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D-Day on the USS Quincy

June 6 marks the day 70 years ago when Allied troops famously stormed the beaches of Normandy in 1944. On D-Day, more than 160,000 men went up against the Germans’ extensively fortified Atlantic Wall in northern France, breaking through to begin the invasion of German-occupied France. Offshore during this invasion, lending material and gunfire support, were 5,000 ships.

D-Day Invasion-War Theatre #12 (France)One of these ships was the USS Quincy, a heavy cruiser on which Lieutenant Commander John F. Latimer was serving as the assistant communications officer. The Quincy was offshore of Utah Beach during the D-Day landings, and from his position on board, Latimer participated in—and later described—the D-Day invasion.

According to Latimer (in the Personal Interviews section of Fold3’s World War II War Diaries), on D-Day the Quincy worked with spotting planes to fire on and destroy previously assigned targets on shore, mainly batteries. The Quincy also protected Shore Fire Control Parties (SFCP) from enemy fire, and as Latimer reported, the SFCP “sent us fervent thanks for saving their lives on several different occasions.” Although Latimer wasn’t sure how many shore batteries the Quincy engaged on D-Day, he estimated that by 8 o’clock that night, they had expended 70 percent of their approximately 1,000 8″ rounds and about the same amount of their 5″.

The day following D-Day, the Quincy only fired when requested to by SFCP planes, as the ship was low on ammunition. It also received about 20 men, some wounded and “all suffering from more or less exposure,” who had been rescued from the water by torpedo boats after their planes had gone down. The Quincy also retrieved a body from the water, but it was so decomposed it had to be buried at sea.

According to Latimer, the Quincy performed its D-Day mission with no major mistakes, and he attributed this partly to luck “but mostly to thorough preparation, consistent application to the task in hand, excellent leadership, and splendid cooperation.” Although the Quincy was lucky enough not to sustain any casualties on D-Day, this was not the case for others on the invasion force: more than nine thousand Allies were killed or wounded during the Normandy landings.

Search for your D-Day and other World War II heroes in Fold3’s WWII collection, and commemorate their service by creating or expanding a Memorial Page for them on the Honor Wall.

43 Comments

  1. George A. Harris, Company “F”, 401st Glider Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division went ashore on a landing boat rather than set down in a glider as he had trained. The reason for this is still rather foggy to this writer, but it seems that the decision was to get as many men ashore as possible. Perhaps there was a shortage of Waco gliders, but Company “F” made up of airborne troops landed with the regular infantry instead of riding to a landing zone inland.
    The sketchy information I have recorded here is unusual enough, but I would like to know the whole story. Sgt. Harris was my uncle.

    • I am a graduate student at PSU, Pittsburg, KS studying history, with interest in WWII. Most glider missions were grounded because of foul weather. My father was a communication officer on a B17, which was very delayed In providing the air support also because of bad weather. My uncle was on Omaha beach, he survived, the majority of the platoon did not. A good book to use for general information is Michael Lyons’ World War II; a short history, ISBN-13:978-0-205-66056-8. This text is only 306 pages, but enlightening all the same.

  2. Pingback: What You Might Have Missed: June 2nd Edition

  3. I wish we had more HEROS like all the ones on USS QUINCY. God, bless them all.

  4. Thank you to all who helped to give me the freedom I have today.

  5. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU

  6. Mr. Bill Weston of Poquoson, VA, was on the Quincy. He died recently and never stopped talking about his time in the Navy. “Quincy” was on his license plate. He was a very honorable, kind man and our whole community misses him.

  7. My father-in-law, Loren Barham, was on the Quincy on D-Day. I think I have the ship book. To all the men and women served both today and in the past in all our wars, Thank You so very much. What we have today is due to ALL who were in service to this country. Loren was a bsrave and honorable man. He died in 1995, before I had sense enough to as him questions about his service. I am grateful for his service.

    Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed, by so many, to so few. Winston Churchill

    • Your Churchill quote relates to the Battle of Britain in 1940 when the pilots of the RAF took on the might of the German Luftwaffe. No disrespect to the D-Day men who freed Europe from tyranny .Thanks USA for being there and for all the material help you gave but there were a lot of British, Free French, Canadian, Australian, South African, New Zealand troops there as well – don’t think you did it alone

    • That was about the RAAF, WHEN America WAS SITTING ON THE FENCE.

    • Nancy the men whom made our world safe in those dark days are forever cherished in our hearts-! Your quoting Churchills famous
      Speech, is appropriate for the ages and all wars we have and will be faced with. It is the warrior who leaves his or her home and family in order to secure the peace for a nation. In turn, the human masses of That Nation are forever indebted to the few whom carried the sword and spear-!! Sir “Winston”
      Nailed It for eternity-!!

      Thank You Patriot and may Our God forever bless you, your family and OUR AMERICA-!

      M.Mitchell

  8. We haven’t learned anything about invasion in the last 100 years. Why do we always have to land good men on beaches to face machine guns. On D-Day, why couldn’t 160,000 men have been parachuted behind enemy lines and then we could have left the Germans keep their pill boxes and starved them into submission. Cheers, Ken.

    • Fair question. Do the math. 28 paratroopers per dc3

      Plus as bad as our beach casualties were the paras fared much worse.

  9. Correction, I meant RAF and RAAF.

  10. I think many people forget about the Russians, you know, those awful Communists, who were first into Germany, and first into Berlin and hoisted the Red Flag on Hitler’s building, while that Idiot with the funny moustache was shitting himself and later shot himself. The efforts of the Russians was probably the difference between our brave Armies, Air force and Navies, being a resounding success.

    • Ken you appear to be someone that is not a fan of my United States? That is certainly the message your words suggest. As for the Russians,Hitler would have swallowed them had it not been for “Lend Lease” which fed them, fueled them, armed them and continually re supplied throughout the war.
      Which nation supplied all of that incredible tonnage of support? It was the United States and we performed that same herculean effort
      To England-! Keep in mind, that was accomplished at incomparable peril by OUR Merchant Marines Navy and Liberty ships and British Royal Navy and her own merchant marines. To correct another comment you registered as you lavished praise upon the Russian army taking Berlin. Eisenhower,
      The Supreme Allied Commander, with the approval of Roosevelt, Churchill gave Berlin to Stalin for his taking. Russia had sustained more than 20 million deaths to the hands of Hitler and the western allies were more than happy to allow Russia that “prize” and sustain
      The huge casualties they suffered in taking it.
      My father was an artillery battery sergeant in the US 9th Army. They were pushing for Berlin and ORDERED to halt in place and let the Russians have it-! Once Russia secured Berlin, their General Gorge Zukoff turned his troops loose upon the women and girls of Berlin. When their savagery upon those citizens was done, it is estimated the Russians raped 80% of the female population of that city and it’s suburbs. Before I close,
      You should also know of the around the clock pounding the Germans war industry and industrial complex, by US 8th, 9th & 15th Army Air Corps Forces, along w/the RAF delivered in 4 years of heavy, sustained bombing crippled the Germans so severely,
      Hitler troops could no longer hold off the allies from its western or eastern nor southern borders. This UNITED STATES DID ALL OF THAT AND EVEN MORE AS IT WAS THE PRINCIPAL ARMED FORCE FIGHTING
      JAPAN AND DEFEATING IT. Not only did my dad fight Hitler, his 5 brothers fought Japan,
      With one shot on I would Jima-! Allow my words to educate you and the next time you wish to downplay My America, I pray another US com at veteran such as I stands up and
      “Dresses You Down” as you deserve.

      Mark Mitchell
      1st Aviation Brigade
      Tour 69-70
      VIETNAM [

    • One of Hitler’s mistakes was attacking Russia. The allies were successful where individual countries were not. No one nation won WWII, the combined efforts of the allies did. That said, the US was able to out produce any other nation in the world, something the German, British, Russian, Japanese generals practically drooled over. The Americans did not win the war alone, but their entrance into the war was a watershed moment.

    • Ken read a history book. The US could have been first into Berlin and Paris but we held back and let the Russians and French take the glory.

    • My father-in-law, Joe L. Clark was with the 79th, 315th, Co D. This group was part of the D-Day +6. Without Fold3 and the internet, I never would have been able to find the information I needed to unlock 70 years of horrific memories from him.
      Until a few days ago, our family has known very little about his experience, where he fought, or where he was captured. As I read about battles and places, sharing what I know, he is more open to revealing what happened to him. Since he is now 89, his memory isn’t as sharp as it once was, but he remembers the day that he and several of his fellow POW escaped the camp. As they were escaping,the Russians came. The American and British soldiers left behind thought they would be released immediately. Not so. A good thirty days would elapse before they were released and their time under the Russians wasn’t any better than it had been from the Germans. My father-in-law was shot in the leg escaping. The soldiers knew that the Russians had no joy in capturing this camp and letting the Allies leave. Their plan was to use this camp for their own use. He was at Mulhberg 51-13, the largest camp in Germany. The camp didn’t close until 1948. You my read the entire article on Wikipedia.

  11. Nobody ever said it was a USA invasion. It was an Allied invasion meaning many nations many people not just one country. We all pulled together to get rid of this evil man in Europe.

  12. When I was a boy growing up, there were many Normandy invasion veterans in our little Texas town. My best friend’s father was a young paratrooper at Normandy. He and a few other men were walking across an open field in the darkness, trying to link up with other Americans, when they were spotted by the Germans. They came under machine gun fire and all of them were hit. My friend’s father was the only one from that group of men to make it home alive. He spent almost two years in hospitals. Most of them were just kids but they were true heroes. He never talked about it – I heard all of this from his parents in the 1950’s.

  13. Notice the English speaking world in 1944. The UK used to be called England and the people known as the English and the USA just a colony!

  14. I had a friend who recently passed away he was 89 years old his name was Howard
    Bench Hartman he was in the 101st airborne. A few years ago I took him to the Reading PA airshow while there we were checking out the rein actors and aircraft. Bench wanted to go into a C47 on the Tarmac I asked permission to board an got a OK. Bench said to you know Rodney I went up in one of these 12 times and never landed. He had five jumps in the states and fives in England he made two combat jumps was wounded twice after recovering his jumps they took back by boat. He was captured by the Germans and he escaped there’s just to much to say about these guys from WWII thinking of you Bench Thanks for all you gave Ron (Rodney) Reaman he always called me Rodney

  15. I had a friend who recently passed away he was 89 years old his name was Howard
    Bench Hartman he was in the 101st airborne. A few years ago I took him to the Reading PA airshow while there we were checking out the reeanactors and aircraft. Bench wanted to go into a C47 on the Tarmac I asked permission to board an got a OK. Bench said to you know Rodney I went up in one of these 12 times and never landed. He had five jumps in the states and fives in England he made two combat jumps was wounded twice after recovering his jumps they took back by boat. He was captured by the Germans and he escaped there’s just to much to say about these guys from WWII thinking of you Bench Thanks for all you gave Ron (Rodney) Reaman he always called me Rodney

  16. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn
    We shall remember them

    Thank you for freedom from tyranny

  17. Mark, you sound like the yanks won the war on their own. you only came in to it because the Japs knocked you off the fence and forced you into self defense. You should be ashamed to have been satisfied to make money by supplying equipment for the millions of soldiers that were fighting and dying. Vietnam is just another one of your mistakes. Not even Australians wanted to be near you idiots during battle. Throwing Vietnamese soldiers out of helicopters because they wouldn’t talk is not in the Geneva convention either. If you are trying to say yanks never raped anyone in war time you are a moron.

    • No ken you are the moron. You have no idea of the history of WW2 or Vietnam. Join the military and fight in a war and them maybe you will have some credibility and someone may listen to you. Until then, SHUT UP.

  18. Thanks for the article. I have met SO many WWII vets in my life, sadly many didn’t mention anything about it. But from Hump Pilots to those who worked with the Code Talkers, I have met them. Any many in wars that followed including my father in heavy combat in Korea. And a dear friend, Ralph Miller, a mechanic in the South Pacific.
    Thank you SO much for the detailed information Mark Mitchell… I am wondering if your father was Phillip Mitchell.

  19. Note to Ken Wong… Bet you live in the USA and take advantage of all here. If you don’t love it LEAVE it to those of us who do. I will pay for your one way flight back to ‘Wongolia’.

  20. My father served on the Atlanta CL-51 which took part in the battle of Midway and was later sunk at the night battle off Guadalcanal. The Atlanta was an anti-aircraft cruser armed with 18 5″ guns in 10 turrets and very lightly armored. He survived and later served on the U.S.S. Iowa. I never knew him as he died when I was three months old.

    • I had an uncle on the Uss Atlanta and was killed at the Battle of Guadalcanal. The Uss Atlanta was very badly hit and was being towed back to port for repairs. The tow was very slow about 5 knots the best I remember. The US sunk her to protect the ship towing her. My father fought in the Pacific as my uncle that died. I had two other uncles that fought in Europe These were all brothers and they believed in this country as I do. My father also fought in Korea and retired in 1963 with 22 years service. I am a vietnam vet, My family has been fighting for this country since the Revolutionary War. I am a PATRIOT

  21. It seems that today we are hell bent on giving up what these great Americans fought and died for.

  22. My husband, Bill Baldwin served on LST471 in the Pacific during WWII and participated in many campaigns. His ship was hit and towed into Australia for repairs before returning to battle again. If anyone out there was on this ship I would really appreciate hearing from them. My husband kept his stories inside and suffered horrible nightmares, which were always triggered off by watching movies about WWII. Just prior to his death he began opening up to a neighbor he met who had also been in the same campaigns but on a different ship. That’s when I finally started hearing about the battles; going in and landing troops in the Philippines during and after the McCarther invasions plus doing the cleanup of all the dead bodies after each battle.

    I was thrilled to hear those two men sharing this info that had been tucked away so no one would know the hell they went through. I wish I had written their stories down so I would have accurate accounts of what they experienced. I would love to hear from anyone who was at Leighte Island, Midway Island, Eastern Island, Philippines, etc. He also served on the USS Chemung and later the USS Prairie. He was involved in ” Operation Crossroads” …. Those of you who were there know what he went through and I’d love to hear you stories as well.

    He also served on several ships during the Vietnam war and participated in several campaigns that added to his nightmares. War is not a glorious event and should not be glorified but it IS an event that has been fought by many brave men and women who felt they were protecting the freedom of our country by keeping out the threat of Communism. This war was inexcusably disrespectful of all our returning men and women and they were not thanked when they returned like the men and women who returned from WWII or the Korean War. I served in the Vietnam War as well and met many physically and mentally wounded men who served in a war that might not have been our problem but our government felt it was necessary so we went, we fought, we suffered and many did not return. Are we free today because of the Korean and Vietnam wars? Who knows? Never-the-less, our people played the game to the best of their abilities but upon their return home they were not appreciated by those who stayed home and whined or bitched about EVERYTHING. We are FINALLY receiving the respect we deserved.

    I send many praises and blessings to all the men and women brave enough to stand up for the sake of freedom for all American’s, as well as those who chose to come to American soils illegally to live in this country because they thought it would be a better home for them and their families than the country they left behind. Key word, “You left your other country behind so leave it entirely and LEARN our English language. We didn’t move to Mexico, we stayed here in America, which you have chosen to work & live in. We speak English, not Chinese, Japanese, Asian, European, or other languages except IF we choose to learn them without being forced into it.

    • God Bless you and to all of my brothers and sisters who said I do and put that uniform on as said I will protect you with my life.

  23. Stop bickering about who won the war. Rember what caused the war and try to be ever vigilant so that this human tragedy can not occur again.

  24. My uncle, Roby Franklin Johnson was on board the Quincy at Normandy. During World War II he had three shifts taking out from under him. Unlike overpaid sports players our military are the real heroes.

  25. Sorry meant three ships

  26. Does anybody have the crew roster for the Quincy on D Day?

  27. what story, what a great story.