Chief Petty Officer Dempster W. Muffitt
World War II Veteran
The story of the invasion of North Africa, from the Memoirs of
Chief Petty Officer Dempster W. Muffitt - Navy
In October,1942, the largest armada ever to sail the high seas was constructed on the East Coast of the United States. Never was there such a massive armed force to sail any ocean. All you could see were ships from horizon to horizon. (History tells us that no one, not even the enemy, knew where we would land.) Weeks later our loudspeaker broadcast, "This is your Captain speaking. At daybreak on November 8, 1942 we will invade North Africa. Our division will hit Port Lyautey, Morocco. The prediction is for heavy seas. Good luck and God be with us all."
I was attached as a Chief Pharmacist Mate to the first wave of the landing troops. Before dawn, at 0430, the loud speaker commanded, “Away all boats!” At 0745 ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE! We swam to the beach with heavy medical packs on our backs and enemy shells firing over heads. I advanced on my stomach, dragging a heavy can of fresh water towards the shore. We set up a first aid station and responded to many wounded men, working constantly for two days. Then we got a break and tried to get some much needed rest. We were in enemy territory, so a guard was posted on our side of the locked door. The password to enter was “George... Patton." A knock sounded, and I called out, "George." No answer. I said it twice more. Still no answer. I went to the door and said to our guard, “When I open the door, fire your machine gun!” All of a sudden, whoever was out there yelled, “Patton!” I opened the door and there stood General George Patton, pearl-handled revolvers and all. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, '”Well done.”
Any errors are the responsibility of Jean Muffitt, who transcribed his Memoirs.