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 They assumed, because they hadn’t been issued with any tropical kit, that they were going to Europe, and for most, this was the sum total of their information.A large proportion of them had no idea why they were fighting a war in Europe.Therefore the first American troop units to arrive were combat ready… Until June 1944 the only Americans in Britain doing any fighting were airmen.The GIs in Newport were almost all service and ancillary regiments, including the famous 756th RSB (Railway Shop Battalion). They were then re-assembled, re-steamed and then sent out all over Britain and France to replace engines and rolling stock damaged and destroyed in the bombing.One country however, did accomplish a successful invasion… This, however, was a friendly invasion and it began officially in 1942.
Many of the people who wrote to me and to whom I later spoke on the telephone were only too pleased to share their memories and one or two even asked me for help in pursuing their own lines of enquiry. My reasons for writing the article are not quite so straightforward.
They neither knew nor understood why America should get drawn into another European War. The Majority of American politicians were anti war and as late as October 30th 1940 President Roosevelt was assuring American parents that “”. Thus young inexperienced soldiers were thrust into a climate of mutual distrust.
What possible advantages could there be for Americans in fighting Hitler?  This attitude would have persisted surely, had not the devastating events of Pearl Harbour occurred on December 7th 1940. They were going to a country whose position they were unsure of, to a people who lived in a different world, who spoke a strange form of “American” in a plumy accent, who existed in a world of class distinction and who quite frankly didn’t want them there.
It was not common knowledge that the earliest units of American troops who landed in Britain, were from, what came to be known as the 8th Air Wing.
These units arrived at first in just two places, Liverpool and Newport Monmouthshire.