The 8th Infantry Division embarked from Northern Ireland beginning 30 June, and debarked across Utah Beach beginning 4 July.
It assumed control of the town of La Hayedu- Puits from the 79th Infantry Division on 9 July, and then attacked south to secure high ground overlooking the Ay River and potential crossing sites.
The attack progressed slowly and with great difficulty through the tough bocage terrain, ably defended by determined German soldiers in mutually supporting positions.
The Germans counterattacked fiercely, hoping to force the American infantrymen off recently captured ground before they could properly organize it.
The Americans beat back these counterattacks and continued their own advance, maintaining their momentum and by-passing the most difficult or isolated strong points initially, intending to mop them up later.
By 14 July the 8th Infantry Division fought its way onto the ridge overlooking the Ay River, occupied it, and began reconnoitering potential crossing sites.
Photo: Officers of the 3rd Battalion, 28th Infnatry Regiment in Northern Irleand, thought to be taken at Crom Castle. Platoon Leader Lt. Turner (at far right) was killed in Normandy and is burried next to his brother in the cemetary at Omaha Beach. Platoon Leader Lt. Gawne eventually took over L Company in Brittany before being severly woudned and sent home.