“You've asked me what I know in connection with the death of the commander John Sours on D-Day, since and me were to him in the same landing barge. I remember very clearly what occurred, and here how all that took place.
Very early in this morning of the D-day, after the breakfast, “Big John” and me finished preparing our business, and as our berths were one opposite the other, we helped themselves to fix the net of camouflage on our helmets. When the hour came we climbed on the bridge of the ship, which was not easy this morning because of the swell and the weight of our bags… Despite everything, we all are there arrived (we were then 26) and we moved away from the large ship in our landing barges. We turned a little bit in round in water, then we moved towards the shore, which one could distinguish only one fine layout because of the distance which separated us.
The commander Sours was held on my line in the barge, it was in second position in front of the barge. While we arrive, we said ourselves that it would be easy to cross under the balls of the mitailleuses ones. We all were squatted at the bottom of the ship which was slipping and covered with sea water.
Then the boat remained wedged against an obstacle of beach which was surmounted by a standard mine Tellermine. There were approximately 80 meters of distance between us and the beach. The various successive waves moved away the barge from the obstacle which then moved towards the coast, then we landed.
I threw a glance on my line, and I could observe Big John come in my direction. He saw me looking at it, and shouted me: “How is it, doctor?”. After having reached a narrow low wall which more or less enabled us to be with cover, I looked at the dreadful landscape in direction of the sea. I then immediately could locate two men who required that one left them water. With a soldier of the row, I went to carry help to them. One of them had a wound with the leg. The other, an officer, was extended, the head plunged in water. When I raised it, I then recognized the commander Sours. It had already died when I found it. The EC what I could observe, it seemed to me that it had been killed by a ball of machine-gun in the head.
I then helped the soldier wounded with the leg to cross the beach. Whereas we were always in water, I located a helmet which floated. He belonged to Sours, and had been crossed by a ball which had entered then arisen. As quickly as possible, the body of the commander Sours was moved at a place protected from the beach. I took care to cover it well, just like of many soldiers fallen this day.
I know that you will tell all that with Mrs Sours. It is pouquoi I will have liked to add another thing. I made a point of saying to him that it was a man well, a man really very well, who had deserved the respect and the admiration of all. And the guy of the regiment which knew the commander Sours think like me.”
Robert BUCKLEY, 27 Janvier 1945