Big plans at MVD.

Big plans at MVD.

As I write this I am sitting in the parking lot of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office in Casa Grande, AZ. Both of my boys are inside taking their test for their learner’s permits. I wish they had done this when they were still in school.

Casa Grande MVD Office

I have an appointment this afternoon for my road skills test from a commercial driver’s license. I will be spending quite a bit of time with the MVD today.

Back behind the wheel

Back behind the wheel

Well, it had to happen. I had given up my Commercial Drivers License (CDL) back in 2015 because I did not think I would drive commercially again. I was a dispatcher for the company, and did not want to go through the hassle of renewal, etc. if I was not going to use it.

Fast Forward to 2021. I am tired of working in a call center and looking at going back to what I was good at. I am going to go back to driving. So, the first thing was to get a DOT Medical Exam completed and then apply for my CDL Permit (Taking multiple written tests). With those two hurdles behind me, now I need to start practicing for my Driving/Skills Tests. Once I pass those tests (in the presence of a MVD Inspector) I will get my CDL back and I can start driving again.

My plan is to stay local in the AZ area, hauling tankers. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Basal What?

That phone call from the skin doctor, the one with the words, “two of the biopsies came back negative, but the one on your back is positive basal cell carcinoma.” The “C-Word!”

My doctor wanted me to see a dermatologist about a mark on my head. So, finally I made the appointment (actually my wife did it for me) and showed up to get checked. The doctor checked almost all of me and found three areas of concern. They poked me with Lidocaine and scraped skin off. One spot on the side of my head, one on the side of my nose, and a spot on my back, over the right shoulder blade. The biopsy on my back was the one that came back positive.

So, on Feb 5, 2021, I entered the little room at the skin & cancer center to have some skin removed around “the site.” While they numbed me up and got ready, I asked how much they were taking. I was told that they had to remove everything within 4mm of the affected area. 4 millimeters?!? Ok, I can do this. Oh, and the skin on my back is thicker than skin on other parts of the body. Well, the plug of skin they took out was about 1/4″ thick and shaped in a rough oval. The long part looked to be an inch long and about 1/2 inch wide. It was a large chunk of me!

So, now I recover with a dozen stitches and some Ibuprofen. I go back in 2 week to get the stitches removed. Meanwhile…ouch! Hopefully they got it all and I don’t have to do this again.

No, I’m not going to post pictures of the divot.

20:00 – June 6, 1944 (Last Update)

Later in the day, General Eisenhower authorizes release of communiqué announcing the commencement of the invasion:

Communique Number 2

 6 June 1944

Shortly before midnight on 5 June, 1944, Allied light bombers  opened the assault. Their attacks in very great strength  continued until dawn.

Between 0630 and 0730 hours this morning, two Naval Task  Forces, commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Philip Vian, K.B.E.,  D.S.O., flying his flag in H.M.S. Scylla (Captain  T.M. Brownrigg, C.B.E., R.N.), and Rear-Admiral Alan Goodrich Kirk,  U.S.N., in U.S.S. Augusta (Captain E. H. Jones, U.S.N.) launched
their assault forces at enemy beaches. The naval forces which  had previously assembled under the overall command of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, made their departure in fresh weather and were joined during the night by bombarding forces which had previously left northern waters.

Channels had to be swept through the large enemy minefields. This operation was completed shortly before dawn and, while minesweeping flotillas continued to sweep towards the enemy coast, the entire naval force followed down swept channels behind them towards their objectives.

Shortly before the assault, three enemy torpedo boats with armed trawlers in company attempted to interfere with the operation and were promptly driven off. One enemy trawler was sunk and another severely damaged.

The assault forces moved towards the beaches under cover of heavy bombardment from destroyers and other support craft, while heavier ships engaged enemy batteries which had already been subjected to bombardment from the air. Some of these were silenced. Allied forces continued to engage other batteries.

Landings were effected under cover of the air and naval bombardments and airborne landings involving troop carrying aircraft and gliders carrying large forces of troops were also made successfully at a number of points. Reports of operations so far show that our forces succeeded in their initial landings.

Fighting continues. Allied heavy, medium, light, and fighter bombers continued the air bombardment in very great strength throughout the day with attacks on gun emplacements, defensive works, and communica-tions [communications]. Continuous fighter over [cover] was maintained over the beaches and for some distance inland and over naval operations in the Channel. Our night fighters played an equally important role in protecting shipping and troop carrier forces and in intruder operations. Allied reconnaissance aircraft maintained continuous watch by day and night over shipping and ground forces. Our aircraft met with little enemy fighter opposition or anti-aircraft [antiaircraft] gunfire. Naval casualties were regarded as being very light, especially when the magnitude of the operation is taken into account.


07:35 – June 6, 1944

07:35 – June 6, 1944

07:35 Update

05:30 H – Allied warships begin shelling German coastal fortifications
06:00 H – Sunrise. Aerial bombardment of German fortifications along Utah and Omaha Beaches
06:30 H – American landings begin on Utah and Omaha Beaches.
06:52 H – First reports of conditions on the beaches reach Admiral Ramsay. American forces on Omaha Beach meeting stiff opposition, and suffering heavy casualties.

Omaha Beach

07:00 H – German radio broadcast initial report of the landing
07:10 H – U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion begins assault on Pointe du Hoc

Pointe Du Hoc

07:25 H – British landings begin on Gold and Sword Beaches
07:35 H – Canadian landing begins on Juno Beach

British Troops on Sword Beach.

05:00 – June 6, 1944

05:00 – June 6, 1944

Update of Overnight Operations

00:05 H – Allied air forces begin bombing of coastal batteries between Le Havre and Cherbourg.
00:10 H – reconnaissance groups dropped by parachute – Lieutenant Poole becomes first allied soldier to set foot on French soil.
00:20 H – British commandos under the command of Major Howard arrive by glider and begin attacks on Pegasus and other bridges over the River Orne.

Allied Glider

01:00 H – U.S. 82nd Airborne Division lands by parachute west of Saint Mere Eglise.

C47 Dakota

C-47 Dakota ( a military version of the DC-3) used to transport airborne troops to Normandy at: Musee des Troupes Aeroportees – Sainte Mere Eglise

01:11 H – First reports of American airborne assault reach headquarters of the German 84th Army Corps at Saint Lo.
01:30 H – U.S. 101ST Airborne Division lands by parachute near Utah Beach.
01:50 H – Main body of the British 6TH Airborne Division lands by parachute east of the River Orne.
02:45 H – Troops bound for Omaha Beach board landing craft.
03:00 H – Allied warships arrive at assigned positions for the assault.
03:20 H – Heavy equipment and reinforcements for paratroops arrive by glider.
03:25 H – German naval observers report presence of Allied task force off the coast of Normandy.
03:50 H – British paratroops begin attack on the village of Ranville.
04:30 H – Sainte Mere Eglise captured by 505th Regiment, U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. Marcouf islets off Utah Beach occupied by Americans.

“(American) paratroopers began jumping out by the hundreds. I saw one paratrooper land in the road but a German killed him before he could get untangled from his parachute. Another (paratrooper) was as killed near me. I will never forget the sight.” – Raymond Paris, resident of St. Mère-Eglise

04:45 H – Two miniature submarines drop off beachmasters and equipment for signaling landing craft. British knockout German shore battery at Merville.

22:00 – June 5, 1944

Commencement of Operation Neptune – Five fleets of assault ships cast off and depart their English port bases.

“We slipped anchor and headed into the Channel to overtake the grey columns of troops transports and landing craft, which now stretched to the horizon and beyond. They filled the scene as far as the eye could see. Overhead, the sky was filled with an aerial armada of bombers.”

John Gough, radio operator on board a destroyer.

LCI Convoy - D-Day

04:00 – June 5, 1944

General Eisenhower gives the go-ahead for the invasion. The plan drawn up expected 132,715 troops to be landed on five beaches with 23,400 paratroopers to be dropped further inland. 6,483 ships were involved.

In case the invasion fails, Eisenhower prepares a statement that reads:

“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Harve area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. If any blame or fault attaches to this attempt, it is mine alone.”

Gen Eisenhower addressing US Paratroopers prior to D-Day.

Gen Eisenhower addressing US Paratroopers prior to D-Day.