Texas, Italy, France, and England: 1943-1946. Notebook. The hardcover journal measures approximately 5.25” x 8” and contains 110 used pages filled with daily entries. A number of post-war pages have been removed making the binding feel a little loose. The pages are clean and easy to read. The cover shows some wear and soiling. Very good. Item #009008
During his three years of duty, Conrath served aboard several vessels: USS YMS-248, USS Bridge, USS Brooklyn, USS Temptress, USS Kempthrone (a lend-lease ship), and USS Bataan. As with most military journals and ship’s logs, the majority of Conrath’s entries are rather mundane and reflect the daily routines of service. However, this diary includes a number of entries describing combat including: 15-21 May 1944 – Arrived Capo d’Anzio at 0830 air raid 2200 German lines only 6 miles from here. . . . Swept “F” and inboard “L” PM Germans fired on us for two hours – no hits but pretty near misses and I learned the noise a piece of shrapnel makes when it passes within 25 feet of you. . . . Shell burst only 50 yards from us and from the sound it made in passing over flying bridge it was only 10 or 20 feet away. . . . 1-3 June 1944 – While sweeping the new “Love Channel” . . . we were fired on by German artillery. At 1430 we cut our first moored mine . . . and then another at 1431. They certainly were ugly looking bastards floating in the water. They looked the size of a large truck wheel. . . . An SC sank them with 20 MM fire – Another sweep in our group swept a 3rd mine. . . . Swept same as yesterday, fired on again as usual – No hits – Close though! 3-5 August 1944 – Learned today that we are to be part of a group that invades Southern France. . . . I’m beginning to realize how the men who made the invasion of Normandy must have felt previous to the H hour. Dress rehearsal tomorrow or the day after. . . . Completed installation of special radar equipment. . . . 14 August 1944 – Following msg received this PM – General Wilson and Admiral Cunningham wish you good luck . . . Your enterprise will make history and will deal a fatal blow to the enemy . . . Tonight will be one that all of us shall long remember. 15-16 August 1944 – At 0300 we started in. . . . we were the first ones to go in. Met no enemy resistance. . . . we watched the battlewagons and cruisers shell the beach – At 1200 we started sweeping. . . . A two engine German plane flew over but dropped no bombs. Although he flew through a tremendous amount of ack-ack he was not hit. . . . the YMS-24 struck a mine and was destroyed. Last reports indicate that all but two men have been rescued. . . . Arrived off Marseilles. . . . Saw new cruiser Vincennes in action. . . . Swept channel into Marseilles for DD381 or started to. After nearing Marseilles they (enemy) opened up on us with everything she had. Her guns outranged, the DD381 poured it into the beach till we could lay a smoke screen and haul ass. . . . Today was worse than we were ever shelled off Anzio. . . . Conrath and his ships survived the landing and by 8 May 1945 were docked at Staten Island, “V-E day! Went over into town to Times Square to watch celebration. . . .” A very nice first-hand account of a small ship’s participation in two of the three largest amphibious landings of World War Two.