Stamey remembers D-Day
Maxie Stamey, 89, was only 19 when he left his hometown in the Fiberville area of Canton to enter the Navy. His twin brother, Mack Jr., had already gone into the military before him.
While training in England during the time of the V-1 flying bomb, also known as the buzz bombs, there was plenty of talk that something big was about to happen.
"We knew there was something up," Stamey said.
Stamey crossed the channel on the LCSL 120 and arrived at Normandy at 6 a.m. June 6, 1944. The first wave and half of the second wave of men from his boat who hit the beaches were killed. Of the 224 men with Stamey that day, only 90 returned.
Though Stamey was amphibious the entire time, meaning he never touched ground during the battle, he witnessed the horrors of D-Day from where he was standing on a ship just off-shore.
"I seen a lot of my buddies get killed," Stamey said.
There were vessels he watched explode in half, taking hundreds of men with them.
There is much of that day that is difficult to look back on.
"A lot of that stuff I don't like to talk about," he said.
Days after, there were still bodies of men floating up to the surface of the water, bloated from the salt water, he said.
"I'll never forget it," he said.
Stamey was also involved at the battle of Okanawa, Japan, arriving on Easter Sunday 1945. The ship remained there until July making smoke screens and participated in Radar Picket Station 15 and shot down 10 Kamikazes.