Cornelius Ryan WWII papers, box 012, folder 27: Kenneth R. Quinn

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QUINN. Kenneth R. New York 1st DIV NJ 13 Easy Red 8:15 good incident on run in of Capt turning yellow Fear

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Hillsdale, New Jersey O-E For Cornelius Ryan Book about D-Day NJ13 LH THOUSANDS OF MEN, ON LAND AND SEA AND IN THE AIR, PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT JUNE 6, 1944 AND MIDNIGHT JUE 6, 1944. IF YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.

What is your full name? Kenneth R. Quinn

What was your unit and division? 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st U.S. Infantry Division

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? Easy Red Section of Omaha Beach at 8:15 A.M.

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? Staff Sgt.

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 31 Were you married at the time? No What is your wife's names? Did you have any children at that time?

What do you do know? Manager of Inter-Plan Bank - Hospital Claims Dept. New Jersey Blue Cross

When did you know that you were going to be a part of the invasion? During the first week of January, 1944.

What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, for example, any conversations you had or how you passed the time? The weather was fine, the water calm, and the moral excellent. Once General Eisenhower's message was read, it then became official that the invasion was underway, and I would say the consensus of opinion among the men was to go in and get it over, however nobody felt deep down in their heart that they thought it was fair that the 1st Division and especially the 16th Inf. Regt. should be picked to be the spearhead again - this was their third major invasion. Believe it or not the usual card and crap games continued on deck until dark, and some continued below decks after chow time. Although the veterans of the two previous invasions while secretly trying to figures their chances of survival, went aroung bolstering the moral of the greener hands.

What were the rumors on board the boat, ship, or plane in which you made the crossing? (some people remember scuttlebut to the effect that the Germans had poured gasoline on the water and planned to set it afire when the troops came in). Before the reading of Gen. Eisenhower's message you could get all kinds of bets as to whether this was the real thing or just another practice run.

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- for Cornelius Ryan 2 - Your name Kenneth R. Quinn

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? No.

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during the landing or during the day? Yes

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties? No

Were you wounded? No

Do you remember what it was like--that is, do you remember whether you felt any pain or were you so surprised that you felt nothing?

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it did not, of course, seem amusing at the time? Yes. Cpl. Wilhelm running out of the water carrying the large CP map boa rd (without maps) looking very much like a scared and wounded bird. The remark of the Regt. Surgeon that "He would be damned if he would go back into the water even if Hitler himself ordered him." A newly assigned Major crawling like a crab down the beach, completely confused and without any equipment, even a tin hat.

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic, or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? Yes, the manner in which Col. Taylor, the Regimental Commander took over the situation on the beach, got the men organized and off the beach, and in particular his famous, but often misquoted remark "Twoo kinds of people are staying on this beach, the dead and those who are going to die - now let's get the hell out of here". Taylor again

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- for Cornelius Ryan 3 - Your name Kenneth R. Quinn

In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance; others do incredibly stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either? Yes, the pleadings of a Captain in our assault boat a couple of minutes before we hit the water. He was pleading with the Navy CPO to turn the boat back because of the intense fire - and this was a man who had plenty of combat experience. In contrast to this I remember a young sailor on our assault boat running fully exposed to the intense fire the length of the boat to trip a latch on the ramp so that we could disembark, unfortunately he never lived to collect any just reward that was due him.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? On board the USS SAMUEL CHASE - a Coast Guard Troop Boat

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? Near the top of the cliff overlooking Easy Red Beach

Do you know of anybody else who landed within those 24 hours (midnight June 5 to midnight June 6) as infantry, glider or airborne troops, or who took part in the air and sea operations, whom we should write to?

John Armellano c/o Park Casino 57th St. & Jackson Ave. West New York, N.J.

Howard Collura 3648 Finley Rd. Cleveland Hgts. 21 Ohio

Rev. Lawrence E. Deery St. Theresa's R. C. Church 18 Pope St. Providence, R. I.

John P. MC Cormack 210 E. 7th St. New York 21, N. Y.

Edward Paige 25 Cooper Drive New Rochelle, N. Y.

Salvatore Albanese 9th St. Verplanck, N. Y.

CWO James B. Lipinski 325 Devonshire Dr. San Antonio, Texas

William Myles RD #3 Coldenhill Rd. Newburgh, N. Y.

Thomas Raimondo 6110 Monitor Pl. West New York, N. J.

[inserted] Let's try for L. Y people here [end inserted]

Rene A. Normand 196 Hall St. [inserted] #1 LL [end inserted] Brooklyn, N. Y.

Robert Kestlinger 38 Upland St. Portchester, N. Y.

Abe Moskowitz 649 Arnow Ave. Bronx 67, N. Y.

Jack Uretsky 55 S. Kingston Ave. Atlantic City, N. J.

PLEASE LET US HAVE THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT WE CAN INCLUDE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THE BOOK. WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE YOUR STORY ON SEPARATE SHEETS IF WE HAVE NOT LEFT SUFFICIENT ROOM. FULL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WILL BE GIVEN IN A CHAPTER CALLED "WHERE ARE THEY NOW; YOUR NAME AND VOCATION OR OCCUPATION WILL BE LISTED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

Cornelius Ryan

Frances Ward Research, The Reader's Digest

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June 16, 1958

Sgt. Kenneth Quinn 160 Ell Road Hillsdale, New Jersey

Dear Sgt. Quinn:

A history of D-Day, June 6, 1944, to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the Normandy invasion next year is being prepared by Cornelius Ryan for publication in the Reader's Digest and in book form. It is being written with the complete cooperation and assistance of the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense. This will not be another strategic history of invasion day, but a story of the twenty-four hours of D-Day as people lived them and remembered them. For this, we can only go to the men who were there and, if they are willing, invade their memories. Having learned of the part which you played in the invasion, we hope very much that you will be interested in the project and agree to help us.

During the next few months, both in this country and Europe, Mr. Ryan will be interviewing many of the D-Day participants who agree to contribute to the book. Very probably, he will wish to talk with you during that period. In the meantime, since we are dealing with literally hundreds of people, we have found it necessary to develop an individual file on each person who agrees to help us. Therefore, we hope that if you are interested in the project, you will complete the enclosed record and return it to me at your earliest convenience. We truly believe that these questions will serve you, as well as us, if they can help to crystallize some hazy memories and to indicate the sort of information which we are seeking.

I should be most grateful to know as soon as possible when and if you will be available for interview during the next few months. We want very much to tell the story of your unit, and in order to do that we need your personal account. Also we understand that you might be able to tell us where we could reach Sgt. Frank Carpino. If you would be so kind as to let us have Sgt. Carpino's address, we would be most grateful. We look forward eagerly to your reply.

Sincerely yours,

Frances Ward Research Department

FW:LL Enclosure

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