Monthly Archives: November 2018

The Fate of the USS Tide: The Forgotten Sailors of D-Day

The Fate of the USS Tide: The Forgotten Sailors of D-Day is a descriptive account of the US Naval service of the American minesweeper USS Tide in World War Two. The history is told through the eyes of its shipmates, which is based on the author’s many personal interviews of the surviving crew.

The Tide belonged to a secret squadron of eleven minesweepers that surreptitiously crossed the English Channel in the cover of darkness the night before D-day. The minesweeper carried out the most dangerous mission of searching for live mines to clear the way for the US Navy carrying hundreds of thousands of US troops and seemingly endless ammunition for the surprise attack. The risk was high, as being sunk by U-Boats was not uncommon in the English Channel on June 1944. The shipmates were under the pressure of a tight timetable before the arrival of the armada for the largest invasion in history. The Tide and her sister ships had a unique perspective of the D-Day landings—the carnage and heroism that took place on the beaches of Normandy.

Weeks before D-Day, the Tide was involved in the secret of the Slapton Sands, a catastrophe covered up for 50 years. The disaster of the loss of over 700 sailors and soldiers, throwing into doubt the plans for the D-Day invasion. Evidence of the attack would be hidden by the US government during and even after the war. The crew was sworn to secrecy, not even telling their wives or children for five decades.

The minesweeper met her fate on June 7, 1944, just when the shipmates thought they were safe the day after D-Day. The story gives the reader the perspective of what the Tide shipmates experienced and gives some unique antidotes often forgotten in the annals of World War Two history.