Half the fun of winning a new group of WWII photos on eBay lies in the research and presentation of the material. After recently having placed the winning bid on a set of 50
or so WWII photos of what appeared to be some sort of beach landing, I quickly realized that I had something more important in my possession.
After asking the gracious seller a little bit of info about the provenience of the lot, I soon found out that the photos came from the estate of a deceased WWII veteran from Santa Rosa, CA. Al Pellegrini was the skipper of the LCT-535 during the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, and either snapped, or was given these photos as a memento of his time aboard the 535.
According to a 1994 article by Gaye LeBaron of the Press Democrat,
“Ensign Albert J. Pellegrini of Santa Rosa, California, came early to the invasion of Normandy. He landed his LCT 535 about 10 minutes ahead of H-Hour on the sands of Omaha Beach, earning the distinction of being the skipper of the first American vessel to land on the French coast on June 6th, 1944.”
Wow! What did I stumble across with this innocuous looking eBay listing? I hope to present these photos to show the world the faces of the first men to land on Omaha Beach on that fateful day nearly 70 years ago.
Many more photos to come!
26 thoughts on “Original Never-Before-Seen WWII D-Day Landing Photos on Omaha Beach – LCT-535”
Great photos. I’ll be back soon when I start teaching WWII.
Pellegrini was my grandfather. My mom sold those pictures at the estate sale. We’re so glad to see that they landed in someone’s hands who had a great idea as to what to do with them. Thanks for telling this story!
This is amazing. My daughter is doing a report on D-Day and I was looking up some stuff for her when I came across this photo. I have many photos of LCT- 535 seeing as my dad (Bellamy) was on this ship. My dad told me numerous stories about D-Day and up until the day he died a few years back he told me the only reason he lived that day was because of genious of his skipper Pelligrini.
Amazing! WOW – the world gets smaller and smaller every day. Please please email me at Brennangauthier1986@gmail.com
I am in contact with Pellegrini’s family as well – maybe you can exchange emails with them as well.
I have 60 more shots of the 535 and possibly more of your father!
I am one of Albert Pellegrini’s daughters. Thank you for your kind words. He was an amazing man.
Glad to help!
Albert Pellegrini was my father. Any photos would be appreciated.
These are amazing. Dave Bellamy is my father-in-law. My husband just texted me to look this up. He said he cried like a baby. My father-in-law died in 2004. He was an amazing man. He has lots of WW II pics but we didn’t have one of him in his boat. This is such a treasure!!
We will have to exchange emails – I have many more shots and would love to see what you guys have as well. Do you know if any other men from the 535th are still around?
I am Dave Bellamy’s granddaughter and I have one of his war photo albums. I’ll look through and see if there are more pictures!! I too remember this stories vividly and actually have a cassette tape of some of his memories he recorded. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am so proud to be a decendant of one of these brave men!
fantastic pictures! the 3rd big photo down the page is of polgwidden cove cornwall and what is now known as trebah gardens 🙂
Thanks, Robert, I really wanted to know where this one was… but could you please elaborate on the British geography for us terribly provincial Americans? Cornwall is in the southwest peninsula, isn’t it? I’m not sure if it’s a city or a region… And, Trebah Gardens… is that a public park of some kind? Do you know what its wartime history is? Thank you, sir! 🙂
LCT-642, Easy Red, Omaha Beach, 0-3. Photos at http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/18/180642.htm. Your site is outstanding, thank you very much. These men were out-sized for such small craft.
I just saw this posting. Albert PELLEGRINI was my dad! He was an amazing, kind, generous, caring man. He received the silver Star for his heroism on D-Day! So proud!
Sent you a private email. And this, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Your father truly went through hell on that day.
Thank you for posting these pictures. They were from my father’s estate — I never saw them and had no idea they even existed. Sad to find out they were sold at a garage sale.
Thank you so much for posting this! Al Pellegrini is my grandfather and somehow through Facebook this made its way to us. I am so sad to see these photos were sold but so happy to be able to see them!
Stumbled on this site…..my father Hank Eckert is lower row on right leaning w black cap on…… very proud navy man
Wow – awesome! Did he ever mention having to put on boxing gloves to resolve disputes while with the 535?
Reblogged this on moved to annesbliggityblog.weebly.com and commented:
Do you have more pics available? Albert Pellegrini was my father. I cannot believe my idiot family sold these pictures. I would appreciate any photos you have
Sorry to hear that! I will have to dig out the photos and rescan them. They are in storage right now.
Typically, was a LCT used for landing Artillery Batteries (pfc John B. Hopkins, Btr A, 32nd Field Artillery Battalion, 18RCT/1stID… Husky – Sicily… Overlord – Easy Red)
John – yep this LCT was used to deliver Field Artillery units later on in the war. Which wave did you land in during Overlord?
As I reviewed my fathers information I found he served on this ship.
after looking up his ships history on this website I was floored by the photos.
I saw my father in one of the images (no question it is him) and needed to thank you for sharing these.
My family will now also share in his history.
He never shared any information on his war experience. He said he was lucky and survived so humble.
We now know his service record and the service record of this ship and shipmates was extraordinary.
We continue to be thankful for the service of all men and women of our military.
Wow Bob – If you have facebook I can connect you with other sons/daughters of the men who served with your father. Glad i was able to make a connection for you.
I recently came across these photos and my father was Stanley Jablonski on the top row of the photo on the 535. Yes, I just broke down crying making this connection. I had a letter from a Commander Stark I think of his service that I read at his funeral in 1993 so I knew he was in the first wave. But I had no idea he was literally on the first boat to land at Omaha! I am beyond proud of his service, which he NEVER spoke about. When I went there about 7-8 years ago it was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. I would love to see other photos in hopes of finding him. Please connect me with any Facebook group or happy to be in touch. Peggy Jablonski, email@example.com