After Action Report No. 1
Date: 21-24 Aug 2014
Type: D-Day Landing
Place: Conneaut, OH
Report filed by: Pvt Calton, Jacob M.
On the evening of 20 August, a small contingent of 29ers set out from HQ for the long and arduous journey through the night (heavy traffic in Indiana) to Conneaut, Ohio for the 70th Anniversary D-Day event. In attendance were myself, Sgt. Adkins, Pfc Carlin, and Pfc Hite. Upon arrival we linked up with HQ 29th Division and moved into bivouac and immediately began settling in for the long training ahead for the invasion of France. Camp was set up and I would have to say looked the best in our area, linkup with the 115th was easy and went smooth; they’re a great bunch of guys, easy to get along with and like to have a good time. The next day brought training and public demonstrations; several battles took place between the Partisans and the Germans. Friday came and went with more training, lounging around, and swimming in the lake.
Saturday (D-Day) arrive, everyone was apprehensive as the skies turned cloudy and the waters became rough. We moved out to our staging area on the beach, formed up into our boat teams, received last minute instructions, briefings, and a prayer from the chaplain, and prepared to load the landing craft. The waters were rough, one landing craft flooded and had to abort. On the way to the beach, the craft was tossed, spray coming over the gunwales as we heard the unmistakable sounds of machine gun and artillery fire from the beach. We braced ourselves as we came in, the ramp dropped and we headed up the beach, machine gun rounds ripped through the air as a German 88 zeroed in on us. We hit the beach and immediately begin taking accountability of personnel and equipment. To our left were the rangers and the 1st Division, boy were they taking hell. To our right were the commonwealth forces having a hard go at it. We slowly moved up the beach as casualties mounted, the calls of “medic” could be heard everywhere. P-51s made strafing runs as the 88 laid down a heavy concentration of fire. As we moved up, several German trenches were taken out with overwhelming fire superiority, but not without a heavy price.
Out of nowhere the call for a “corpsman” (the signal that someone was really hurt) came down the line, the battle was halted and paramedics were called. Turned out to be only a minor heat casualty, the battle resumed. The fire intensified as the boys of the 29th made one last charge up the bluff to take out the Germans entrenched atop of it. The battle over, exhausted and full of sand we made our way back to camp and a cold swim to cleanup for the USO dance taking place that night. After getting all dolled up in our finest, we made our way to the dance. Several beers and many pretty dance partners later, we found ourselves passed out on our cots — ready to head home the next day.