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Invasion of Normandy 1944.

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Old 14th August 2019, 21:27
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Invasion of Normandy 1944.

I watched again tonight the episode in that classic series "The World at War" that covered D - Day. Lots of newsreel and film of the invasion, the Mulberries, and a little bit of the liberation of Cherbourg was included.
My late Dad always looked out for any documentaries of the Invasion in the hope of seeing some film taken by an American correspondent who had been attached to the tanker Empire Traveller. He joined the ship to film her contribution to the effort, as she had been attached to the US Forces, supplying petrol, (gasoline?). Empire Traveller moored in the American Mulberry harbour, and refuelled their small ships as well as pumping fuel ashore. She was one of the ships that dragged anchor in the large storm that did so much damage to both harbours, and Dad watched the correspondent filming everything. Later, Empire Traveller was the first Allied merchant vessel to enter Cherbourg after its liberation, and this was recorded on film too. As Empire Traveller was, by now, pumping fuel ashore for General Patton's tanks, the correspondent went ashore to film the activities at the front line. That was where he lost his life, along with all his film, apparently. So a lot of film of considerable historical interest was never developed, and you have to wonder how much other film and photographic treasure was lost.
Dad was 2nd Mate of the Empire Traveller. She was managed by Eagle Oil, and loaded fuel in Swansea and / or Cardiff to unload in Normandy.
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