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6-7 June 1944 - Omaha Beach

Perhaps the worst area on the beach was Dog Green, directly in front of strong points guarding the Vierville draw and under heavy flanking fire from emplacements to the west, near Pointe de la Percee. Company A of the 116th [29th Division] was due to land on this sector with Company C of the 2nd Rangers on its right flank, and both units came in on their targets. One of the six LCA's carrying Company A [116th Regiment,29th Division] foundered about a thousand yards of shore, and passing Rangers saw men jumping overboard and being dragged down by their loads. At H+6 minutes the remaining craft grounded in water 4 to 6 feet deep, about 30 yards short of the outward band of obstacles. Starting off the craft in three files, center file first and the flank files peeling right and left, the men were enveloped in accurate and intense fire from automatic weapons. Order was quickly lost as the troops attempted to dive under water or dropped over the sides into surf over their heads. Mortar fire scored four direct hits on one LCA, which "disintegrated." Casualties were suffered all the way to the sand, but when the survivors got there, some found they could not hold and came back into the water for cover, while others took refuge behind the nearest obstacles. Remnants of one boat team on the right flank organized a small firing line on the first yards of sand, in full exposure to the enemy. In short order every officer of the company, including Captain Taylor N. Fellers, was a casualty, and most of the sergeants were killed or wounded. The leaderless men gave up any attempt to move forward and confined their efforts to saving the wounded, many of whom drowned in the rising tide. Some troops were later able to make the sea wall by staying in the edge of the water and going up the beach with the tide. Fifteen minutes after landing, Company A was out of action for the day. Estimates of its casualties range as high as two thirds…

…An unscheduled gap of more than a thousand yards separated Company A from the next unit of the 116th Regiment [29th Division]. Instead of coming in on Dog White, Company G [116th Regiment, 29th Division] landed in scattered groups eastward from the edges of Dog Red. The three or four boat sections nearest Dog Red, where smoke from grass fires shrouded the bluff, had an easy passage across the tidal flat. Most of the men were halfway up the flat before they became aware of sporadic and inaccurate fire, and only a few losses were suffered. In 10 to 15 minutes after touchdown this part of the company was behind the shingle bank, in good condition. Officers, knowing they were left of their landing area, were uncertain as to their course of action, and this hesitation prevented any chance of immediate assault action. Further east on Easy Green, the other sections of Company G [116th Regiment, 29th Division] met much heavier fire as they landed, one boat team losing 14 men before it reached the embankment.

Company F [116th Regiment, 29th Division] came into the beach almost on its scheduled target, touching down in front of the strongly fortified les Moulins draw (D-3). The 3 sections to the east, unprotected by the smoke, came under concentrated fire and took 45 minutes to get across the exposed stretch of sand. By this time half their numbers were casualties; the remnants reached cover in no state for assault action. The other sections had better fortune, but had lost their officers when they reached the shingle bank and were more or less disorganized.

This completes the story of the first assault wave on half of Omaha Beach, for the fourth company of the 116th [29th Division], supposed to land on Easy Green, and veered a mile eastward from that sector. The three companies in the 116th's one were in poor condition for carrying out their assault missions. By 0700 Company A [116th Regiment, 29th Division] had been cut to pieces at the water's edge, Company F [116th Regiment, 29th Division] was disorganized by heavy losses, and of the scattered sections of Company G [116th Regiment, 29th Division], those in best shape were preparing to move west along the beach to find their assigned sector…

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