Posts Tagged ‘D-Day’

“If You See General Ike, Tell Him We’re The Boys Who Can Do It.”

June 6, 2012

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Jun 6, 1944

D-DAY — from History.com

During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.

Delta Democrat Times (Greenville, Mississippi) Jun 6, 1944

First Wave Of Assault Troops Mowed Down

By James C. McGlincy
United Press War Correspondent

LONDON, June 7. — Some of the first assault troops who stormed the French beaches were mowed down by German crossfire but succeeding waves climbed over their bodies until a foothold was established, an eye-witness who returned from the beachhead reported today.

Bert Brandt, 28, an Acme News photographer, spent a half hour on the beach yesterday and several hours more cruising within gunshot of the landing scene.
“It was hotter than hell over there,” Brandt said. “I was at Anzio but Anzio was nothing like this.”

He said the Germans laid down intensive fire on the beaches with well-emplaced machine-guns. American casualties were spotty, heavy on some beaches and light on others.

On one beach, Brandt reported, the German machine-gunners waited until the landing craft lowered their ramps and then poured deadly fire into the barges. The opposition met by the first wave delayed the landing of demolition parties scheduled to follow with heavy equipment.

The German defenses finally crumbled under the weight of attack and by the time Brandt left the beachhead at 3 P.M. yesterday, the Americans were firmly ashore and beginning to advance inland.

“The whole thing was an unbelievable sight,” Brandt said. “Planes criss-crossed overhead constantly. You never could look up without seeing a formation of planes somewhere, P-38s and P-47s zoomed right overhead all the time blasting the German defenses.

“Some boats were burning and a pall of smoke hung over the beach. I saw some of the bodies of our soldiers who had been killed in the first landings floating in the water. Some of the boats were swamped in the choppy seas.

“There were tremendous rafts just floating offshore jammed with trucks, tanks and ambulances. On one beach we landed tanks from LCT’s. Then some waves of Infantry went in, followed by engineers and then more Infantry.

“On the beaches the men crouched behind jeeps, tanks, anything they could find for cover. At one point they made their way to the German concrete defense wall, and that was the first cover they found.

“Right off the beach were tall cliffs which were scaled by the rangers. They captured gun positions within 15 minutes after they went in.”

Despite fierce resistance, Brandt said, everyone was calm and the operation was well organized. On the landing boats going over, the troops were so confident, Brandt was worried. He saw Pvt. Charles Blackledge, Columbia, Miss., sitting amid bangalore torpedoes, bazookas, TNT and other deadly weapons reading a little black-covered Bible.

Daily News (Huntingdon, Pennsylvania) Jun 6, 1944

He snapped a picture of one boy asleep on top of a jeep five minutes before landing. As the troops went overside into smaller boats for the assault, one yelled: “If you see General Ike, tell him we’re the boys who can do it.”

Two negro jeep drivers stood at the rail looking at the looming continent.

“Yassuh,” one laughed, “theah she am!”

One small boat which supported the landing was commanded by Lt. Richard Margetts, San Diego, Cal. Its crew included Lt. ?g? Chester Hendrickson, Grove City, Minn., Cox. Robert Jaggers, Stantonville, Tenn., Seaman 1c Gilbert Aguilar, Houston, Tex., and Seaman John Hornyal, Bridgeport, Conn.

After piloting an assault craft ashore and back to the larger ship, Seaman 1c Forrest Hillegas, Allentown, Pa., called: “Anybody got a cigaret? I think I’ve got one coming after that.”

Daily News (Huntingdon, Pennsylvania) Jun 6, 1944

Brandt hitch-hiked back on a boat returning with wounded in order to get his pictures out. In a corner of the returning craft a wounded boy sat sobbing. He told Brandt:

“For three years I’ve been training for this and what happens? As soon as I get off the boat I get hit. I didn’t even get a chance to fire a shot at a German.”

Anniston Star (Anniston, Alabama) Jun 7, 1944

D-Day from Dixon

June 6, 2011

Announcement
(By The Associated Press)

A dramatic 10-second interval preceded the official announcement today that the invasion had begun.

Over a trans-Atlantic radio-telephone hookup direct from supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary force, to all major press services, and broadcasting networks in the United States came the voice of Col. R. Ernest Dupuy, Gen. Eisenhower’s public relations officer.

“This is supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary force,” Dupuy said. “The text of communique No. 1 will be released to the press and radio of the United States in 10 seconds.”

Then the seconds were counted off — one, two, three . . . and finally ten.

“Under the command of General Eisenhower,” slowly read Col. Dupuy, “allied naval forces supported by strong air forces began landing allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France.”

Thus, officially, the world was told the news which it had been awaiting for months.

Dupuy began reading in Britain at exactly 7:32 a.m., Greenwich Meridian time (2:32 Central War Time.)

Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois) Ju 6, 1944

D-Day images from the Boston Globe online article, Remembering D-Day, 66 Years Ago (2010) See photo article (42 images) at the link.

Chronology
(By The Associated Press)

12:37 a.m. (Eastern War Time) German news agency Transocean broadcasts that allied invasion has begun.

1:00 a.m. German DNB agency broadcasts Le Havre being bombarded violently and German naval craft fighting allied landing craft off coast.

1:56 a.m. Calais radio says “This is D-Day.”

2:31 a.m. Spokesman from Gen. Eisenhower in broadcast from London warns people of European invasion coast that “a new phase of the allied air offensive has begun” and orders them to move 22 miles inland.

3:29 a.m. Berlin radio says “first center of gravity is Caen”, big city at base of Normandy peninsula.

3:32 a.m. supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary force, announces that allied armies began landing on northern coast of France.

3:40 a.m. Shaef announces Gen. Sir Barnard L. Montgomery is in command of assault army comprising American, British, Canadians.

Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois) Jun 6, 1944

Disciplined

Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, June 7 — (AP) — One of America’s best known major generals was demoted to lieutenant colonel and sent home for indicating in advance the time of D-Day.

The supreme command allowed this information to be cabled abroad today after holding it up several weeks for security reasons.

Supreme headquarters would not permit the officer’s name to be cabled. He was one of the commanders of the U.S. Air Force. An Army man of long standing, he swiftly felt the supreme axe after talking indiscreetly at a London cocktail party.

The conversation was said to have taken place almost two months ago when the invasion was expected almost daily. The general was reported to have said in the presence of several persons:

“On my honor the invasion will take place before June 15.”

His action was reported to security police by a woman guest and Gen. Eisenhower immediately ordered him reduced to  permanent rank of lieutenant colonel and sent home after an investigation.

Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois) Jun 7, 1944

California Leads in Draft Dodgers
San Francisco, June 7 — (AP) —

California has more draft dodgers than any other state, one sixth of the known total for the nation, reports Lt. Col. Edward S. Shattuck, general counsel for the Selective Service, Washington, D.C.

Shattuck said yesterday that California’s total delinquencies were 5,000 out of 30,000 for the country.

Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois) Jun 7, 1944

2010 D-Day post at the link — D-Day: Give Us Strength

D-Day: Give Us Strength

June 6, 2010

*****

Montgomery in Command of U.S., British and Canadian Invaders

SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, Allied Expeditionary Force, June 6 — (AP) — Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters announced today that Allied troops began landing on the norther coast of France this morning strongly supported by Naval and air forces.

Text of the communique:

Under the command of Gen. Eisenhower Allied Naval forces supported by strong air forces began landing Allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France.

The Germans said the landings extended between Le Have and Cherbourg along the south side of the bay of the Seine and along the northern Normandy coast.

Parachute troops descended in Normandy, Berlin said.

Berlin first announced the landings in a series of flashes that begin about 6:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. eastern war time).

The Allied communique was read over a Trans-Atlantic hookup direct from General Eisenhower’s headquarters at 3:32 E.W.T., designated “communique No. 1.”

A second announcement by Shaef said that “it is announced that Gen. B.L. Montgomery is in command of the army group carrying out the assault. The army group includes British, Canadian, and U.S. forces.”

Eisenhower Tells Europe Of D-Day

NEW YORK, June 6 — (AP) — The OWI reported today this statement by Gen. Eisenhower was broadcast by allied radios in London:

“People of western Europe! A landing was made this morning on the coast of France by troops of the Allied expeditionary force. This landing is part of the concerted United Nations plan for the liberation of Europe, made in conjunction with your great Russian Allies.

“Although the initial assault may not have been made in your own country, the hour of your liberation is approaching.”

PRESIDENT TO LEAD NATIONAL PRAYER AT 9 P.M.

A community-wide prayer service will be held at the First Baptist church at 9 o’clock this evening. A radio will be installed that the assembly may join with President Roosevelt in prayer for success of the armed forces.

WASHINGTON, June 6 — (UP) — Following is President Roosevelt’s prayer for success of our arms in their task — a prayer in which he asks all to join when he utters it by radio at 9 p.m. CWT tonight:

My fellow Americans”

In this poignant hour, I ask you to join me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness to their faith.

They will need thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. The enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — till the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violence of war.

These are men lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of Great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — Let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unhold forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, with our sister nations  into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen!

The Abilene Reporter News – Jun 6, 1944