Saturday, June 06, 2009

D-Day Thoughts from a Young Irish Girl

This is written by my husband, Frank Spillane who is a Vietnam-era veteran. His mom was a young girl who after finishing school in Sneem, County Kerry and was sent to live with her sisters in England so that she could find work. She remembers the Americans coming to England to help fight the war. Britain was almost finished. Women were working in the gasoline stations as the men were all gone. Betty Spillane is still around & now lives at Blenheim.

June 6 is here and my thoughts go back to the D-Day invasion. I wasn't in the Second World War but my mother was. She was a nurse-in-training in Birmingham (large industrial port), England during the Battle of Britain. When I was a small boy she told me of the air battle that took place overhead in the skies of England. During night duty on the hosptial wards, nurses wore combat helmets and gas masks. The sounds of the different planes overhead indicated to people below what type of plane it was and if it was German or English. A heavy drone sound in the early evening hour usually meant that it was a German bomber. These bombers would follow the Thames River to establish direction and time.

Then one day there were thousands of American soldiers there. Boy, were they happy to see them! At one point there was a dance to which all the young women were invited by the soldiers. There was food!!! Roast beef, potatoes, coffee, liquor... They hadn't had some of these foods in years & were close to starvation. Then came apple pie and wonder of all wonders- ice cream. She had never seen to much ice cream in her life! It was vanilla & she rec'd two scoops on top of her pie. It was heavenly! God bless all those Amercians. God bless all of the food. Maybe Britain wasn't done for yet. Maybe someday she'd get back home.

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