Finally the morning of the sixth of June, found the air full of news. The Invasion was on! It was going well; it was going badly; the Germans said it was being swept off the beaches, the official news was mixed, but without the extremes. On our beach, Omaha, they were having a rough time. But the plans for XIX Corps would go as scheduled, and everyone got ready to move. Two days later, on the 8th, the headquarters left Knook in two motor convoys for Camp D4, one of the assembly areas near Dorchester. There we spent two days lined up under trees in the rain along what had been country lanes, making final checks of waterproofing and equipment, prepared to move to our ships. The news was good, and then bad. We drew our conclusions when a part of the Second Armored Division was hurriedly pushed through ahead of us and to their ships.
The Corps Commander, the Chief of Staff, and a few of the Chiefs of Staff Sections went ahead in a motor torpedo boat to size up the situation on the ground and be ready with their plans when the headquarters came ashore. Text: Captain Fredric E. Pamp Jr (Public Relations Officer XIX Corps 1945)
Text below in black is excerpted from the XIX Corps Newspaper (from my archives)
Click here for a link to the gravesite information and the military process of burial in battle.
(Regarding Gwen's "Letter to Mary," my guess is that Bill and Gwen had planned that Gwen would send this "Letter to Mary" when Bill left England so that Mary would know her dear brother had gone into action.)
From: Wren. G.R. Wilkins
8 Tyr-sarn Rd.
Mary W. Garner, SK2c
U.S. Naval Air Station
U.S.A. Bath 6. 9. 44
My Dear Mary,
I'm afraid this will only be a hastily scribbled note to enclose with these pictures promised Bill I would send on. I wrote to your Mother and Father last night, also to Bernard but didn't have time to write to you or Souil so I am taking a few minutes off from the office to do so now.
Monday I should have been transferred to Milford Haven, but an outbreak of chicken-pox there canceled my draft at the last minute. I was on Bath Station waiting for the train, and only had five minutes to wait, when the R.T.O.'s office called me over to the phone when second officer informed me to return to Bath for duty. So now I'm stuck here for another 3 weeks until the quarantine period ends.
I was glad in a way because it meant I could see Bill once more at the A.R.C. Club dance in Warminister on Tuesday night, and we had a wonderful evening although we didn't dance very much, we're just happy to be with one another.
I do hope it will not take too long before I can be with him in the dear old U.S.A.
Now I must close, hoping you're keeping fine.
|June 1944 calendar|