Men of D-Day

 Troop Carrier
Michael N. Ingrisano
Robert E. Callahan
Benjamin F. Kendig
John R. Devitt
Arthur W. Hooper
Ward Smith
Julian A. Rice
Charles E. Skidmore
Sherfey T. Randolph
Louis R. Emerson Jr.
Leonard L. Baer
Robert D. Dopita
Harvey Cohen
Zane H. Graves
John J. Prince
Henry C. Hobbs
John C. Hanscom
Charles S. Cartwright
 82nd Airborne
Leslie Palmer Cruise Jr.
Marie-T Lavieille
Denise Lecourtois
Howard Huebner
Malcolm D. Brannen
Thomas W. Porcella
Ray T. Burchell
Robert C. Moss
Richard R. Hill
Edward W. Shimko
 101st Airborne
John Nasea, Jr
David 'Buck' Rogers
Marie madeleine Poisson
Roger Lecheminant
Dale Q. Gregory
George E. Willey
Raymond Geddes
 Utah Beach
Joseph S. Jones
Jim McKee
Eugene D. Shales
Milton Staley
 Omaha Beach
Melvin B. Farrell
James R. Argo
Carl E. Bombardier
Robert M. Leach
Joseph Alexander
James Branch
John Hooper
Anthony Leone
George A. Davison
James H. Jordan
Albert J. Berard
Jewel M. Vidito
H. Smith Shumway
Louis Occelli
John H. Kellers
Harley A. Reynolds
John C. Raaen
Wesley Ross
Richard J. Ford
William C. Smith
Ralph E. Gallant
James W. Gabaree
James W. Tucker
Robert Watson
Robert R. Chapman
Robert H. Searl
Leslie Dobinson
William H. Johnson
 Gold Beach
George F. Weightman
Norman W. Cohen
Walter Uden
 Juno Beach
Leonard Smith
 Sword Beach
Brian Guy
 6th Airborne
Roger Charbonneau
Frederick Glover
Jacques Courcy
Arlette Lechevalier
Charles S. Pearson
Harvey Jacobs
William O. Gifford
Philippe Bauduin
Albert Lefevre
René Etrillard
Suzanne Lesueur


James Branch
Omaha Beach - Pfc, Hq Co, 1st Bn, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division

We boarded a Danish ship in Swansea Wales on the 5 June Sailed around the tip of England and up the English Channel on the 6 June 1944. Arriving at Omaha Beach at about Noon on the 6 June. Stayed aboard ship the night of 6 June and was both strafed and bombed while aboard this ship.

I came ashore on 7 June 1944 of the three Regiments of the Second Infantry division; the 9th and the 38th were the first to come ashore. At the time we came ashore everything that would float was floating in the surf. Gas mask, back packs, life preservers, dead bodies, body parts, spare tires and a multitude of other things. We were catching a lot of artillery fire from shore batteries that had not yet been knocked out.

The surf was rough and the landing craft was pitching wildly in the surf and making it hard for the coxwain to get the craft ashore in the appointed place. Our landing craft hit a sandbar some 50 yards out and thinking we were at the beach they lowered the ramp and I was intending to be the first one off, because it was rumoured aboard ship that the German gunners would zero in on a landing craft, and as soon as the ramp came down they would try to put a round in the landing craft and we were told on one occasion they succeeded killing all except one of the 100 men aboard that craft. I had positioned myself in the front of the craft and when the ramp went down I went off to the side going in over my head holding my rifle and ammo high. Finally straightening up I could hold my head back and wade ashore.

For the first 2 Hours it was utter chaos and confusion. Finally reaching our assembly point on 7 June we relieved units of the 1st Division North of Trevières.

Our first baptism of fire came on 9 June when we were ordered to attack south at High Noon. We encountered stiff resistance around Trevières. We were attacking without our heavy weapons, as they were to come ashore yet. We crossed the L'Aure River. After house-to-house battling in Trevières we then move to take Cerisy. Then we captured a road junction near Haute Littee cutting the Saint Lô Bayeux highway, then one our companies took the village of Vaucrevon. On our first 2 days in combat we advanced a total of 17 Kilometers. Not bad for a first time in combat Infantry Regiment without its Heavy weapons. Our aim was Saint Lô via hill 192, which is another story in itself.

We were greatly harassed by German sniper fire all the way. That gets us off the beach.

James Branch    (May 16, 2002)