My father, Philip Licht, was Gunner’s Mate on the CG 83428, redesignated CG-31 as part of the 60 cutter ResFlo-1. At the time of the Normandy invasion he was 23 years old – older than some among the ResFlo . Prior to being stationed in Poole, Dorset, with ResFlo-1, he had seldom left his home city, and had
never left his home country.
He died before I was very old, and I learned only fragments of his experiences overseas. He had an English officer’s wool watchcoat hanging in the back of his closet. He said that he had gotten it from one of the sailors that his crew had saved – an officer who had been blown of the bridge of his ship by enemy fire.
For many years he had a framed color lithograph of an 83 footer leaning against the wall on top of his dresser. At some point it moved into the closet, and after his death it disappeared entirely.
In the years immediately following the war, my father kept in touch with several of his shipmates. We visited one on an out of town trip when I was young. My mother said that the shipmate told her that, on one occasion, my father had saved the lives of all the CG-31 crew by putting out a fire that threatened the ship. The shipmate told my mother that the entire crew felt grateful to my father for his actions. My father had never told my mother that story.