4:58 | Navy Corpsman Frank Walden went ashore at Omaha Beach with the Beach Battalion, a unit charged with managing the beach during the assault. After the shock of seeing the first bodies, and after a frightening rush to find safety in the chaos, he began to treat the wounded.
Keywords : Frank Walden Landing Craft Infantry (LCI) stretcher life preserver Saving Private Ryan Don Burroughs bodies 88mm gun machine gun tank Virgil Mounts morphine triage Normandy D-Day Corpsman Red Onines Richard Onines
Navy Corpsman Frank Walden's first post was a hospital where he emptied bedpans. He asked for sea duty and got it, aboard the USS Anne Arundel, a troop transport. In the invasion of Sicily, he volunteered to go ashore and unload ammunition. That may be why he was reassigned to the new 6th Beach Battalion. If he was crazy enough to volunteer to go ashore, why not?
He was rushing to treat wounded men on Omaha beach when he was wounded by shrapnel from a German 88mm gun. Navy Corpsman Frank Walden describes the effects of the blast and his evacuation from the battle. After recovering back home, he was still obligated to serve until he was twenty one, but there would be no more artillery targeted on him.
Frank Walden has been back to Omaha Beach twice. The first time, traveling on his own, he almost didn't get there. The second time was the 50th Anniversary and he secured seating right up front at the ceremony. He insisted that the tour bus stop at a German military cemetery. After all, those boys were the same age as ours.
Lawrence Snowden was told that the campaign for Iwo Jima would take maybe 5 days. Instead it was 36 long, bloody days and when the flag was raised, no one in his unit stood up and cheered. That Marine would have been a dead Marine.
His first ship assignment and voyage was memorable. Naval Armed Guard John Laster was knocked out by a loose firing lanyard and, later, had to help round up 500 monkeys, who were bound stateside for research, after their cage broke open.
As Japan overran much of China, Fred Chiao and other young Chinese airmen had to keep moving to stay ahead of the occupation. They finished their training despite the national crisis.
Recalling his first visit to Normandy years after WWII, Bob Phillips describes the hill where he originally saw dead bodies. He also reflects back to the wartime vision of a burned out barn full of dead slave laborers.
Iwo Jima was a unique battle in that the victors suffered more casualties than the defeated. Marine Captain Lawrence Snowden says that you came to feel that like it wouldn't happen to you, and that spirit enabled the men to reach their objective.