Segment 2


When Crain was in the armada heading towards the beaches [Annotator's Note: during the invasion of Sicily, July 1943], 1 of the parachute sticks [Annotator's Note: term for a plane load of paratroopers] that was flying in for the night invasion crashed in the water. Crain was on the USS Florence Nightingale. The ship circled around and picked up the airmen.Crain's boat landed on Easy Red sector of Omaha beach on D-Day [Annotator's Note: Invasion of Normandy, June 1944]. Crain landed elements of the 29th Infantry Division on Omaha beach. Crain says that it was every bit as bloody as depicted in Saving Private Ryan. Every time they returned to the ship they returned wounded and bodies back to the ship. After the ship was full they unloaded the wounded and the bodies back in England.They then went to the Mediterranean to get ready for the invasion of southern France. The invasion of southern France was rather uneventful in relation to the D-Day landings. On the way back to the ship on the day of the landings a spent artillery shell crashed through the bottom of the boat and almost caused it to sink.After that there was no need for amphibious landings in Europe. Crain and his men went back to the states. They performed a major overhaul and then were sent through the Panama Canal.Once in the Pacific Crain took on troops to invade Okinawa. Late in the evening on 1 April [Annotator's Note: 1 April 1945] a suicide plane [Annotator's Note: kamikaze] hit their ship and put it out of commission.Crain was thrilled to be able to get out of the States and see the world a little bit. Everyone griped and complained about various things but at the end of the day it was a thrill for Crain to see the world.


All oral histories featured on this site are available to license. The videos will be delivered via mail as Hi Definition video on DVD/DVDs or via file transfer. You will be purchasing the oral history in its entirety but will be free to use only specific clips. Please contact the Museum at if you are interested in licensing this content. Please allow up to two weeks for file delivery or delivery of the DVD to your postal address. See more information at