Dialogue between Edward Howard and Curtis Howard:
It was still dark, the only light coming from the full moon. The air was thick and salty, and all you heard were the waves, as they crashed on the boat. There were twenty three of us swaying back and forth as we went over the crests. The floor was covered in this morning’s breakfast that the Channel practically knocked out of us, but no one seemed to care, for there were much more important things on our minds. We were approaching our destination at Omaha when the boat halted, sending a few of us back, then the captain spoke.
Captain Edwin- ” Lieutenant, we hit a sand bar, we have to evacuate here.”
Lieutenant Warren- ” Get off here! We are four hundred feet from shore! “
Captain Edwin- ” I understand that sir, but I cannot take you any further!”
Lieutenant Warren-” Very well then. Men, gather all materials and stick to your destination routes.”
People began to move towards the sides of the boat and load all materials onto their backs. I looked over at him, into his eyes. I saw first the confidence and strength, but then I looked deeper it was dark, and I could tell he was scared. Like me. I put my hand on his back and I could see his eyes were now glassy. He nodded to me and with that I knew nothing would ever be the same.
The Ramps dropped on both sides of the boat, before I exited I looked out amongst the water for signs of enemy fire or any obstacles. He stood next to me and nudged me with his elbow.
Edwin Howard- “It’s us till the end.” He near whispered.
Curtis Howard- “Us till the end. “
He looked like he was going to say something back but then the people behind us pushed us into the water. At first it was refreshing but then the eighty pounds of materials on my back began to drag me below the surface of the water. I was scrambling for my feet when Ed came down and yanked on the tab across my chest, inflating the life jacket.
Curtis Howard- ” Thank you,” I said, while choking up water.
Edwin Howard- “No problem, I got you. “
As we moved forward, the water was turning red and you saw officers face down, floating. The fog in front of us was a little bit clearer and we could see we were approaching the first obstacles. Belgian gates were scattered through the water; you could see the outline of tanks trying to weave through them. For us on foot, they were not to difficult to get past.
Edwin Howard- ” We’re moving up on some stakes, hold on to all materials in case they have Teller mines. One tap with metal and you’ll be blown to pieces!”
Curtis Howard- ” Copy that.”
As we began to move through carefully we heard shouting and something zipping through the water.
Curtis Howard- ” Take cover!”
We were getting shot on by the enemy. For protection, we moved from the back of one obstacle to the next.
Edwin Howard- ” They’re shooting on us with an MG-42 machine gun, And look at that vantage point!”
Curtis Howard- ” Keep your distance from the Teller mines. All it takes is for one bullet to hit them!”
It was like the Germans read my mind. Nearly a second after I spoke those words a Teller mine was activated about 75 paces in front of us. Dismembered limbs were thrown in every direction.
Curtis Howard- ” We have to move faster! “
What was happening around me was something that could only be described as a nightmare. We were about one hundred feet from shore the water was now at our waist and–BANG!
Edwin Howard- ” what’s wrong?”
Curtis Howard- ” I got hit, bullet went straight through my leg.”
Edwin Howard- ” Try to keep moving: we’re almost to shore.”
I moved forward, my wound burning and gushing, but grateful I wasn’t hit anywhere else. We moved through a half a football field’s length worth of hedgehogs. Getting two cuts on my shoulder and arm was expected, but still rather painful.
Edwin Howard- “Coming up, we have one thousand, five hundred feet of open land, and no protection. We’re gonna have to sprint for it!”
Curtis Howard- “Okay. I will wait on your command.”
We waited for a break in machine gun rounds.
Edwin Howard- “Alright, NOW! “
We sprinted across the beach, moving like we were being chased by a pack of lions. Bullets were flying across in every direction. Once we made it across the open beach, we took cover behind some rock obstacles. I wrapped a piece of cloth around my leg to stop the bleeding, and then we continued on. We started out with twenty-three men, and now we were down to thirteen. The little of us left continued on to the barbed wire, where we placed a Bangalore torpedo beneath it to blow a hole big enough to get through. Once we cleared the barbed wire we ran for cover under the cliffs.
Edwin Curtis- “There is the target German bunker. Load all weapons. I will cover, As we go!”
One by one we ran up the hill, until we reached the bunker. Once there, we exchanged hand signs. We all moved forward, positioning behind the bunker. I chucked a grenade through the door of the bunker, while we all took cover. The bunker was blown to shreds–along with the Germans inside. A feeling of relief spread across the group.
But it didn’t last very long, for we all knew this was just the beginning…