The 29th Infantry Division – the “Blue and Gray Division” – assault landed onto 27 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 leaders asserted themselves, and restored momentum to the attack.
The Assistant Division Commander, Brigadier General Norman D.Cota, was particularly inspirational and omni-present, earning the Distinguished Service Cross for his up-front leadership that day.
Soldiers clawed their way onto the bluffs overlooking the beaches, and outflanked German defenders blocking the draw at Vierville capable of passing vehicles from the beaches to higher ground.
By nightfall the division had captured Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer and was astride Route N514 along the bluffs above the beaches.