REMEMBERING D-DAY

On June 6, 1944, my dad – Pvt. George C. Gutschke, is a member of the 29th Infantry Division, assigned to the Western Task Force: Assault Force B.

Allied planners intend Assault Force B to land on Omaha Beach in the evening of June 6 and the morning of June 7 to mop up German resistance and reinforce the beachhead; Maj. Gen. Charles Gerhardt, however, argues the original invasion plan does not put sufficient forces on Omaha Beach in the early morning should German troops mount stiff resistance. General Omar Bradley agrees ordering elements of Force B to sail with Force O so they might be committed to the battle if necessary.

In addition to the 115th Regiment from Force B, elements of the 175th Regiment sail with Force O. These include elements of the 175th Regimental Combat Team, the 175th Regimental Headquarters, and Companies George, How, and King. As news of the impending disaster on Omaha Beach reach the commanders watching the landing offshore, Maj. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow commits his reserve from Assault Force B.

My dad is part of a BAR fire-team in the 1st Platoon of the King Company. of the 175th Regiment. And sometime between 0700 and 0730 Hours, my dad’s LVCP leaves LST 337 and heads towards a sector of Omaha Beach codenamed Easy Red.

Through the years, my dad and I attempted to reconcile his personal experiences of D-Day with the big picture from various history books. He often told me his LVCP must have missed its landing sector since he began D-Day as a member of the 29th Infantry and ended the longest day fighting with the 1st Infantry. But my research shows that the target sector for LST 337 was indeed Easy Red, the target sector for the 1st Infantry Division.

Over the years, I have tried writing several accounts of his experiences and unfortunately, all of them have been lifeless. So before he died, I committed myself to writing his stories in the style of his two favorite writers—war correspondent, Ernie Pyle and Doc Savage author, Lester Dent. He always told me his stories in an impressionistic style and skipped around so I have decided to retell them as short stories rather than a long narrative.

I hope to do justice to his memory and his memories.