John Burrows was born in Saginaw, Michigan. An excellent student and athlete he graduated high school and received a full scholarship to go The Citadel. He entered in September of 1936 as a civil engineer major, and quickly became number one in his class academically. He also excelled in football, basketball and track, making all-state for basketball three years in a row, and remains in the Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame. Upon graduation from The Citadel in 1940 he received a regular army commission and joined the 61st Coast Artillery Regiment. From there he was eventually assigned to the air defense division of the Supreme Headquarters under General Eisenhower in London, and oversaw the then top-secret plan codenamed Operation Overlord. Burrows recalls his decision to enter The Citadel and his active duty in WWII. Although never in direct combat, his time on the Supreme Headquarters staff allowed him an insider's perspective on the planning for Operation Overlord and the European Theater. He discusses the US Army's ingenuity when it came to advances in weaponry, which were occurring in front of his eyes. He also discusses in detail the German surrender at Reims and how the US Army so effectively handled the multitude of issues surrounding the details of such an event. Upon returning from his service in the army, Burrows worked for a book publishing company before returning to Charleston take a job as Assistant Commandant at The Citadel. Audio with transcript.
"Mementoes of Days in Service" details Lawrence Layden's service in World War II from his induction in June 1941, six months before Pearl Harbor, until his formal discharge in December, 1945. Part of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, Layden's squadron provided aerial reconnaissance for Operation Overlord and the assault on Nazi Germany. Through photos and text, Layden's scrapbook follows him from his initial assignment in Louisville, Kentucky to bases in England and continental Europe. The album contains reconnaissance photos used in the assault on Europe, photographs of Layden at various bases throughout the war and several photographs of Buchenwald concentration camp, visited by Layden six days after its liberation.
Henry Berlin was born August 19, 1924, in Charleston and enrolled at The Citadel in 1941. After enlistment and training, Berlin eventually served as a radar operator on an LST during the early Normandy landings. After the war he studied law at the University of South Carolina for two years and returned to work at Berlin's clothing store on the corner of King and Broad Streets in Charleston, SC. Berlin details his brief but rebellious tenure at the Citadel before going on active duty in May 1942. He describes how this rebellious streak ended his naval officer training in Columbia, SC, and how he was shipped to Maryland for boot camp. He discusses how he eventually became a radar operator on an LST ferrying troops and material across the English Channel in the days and months after D-Day. He relates harrowing trips across the channel, being targeted by German artillery during the early landings on Normandy, and the loss of troops as they disembarked from the LST in rough seas. After V-E day he describes his return to the US, his trip through the Panama Canal and his arrival at Pearl Harbor just before V-J day. He also touches upon his immediate post-war life including law school, a brief stint playing semi-pro baseball and return to his father's clothing shop in Charleston. Audio with transcript.
Arlington Sanford was born on December 21, 1923, in Danbury, Connecticut. He joined the Navy shortly after graduating from high school. After boot camp in Newport, Rhode Island, he went to diesel school in South Richmond, Virginia, and graduated as a Fireman First Class. He was then assigned to landing ship tank (LST-307) in Boston, Massachusetts. He shipped out of New York on St. Patrick's Day in 1943 and took part in the Sicilian Occupation, the Salerno Landings, and the Normandy Invasion. Sanford describes his close relationship with Jack Junior Faughn, Boatswain's Mate Second Class from Peoria, Illinois: We were closer than brothers. We were inseparable; everywhere we went together, all through the war and did the same thing. LST-307 was struck hard by German guns during the Normandy invasion off Sword Beach. Upon impact Sanford sped to the main deck where he found Faughn's badly injured body. I kind of held him and took care of him for a while, until the corpsman came, Sanford recalled. That's the last I ever saw him.