Skip Navigation

"Hope to See You Soon"

A Collection of
West Virginia
War Letters

George A. Wehrle

Seaman 3rd Class George A. Wehrle witnessed the aerial support and invasion of Normandy from aboard the heavy cruiser USS Tuscaloosa. His diary recounted the artillery support provided by the ship for ground troops landing June 6, 1944 during D-Day.

June 6, 1944
Several planes have passed over us, C-47's Which too - Paratroop's in. As far as you can see there are L.S.Ts. & L.C. Vs. Two Planes were shot down, Unidentified. Lot of A.A. fire ahead. Everything has been quiet for past two hours Searchlights on Beach at 045. Bombs were dropped on Beach & fires have started. Shifted the Watch. T-II has the watch. Considerable A.A. on Beach & a large explosion hit where the ack ack was. Our Planes must have hit jack pot. Anchoring. A plane crashed in the water. Anchored @ 0238 Terrific explosion on Beach lit up the sky. T-III has watch - all Turrets on alert. Two contacts astern of P. T. boats making 30 knots. T-III is ready to fire. Burst of Parachute flares dropped by Army Air Force over Enemy. The U. S. Army is knocking "hell" out of the Enemy. Huge fires have been started & we can hear the bombs bursting on the targets. The landing Craft are passing us & heading for the Beach. Another wave of Planes just hit the Beach. Target is illuminated again. Bombs will be dropped shortly. There is plenty of smoke & targets are very hard to see. We are getting underway. Heading in Bombardment set up. Target (one able) Large Groups of Transport Planes constantly heading toward the beach to drop Paratroops. They are doing a wonderful job so far. The British Army Captain on Board says that He is glad that he is with us instead of being on the beach with the army. A tremendous fire ahead of us as We head for our Anchorage. Lighting up the whole Area & sky. Bombardment will start @ 0550 Anchored in position for bombardment. Turrets are shifted to Automatic & train. Another Plane is shot down. Underway again, moving closer to the beach. The Enemy is firing at us. Splashes from shells are on our stern & stbd. side. very close Quincy has started firing Contacted our spotting Plane. Enemy Fighters are overhead. Dogfight overhead. Quincy just fired again on the beach. Another splash on our Stern. Four more minutes before we open up. Two Subs are sighted by Lookouts. Destroyers are closing rapidly. "Navada" opened fire. T one Stand-by load one Gun. Fire one Gun. Commence Firing. 0552 - Opened Fire on Beach - one Single Salvo every two minutes. Five Inch also firing. Smoke screen being laid by Planes Check fire for Main Battery. Target #9 next. "Black Prince" just asked for help on target #9.

Index to War Letters