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Untold Stories of D-Day

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Untold Stories Zoom In 2

Sounds of Silence
Photograph by Brian J. Skerry

Underwater explorer Bertrand Sciboz holds a bronze horn found in the wreck of the U.S. minesweeper YMS- 304, sunk on July 30, more than a month after D-Day. Because small minesweepers of that class had wooden hulls, they were safe from magnetic mines—but not from acoustic mines such as the one that exploded as the YMS-304 came near. Stan Broilo was eating breakfast in the galley that day. "Something blew me up to the ceiling," he recalls. “I couldn’t move. My back was broken. The next thing I knew, two guys were getting a life jacket on me. Then they dragged me and just walked off the ship. They didn’t have to jump.” Someone in a British rescue boat pulled Broilo out of the water. Another minesweeper and a French fishing boat also hauled crewmen out of the sea. Rescuers saved 36 of 42 men on the YMS-304. Broken in half, it sank in a little more than a minute.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type:
Fuji Velvia
Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Overcast, rainy
Time of Day:
10 a.m.
Lighting Techniques: Two 300 watt second underwater strobes on camera

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