy invasion. She left Firth-of-Forth, Scotland on June 6, 1944 transporting Canadian forces to Gold Beach. Following the initial invasion, the Jones returned to Britain and continued to shuttle forces to the beachhead until the end of July including elements of the British 43rd Wessex Division, which captured Mount Pincon, tying up two German panzer divisions and facilitated the breakout of the General Omar Bradley?s First United States Army which was then exploited by Lieutenant General George Patton?s newly formed Third United State Army.
      [Bookseller: Read 'Em Again Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2016-11-28           Check availability:      Biblio    


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