An LCVP assigned to USS Samuel Chase disembarks soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division in front of Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, 6 June 1944. (CPHOM Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard/United States Coast Guard 190415-G-G0000-7001)
Normandy American Cemetery
These sons of America sacrificed everything to save the people of Europe.
Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France. 9,387 American soldiers, buried. 1,557 missing in action. (Bjarki Sigursveinsson)
Brittany American Cemetery, Saint James, France. 4,409 American soldiers buried. 499 missing in action.
Epinal American Cemetery, Dinozé, France. 5,255 American soldiers buried. 424 missing in action.
Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France. 10,489 American soldiers buried. 444 missing in action.
Rhone American Cemetery, Draguignan, France. 860 American soldiers buried. 294 missing in action.
Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium. 5,323 American soldiers buried. 463 missing in action.
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Hombourg, Belgium. 7,992 American soldiers buried. 450 missing in action.
Florence American Cemetery, Impruneta, Italy. 4,402 American soldiers buried. 1,409 missing in action.
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Val du Scheid, Luxembourg. 5,076 American soldiers buried. 371 missing in action.
Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. 8,301 American soldiers buried. 1,722 missing in action.
Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, United Kingdom. 3,812 American airmen, soldiers and sailors buried. 5,127 missing in action.
When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrows these gave their today.
—John Maxwell Edmonds, 1944
Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument. (American Battle Monuments Commission)
© 2018, Bryan R. Swopes
General Dwight D. Eisenhower talking with Lieutenant Wallace C. Strobel and paratroopers of Co. E, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, United States Army (the legendary “Band of Brothers”), at Greenham Common, 2030 hours, 5 June 1944 (U.S. Army)
5–6 June 1944 (D-Day -1): Beginning in the late evening, 821 Douglas C-47 Skytrain twin-engine transports, and 516 Waco CG-4A and Airspeed AS.51 Horsa gliders of the IXth Troop Carrier Command, airlifted 13,348 paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, United States Army, and another 7,900 men of the British Army 6th Airborne Division and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.
C-47 Skytrains in Vee-of-Vees formation.
The airplanes flew in a Vee-of Vees formation, nine airplanes abreast, 100 feet (30 meters) from wing tip to wing tip, 1,000 feet (305 meters) in trail, stretching for over 300 miles (483 kilometers). They flew in darkness at an altitude of 500 to 1,000 feet (152–305 meters).
Their mission was to drop the paratroopers behind the invasion beaches of Normandy during the hours before the amphibious assault began on D-Day.
Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door. . . .
Allied air assault on Normandy, 5–6 June 1944. (Army Air Forces in World War II)
A restored Douglas C-47A-80-DL Skytrain, serial number 43-15211, of the 92nd Troop Carrier Squadron, 439th Troop Carrier Group, 50th Troop Carrier Wing, IX Troop Carrier Command, United States Army Air Force, in its original markings and invasion stripes, with re-enactors at USAAF Station AAF-462 (RAF Station Upottery), 28 July 2007. © Mac Hawkins
© 2018, Bryan R. Swopes