D-Day

by: Gunnar and Daniel

The Beaches

Utah Beach: The casualties on Utah Beach were the lowest of any of the beaches. The 4th infantry was able to move inland easily over the exits of the beach that were already seized from the inland side by the 502nd and 506th parachute infantry, that were parts of the 101st Airborne Division.The troops were able to press inward much quicker than they expected because of the light casualties.


Omaha Beach: This was the most fortified beach that had high bluffs that were defended by funneled mortars, machine guns, and artillery. Most of the landings drifted eastwards, missing their assigned sectors and the assault waves of tanks because of issues of navigation. There were 16 tanks that landed upon the shores of Omaha and only 2 of those tanks survived the landing.

101st Airborne

On the dark morning of June 6th, 1944 the 101st airborne division of paratroopers jumped from their planes and planned to land in Normandy, France near Utah Beach. The plan was to anchor the corps' southern flank and eliminate the German's secondary beach defenses; which would allow the seaborne forces to continue inland. The "Screaming Eagles" were to capture the causeway bridges and destroy a railroad and highway bridge.

U.S. Landings

U.S Troop Landings

On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. This was one of the` most deadliest battles in the whole war. Even though the cost of D-Day was in big numbers with thousands of troops dead, the allied forces from there could march through Europe and eventually defeat the armies of Hitler.

Casualties

Casualties (Omaha)

On June 6th the U.S invaded the Omaha beach area in Normandy. It was the largest region and by far the most deadliest area of all. It was covered by cliffs which made it difficult for troops to attack. The only way off the beach was to scale the cliffs, led by rangers, this was how the Americans escaped the beach. By midday the Germans were becoming weak and lessened, by Nightfall the Americans had there part of the land. 34,00 American troops landed there that day and at the end there was 2,400 casualties.


Casualties (Utah)

Utah beach was the furthest West of all the beaches on D-day. It was 3 miles wide and really consisted with sandy dunes and German fortresses. This battle was mainly aerial in this area as the 101st airborne did a lot of work to weaken the German defenses. At the end of the day 20,000 U.S men landed on Utah beach and less than 300 men were casualties of that battle on D-day.

Dr.Samuel N. Grundfast

Grundfast was born on February 5, 1921 in New York City. The day after Pearl Harbor he went to the naval recruiting office at 33 Pine Street in New York City and enlisted in the Navy. His platoon and himself organized and were assigned to various landing craft off the coast of Wales. Their purpose was to bring in tanks for fire power and support of the troops. His LCT was provided with a canopy and an outboard motor, so they would look like small boats and act as support fire for the incoming troops in different waves of the invasion. They were scheduled to arrive at Utah Beach early in the morning and the water was extremely rough and the waves were at least six foot tall. When the LCT was approaching the beach, it hit a mine in the water and the whole crew was killed except 2 men and Grundfast himself. Grundfast lives today to tell his story of his experiences with the D-Day invasion.

Roy Arnn

Roy Arnn first arrived at Portsmouth and everyday was taught his assignments by showing pictures and obstacles. Roy was assigned to boat crew #8 which was being sent to Omaha beach in Normandy with the 1st wave and 1st infantry division. While the rangers would climb the cliffs to their right. Roys job was to make a clear path from the obstacles so that the 2nd wave of men could get through and do the real fighting. Although clearing booby traps and mines was not easy and very dangerous. A week before Roy mentioned that the whole crew decided to grow beards just to show a sign of there family hood. Each soldier was equipped with a pack of explosives, rope and a mine detector this was all to help clear the way. While getting sea sick this made it difficult for the crew to operate at 100%. Roy was the last off the boat and a sniper was shooting at him. Kicking sand in his face and barely missing, then a machine gun pinned Roy down but then a tank came out of the water and put a shell in the house. The force of the explosion took Roy’s hat off at the time. Everyone was firing back and forth and the orders were to stay down. Then a bullet struck Roy and he could not get up, from there he was dragged to a boat with other hurt soldiers. From there Roy waited till the fighting was over and then was sent back to base.

James B. Nannini

James Nannini was born July 22, 1923 in Chicago Illinois. He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and took his basic training in Texas. His platoon and himself loaded up the ship for days, preparing for the invasion. The sea was extremely choppy when they left for Utah Beach. He was assigned to the 4th division as a rifleman, where they used M-1 rifles, bangalores, and tons of ammunition. The landing craft dropped them off in about one foot of water, near the beach. They moved inland towards the hedgerows, and there was a lot of shooting. A plane came over and dropped so many flares that it looked like daylight in the early sky, and it seemed like the flares lasted forever. He received a bad leg wound on June 25 by a mortar shell that killed a fellow soldier right behind him. He was then flown to Oxford to a hospital for surgery.