Joseph "Joe" Scida

Petty Officer Joseph "Joe" Scida of Johnsonburg, PA, was an LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle Personell) pilot in the USNavy when he helped land men onto Normandy's beaches.

Joe Scida was operating one of the Higgins boats, the flat bottomed transports with a drawbridge front door navigating through eight foot waves. He spoke of the thundering of the German guns and the relentless shelling overhead from the U.S. and British ships in the Channel, the bullets zinging everywhere, the stench of the smoke, their comrades falling, drowning, screaming, the surf and the sand on the beaches turned red from blood.

Joe Scida who served with the US Naval Amphibious Forces on a Higgins boat told of the horror of dropping troops on the beach only to see some of them fall almost immediately, of the German shells falling all around them. He shuttled from the transport ships to the beach "I don't know many times" bringing in more American troops and picking up the wounded and captured prisoners of war. Each time praying first for safety, and then in gratitude that they had "made it one more time." he said.

I was able to spend time with Joe Scida during the parachute drop at La Fiere and met him again at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer.