D-Day

D-Day from Dixon

Announcement
(By The Associated Press)

A dramatic 10-second interval preceded the official announcement today that the invasion had begun.

Over a trans-Atlantic radio-telephone hookup direct from supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary force, to all major press services, and broadcasting networks in the United States came the voice of Col. R. Ernest Dupuy, Gen. Eisenhower’s public relations officer.

“This is supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary force,” Dupuy said. “The text of communique No. 1 will be released to the press and radio of the United States in 10 seconds.”

Then the seconds were counted off — one, two, three . . . and finally ten.

“Under the command of General Eisenhower,” slowly read Col. Dupuy, “allied naval forces supported by strong air forces began landing allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France.”

Thus, officially, the world was told the news which it had been awaiting for months.

Dupuy began reading in Britain at exactly 7:32 a.m., Greenwich Meridian time (2:32 Central War Time.)

D-Day memorial, Beford, VA

D-Day memorial, Beford, VA

Chronology
(By The Associated Press)

12:37 a.m. (Eastern War Time) German news agency Transocean broadcasts that allied invasion has begun.

1:00 a.m. German DNB agency broadcasts Le Havre being bombarded violently and German naval craft fighting allied landing craft off coast.

1:56 a.m. Calais radio says “This is D-Day.”

2:31 a.m. Spokesman from Gen. Eisenhower in broadcast from London warns people of European invasion coast that “a new phase of the allied air offensive has begun” and orders them to move 22 miles inland.

3:29 a.m. Berlin radio says “first center of gravity is Caen”, big city at base of Normandy peninsula.

3:32 a.m. supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary force, announces that allied armies began landing on northern coast of France.

3:40 a.m. Shaef announces Gen. Sir Barnard L. Montgomery is in command of assault army comprising American, British, Canadians.

Ground force landing corridors, D-Day

Ground force landing corridors, D-Day

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1stLt. Adrian J. Salvas, US Signal Corps, One of the many....

1stLt. Adrian J. Salvas, US Signal Corps,
One of the many….

Note of interest while you read D-Day stories –

 Five hundred 35-millimeter cameras were mounted on the fronts of ships and tanks rigged to operate without manual supervision and another 50 were were placed in the first wave of landing craft.  Dozens of American cameramen and almost 200 still photographers were assigned throughout the invasion.  Many of these men found themselves under enemy fire while they were manning their cameras.

Many of the cameras were destroyed or the film proved too grainy to be of any use, but 72 hours after D-Day started, most of the retrievable film from the US Field Unit, the Signal Corps, Coast Guard, the Canadian Army and British, were sent to London.  Most of the color film was reverted to black and white for newsreels.

Let us remember these men too, as we look at the pictures this weekend that the cameramen made possible!

#################################################################################

Political Cartoons for D-Day – 

He knew it was coming....

He knew it was coming…

Poised for attack!!

Poised for attack!!

Farewell Salutes – 

Smith Boyer – Weatherly, MO; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Chief Petty Officer (Ret. 20 yrs)

The D-Day invasion of France during World War II was a monumental point in history.  The effort, for Americans, came with a heavy price – about 2,500 soldiers were killed (and approximately 3,000 Allied troops lost their lives).

The American Cemetery in France – The D-Day invasion of France during World War II was a monumental point in history. The effort, for Americans, came with a heavy price – about 2,500 soldiers were killed (and approximately 3,000 Allied troops lost their lives).

James Cozad – Glenview, IL; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Higgins boat driver

Harold Higgins – Omaha, NE; US Navy, WWII

Sam Lee – WPalm, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO, 6th Infantry Reg/1st Armored Div., Bronze Star

Bobby Moon – Dickson, TN; US Army Air Corps, PTO, HQS/127th Engineers

Charles Nugent – Lake Worth, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Reginald Quirt (100) – Lindsay, CAN, RC Army, WWII

Robert Renz – Sterling, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, pilot/Korea & Vietnam, Major (Ret.)

Norman Robson – Watkins Glen, NY & FL; US Army, WWII, PTO, Corps of Engineers

Brice Schilling – Reedsville, PA; US Army Air Corps, PTO, Artillery, 11th A/B

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on June 6, 2015, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 122 Comments.

  1. Yes, we also commend the dangerous efforts by the many cameramen who took these photos! We salute you all!

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  2. Thnk you for stopping by my blog. Love your site – 5 Stars

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  3. Highly interesting. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend,
    Pit

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  4. Reblogged this on The mind is an unexplored country. and commented:
    With film of the actual invasion. Not quite as pretty as Saving Private Ryan, but these guys were fighting for the world. Not the cameras.

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  5. I never realized that there were cameras and photographers deployed to photograph these moments. I always wondered how we got the images we did!

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    • Each country had their own departments to handle the film and some were joint efforts. What started out as propaganda grew into newsreels and so on…

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  6. Reblogged this on History That Interests Me and commented:
    Nice remembrance from the Pacific Paratrooper blog.

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  7. And thank you for focusing attention on the cameramen and photographers… Well done, gpcox.

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  8. When I took my oldest daughter to France in 1999 (she was 16), we made a stop at Normandy… As we walked the battlefield, I did indeed think of those words reflected in your good post that were broadcast that day. And as I peered down onto Omaha Beach from the cliffs that were manned by Nazi Germany, I was overcome. I was unable to truly imagine how these young men felt, burdened by equipment, trying to make it off the beach. There was nothing – absolutely nothing – in between the enemy machine guns and the boys struggling to merely make it off their landing craft.

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    • The more I learn about D-Day, the more I am curious as to WHY those beaches were chosen. As I told Tina, the big brass knew it would only be successful by using sheer numbers as they sat on the USS Augusta 12 miles off shore and the Mulberry harbours were used, [great idea if there hadn’t been a storm nearby and they would need to be re-built.].

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  9. When I first learned of the D-day invasion, I could not believe those who were sent to storm the fortified beaches charged into hell’s fire knowing that they were going to be facing a virtual blender of armaments being hurled at them. I often wonder what a person had to possess to walk willing into death,for courage is not a strong enough word to describe it. I know that D-day was a multi-front attack but the images that have never left my mind are comprised of those beach landings. An odd mixture of horror and pride enters your heart as you see soldier after soldier falling under enemy fire.

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    • The beaches were defended far stronger than first expected, but the “Big Brass” [12 miles off shore on the USS Augusta] knew it would only be successful by throwing massive numbers at the Germans. A lot of the men knew they wouldn’t come home, but still did not want to appear weak in front of their fellow soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of men – and I’m sure each one had their own reasons. Thank you for sharing your feelings, Tina.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The job of Journalist and Cameraman in those days would have been taxing and horrendous, these men actually are the Chroniclers of that time, a far cry from today’s instant emails and instant footage, we even have head cams on individual soldiers, all recording and broadcast in minutes. A far cry from the days of the Second World War and our Damian Parer’s.

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    • With the technology of today, we ave become complacent, we expect news to be available “as it happens” and ‘Live TV’ etc. I am stressing just how much the men back then had to go through to try and do the same thing – with whatever cameras and celluloid film they had. Thanks for all your visits, Ian!!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I got chills watching the Newsreel. My family lived in Europe for a few years when I was a child, and we visited the beaches of Normandy and saw the bunkers and monuments and fields of white crosses. I can still see it dimly in my mind, many decades later.

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    • Knowing that thousands upon thousands of men stormed into that hell and were never seen again is enough to make anyone cringe. My next door neighbor is from France and remembers from her childhood the soldiers on the beaches, for her it brings a smile because of what the Americans always meant to her. She says she told her father she would one day live in the US and here she is – a legal citizen.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for reminding us of all the photographers who also put their lives at risk that day.

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    • You are very welcome. We’ve gotten so used to on the spot news, we forget who had to stand there first to take the picture. Thanks for reading that note, LB.

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  13. Manning the cameras would have been a dangerous job as well. It’s always nice to have history recorded for future generations.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reblogged this on Susan Marie Molloy and commented:
    Always remember–

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  15. Great post and great blog. As a vet, USAF 20 years, who loves military history, I think I’m going to be spending a lot of time here.

    God bless,

    James

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  16. It is the horrible number of the casualties that I can’t get my head around. Whatever war! Most wars are futile, but there was no other way to stop the Nazis.

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  17. So many cameras, so few images … just the other day en passant I saw a photo of a D Day tank on the seabed, right where it went down. Apparently the crew still inside—sadly I never collected the link.

    I’ll have to stop watching this sort of stuff …

    I doubt that anyone of the modern generations could possibly have any idea—and I hope they never do.

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  18. i wrote a short story with you in mind. Give it a read and let me know if you like it. It is made up on World War Two. Could it really happen. There are people who live a lie all their lives. Who knows?

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  19. GREAT POST, CP. Indeed our Greatest Generation. Those of us who followed this generation, we salute you. I am so glad that I had a chance to thank many of the D Day vets in person.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    My dad fought in WW2, but I don’t know much more than that. From a comment in my mom’s diary I know he was not the same after his return home. I have 2 photos of his war time–as color guard in a parade, and the tents that were their “bunk houses.”

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    • Thank you for helping to keep these troops in the spotlight on the day they sacrificed so much. Your father would not be first or last man to be changed – how could he be otherwise? As some men said, they opened up the gates of Hell and we walked in….

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  21. What amazing footage. May they never be forgotten. Thanks, Everett for posting this.

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  22. The archival footage has kept well and shows the bravery of those men who were going to land without knowing what faced them. It never stopped them. This really was the turning point in the war and the day when Europe knew it hadn’t been forgotten by the allies.

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    • We’re very lucky today to have much of this film transposed into digital for future generations. But that first day – we came so very close to having a complete failure. Thanks for coming, David.

      Like

  23. Lovely collection of war momentoes and remembrances today. I do think about how different it would have been to get news solely by radio and twice-daily newspaper.

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  24. What bravery. I can’t even imagine it.

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  25. Lest we forget.

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  26. The dramatic voice of the narrator and the music is something else. I love the shots of the air and carriers, the fleet, as they head over. What a force! Great post, today, GP.

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    • Thank you very much, Cindy. As much as I enjoy you and I talking about those old movies, when it comes to a subject like this – only the real thing will do. I appreciate you coming by!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Awesome Post GW! May NONE of us forget the sacrifices made by all those who fought, not just on D-Day but the entire War.

    I would recommend to everybody Antony Beevor’s new book: Ardennes 1944. Beevor is one of the master historians of WW2 and this story of germany’s last big counter-offensive of the War and the savage fighting that ensued is a great read.

    Like

    • Thank you for the recommendation. This is exactly the kind of participation, discussion and camaraderie that I have been lucky enough to have had here from everyone!

      Like

  28. Reblogged this on Hammerhead Combat Systems and commented:
    A Day to Remember all those who charged the beaches and jumped out of perfectly good airplanes to go into nazi controlled France and knock hitler on his ass…..

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    • I thank you very much for assisting me in honoring these troops, Steven. Your extensive research into the ETO proves to us all exactly how you feel about these men who fought before you. I’m certain you will feel the same as you delve into the PTO.

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  29. My father’s regiment was not involved in D Day….they went over later… but he said that there was tremendous sense of trepidation – not least because the commander was Montgomery who had the reputation of being a butcher of his infantry.

    Mother was working in north London and was very much aware of the build up as she saw endless columns of lorries carrying troops down to the south coast camps. Again, the mood was one of trepidation, bearing in mind what – despite wartime censorship – they knew of the Dieppe fiasco and the mess that was Anzio.

    She met a young man she knew when lorries halted at the British Restaurant which she and her colleagues used for lunch: he was nervous but said that it had to be done and he was determined to stick it out for his mates.
    I’m glad to say that he survived to return to his family’s ice cream business after the war!

    Something which struck me when my parents and their friends talked about the war was an absolute absence of any sense of fighting a just war or any hostility to the Germans….there was much more of a feeling of having been pitchforked into war by a political class that cared nothing for the average man in the street – and a determination to get rid of those responsible at the first opportunity.

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    • I appreciate your re-creation of what was going in England at the time of build-up and hearing that the young man did indeed return to his family. I have very similar feelings to why you were dragged into war [as well as the US] and glad to hear that citizens in the know agree with what I have gotten out my research. Thank you for taking the time to bring these stories to us and for sharing today, Helen.

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  30. Thank you gp. The video reminded me of the spellbinding opening sequence (15 minutes, I think) of saving Private Ryan, seared in the memory.

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    • I’m sure it was difficult to try and accurately recreate those opening scenes. But I’ve heard from people who were there, that Private Ryan came as close as they’ve ever seen Hollywood create.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Imagine the painstaking hours it took to look through all that footage and come up with sections that showed no fatalities or wounded soldiers. I’m not sure I am happy about that or disgusted. I guess scaring the bejeezus out of everyone would have put a stop on the number of boys who were dying to serve and enlist.

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    • The governments all had a say in what would be shown to the public. But a lot of film has recently been discovered and is being processed – slowly but surely. Thanks for stopping in today, Mrs P.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I didn’t realise that those rather exciting ten seconds happened. I don’t think anybody would have been surprised at the news though. My Dad always said that in May and June 1944, there were so many men present in England and so many items of military equipment stockpiled that the whole country seemed to be in imminent danger of tipping up with the weight!

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    • Glad you enjoyed the information to help add to your father’s D-Day story. I understand so much was happening at once that even the cameramen related they only see about 12 men at any given time.

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  33. I can almost feel the trepidation of the announcer making the official statement.

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  34. Heroes each and every one of them

    Liked by 1 person

  35. That was a day indeed. I have been lucky to have visited the area many times, and the sheer scale of the task facing them, as well as the bad weather, has to be seen to be appreciated. The cameramen and war correspondents not only played a vital role in morale-building, they also left us with a priceless legacy of actual footage, for the education of generations to come.
    Best wishes from England. Pete

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  36. Fascinating footage, was that a Bangalore Torpedo I saw towards the end?

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  37. I was just thinking about soldiers who took the movie at different places along too.

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    • At this very moment, the History channel has the story of D-Day on the air. I’m typing to you with the sound of bombs going off behind me and narrations from the men who were there… eerie.

      Liked by 4 people

  38. Pierre Lagacé

    Reblogged this on Lest We Forget and commented:
    June 6

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  39. thanks for this post and thanks for sharing the map, I will print it when we visit Omaha Beach in september…

    Liked by 1 person

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