by Tom Rosandich - 1994

50th Anniversary Speech On June 6th we commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-Day,  When the allies stormed the Normandy beaches. I was asked to make a few comments about the historic day because I was with the invasion force on June 6th, 1944.
50th Anniversary Speech Our company trained for this for 18 months.  Our company arrived in England the first part of December 1943.  We were stationed on the Southern part of England near Oak Hampton.  We were attached to the 1st infantry division.
50th Anniversary Speech The 1st, 4th, and 29th divisions all were in the Southern part of England.  These American Divisions are the ones that made the initial assault on Normandy.  In April and May 1944- all jeeps, trucks, were water proofed. The only things that stuck out was the
50th Anniversary Speech tail pipe. On the 20th of May our company went to Cardiff Wales.  On May 28th 1944 we were put on a liberty ship with our trucks, jeeps, and other vehicles.  Rumors we are going to the states, Italy.  There were always rumors in the Army.
50th Anniversary Speech On June 6th when we woke up we could not see land.  We were in the English Channel. And we still don’t know where we are going.  Finally at 09:30 our company commander called us together.
50th Anniversary Speech These were his words.  “Well men the rehearsal is over.  We are going to put the show on the road.  At 06:30 this morning our troops will hit the beach on Normandy France.  We expect light resistance.  The Germans are guarding the coast with Russians, Poles, and Yugoslavs.
50th Anniversary Speech We were paid $4.00 in French Francs.  If any of you want to see Chaplain he is available now.  This is about 10 A.M. June 6th; the coast of France is in sight.  The Navy and the Coast Guard had the claim over 5000 ships.  Battleships, Destroyers, landing
50th Anniversary Speech craft – Liberty ships.  The Coast Guard was landing the troops on the beaches.  Many of the ships had barrage balloons tied to them.  About 50 in the air so German forces could not come down low enough to strafe.
50th Anniversary Speech Ernie Pyle wrote war was hell.  After you see men, tanks, trucks, tipped over in the channel along the beaches-some of them a mile out.  Our liberty ship did not unload until June 8th at 10:30 at night.  For 2 days you watch this horror on Omaha beach.