Ian Hammerton – When I landed on Juno Beach


You didn’t have time to be frightened. We
landed as I said with the Canadian infantry and some of them were already on the beach,
many of them had been killed or wounded. It wasn’t very nice knowing that was happening
but we had strict instructions that to under no circumstances should we stop and help anybody
in difficulty. Now this goes against the grain but we saw the reason for it so we weren’t
able to help. When we had shot enough of the obstacle away it was a question of getting
enough of the debris out of the way, so it was a question of getting out of the tank,
attaching our tow rope to the bits of steel and towing it back out into the sea. That
enabled my other two flails to come up the ramp and start flailing on the top where the
minefield was, and that they did. As soon as they were up I said “driver advance” but
he said I got water up to my waist and the engine stopped, so “bail out”! So we took
the turret mounted machine gun — the browning gun, grabbed boxes of ammo, stuffed our pockets
with grenades and walked along the jib of the flail and dropped into five feet of water…
I was fortunately more than five feet

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