University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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)

Page 36

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
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
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

Go up to Top of Page