In February '43 we boarded the USS Susan B. Anthony, a troopship, at Brooklyn Naval shipyard, and after zig-zagging across the Atlantic for 15 days, our convoy of 50 ships landed at Oran, Algeria, in North Africa.
Our outfit, the 2229th Ordnance Evacuation Company, hauled tanks to the forward lines and took any disabled tanks back for salvage.
The Axis troops were routed out of Algeria. After loading up (we had 60 trucks and trailers) an LST at the port of Algiers, we pulled into Naples, Italy. Nine months and lots of miles later, we loaded up for San Tropez, in southern France.
We kept hauling tanks and personnel up the French countryside and into Germany through Strasbourg.
Never miss a local story.
Needless to say, after Cologne, Munich and Berlin, we left German soil through Kassel, Germany, on the border with Belgium.
Leaving our heavy equipment behind, we loaded on a troop train and arrived at a port near Cherbourg, France. After a short ferry ride across the English Channel we hit Southampton. Two weeks later we shipped out on HMS Queen Elisabeth! Then 31/2-4 days later, we sighted the Statue of Liberty!
Sept. 1, 1945, we boarded a C-47 transport out of Newark, N.J. We made stop-overs at Indianapolis and Denver. Finally after 3 years and 7 months of overseas duty, I was discharged at Camp Beale, Ca. (Sept. 16, 1945).
I was very glad and happy to have served and more so for coming back in one piece. I did lose a very close friend from my home town, Laton (Fresno County) in the Battle of the Bulge. C'est la guerre, no?
If any of my tank transporter buddies see this story, contact me.