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D-Day Documents

1st Division - 16th Regiment - 1st Battalion - Headquarters Company - After Action Report

On 6 June 1944 at 0800 the forward C.P. group of the 1st Battalion 16th Infantry landed on the left side of Easy Red – Omaha Beach. The machine gun and rifle fire was terrific and men were being hit from the front and flanks as they left the LCVP’s. Men who were carrying the heavier loads of equipment such as wire and radios seemed to be the ones that were hit more often because they could not move as fast as the rest. Upon reaching the beach it was found that there were many men from the first assault unit still laying there. Some were going back into the water to get wounded men, ammunition and equipment. There were not sufficient exits cleared through the wire entanglements and mine fields to remove the men quickly from the beach at the time we arrived. They made their own exits by blowing wire and going through mine fields.

After this section was reorganized as much as possible, it moved through the exit by the house and proceeded to a point about 200 yards inland. A check was made of the equipment and men and it was found that only three miles of wire remained. A wire team was sent to lay wire to C Company and one to A Company. One team laid a line back to the telephone communication. The radio section attempted to establish a net with regiment but it was found that the SCR 284 radio had been damaged, and the unit had to depend upon the telephone communication from battalion to regiment for the rest of the day. The man carrying the message center SOI and the radio operator carrying a SCR 300 radio was shot before reaching the beach. That left one SCR 300 radio in the Battalion CP which was used to contact the companies who had not lost their radios and radio operators.

After leaving the first assembly point the forward CP group proceeded to the first road running parallel with the beach. The assault companies had crossed this road but there was still much sniping in this area. After staying there for a short period of time the Battalion C.O. then moved out behind Company C which was moving south. After reaching a point about three hundred yards south Colleville, the first forward CP was established and remained there until the following day, 7 June 1944. The CP group then moved about one half mile south of Colleville and Regiment moved into the old CP location. There was some enemy artillery fire falling near the CP during the night, and there was also quite a bit of snipping going on in that vicinity. We remained in that location until the following night.