Robert H. Bortle

ROBERT H. BORTLE
Robert H. Bortle, Seaman Cook, Third Class, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Bortle, 413 North Ninth Street, is now in England with the Navy Amphibious Forces. 

He enlisted in the Navy on February 15, 1943 and received his training at Great Lakes, IL; Memphis, TN; Washington, DC; Norfolk, VA; and Long Island, NY.


IN FRANCE
Seaman Cook Second Class Robert Bortle, United States Navy, has landed somewhere in France, according to a letter by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Bortle, 413 Ninth Street. He arrived in England shortly before D-Day.

Tells of D-Day Landing on Normandy Beachhead
"We went in around noon on D-Day and it took the Infantry 36 hours to reach the top of the hill with fierce fighting," Robert H. Bortle, Seaman Cook, Second Class, U.S. Navy, said during an interview today.

Bortle is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Bortle, 413 Ninth Street, and was on an LCT, Amphibious Landing Craft, when France was invaded. 

He entered the Navy on February 15, 1943 and received his boot training at Great Lakes. He went overseas in April of this year, and was in Wales and England before going to France.

"Opposition consisted of machine guns, rifle fire, and mortars," he said. "Our craft was marked by a ship already sunk behind us, but we escaped with only a few dents in the bow and no casualties."

He told of the rough fighting in the area where the landing craft, which he was serving on, put into shore because they were unlucky enough to draw the spot where concentrated German troops were holding maneuvers at that time.

Bortle was right on the coast of France for three months, unloading merchant ships under the British command. When he left the battle zone, it was "pretty much quieted down, except for shelling from a hidden gun for about an hour each night," he said.

"There were a few air raids which never amounted to much," Seaman Bortle added.

He told of seeing an Eau Claire boy after the invasion, while he was still in France, Howard Boetcher, who is serving on a LCT.

Bortle said he expected to go to the South Pacific area to serve aboard a LSM in the Amphibious Forces, when he leaves here, upon completion of his 20-day leave.


IN OKINAWA INVASION
Seaman Cook Second Class Robert Bortle has written his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Bortle, 413 North Ninth Street, that he was in the Easter Sunday invasion of Okinawa, only 325 miles from Japan. He is serving on a landing craft with the U.S. Pacific Fleet.