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Albert Seychel  

Albert Seychel Interview

The Library of Congress "Veterans History Project"

Albert Seychel II

March 3, 2005

Dear Mr. Davey:

I've recently had a conversation with Mr. Ed Marriott who referred me to you for possible assistance in obtaining information relative to a 7th Beach Battalion [transferred to the 6th Naval Beach Battalion for D-Day] member who lost his life during the Omaha Beach assault.

I'm Paul Fauks, a 7th Beach Battalion member. Shortly following my own landing I was informed of the death of Lawrence Meredith. Larry & I had been close friends, graduating together from Central H.S. in Oklahoma City in 1942. During the year-end awards assembly we sat side by side on the stage as Larry, a truly versatile athlete, received the award as "Best Athlete" & I for journalism. We had been teammates on the school's baseball team all three years. I lost track of him following graduation & didn't even know he was in the Navy till we were being prepped for the coming invasion.

Next May I plan to attend a Central H.S. reunion which will be limited to only the WWII classes. I know that Larry's brother, as well as other family members will also be in attendance. Accordingly, I'm requesting any details of his death which you might have available, ie., approximate time of landing, code name for beach he landed on; type of amphibious vessel he disembarked from, etc. If memory serves, I believe he may have been killed by concussion from a German 88 shell.

Needless to say, Ken, any information you can provide which may be of interest to his family members, will be greatly appreciated.

Best Wishes to you & your family.


LCDR Paul Fauks, USN (Ret)
841 Alexandra
Glendale, Missouri 63122
(314) 821-2853

Dear Merideth Family:

My deep condolences regarding the loss of Lawrence Merideth, RM 3/c, Serial #8483771, who was KIA on the Easy Red sector of Omaha Beach 6 June 1944.

My father, Lt. J. Russell Davey, Jr., MC, USNR, a medical officer in Larry's "C" Company of the 6th Naval Beach Battalion, was injured on D-Day but remained on the beach for 3 weeks. Unfortunately, he died 5 June 1948, two days after my first birthday. Dr. Davey's fourth child, his youngest daughter, was born eight months later. A great part of my interest in D-Day is learning about my father. Hopefully, the enclosed will provide some healing and helpful information regarding the World War II life and sacrifice of Larry Merideth.

I am currently compiling a history of the 6th Naval Beach Battalion and would be honored to include copies of any 1940s letters, photos of Larry, military papers, telegrams, etc.

Larry Merideth traveled to Normandy aboard the LCI(L) 89 and went ashore "Easy Red" Omaha Beach with C-7 shipmate Albert Seychel at 8:30 A.M. on D-Day. The following letters of Albert Seychel best describe Larry's final hours.


Ken Davey

4 April 1995

Dear Joe Vaghi:

I am Albert P. Seychel; my service serial # was 8607377: my naval rate on June 6, 1944 was RM3/c, attached to the 6th BB Company C-7. I was 20 yrs. old, in service for 17 months prior to the Normandy invasion.

As I recall, my unit C-7 was on an LCI [LCI(L) 89] carrying more than 200 men. Our landing craft did not go in all the way to the beach, possibly because of all the explosions around us, and continuous machine gun fire was all around us hitting the ship and some soldiers; a lot of us were top side waiting for the order to hit the beach; many were sea-sick from the trip across the channel, and then stunned by all the explosions and gunfire. When the order came to hit the beach, I remember being told that the water was going to be over our heads and we would have to swim to shore. Our unit C-7 went down the left ramp. I was fifth in line. In front of was a young man named John Daly, also an R.M. He was carrying our radio transmitter, and I carried the hand generator. Just as John Daly was stepping into the water he staggered some and fell into the water to his left instead of straight ahead. When I jumped into the water I followed John Daly slightly to the left of the ramp. We were both under water, about seven feet deep. As I touched John Daly, I was also squeezing my life belt to inflate it, and John did the same; when we surfaced, bullets were hitting the water all around us. We struggled to swim but were weighted down too much. John Daly said his left leg was getting numb. When we finally reached the beach, we had crawled to an X-shaped steel obstacle and John was bloody all over his crotch area and left leg. He calmly told me he had been shot, and preceded to cut open his left trouser from the crotch down, and had a bullet wound inside his left thigh up near the crotch area. He just calmly got his battle dressing out, poured sulfa all over the bleeding area, and put the bandage on it. He had lost the radio transmitter when he was under water. We then continued up the beach to where the berm of flat shale-like stone was, telling us that this was the high spot for high tide. Laying flat we tried to dig a foxhole, but the stones just would not allow it. When I looked over and past the area of stones, I saw some soldiers lying motionless on the ground and heard some cries for help. Further away was a sea wall of maybe 25 feet and more in height. All was confusion. We had landed with elements of the Army combat engineers, [37th Engineer Combat Battalion] but we did not know them. I wanted to go in closer to the seawall but an Army person said not to because the area was mined. We moved laterally to our right and after some time joined up with members of our naval unit (C-7) - John Lynch RM3/c, Merideth RM 3/c, and John Murphy RM1/c who was a veteran of the landing in North Africa. As I recall no more landing craft hit our area of the beach until around 3:00 P.M. John Murphy Rm1/c was the leader of my radio team. Murphy instructed us to stay put and keep down. It was a natural low spot in the beach and below the highest rise of shale stone. About this time Signalman Allison joined us with our two navy corpsmen. The navy corpsmen said they could not stay because their help was needed by the wounded soldiers in the minefield. I watched them go into the minefield and saw them assist several wounded soldiers about this time.

Murphy, our team leader told us he was going to assist an army machine gun crew that had been all but knocked out. Only one soldier remained at the machine gun, which was located on the top of a shale stone dune about 100 feet to our right. Murphy went to the gun position and proceeded to fire for several minutes, while we watched amazed at his heroics. Our attention was diverted when a series of explosions occurred in front of us, and we saw one of our navy corpsmen was down, the other corpsmen continued to work. Time was standing still, and I, Allison, and Lynch watched spellbound.

Merideth had left us, went to the top of the shale stone area, and was shooting his carbine. The able bodied soldiers had moved up behind a soldier with a mine detector. Things started to quiet down, no more gunfire in our direction, just mortars and 88-shell fire, and you could hear them coming. Murphy had us assist in collecting the wounded, bringing them to a center area for evacuation. Some L.C.T.s came in and we loaded the wounded. It was now late afternoon of 'D' Day. It was about this time that we learned of the death of both of our corpsmen. I still did not see our officer. [Beachmaster Vince Perrin] Murphy now wanted to set up radio communication, but found out Daly had dumped the transmitter when he got shot on the ramp of the LCI(L). Our disappointment went further when we discovered our receiver was out of order, why, I can't recall. Meanwhile, another wave of army troops had landed in our area and just that fast, they were gone inland. Murphy got us together in the low spot of the beach and we tried to eat. Mortar and 88's started to land on the beach again, but in a very heavy barrage. We immediately layed face down on our bellies shoulder-to-shoulder. From left to right we were Lynch, Allison, Me (Seychel), Merideth, Murphy and I think C-8 signalman Onines. There was a loud explosion in our midst, and I felt a very sharp and hard hit on the small of my back, my gun belt was severed and pulled off my person, to where, I never found out. Murphy and Merideth were blown out of our group. Both were dead. The shell had exploded between Murphy and Merideth killing them instantly. I crawled over to Merideth and was horrified. I completely forgot my own injury, rolled Merideth over face down and covered him up with something. Someone did the same for Murphy. Allison was hurting too. His whole right side, arm, shoulder, leg were numb. He tried to move and couldn't. Our naval doctor [C-8 medical officer Dr. Davey] arrived and then turned to me, and said, OK sailor, let's see your backside. I was bleeding some, and my coveralls were torn like the escape hatch in long johns. He patched me up, gave me some sulfa, and a WIA tag. Then he gave Allison something and after he examined him, saying he was experiencing temporary paralysis from concussion night came, we survivors moved in past the shale stone area closer to the sea wall for protection from shelling. We did not eat that night. We did not sleep that night. But I know we prayed all night. Joe, this is the first and only time I have mentioned this experience to anyone, not even my brothers. You should also know that what I have related here to you only the high lights of my memory. I wrote letters to both mothers Mrs. Murphy of St. Louis, MO. & Mrs. Merideth of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Neither sailor was married. It should be noted that both corpsmen killed were under 20 years of age, one only 18. Murphy was a handsome 6' 2" Irishman about 25 years of age. Merideth was a full-blown 6' 2" athlete with college football potential, and part American Indian. Merideth was my buddy. 20 yrs old. Everyone called us Mutt and Jeff. I was one of the shortest in the outfit.

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