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Gene Jaeger - World War II

Eugene (Gene) Jaeger grew up in Geneva, Illinois during the Great Depression, and graduated from Notre Dame University in 1942. He received training as a Naval Officer and soon found himself assigned to LST (Landing Ship-Tank) #400, heading for the Mediterranean Sea. His ship supported the Allied landings at Sicily in July, 1943 and at Salerno in September of the same year. They then sailed north to England, and supported the D-Day invasion, making repeated trips to Utah Beach over the next several months.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Unloading an LCT

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early years, assignment to LST #400, & movement to Mediterranean

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

LST operations & landings at Sicily, Salerno, & prep for D-Day

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

LST operations on D-Day and beyond

Transcript


Photos

Caption

Jaeger family, 1936. Gene, standing second from right. His parents, Justin and Blanche Jaeger, are on the right. (Narrator’s photo)

Where:

Unknown

When:

1936

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gene in a football stance, in 1936. He played right guard for Marmion Military Academy. (Narrator’s photo)

Where:

Unknown

When:

1936

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gene on his Notre Dame graduation day in May, 1942. Justin (father), Bette (sister), Dick (brother), Blanche (mother), and Gene in his graduate’s robe.

Where:

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

When:

May, 1942

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

LCT (Landing Craft-Tank) 461 sits atop LST 400’s main deck on while the ship was at Portsmouth Navy Yard preparing to be convoyed to Europe.

Where:

Portsmouth Navy Yard

When:

March 23, 1943

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

An LST is equipped with a barrage balloon like those deployed for defense against enemy aircraft during the Sicily landings in July, 1943. Note the explosive canister positioned on the balloon’s cable.

Where:

Unknown

When:

July, 1943

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

A Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP), also known as a Higgins Boat, is hoisted aboard an LST. An LST typically carried a couple of these on board, the LCVP being much better equipped for delivering troops and supplies closer to the beach.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

A group of LST 400 shipmates get their picture taken sometime late 1943, after supporting two successful invasions at Sicily and Salerno. They started the war as kids; by this time they were veterans. (Narrator’s photo)

Where:

Unknown

When:

1943

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

An LST rolling in a moderate sea. An LST was not designed to ride well in a rough sea, but it didn’t take long for the crew to become accustomed to the sea.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Gene Jaeger, kneeling in the center, heads the ship’s Gunnery Division. In the top row are G. Scalamoni, D. Bingham, W. Lederle and J. Burba. IN the front are unknown, C. Epperson, Lieutenant, Junion Grade Jaeger, H.E. Lowdermilk and P. Terefenko.

Where:

Unknown

When:

May, 1944

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

LST 400 sits “high and dry” on Utah beach, probably in June of 1944.

Where:

Utah beach

When:

June of 1944

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A group of LSTs unload their cargo on an ebbing tide, onto Utah Beach.

Where:

Utah Beach

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Bosun of the Watch A.A. Braginton of Middle Village, New York, and Officer of the Deck Lieutenant Gene Jaeger stand their watch while in port at Falmouth in southern England on LST 400 in 1945.

Where:

Falmouth in southern England

When:

1945

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

In September, 1946 after his Navy discharge Gene, on the left, gets a chance to relax at Round Lake in Minnesota. His brother Jack Jaeger is on the right.

Where:

Round Lake in Minnesota

When:

September, 1946

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Four generations of Jaegers, circa 1952. Gene’s mother, Blanche Schott Jaeger holds his son Bob. Gene’s Grandfather, Charles Schott is next, with Gene on the right.

Where:

Unknown

When:

circa 1952

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Florence and Gene Jaeger, circa 1967.

Where:

Unknown

When:

circa 1967

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Gene and several of his children in 1970 in a neighbor’s home in Geneva, Illinois. From left to right are Grant, Gene, Doran, Florence, Anne and Peggi.

Where:

Geneva, Illinois

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Jaeger children in 1967. From top left to right are Bob, Jeff, Anne, Mary, Chris, Peggi and Grant.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1967

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Gene and his brother Jack Jaeger at his sister Mary’s summer place in County Kerry Ireland in 1984. (Narrator’s photo)

Where:

County Kerry, Ireland

When:

1984

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Florence and Gene at son Doran’s wedding in 1993 at a Unitarian Church in Geneva, Illinois.

Where:

Unitarian Church in Geneva, Illinois

When:

1993

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gene Jaeger aboard the USS LST-325 in Mobile, Alabama, Circa 2002. The USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc. purchased the LST from the Greek Navy in 2000, then sailed it across the Atlantic with a crew of WW II veterans.

Where:

Mobile, Alabama

When:

circa 2002

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Mary Jaeger-Voss (daughter), granddaughters Claire and Ella, and Gene at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois, circa 2002. (Narrator’s photo)

Where:

Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois

When:

circa 2002

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Sam Nauyalis, a survivor from LST 313 sunk by Nazi aircraft during the landings at Sicily, talks to Gene Jaeger, on the right, and his granddaughter Reilly Jaeger. Their seated in front of the wheelhouse of LST 325, then anchored at Peoria, Illinois.

Where:

Peoria, Illinois

When:

September 1, 2007

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gene with Josh Sarkkinen, his great-grandson. They were at Sorin Hall on the campus, in October 2010.

Where:

University of Notre Dame

When:

October 2010

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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