The 1st Infantry Division – the “Big Red One” – assault landed onto Omaha Beach on 6 June, 1944.
Seas were choppy and cross currents strong.
Many landing craft came ashore some distance from where they had intended.
German resistance, supported by significant obstacles, was well organized and determined.
American units found themselves intermingled, exposed and under heavy fire.
Amidst this confusion seasoned junior and intermediate leaders asserted themselves and restored momentum to the attack.
Soldiers in small groups clawed their way onto the bluffs overlooking the beaches, and turned aside to outflank German defenders blocking the few draws capable of passing vehicles from the beaches to higher ground.
Attacking through the night, by the next morning the division was astride Route 814 along the bluffs above the beach, and positioned to bring further vehicles and reinforcements ashore.
The courage under adversity of Omaha Beach has become iconic in the lore of the American soldier.