Segment 4

Annotation

Darold Rice remembers that the night of June 5th they heard the engines suddenly roar louder than they had ever heard before He went to the engine room to go and see what was going on. Darold realized that they were heading to Europe, and later in the early hours of the morning they were called down to the Higgins boats that had pulled up to the side of the ship. Rice climbed aboard, loaded down with tons and tons of ammunition, as at this point he was still an ammo carrier for a machine gun squad. The boat that Darold was on had about twenty men on it, and one of the officers hopped on board and started giving them a speech to try and inform them as to what to expect when they landed. Rice recalls, however, that they never really clarified what exactly they were doing or where exactly they were going, and so he set off to land on the beaches of Normandy in a boatful of men who all had no real idea where exactly they were or what exactly they were doing. As they approached the shore, the ramp on the front of the Higgins boat dropped down and Darold jumped down into the water to start making his was towards the shore. As they made their way up the beach, Rice looked up and watched a dogfight unfolding above them. They could not tell who was fighting who up there. Rice says he witnessed two planes crash into each other head on. Darold also remembers how a black soldier that was with them was supposed to be carrying a balloon that would help guide the aerial support with a visual aid, but as soon as the artillery fire from the Germans picked up, the soldier released the balloon and turned around and fled back onto the Higgins boat. Rice was not impressed and cussed the guy out.

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