Today is the 68th anniversary of the Normandy landings that took place on June 6, 1944. This invasion was a key turning point in the War for the Allies and marked the beginning of the end of the German conquest.
Jake McNiece, a member of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II reflected on this day in his book The Filthy Thirteen when he writes,
“It was a hell of a feeling to be by myself in the middle of a foreign land surrounded by enemy soldiers. I had been by myself for two hours and had not seen another paratrooper other than Loulip; nor had I heard the sound of an American rifle. I was beginning to think they had canceled the entire invasion and I was the only American down there. It gave me a hell of a lonesome feeling. One thing about it, combat kept me so busy that the anxiety soon left me and it became a matter of either kill or be killed.” -pg. 78
For more on Jake McNiece and his experience during D-Day, watch this video of him describing what it was like dropping into Normandy during the invasion.
In Robert Bowen’s book Fighting with the Screaming Eagles, he explains the horrors of D-Day when he writes,
“I looked at the shoreline. The beach seemed like a Chinese fire drill, disorganized squads of men straggling from the water and dashing for the openings in the seawall, stalled and burning vehicles abandoned in the surf, German shells shooting up geysers of sand and water as they landed with gigantic explosions, and dozens of small LCVPs just like ours landing more men on the beach.” – pg. 54
For more stories and memories from this day, make sure to check out these other titles:
|D-Day with the Screaming Eagles
A Chronicle of the 101st Airborne Soldiers who Took Part in the D-Day Invasion on June 6, 1944
|General Albert C. Wedemeyer
America’s Unsung Strategist in World War II
The Veterans’ Story
By Those Who Were There
|I Wouldn’t Want to Do It Again
D-Day in Normandy as Seen Through the Eyes of Private Fayette O. Richardson and 1st Lt Rex G. Combs, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, US 82nd Airborne Division