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After finishing Advanced Gunnery School, Marcel was stationed at the amphibious base at Little Creek, Va. Several weeks later, he was transferred to the USS LST 177.

Little Creek, VA:

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 While on the LST 177 in the Little Creek area, they field tested improvised floating tanks off of Cape Henry and Virgina Beach beaches.

little-creek

Little Creek Amphibious base and Cape Henry - Pardon the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge tunnel, which obviously wasn't there at the time.

In March of 1944 the LST 177 swapped the homefront with the European Theatre of Operations. It took them 21 days to cross the Atlantic. The trip was uneventful until Convoy UGS 36, of which LST 177 was part, was attacked by German aircraft.
They unloaded at Bizerte (Tunisia) and started moving equipment and British, French, Senegalese and American troops to Palermo and the Italian mainland. Later, ferrying equipment between Naples and Anzio. On the return trip the LST 177 was often loaded with damaged but salvageable equipment as well as injured personnel.

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navsource-lst177 navsource-lst177-crew navsource-lst177-01

Aboard LST 177:

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While docked in Anzio, they were often harassed by a 28 cm German railgun, referred to as "Leopold" by the Germans and as "Anzio Annie" by the allies.

 

Leopold aka Anzio Annie.

leopold

 The Leopold's current location, across the street from the US Army Ordnance Museum
in Aberdeen, MD

 

Aboard LST 177 Part II:

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After been seen off by Winston Churchill they left Naples with a load of LCVP's and troops in the hold to participate in the invasion of Southern France on August 15th.
The sound of British battleship HMS Ramillies' 15" guns, which was there to silence the batteries at the entrance to Toulon harbour, reverberate in Mac's ears untill this day.

mto-desrosiers

 Mediterranean theatre of operations