The USS Corry DD-463 was a lead destroyer lost during Operation Overlord on D-Day, June 6,1944. The AM-125 Tide was an Auk Class minesweeper lost on June 7, 1944.
In his book We Have Been, my brother Tom writes about both ships from his research and recalls some of the conversations he had with Dad over the years. The photo above is of the USS Corry DD-463 from the National Archives.
One thing my father witnessed during the invasion was the sinking of the Destroyer USS Corry. The USS Corry DD-463 was the lead destroyer in the Normandy Invasion task force. She was to lend fire support to the troops landing at Utah Beach. It is disputed whether she hit a mine or took a direct hit from the 210 mm gun at St. Marcouf, the same gun that the YMS' were so lucky to have avoided earlier. Either way, she sank and this was a great blow to the troops who were trying to reach the beaches and depended on her protection. Twenty four of her crew died. Just before she sank, a crew member was able to raise the American flag up her mast. She hit bottom in the shallow 30 foot deep water and Dad said he remembered seeing the mast sticking up above the water when his ship passed by there again later in the day.
The photo below is of the USS Tide AM-125 from the National Archives. In his book, Tom writes:
The next day was another tragic day for the minesweepers. On the morning of June 7th, the USS Tide AM-125 had just completed a sweep between St. Marcouf and Barfleur. She recovered her gear and drifted over to the Cardonet Banks. There she struck a mine which exploded with such force that witnesses on other ships say actually lifted her out of the water a full five feet. The ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Allard B. Hayward died soon after the explosion, and Executive Officer George Crane directed efforts to assist the stricken ship and to rescue survivors.
Finally sister minesweepers, Threat and Pheasant, tried to aid Tide, but to no avail. When Swift attempted to tow her, the strain broke her in two. She sank only minutes after the last survivors had been taken off.
In the days that followed, the German's shore batteries continued to harass the YMS'. And not only the batteries, but also German bombers. One night the YMS-346 found a cove to hide in and they anchored down for the night. It was right near a hospital. The bombers flew overhead looking for them but the YMS-346 made it through the night unharmed. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the hospital, as the Germans bombed it.
The photo below, from the National Archives, is of the USS Tide AM-125 assisted by PT 509 and USS Pheasant AM-61 photographed from USS Threat AM-124.
Next: The sinking of the YMS-350 July 2 and the YMS-304 July 30, 1944