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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
(1945?)

Shipping the boys home,   pp. 37-39 PDF (754.4 KB)


Page 37

an invasion. The Colonel in charge said that it was good the
invasion was not a year later, as the Germans were developing
the coast to a point where it would have been almost impregnable
at a later date. Their concrete gun emplacements seemed abso-
lutely impervious to air attack-the concrete is from 10 to 15
feet thick, reinforced with steel. The harbor was mined and
signs were everywhere warning you not to walk on the beach.
It has taken 6 months to get the port in working order. Today
this is the principal evacuation point for returning soldiers to
America.
After the capture of Antwerp, of course, Le Havre was not
as necessary as a supply port. The English surveyed the harbor
installations, threw up their hands in despair and walked out.
Again our engineers tackled the job and did a wonderful piece
of rehabilitation, even to the extent of re-building the locks, which
were completed December 16th.
We inspected the German prison enclosure at Camp Wing. The
prisoners slept in bunks, all stood at attention when we walked
through with the Colonel, and were rigid and frigid in their
salutes. They were cooking their noonday meal-it was thick
potato soup with meat. They are fed well about 2,000 calories a
day, as they do hard work. Here, as everywhere else, the Germans
are great workers-they work 12 hours a day.
It is a great sight to see the American flag flying over Camp
Wings!
Shipping the Boys Home
At the office of the Port Command we were briefed for an hour
on how the troops were handled. Lucky Strike, which is the
largest camp, will hold up to 65,000 people. Philip Morris,
Pall Mall, Tarryton, Home Run, and the other camps, some 15
in all, will have a capacity up to 300,000 to 400,000 men. Here
the boys are shipped on barges and coast steamers across to
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