Leftovers from D-Day

Leftovers from D-Day

Joined: September 20th, 2004, 11:26 pm

June 11th, 2009, 6:05 pm #1

Most of you did not know that June 6-7 was also the annual
Museum Ships On-the-Air weekend. There were 85 museum ships worldwide (most are in USA) that participated.

Our radio room was staffed during each day by Amateur Radio operators from the Evansville area, but evenings and mornings were left up to me. While talking to Amateur Radio operators worldwide is part of it, we do keep an ear open for Museum Ships for ship-to-ship contact.

This is specifically what I was doing last Saturday night,
using CW (morse code), the ships main means of communication during the WW2 years. (and still a very viable mode today)

I had just contacted an Icebreaker in Stockholm, Sweden
and afterward I heard an individual French Amateur Radio station calling for anyone. F3NB (callsign) is a person I have heard for years and I thought I would interrupt my searching for ships and call him since it was a noteworthy day for us, the ship, and for France.

After explaining that we, USS LST325 (WW2LST callsign) were one of the many LST ships that landed on his northern shore 65 years ago that day, the "floodgates opened!" He said that French TV was filled with D-Day remembrances and the activities at Normandy, and that he was overwhelming appreciative of the sacrifices of the "American Boys" who
liberated them, and especially for those who gave their lives in the process.

He went on to reveal that he was 93 years old, (on CW you cannot tell any difference between a teenager or an old-timer) had served in the French Navy during their war years. His ship was sunk by the Germans but he survived and later on became a part of the French Air Force.

He kept repeating "merci, merci, mon ami" (thank you my friend) for the USA and its soldiers and sailors for liberating them fron the Nazis, and for contacting him from a ship that was there! I added a few details, such as the 44 trips across the Channel that our ship made, etc. He went on and on, and could not stop expressing his overwhelming gratitude. The communication was going on much longer than I expected, over 20 minutes.

I know that other stations were listening to our conversation and I finally excused myself to allow others to contact him. But after we signed off, there was SILENCE. No other stations called either him or me. No signals to be heard. At that moment I knew that the listeners must have been as humbled as I was and stopped their activity to contemplate the significance of the day and the "signals across the sea" expressing unbounded thanks, that they had just listened to.

Although searching for ships to contact, I have to say that this communication was the hightlight of the weekend
for me. A truly humbling experience that occasionally happens. The right day, the right radio mode, the right countries, the right person, (also a Navy man), the right ship and the right remembrances.

Andy, (as he identifies himself to radio friends), actually
Andre Bertemes, near Toulouse, is a true patriot and French Ambassador (on the radio) and a true friend of the USA. Long may he spend his early morning hours (and our evenings) each day shaking hands with us across the sea.




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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

June 12th, 2009, 2:37 am #2

first I had chills.... then goosebumps.... and then tears running down my face. What a special moment this was for both of you, Perry.

Please tell our french friend that I passed along this greeting:

Cher ami,
Une occasion si considérable - pour vous et le LST 325 pour communiquer sur l'Anniversaire de D-jour. Ce n'était pas la chance, il a été destiné d'arriver. Je crois que les spiritueux de beaucoup d'hommes militaires souriaient en bas du ciel. Que Dieu vous bénisse pour se souvenir de nos hommes comme nous nous souvenons de tous ceux en France qui ont sacrifié et ont souffert. Restez bien!
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Joined: June 27th, 2005, 1:26 am

June 12th, 2009, 2:58 am #3

Most of you did not know that June 6-7 was also the annual
Museum Ships On-the-Air weekend. There were 85 museum ships worldwide (most are in USA) that participated.

Our radio room was staffed during each day by Amateur Radio operators from the Evansville area, but evenings and mornings were left up to me. While talking to Amateur Radio operators worldwide is part of it, we do keep an ear open for Museum Ships for ship-to-ship contact.

This is specifically what I was doing last Saturday night,
using CW (morse code), the ships main means of communication during the WW2 years. (and still a very viable mode today)

I had just contacted an Icebreaker in Stockholm, Sweden
and afterward I heard an individual French Amateur Radio station calling for anyone. F3NB (callsign) is a person I have heard for years and I thought I would interrupt my searching for ships and call him since it was a noteworthy day for us, the ship, and for France.

After explaining that we, USS LST325 (WW2LST callsign) were one of the many LST ships that landed on his northern shore 65 years ago that day, the "floodgates opened!" He said that French TV was filled with D-Day remembrances and the activities at Normandy, and that he was overwhelming appreciative of the sacrifices of the "American Boys" who
liberated them, and especially for those who gave their lives in the process.

He went on to reveal that he was 93 years old, (on CW you cannot tell any difference between a teenager or an old-timer) had served in the French Navy during their war years. His ship was sunk by the Germans but he survived and later on became a part of the French Air Force.

He kept repeating "merci, merci, mon ami" (thank you my friend) for the USA and its soldiers and sailors for liberating them fron the Nazis, and for contacting him from a ship that was there! I added a few details, such as the 44 trips across the Channel that our ship made, etc. He went on and on, and could not stop expressing his overwhelming gratitude. The communication was going on much longer than I expected, over 20 minutes.

I know that other stations were listening to our conversation and I finally excused myself to allow others to contact him. But after we signed off, there was SILENCE. No other stations called either him or me. No signals to be heard. At that moment I knew that the listeners must have been as humbled as I was and stopped their activity to contemplate the significance of the day and the "signals across the sea" expressing unbounded thanks, that they had just listened to.

Although searching for ships to contact, I have to say that this communication was the hightlight of the weekend
for me. A truly humbling experience that occasionally happens. The right day, the right radio mode, the right countries, the right person, (also a Navy man), the right ship and the right remembrances.

Andy, (as he identifies himself to radio friends), actually
Andre Bertemes, near Toulouse, is a true patriot and French Ambassador (on the radio) and a true friend of the USA. Long may he spend his early morning hours (and our evenings) each day shaking hands with us across the sea.




Just another one of the great stories we have to tell from our wonderful experiences with the LST 325!
Who is the man in the picture at the bottom of your post?
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Joined: September 20th, 2004, 11:26 pm

June 12th, 2009, 3:23 am #4

Hi Jo... I suppose the message was a bit long and you did not connect the F3NB French callsign with the picture that had the same callsign in the lower left. It's an earlier picture of 93 yr old Andy at his Amateur station.
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Joined: November 21st, 2004, 9:28 pm

June 12th, 2009, 12:06 pm #5

first I had chills.... then goosebumps.... and then tears running down my face. What a special moment this was for both of you, Perry.

Please tell our french friend that I passed along this greeting:

Cher ami,
Une occasion si considérable - pour vous et le LST 325 pour communiquer sur l'Anniversaire de D-jour. Ce n'était pas la chance, il a été destiné d'arriver. Je crois que les spiritueux de beaucoup d'hommes militaires souriaient en bas du ciel. Que Dieu vous bénisse pour se souvenir de nos hommes comme nous nous souvenons de tous ceux en France qui ont sacrifié et ont souffert. Restez bien!
Dear friend,
So great an opportunity - for you and the LST 325 to communicate on the Anniversary of D-day. It was not luck, it was intended to reach. I believe that the spirits of many military men were smiling down from heaven. May God bless you for remembering our men as we remember all those in France who have sacrificed and suffered. Stay well!
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Joined: February 16th, 2007, 3:23 am

June 12th, 2009, 2:03 pm #6

Most of you did not know that June 6-7 was also the annual
Museum Ships On-the-Air weekend. There were 85 museum ships worldwide (most are in USA) that participated.

Our radio room was staffed during each day by Amateur Radio operators from the Evansville area, but evenings and mornings were left up to me. While talking to Amateur Radio operators worldwide is part of it, we do keep an ear open for Museum Ships for ship-to-ship contact.

This is specifically what I was doing last Saturday night,
using CW (morse code), the ships main means of communication during the WW2 years. (and still a very viable mode today)

I had just contacted an Icebreaker in Stockholm, Sweden
and afterward I heard an individual French Amateur Radio station calling for anyone. F3NB (callsign) is a person I have heard for years and I thought I would interrupt my searching for ships and call him since it was a noteworthy day for us, the ship, and for France.

After explaining that we, USS LST325 (WW2LST callsign) were one of the many LST ships that landed on his northern shore 65 years ago that day, the "floodgates opened!" He said that French TV was filled with D-Day remembrances and the activities at Normandy, and that he was overwhelming appreciative of the sacrifices of the "American Boys" who
liberated them, and especially for those who gave their lives in the process.

He went on to reveal that he was 93 years old, (on CW you cannot tell any difference between a teenager or an old-timer) had served in the French Navy during their war years. His ship was sunk by the Germans but he survived and later on became a part of the French Air Force.

He kept repeating "merci, merci, mon ami" (thank you my friend) for the USA and its soldiers and sailors for liberating them fron the Nazis, and for contacting him from a ship that was there! I added a few details, such as the 44 trips across the Channel that our ship made, etc. He went on and on, and could not stop expressing his overwhelming gratitude. The communication was going on much longer than I expected, over 20 minutes.

I know that other stations were listening to our conversation and I finally excused myself to allow others to contact him. But after we signed off, there was SILENCE. No other stations called either him or me. No signals to be heard. At that moment I knew that the listeners must have been as humbled as I was and stopped their activity to contemplate the significance of the day and the "signals across the sea" expressing unbounded thanks, that they had just listened to.

Although searching for ships to contact, I have to say that this communication was the hightlight of the weekend
for me. A truly humbling experience that occasionally happens. The right day, the right radio mode, the right countries, the right person, (also a Navy man), the right ship and the right remembrances.

Andy, (as he identifies himself to radio friends), actually
Andre Bertemes, near Toulouse, is a true patriot and French Ambassador (on the radio) and a true friend of the USA. Long may he spend his early morning hours (and our evenings) each day shaking hands with us across the sea.




for a wonderful read.
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Joined: December 19th, 2004, 5:07 pm

June 12th, 2009, 9:06 pm #7

Most of you did not know that June 6-7 was also the annual
Museum Ships On-the-Air weekend. There were 85 museum ships worldwide (most are in USA) that participated.

Our radio room was staffed during each day by Amateur Radio operators from the Evansville area, but evenings and mornings were left up to me. While talking to Amateur Radio operators worldwide is part of it, we do keep an ear open for Museum Ships for ship-to-ship contact.

This is specifically what I was doing last Saturday night,
using CW (morse code), the ships main means of communication during the WW2 years. (and still a very viable mode today)

I had just contacted an Icebreaker in Stockholm, Sweden
and afterward I heard an individual French Amateur Radio station calling for anyone. F3NB (callsign) is a person I have heard for years and I thought I would interrupt my searching for ships and call him since it was a noteworthy day for us, the ship, and for France.

After explaining that we, USS LST325 (WW2LST callsign) were one of the many LST ships that landed on his northern shore 65 years ago that day, the "floodgates opened!" He said that French TV was filled with D-Day remembrances and the activities at Normandy, and that he was overwhelming appreciative of the sacrifices of the "American Boys" who
liberated them, and especially for those who gave their lives in the process.

He went on to reveal that he was 93 years old, (on CW you cannot tell any difference between a teenager or an old-timer) had served in the French Navy during their war years. His ship was sunk by the Germans but he survived and later on became a part of the French Air Force.

He kept repeating "merci, merci, mon ami" (thank you my friend) for the USA and its soldiers and sailors for liberating them fron the Nazis, and for contacting him from a ship that was there! I added a few details, such as the 44 trips across the Channel that our ship made, etc. He went on and on, and could not stop expressing his overwhelming gratitude. The communication was going on much longer than I expected, over 20 minutes.

I know that other stations were listening to our conversation and I finally excused myself to allow others to contact him. But after we signed off, there was SILENCE. No other stations called either him or me. No signals to be heard. At that moment I knew that the listeners must have been as humbled as I was and stopped their activity to contemplate the significance of the day and the "signals across the sea" expressing unbounded thanks, that they had just listened to.

Although searching for ships to contact, I have to say that this communication was the hightlight of the weekend
for me. A truly humbling experience that occasionally happens. The right day, the right radio mode, the right countries, the right person, (also a Navy man), the right ship and the right remembrances.

Andy, (as he identifies himself to radio friends), actually
Andre Bertemes, near Toulouse, is a true patriot and French Ambassador (on the radio) and a true friend of the USA. Long may he spend his early morning hours (and our evenings) each day shaking hands with us across the sea.




Perry you do a great job when I read this I remembered few years ago when I was to a International Lions club convention in Phila. Pa. we were sitting in the lobby of the hotel and lady came over and asked if there were any WW-2 veterans and I with others said yes she was a youg girl and lived near the beach and remembered every thing that took place I told her I was on and LST and she knew what I was talking about she could not stop thanking us it made for a great day. Dom.
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

June 13th, 2009, 2:28 am #8

What a nice memory, Dom.. thank you for sharing it with us. We never know where or when we'll run into an LST Veteran, a Veteran who was transported on an LST or someone who remembers seeing one. It's especially dear to me when they remember to thank all of you for your service.

You and Dottie stay well... the little Italian rigazza will be baptised Sunday. Wish you could be with us!
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