Sixty years prior to the publication of this book, its author, Raymond Oram, was the commanding officer of HM Landing Craft (Tank) LCT 1046. On 5th June 1944 he set sail with a cargo American servicemen and heavy field guns, their destination Omaha Beach, their scheduled time of arrival H+2, just two hours after the first attack. In the event, D-Day was delayed by 24 hours and so after an uncomfortable day and night at sea they arrived at Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944, one of the most memorable dates in history...
All this is remarkable enough, but perhaps what is most remarkable is that Ray Oram was just 20 years old at the time and possibly the youngest LCT skipper to be involved in the D-Day landings.
The previous year he had travelled to New York to serve aboarda brand new Infantry Landing Craft, commanded by Lt Frank Willoughby RNVR and sail it across the Atlantic to Europe – a fearsome journey for a relatively small flat-bottomed craft – whereupon he and the ship’s company went into action in the Mediterranean, making many trips to and from Malta and later participating in the beach landings at Sicily and Italy before being summoned to the UK to prepare for the invasion of Normandy – Operation Overlord.
In this fascinating memoir he looks back at his remarkable wartime years in the Royal Navy and tells the engrossing story of how a Grammar School boy from East Ham in London became the commanding officer of a Landing Craft and took part in some of the major events of World War II ... and all before his 21st birthday.