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"We were souvenir hunting [on Juno Beach after the D-Day invasion]...and then we ran into these bodies, stacked like cordwood. Germans in one pile, British in another. Here we were, these guys were dying and we were picking up souvenirs. I didn’t think that was a nice thing for us to be doing, so I went back aboard the ship. I quit doing that." (Video Interview, 48:34)

   Max Wayne Lilley
Collection image
Max Lilley [2005]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Coast Guard
Unit: USS LST-261 (Landing Ship Tank)
Service Location: New London, Connecticut; European Theater; Pacific Theater; Indian Ocean
Rank: Lieutenant
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Max Lilley joined the Coast Guard shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked because it was "the thing to do" and he liked their uniforms better than those of the Merchant Marines. As a gunnery officer, Lilley sailed around the world, stopping at ports in North Africa, India, and Europe, and France. Mr. Lilley’s ship participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, successfully delivering British "Desert Rats" onto Juno Beach.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (66 min.)
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»They Also Served: Coast Guard and Merchant Marine
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Inaccuracy of cannon on an LST, being unable even to sink a derelict ship. (00:34) Inexperienced Coast Guard personnel unable to correctly use flags to indicate their position. (01:37) Being part of the first Allied convoy to cross from the west Mediterranean through the Suez Canal en route to an invasion of Burma that never materialized. (00:42)
Getting “rations” of rum while in port in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). (01:12) Trying to buy perfume while on liberty in North Africa. (01:22) Bringing troops from hospitals, some still bandaged, back to fight in Battle of the Bulge. (00:39)

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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