Julian S. Cottrell
Veteran of WWII Career Army
Today is Veteran's Day, 2010, and my thoughts turn to my father.
My dad enlisted into the Navy on February 8, 1944, and four months later on June 6, 1944, the 17 year old "kid" was on Omaha Beach...D-Day.
It's not unusual that he never talked about those days with us, but I am sure they haunted him in phantom moments throughout his life, how could they not?
For every Veteran who served...in times of war, or times of peace...we honor you today.
In honor of my father, and all the brave men who were with him on the beach that day I offer an excerpt from a press conference held by Secretary Forrestal on September 27, 1944:
..."Some day when the story is told, I think you will all agree it's a conspicuously gallant undertaking.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Presidential Citation to the Navy Combat Demolition Unit of Force "O":
For outstanding performance in combat during the invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944.
Determined and zealous in the fullfillment of an extremely hazardous mission, the Navy Combat Demolition Unit of Force "O" landed on the "Omaha Beach" with the first wave under devasting enemy artillery, machine-gun and sniper fire.
With practically all explosives lost and with their force seriously depleted by heavy casualties, the remaining officers and men carried on gallantly, salvaging explosives as they were swept ashore and in some instances comandeering bulldozers to remove obstacles.
In spite of these grave handicaps, the Demolition Crews succeeded initially in blasting five gaps through enemy obstacles for the passage of assault forces to the Normandy shore and within two days had sapped over 85 percent of the "Omaha Beach" area of German placed traps.
Valiant in the face of grave danger and persistently aggressive against fierce resistance, the Navy Combat Demolition Unit rendered daring and self-sacrificing service in the performance of a vital mission, thereby sustaining the high traditions of the United States Naval Service."
- For the President and myself as Secretary of the Navy
And there listed among the Non-Casualties is my father, my hero
COTTRELL, Julian Sterns, Seaman, First Class, USNR, Star Route 1286, Belfast, Maine....
Thank you , Dad :)
Crescent Realty, Inc. Spanaway, WA. - Spanaway, WA
CNE, CRS, GRI
Bev, I see why you're so proud. If it wasn't for our veterans, we wouldn't be able to blog on the net.
Nov 12, 2010 01:43 PM
Bev. Our dad's were in the same Unit together. I have a list of men showing the servicemen who were KIA, wounded and Non-Casualties. Your father's name is on that list.
My father never spoke of his experience of the war until the 50th anniversary of D-Day. We are very proud of our dear father.
All the best.
Mar 26, 2012 02:12 PM#3
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