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“With the Air Force overheard, the Navy shelling [enemy positions], the enemy firing at you and we're firing at them, it was just total chaos. Nobody landed where they were supposed to. It was that kind of chaos."

- Pvt. Arnald Gabriel


“The water, believe it or not, in June was awfully cold, and that with the combination of fear, it was quite an experience.”

- Pvt. Gabriel

3/PFC Huston Riley “who after the Nazis shelled his landing craft jumped into water so deep that he had to walk along the bottom until he could hold his breath no more.... Riley became a target for the guns and artillery shells mowing down his comrades.“

4/“Some of the first assault troops to hit the beachhead hide behind enemy beach obstacles to fire on the Germans, on a Normandy beach, on June 6, 1944. Landing craft in background, trying to unload more troops.”

5/“Second Lieutenant Walter Sidlowski of 348th Engineer C Battalion, 5th Engineer Special Brigade, on Omaha Beach, Normandy, after helping to rescue a group of drowning soldiers after their landing craft sank”

6/ Meanwhile, above France...
7/ SGT Bob Noody (second from the right) says he was “scared stiff.”

“I was really loaded down there, if you look at that picture, I had a bazooka and I had a leg bag. I had all of the equipment that everybody else had — I must have weighed 300 pounds”

8/“U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions fix their static lines before a jump before dawn over Normandy on D-Day June 6, 1944, in France.”

9/“Parachutes fill the sky after the 12th Air Force Troop Carrier Air Division C-47s drop Allied soldiers and supplies over the beachhead between Marseilles and Nice, during the Allied Invasion of France.”

10/ News of D-Day, 75 years ago today, first broke via German Radio.

US broadcasters reported the information with skepticism, given that it could have been disinformation.

11/ CBS News Radio’s Robert Trout note that all reports were from German radio, that the Allies and War Department were not confirming anything, and that it could all well have been false.

12/ Eventually the Allied forces put out a communique confirming the news: “D-Day has come.” Here’s the BBC’s John Snagge:

13/ George Hicks reported from the deck of the USS Ancon

14/ Ernie Pyle filed his columns after arriving at Normandy Beach.

15/ That night FDR offered a prayer during his radio address:

“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....
16/ “...They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. ... Success may not come with rushing speed,... Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom...”

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