By M. Zuehlke
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Extra resources for Assault on Juno [WWII - D-Day]
This created a small tidal wave that slammed into the tank and collapsed the canvas screen. Little’s Sherman immediately sank. All five crew bobbed to the surface. Suddenly a spray of blood spurted from Trooper George Stephen Hawken’s body. He sank out of sight. To prevent the other Shermans of No. 5 Troop being sunk, the naval commander steamed closer to shore, leaving Little and his remaining three men in the water. They would not be rescued until two hours later. Only ten of ‘A’ Squadron’s nineteen tanks launched.
He looked terrible. Martin wondered if he would prove useless when they landed. In another LCA facing St. Aubin, Lance Corporal Gerry Cleveland of the North Shores was in the middle row, just behind the door. His platoon section was lined up behind him. There was a bench in the middle of the LCA, and the men were supposed to sit astride it like kids on a toboggan. But they were all standing, necks craned toward the beach. They wanted to see dry land, wanted to get off this damned boat. “We’d be on top of a wave and could look down and see an LCA in a trough.
So he did not argue as hard as he would have liked to. Instead, he returned to the ship’s deck. Charles and Elliott started getting their men ready. The Queen’s Own numbered about 800. Each rifle company was 120 strong. Reveille at 0300 hours had given the troops time for breakfast. The ship’s cooks had gone all out. They knew this would be many a soldier’s last meal. Plates were heaped with sunny-side-up eggs, crisp bacon and toast. After breakfast, each man was offered a stiff tot of navy rum.