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June 44 - 116th Reg., B Co.
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29TH DIVISION - WWII DOCUMENTS
116th Reg., 1st Bn., B Co. - Group Critique Notes - June 1944

Page 1


During all of this time, Taylor and his group had had no contact with any part of the invasion. So far as they knew, they were altogether alone, with neither support nor supply ready for their purpose. However, the plan had given a position well over to the right as "B"’s objective for the night and so Taylor led his men away from the comparative safety of the Chateau and started for the objective. "He was an inspired leader throughout that day," said Price of him. "He seemed to have no fear of anything and no matter where he went, he was in the lead either of the march or of the fight. We followed him because there was nothing else to do." Having led his group farther S than and other Battalion element, Taylor then led them westward, reaching ground about 600 yards beyond where the Battalion bivouacked that night. He lost only one man on this move from the Chateau de Vaumicel. He acted as the point for the march all the way. Late in the evening, he got word of the Battalion’s rendezvous, and took his force into it.
These were the chief moves by "B" insofar as penetration and consolidation of position are concerned. Other small groups fought their way a short distance inland, or attached themselves from other companies and did what they could, as circumstance allowed. Still others fought or failed on the beach, and either died because they lacked the strength or will to get away from the pitiless fire, or lived to tell about their own frustrations and of the courage and sacrifice of others.

S/Sgt Robert M. Campbell was the first man off the boat in his section. He jumped in the water cattying two bangalores:  the water was over his head and the bangalores carried him down like an anchor-weight. So he dropped them in the sea, and for good measure, cut away most of his equipment. Bullets were cutting the water all around him. Though never a strong swimmer, he headed back out to sea and for 11/2 hours, he paddled around 200 yards or more from the shore. He could see nothing of the battle and could not tell whether any of his men had gotten across the sands. When he came in to shore finally, he had lost his helmet, so he salvaged one from a dead man’s head, then went on up to the sea wall, where he found several of his men. Pfc Jan J. Budziszewski was also carried to the bottom by two bangalores, and hugged them there for a few moments before realizing that he’d either drop them or drown. He swam a hundred yards or so before becoming aware he was going in the wrong direction. By then he has lost helmet and rifle. He headed back to shore and found himself under a hail of bullets when he hit the sand. He took the helmets and rifle from a dead Ranger and went on up to the wall in a slow crawl. He was looking for the men from his boat but he looked all day and never found a one. They who still lived had scattered all along the beach.