Letters to ...

Reader reply to St. Tropez story (Remembering WWII)

from the SilverStringers

Editors note: the following two letters were received last month from a Melrose Mirror reader who had found an earlier World War II article written entitled "The days that followed were a blur". The story included reference by Jim Driscoll to the invasion of Southern France at St. Tropez on August 15, 1944.

Readers may also be interested in a recent story about LST 325, the last remaining sea-going LST in operation."And then there was one". This is a tribute to all LST's and landing crafts that played such critical parts during World War II in amphibious landings throughout the world.

Note: To reach each of the stories, simply click on the titles appearing in the above paragraphs.  

Dear Silver Stringers:

I wanted to let you know how invaluable I found this article, as it helps me to nail down timelines and details for my own family history that I am writing based on letters from my uncles to my mother during WWII.  My uncle Morris Phelps was on LST 210, and had to be part of the same group as that of Mr. Driscoll.

This view of St. Tropez beach has a line-up of LST’s.  My uncle’s is the middle one, the second one with the hull number showing.  He has always been such a delightful person, one of my life-long heroes, and it appears Mr. Driscoll is cut from the same cloth.  My uncle has emphysema but is sharp as a tack and fairly hardy.  I hope Mr. Driscoll is doing well too.  Thanks for your article.

Robert Horner
Mt. Juliet, TN
October 6, 2005

Dear Mr. Driscoll:

I am so happy to know you are well, and indeed, you guys were blessed to make it back home.  

My uncle Morris Phelps (left) will be 84 in December by the grace of God.  He, too, spoke of being in Marseilles.  I encountered your story basically by google-ing LST 210 and subjects associated with it, such as Convoy UGS 36 and the Invasion of Elba Island.  It’s really amazing what the internet can turn up. This is how I found all the photos, too. This snapshot of Morris was credited to a crewman off the 210, QM2/c Wesley E. Reed.  

Amazingly, my uncle still has a vest pocket notebook where among other things he has a list of fellow crewmen, and a “REED” is listed.  He also had a couple of pages showing his various ports of call.

On another page he seems to have made special note of April 1, 1944, which coincides with a concerted attack on Convoy UGS 36 by the Luftwaffe and German U-Boats off North Africa.

Still another opening seems to give his itinerary when he was transferred to the USS Turner, a destroyer, for picket duty in the Asian waters and participation in the Bikini Atoll atomic test.

By the way, while he was in Southern France, evidently, he made this inscription:

Did you do something similar?

You are more than welcome to use my e-mail in the Mirror.  I can’t wait until I have time to go back and read more of your articles, and wish you and yours the very best.  Thank you so much for your service to our Country, and for being part of that generation that will inspire Americans for generations to come.

Best regards,

October 12, 2005

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