Looking Forward to the End…

American soldiers & not French are boarding this GI vehicle with some of the ruins.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945

 

Camp Home Run, once a German held fort, was our waiting place for the boat.

Bernard McKenzie, Le Havre, France, June 20-26, 1945

 

This picture was taken as our advance party convoy entered the city of Aachen, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 20, 1945

 

American Cemetery of World War II soldiers. Located in Belgium, just across the German border.

Bernard McKenzie, June 20, 1945

 

“In Flanders Fields the Poppies Grow…” This snap is but a tiny sector of Flanders in Belgium. Nothing but poppies were visible in the field. A very beautiful sight.

Bernard McKenzie, Flanders, Belgium, June 20, 1945, quoting a 1918 poem by John McCrae

 

The very busy business cross intersection in the heart of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Bernard McKenzie, June 20, 1945

Remnants of a War, Le Havre

Le Havre was just coming back to life after being destroyed for its location as a gateway to the European theater in World War 2. Le Havre took a major hit when the Germans seized control, then suffered utter devastation when the Allies regained the stronghold.

Business “not as usual” in the heart of Le Havre proper.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945

 

German forts (pill boxes) at the harbor front. The Jerries at one time were very entrenched here.

Bernard McKenzie, Le Havre, France, June 26, 1945

 

Our bombers scored here.

Bernard McKenzie, Le Havre, France, June 26, 1945

 

Home was never like this. Thank God.

Bernard McKenzie, Le Havre, France, June 26, 1945

 

The “Ghost City” of Le Havre, France.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945

US Army’s Advanced Rating Score

For US soldiers in mid 1945 the long journey to the French coast must have been fraught with a mixture of haunting memories, national pride, and both angst and excitement about returning home. To help organize the mass exodus from the European continent, the US Army created anĀ Advanced Rating Score to help make sense and order of the process needed to return nearly 2 millions GI’s home. When they finally arrived at their exodus point (in the case of my father Bernard McKenzie it was Camp Home Run just outside Le Havre, France) they were met everywhere by destruction and even more waiting, with some stuck for up to a year waiting for their name to be called to board a ship home.

On a high cliff overlooking the remains of Le Havre. The harbor and a lone ship in the distance.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945

 

From atop the high fort and looking out to the ocean. Le Havre.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945

 

This sector and this only received only a limited amount of bombs. The bombed area is in the background.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945