Interview with Lyle E. Buchanan

From the interview with Lyle E. Buchanan of University Place, WA (retired Brigadier General) conducted by Laurie Medlicott on May 16, 2002 at the Fort Worden History Center. Gen. Buchanan served in the U.S. Army from 1935 to 1977. He was stationed at Fort Worden in 1941. He was stationed in England and France during World War II.  Here he describes crossing the English Channel after D-Day:

“It seemed like a pleasure boat, a small English ship. We landed at Omaha Beach. I beat the WACs there by not much. I can always remember the beauty of the crossing. It was a beautiful evening and the sunset and all these ships. They had some of these ships on the outer part of the coast as a bulwark between submarines. You could hardly believe that there was a war, except you saw the weapons of war. The war on the coast was over by then. You walked off the ship and walked up the hill and you were there, there was nothing dramatic about it.”

He also describes his experiences in England:

“About the closest thing I came to having shot fired at me was artillery and the buzz bombs. Now those were something else. There is a lot written about the old V1 and V2 rockets. The sound was just a dull, dull drone. The first one, you never knew where they were going to land. The Germans didn’t know either. I remember the German airplanes. In England, I was near an ammo dump and they were always after that ammo dump, every night you could hear the undulating roar of the airplanes. It wasn’t a steady sound. If you take a two-engine airplane and you don’t have the engines in sync—rrrrrr—that’s the way the German airplanes always sounded to me, just kind of an unsteady drone.”

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