We were loaded in barges off Normandy . . . when the assault boats started into the beach, we got everything . . . Artillery, machine guns, small arms fire, mortar shells, mines. They banged us up some on the way in . . . when the ramps went down men began to drop. —Pvt. George Gutschke to the Associated Press July 12, 1944

Channel Coast off Normandy. 0715 Hours.

The morning is raw and the Channel full of menace. Winds whip the sea. The sea seethes and writhes and heaves our assault barge into its transport with a clang.

And all over our barge doughboys retch.

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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. Continue reading