Coast Guard Veteran Recounts His Time Aboard a Landing Ship During the Invasion of Normandy
2023/07/20

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Julius Boreali, a Coast Guard veteran, served during World War II and played a crucial role in the D-Day invasion. Born to Italian immigrants in 2, Boreali enlisted in the Coast Guard after finding a long line at the Navy recruiting office. He was assigned to an LST (tank landing ship), which would transport troops and supplies to the beaches of Normandy.

On May 29, 1944, Bali's ship was attacked by German planes while docked in Falmouth, England. This attack foreshadowed the intense battles that awaited them.

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A few days later, they embarked on the perilous journey across the English Channel towards Omaha Beach.

Boreali vividly recalled the horrors of D-Day in his diary. As German guns and airplanes bombarded the beach, fear set in. He manned a 40 mm gun, shooting at enemy aircraft. For three days, he didn't sleep, instead assisting with rescue efforts and tending to the wounded.

Despite the chaos and devastation, there were moments of serendipity. Boreali encountered a fellow soldier, Freddie Wessel, whom he had gone to school with.

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The reunion amidst the chaos brought tears to his eyes. Boreali later wrote a letter to Wessel's parents, assuring them of their son's safety.

In the months following D-Day, Boreali and his crew made numerous trips between England and France, delivering vital supplies to the front lines. Their LST became a lifeline for the Allied forces, bringing in men, ammunition, food, and other materials.

Boreali emphasized the constant danger they faced from enemy mines in the channel. Many ships sank, but LST-27 persevered, fulfilling their duty despite the risks.

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After the war, Boreali returned home and rarely spoke about his military service. However, as his children grew older, they became interested in his stories. They cherished the humorous and touching moments he shared, which highlighted the resilience and youthfulness of the soldiers amidst the gravity of war.

Now 100 years old, Boreali reflects on his service with gratitude. He acknowledges that the true heroes are the ones who didn't come home, buried in Normandy. Boreali's diary entries and memorabilia serve as a testament to his role in history and the sacrifices made by countless others.

This story was shared by DAV (Disabled American Veterans), an organization dedicated to empowering veterans and ensuring they receive the support and benefits they deserve.

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