Seventy years ago on August 18, 1944,Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, and Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, were redeployed from Tamerville to Cherbourg.
American combat troops entered Cherbourg on about June 24 cleared most of the city by the 26th, and secured the surrender of the last resistance on the 27th.
Prior to their surrender the Nazis destroyed much of Cherbourg’s port. Reconstruction began immediately as Army and Navy construction units entered Cherbourg as soon as it was secured.
By July 8, the Americans began to bring in supplies through the port of Cherbourg.
Felix (left) in Cherbourg with three other GIs and three friends.
Felix appears to be cold. His collar is turned up as tight as it can be around his neck. The French women have long coats.
Sources state that the weather during the Normandy and Northern France Campaigns was frequently overcast, drizzly, and cool. Storms often blow in from the North Atlantic such as from the one from June 19 to 22, the worst gale in 40 years.
Note the poles and lines in the background to the right. When possible the U.S. Signal Corps used existing French civilian and German military communication lines. Often they need to upgraded or replace them with U.S. equipment.
If those poles and lines are new, they may have been installed by Company C as it was the battalion’s “wire and pole” unit.
Photo © Leonard H. Cizewski
Felix and four other GIs next to a camouflaged concrete Nazi structure in Cherbourg.
Felix is standing in the back row first man on the left.
The GIs in the above photos and several other of Felix’s Cherbourg photos may be members of Company C and Tamerville liberators.
Photo © Leonard H. Cizewski
June, 2014: Leonard H. Cizewski on a street in Cherbourg that his father may have walked 70 years earlier.
Photo by Cheryl A. Robinson
For more information:
Cherbourg 1944: port de la victoire published by La Presse de la Manche.
Seebees (U.S. Navy construction units) at Cherbourg: Scroll down to paragraph 21 in the SEABEES IN THE ATLANTIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS section of History: Formation of the Seabees and World War II.
Northern France: Includes details of the 3110th Signal Service Battalion’s service in Normandy.
Another post in an ongoing series about our trip to France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Liberation of France and the memorial in Tamerville
My late father Felix A. Cizewski served in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Tamerville and Cherbourg during the liberation of Normandy in 1944.
Tags: 3110th Signal Service Battalion, 70th Anniversary, Cherbourg, Felix A. Cizewski, France, Liberation of France, Normandy, Northern France, Second World War, Signal Corps, Tamerville, World War II