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Disaster Before D-Day

by Stephen Wynn on August 9, 2019

Writing any book is enjoyable, but knowing that something I have written has had a positive impact on someone’s life, makes it even better. I received the following e-mail from Allan J Cameron Jr in the United States.


I read your book Disaster Before D-Day today and I could not put it down. My father is on the cover of the book. He is the soldier holding the cable on the Higgins boat landing ramp. My dad (deceased) Pfc Allan J Cameron was a Combat Engineer that volunteered to go with the invasion force to Omaha (his unit never left England).

My brother found a copy of this photo on the internet. It was described as the landing at Omaha Beach. I did some research and one of the researchers at the D Day Museum in New Orleans, LA said that it was most likely not Omaha but rather Slapton Sands in England.

Like many men of the “Greatest Generation” my father Allan J Cameron (31299492) did not give us much in the way of details of his service. It was not something they talked about, it was just something they did.

Allan enlisted in the US Army at the age of 18 (24 Feb 1943) in Boston, Ma near where he grew up in Summerville, Ma. He was assigned to the 444 Engineers and after training in the States he was shipped to England (17 Jul 1943).

Pfc Cameron was the oldest son of Scottish immigrants and before he left for England his father told him that if he wanted to survive the war and life in the military “volunteer for everything”. When the call went out for Engineers for the invasion my dad “volunteered”.

After my father’s death in 1990 my mother was invited to a reunion of the 444th Engineers and she learned that he was the only soldier from his unit that left England. In a subsequent search for Al’s military records we found that they were lost in a fire in Overland, Missouri in 1972.

After his discharge in 1946, Al returned to civilian life where he met his wife Irene and started a family. Being an avid Boston Red Sox (Baseball) fan, Al heard that Red Sox star Johnny Pesky was going to appear in the area and decided to go. He was told that he had to sign up for the Army Reserves in order to get in to see Pesky, (“don’t worry, you don’t do much in the Reserves and the money is good”). A few months later he was in Korea because he was a trained combat veteran.

It took me way too long to realize that these men were the “Greatest Generation” because we were too busy being the rebellious youth of the 60’s and 70’s (we were so stupid back then).

I recently came across you book and bought it to add to my collection.

Allan J Cameron Jr.

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