While Boat Burned, Amarillo WW2 Vet Heroically Saved The Day
You never know where Amarillo is going to turn up when you digging on the Internet. Somehow, someway, Yellow City always seems to find a way to embed itself in history. The second World War is no exception, as I found out.
For instance, the Coast Guardsman from Amarillo, who was present for D-Day. This is pretty heroic.
Amarillo, D-Day, And A Boat On Fire
In the National Archives, you'll find a heroic tale of a Coast Guardsman from Amarillo, Texas. The story is accompanied by an incredible photo of the entire story as it transpired.
On D-Day, Coast Guardsman Delba Nivens, coxswain, piloted an LCVP full of troops toward Normandy Beach. The already harrowing situation would become even more treacherous when the boat would catch fire.
It's one of those from bad to way worse type situations.
Apparently, at least according to the report of the incident, Nazi machine gun fire struck a grenade that was on the boat. The machine gun fire exploded the hand grenade, and the boat caught fire.
A Daring Delivery On Normandy Beach
I suppose it would be safe to assume that Nivens was not one to be deterred, and while smoke billowed from the boat he kept it going right for the beach. The report puts it as he "piloted safely."
There he was able to unload his cargo and, with some help from his engineman and bowman, put out the fire. He doesn't stop there.
Then, he begins the trip back to the attack transport in what is described as a "hail of Nazi machine gun and mortar fire."
Impressively, this was done while Nivens was just 23 years old.
You can find out more by clicking this link.