World War II History: Faces From The Beach – 06 June 1944


My father’s generation accomplished some cool stuff, but were they really the Greatest Generation? – I hope not.

I hope that Millennials and each succeeding generation of Americans far exceed the accomplishments of the last but it is hard to argue with the humble patriotism, intestinal fortitude and tenacity of the WW2 generation.

On 6 June, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed on the Normandy coastline.

Covert operatives had been inserting in preparation for the invasion since the previous summer.

Two divisions of Paratroopers dropped in the night of the 5th/6th.

Nearly 20,000 Ships and Aircraft were involved in delivering troops by landing craft, Parachute and Glider. Jedburghs and other OSS/SOE teams jumped in early to set up networks to pave the way for Paratroopers and the main invasion.

Over 9,000 allied troops were killed or wounded in a 36 hour period.

I have known literally hundreds of WW2 veterans over my decades. Growing up as a diplomat’s kid in the 60’s meant about 90% of my father’s friends and associates were WW2 vets.

I will say one thing for my father’s generation;  if they weren’t the greatest …they were absolutely the most loyal and the most humble.

You never saw one of them with a tailgate full of “I’m a veteran — Thank Me bumper stickers and the one-upmanship and cannibalistic nature of many Veterans and Veteran’s groups, just didn’t exist until the last 10 years.

The old guard had no such needs.

They never bothered to talk about their exploits – You could know one of them all your life and all of a sudden at their wake, someone else will tell you they earned a Croix de Guerre or the Navy Cross or made the “Bataan Death March.

I guess they just never felt the need to toot their own horn.

Four Medals of Honor were earned on D-day but tens of thousands of acts of courage and selfless devotion to country and fellow Soldier took place between the water and victory.

In an effort to Honor each and every one of them I thought I would point out a few of those scared kids who made that invasion and proved themselves on the field of battle.

Take a close look at the faces – You might even recognize one or two of them.

Read the Remainder at Havok Journal



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