by Jack W. Mills
We moved from there finally to Camp Picket, Virginia and started in with our "Amphibious Training". We didn't know what it was or meant until later, but we were training for the D-Day landing in Normandy. This was where they took us out from the beach to an old ship anchored off shore out side the breakers in the rough water and we had to climb a rope ladder, it really wasn't a ladder but was a large rope net like thing slung over the side of the ship.
The little LCP (Landing Craft Personnel) boat that we came out in, to the mothership was bouncing around like a cork, riding the waves, sometimes it was closer to the top of the ship and when the big wave passed it would be way down there. Now mind you, all this had to be done in the roughest seas that could be had, and this was done with a full field pack, now a full field pack weighed about 70 pounds and that old long Enfield Rifle, it came in around 9 or 10 pounds, and when we would finally get back on land we had to clean that damned old gun an we never did shoot it, I don't know if it would shoot or not but we cleaned it anyhow.
When the LCP would ride up on that big wave that was the time to grab that net and you had to climb like an ape, because that LCP was trying to get your leg between it and the mother ship. You had to beat the next wave and we would get wetter than a dog, and that water was cold, as it was in late September or thereabouts, then after we had got on top of the ship and we would get warm and dry, it was time to climb back down into that LCP," Landing Craft Personnel", and get wet all over again, this went on all day.
These were the same boats used to make landings on the beaches for invasions, such as Normandy on D-Day. The front end would open down like a ramp and where ever it hit ground first when we were coming in, that is where we bailed out, it didn't matter that it could be over our heads or not between the LCP and the shore and let me tell you, it is not pleasant when you are carrying a full field pack and an old Enfield Rifle.
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Document Last Modified: Saturday, 01-Nov-1997 18:27:45 UTC