Friday, June 6, 2014
70 years ago today, Thomas Clarence Kent, in command of a Landing Ship (Tank) for the US Navy, approached Omaha Beach. It was his fourth landing (North Africa, Sicily, Italy were behind him). As I understand it, his craft was part of the second wave of the invasion; he landed at about 4:45 in the morning. He offloaded 25 tanks onto the beach -- watching them drive over the corpses of the dead (as per orders!), a sight that plagued him the rest of his days -- and after the last tank reached land, pulled the ship back to make way for the next. About 150 yards off shore, they were struck in an ammo magazine by a German 88 shell, burst apart and sank. His entire crew but one were lost; he was blown overboard and lived to command another ship at Iwo Jima the next year. He eventually died of honorable old age in 1983.
A kinder, gentler man you will never meet. You would NEVER have guessed him a war hero.
Thank you, Uncle Tom.
Posted by (c)2014 Richard L. Kent, Esq. (MichiganSilverback at gmail dot com) at 8:25 AM