The D-Day Story Collection
A US life preserver that was found on Omaha Beach shortly after D-Day by Leslie (Les) Eastwood, who during the Second World War was a wireman on Landing Craft, Tank (LCT) 7057. The life belt consisted of two separate tubes which could be inflated either through blowing into a mouthpiece, or with CO2 cartridges. The CO2 cartridges were in a tube near the buckle, secured by a screw-on cap. To inflate the life belt, two levers fitted inside the belt forced the cartridges into the sharp points on the insides of the caps which pierced them and released the gas into the tubes. The life belt had to be worn higher than the waist, otherwise the weight carried on a soldier's upper body might cause him to turn upside down, with potentially fatal results. These life belts were sometimes also tied to items of equipment such as mortars, Bangalore torpedoes etc. to help them float in case they were dropped in the water during the landings.
Location: On display at The D-Day Story