Woodbury County

Maurice DeMers




Machinist’s Mate DeMers Says Anzio Was “Toughest Continuous Invasion”
Goes to New Orleans After Leave Here; At Sea 2 Years

Maurice DeMers, chief motor machinist’s mate aboard an L. S. T. (landing ship tanks), during four invasions and one campaign, will leave Wednesday for New Orleans after spending a 30-day leave with his wife and mother. His wife, who has been living with her parents at 257 McCook Lake, will go to New Orleans with him. He is the son of Mrs. Myrtle Clark, 1529 Grandview boulevard.

Prior to enlisting in the Navy in February, 1942, DeMers was employed by the Tribune and The Journal in the street circulation department. He received part of his naval training at Great Lakes, Ill., and at the Navy pier in Chicago, and received his amphibious training at Solomons, Md. In February, 1943, he was assigned to sea duty and helped land tanks and troops at Tunisia, later taking part in the invasions at Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and Normandy.

“The toughest continuous invasion by far was at Anzio, during which our ship made 27 trips to the beachhead, which meant sailing headlong into 27 miles of enemy 88-mm artillery guns,” he said. “We weren’t hit at all during the invasion at Anzio, but we were hit with an 88 shell at Salerno, during which invasion we made 16 trips. Many were killed and wounded when that shell hit us, but we managed to get back to our base because it hit above the water line,” he explained.

“At the Normandy invasion on D-day we carried Field Marshal Montgomery and his staff and some of Gen. Patton’s staff,” the chief petty officer related.

The ship he was on underwent 125 bombing attacks and several strafing attacks. “At Sicily an enemy plane hit the ship during a strafing attack and the ship caught fire, but we managed to put the fire out before it did too much damage,” he said.

Mr. DeMers wears the good conduct ribbon, the American defense ribbon and the European theater ribbon with five battle stars.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, April 4, 1945 (photo included)


Maurice C. DeMers, chief motor machinist’s mate, 1926 W. Sixth street, is a member of the crew of the U.S.S. L.S.T. 379, now based in England. The Sioux City sailor joined the Navy in February, 1942.  His service record carries commendation by his commanding officer,  “for extremely loyal and courageous performance of duty in action against the enemy in Tunisia and through four major invasions: Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, and Normandy.”

Before enlisting, he attended Central high school. His wife and his mother, Mrs. Myrtle Clark, live in Sioux City.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, July 2, 1945