The big day is here. We attacked at dawn. We were 1 of 3 task
forces (the Delta) comprised of 2 American Battleships,
2 French cruises
and us 2 French Destroyers and 8 American Destroyers, 10 transports,
joined up with L.S.Ts etc. attached it ?____? Wave hit the
beach an hour later. Many bombers (ours) gave the nazis
at G.Q from early morning until 11:00 at night. Cruised around
all night and during the day. Knocked out gun positions on
the 16th. At GQ all day again until late at night. A few
were dropped, mines were swept up and destroyed. Plenty of
explosions but have things under control. Lots of alerts
etc. planes & subs.
The 17th was about the same. Fired a few rounds here and there.
Hundreds of ships all over. 12 destroyers, 3 cruisers & 2
battleships left during the afternoon us and 2 French cruisers
and 2 destroyers went to Corsica. Arrived late at night to
refuel. Left on the 18th at 2:30 in the afternoon. At dawn
to take over some islands near the French shore near Toulon.
Have enough planes to sink the islands. Ultimatum was sent
for them to give up. 2 of them did. Our truce party was fired
We on the 19th are going to land fresh Marine troops on the
other island. Lots of confusion going on. Been eating sandwiches
a long time now.
All day on the 19th we fired along with other cruisers on this
one island that refused to surrender. Tough job trying to knock
out their mobile guns. They fire on the ships shelling Toulon
and make it a big nuisance. Did not land troops.
On the 20th we bombarded the island and also the mainland of
France. Been at GQ all day and practically all night.
On the 21st one of our planes was shot down. We lost our pilot
and radio man. The pilot was talking to me just before he went
up. On the 20th we came were close to getting hit by shore batteries.
The 21st we went at G.Q at 6:00 am and stayed until 12:00 at
night. We set condition III and I had the mid to 4:00 am. Reveille
at 4:30. What a life. Sure is rugged.
About the same as any of the other days. We blasted them and
they shot back. I saw lots of shell splashes around ships,
but none got hit. The enemy sure is getting a pounding. ___
planes are out of the sky. A close one aft today exploded in
We been bombarding pretty hard. Knocked out many German guns.
Started fires that burned all night. We stay right in the area
all night. Open up on them in the morning.
We were supposed to go to Marseille but it has fallen during
the night so we didn’t go until we cruised around some
part of the coast of France plowing through a mine field all
day. About 25 minesweepers were sweeping. We didn’t fire
our main battery at all today. Just sent off planes for spotting.
Shot at mines with our 40’s. ___ ____ ____ Seen the Quincy
firing at the beach. We _____ from G.Q at 9:30. Had first hot
meal in many days. Been eating sandwiches for 10 days now.
Been patrolling the French coast day and night. All day we have
been having trouble with one island that didn’t give
up. Yet we can’t find their guns.
Fired a few rounds. Our spotting planes are in the air constantly
but they can’t find anything. I’m sure tired of
G.Q’s and sandwiches.
we captured the Island, rather they finally gave up to this
ship. Our detachment of Marines
rounded up 800 Germans. The marines came aboard with all kinds
NOTE: Dad is referring to
the surrender of the fortress islands of Pomeques,
Chateau D'If, and Ratonneau in the Bay of Marseilles to Captain
Walter A. Ansel, Commanding Officer of the Philadelphia.