Paul Sweeny and The USS Pheasant

Pictured here Paul Sweeny and the USS Tide sinking off Normandy during the invasion ( 7 June 1944) with the USS Pheasant off to the right and USS PT-509 to the left (the USS Threat is taking the photo). The USS Tide was hit by a mine off of Normandy.

Paul enlisted in the Navy in Philadelphia after graduating from High School in 1943. He served in the Navy from 1943 until 1946. He was on the USS Pheasant #AM 61. This was a mine sweeper that went ahead of the naval ships sweeping the waters for mines that the enemy laid as traps for the approaching Navy ships.Paul had the rank of P.O. 2nd Class (Petty Officer) and was a signal man. He used flags to communicate between ships from the bridge. Each flag was a different letter, number, or signal flag. He also used light for visual contact between ships, using Morris Code of a combination of dots & dashes. They landed at Omaha Beach during the Normandy Invasion of France. Other places that his ship was include: Normandy Beach (next to Omaha Beach); The Mediterranean Ocean; African Invasion; Invasion of Italy; to Marseillaise, France; Southern Invasion of France; on through the Panama Canal to California. He was sent back to Philadelphia, Pa for discharge from the Navy in 1946.

Special Thanks to Ruth Sweeny


I found this page while researching my father’s Naval history. My father, Robert P. Nelson, was also on the USS Pheasant as a Radioman. June 6, 1944 was his 19th birthday! My father died on September 24, 1986 at the age of 61. He never spoke about his Navy experience. What they must have seen! It was nice to read about Mr. Sweeny. I wonder if they knew each other?

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