Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
Visit to Le Havre , pp. 36-37 PDF (490.3 KB)
Visit to Le Havre Wednesday, August 1 Departed from George V Hotel, Paris, at 6:15, and flew from Orley Field to Le Havre, arriving there at 10:40. The country was cratered between Paris and Le Havre, as this had been combat country. Deplaning at Le Havre, we inspected a processing camp similar to those at Reims, except that the boys are shipped from the large camps at Reims to the camp at Le Havre where they spend from 3 days to a week before embarking for home. This is the G.I.s final jumping-off place. The camps are all named after cigarettes-Lucky Strike, Philip Morris, Old Gold, Camel, Chesterfield, Raleigh, Wings, etc. Camp Wings is a beautiful spot alongside the ocean and Col. Kennedy, Engineer Officer in charge, is an ingenious person. He turned a captured German bomber into a G.I. saloon, with kegs of beer for the soldiers. There are movies, chapels, recreation rooms, libraries. There is a big PX store where the soldiers buy souvenirs, perfumes, etc. to take home. They consume 240,000 doughnuts per day in this area. The mess halls are fine; every- thing is spick and span; there is even a beautiful sundial which Col. Kennedy has constructed; flowers grow all over the place, and the camp itself is really a gem spot-the loveliest we have seen. There are some 15,000 German PW's in and about Le Havre in these processing camps. Col. Kennedy says he will not even allow one of the soldiers to pick up a bag-the German PW's do all the work. Polish D.P.s guard the German camps. The Poles make wonderful guards. Taking a trip through the port area saw that Le Havre had been terrifically mangled by bombers. The harbor was com- pletely destroyed; some 8,000 civilians killed. Big concrete gun emplacements were everywhere, as this was one of the principal fortified areas on the French coast where the Germans expected 36
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