As the transport Susan B. Anthony (AP-72) stood toward the Normandy coast to disembark her troops early on a June morning in 1944, Chief Signalman David P. Fitzgerald, a 24-year-old Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native, wearily drew a mug of coffee from the urn in the chief petty officers’ mess. A veteran of operations off North Africa and Sicily, Fitzgerald sank into the nearest chair. Suddenly, a violent explosion shook the ship, sending the scalding beverage into the young signalman’s face. As the roar of a mine detonating beneath the after part of the transport died away, Fitzgerald instinctively headed for the bridge.
Historic Fleets - 'This Vessel Most Successfully Accomplished Her Mission'
By Robert J. Cressman