Manage episode 376923641 series 2099101
Seaman First Class Richard Coombs served in World War II as a Navy Seabee. He fought in the first wave of the Invasion of Normandy, where he was a part of the Naval Combat Demolition Unit. In the interview, he says his about crawling up the entire beach:
“If you were to stand up, you're dead, you would've got hit for sure. I never knew there was so much firepower like that. You can't imagine, bullets hitting the sand, 88s going over your head and explosions here. And it smelled like death. You heard moaning, guys screaming, smell of gunpowder in the air. It was a very bleak, stormy day. How we ever accomplished and got in there, I don't know, but we did it.”
The Naval Construction Battalions, which quickly became known as the Seabees due to their abbreviation (CBs), were formed at the beginning of American involvement in World War II. They were created as an amphibious force to construct advanced bases in combat zones. Many Seabees volunteered to join Navy Combat Demolition Units (NCDUs), who were tasked with destroying obstacles in an advance of amphibious assaults.
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