05:00 – June 6, 1944

05:00 – June 6, 1944

Update of Overnight Operations

00:05 H – Allied air forces begin bombing of coastal batteries between Le Havre and Cherbourg.
00:10 H – reconnaissance groups dropped by parachute – Lieutenant Poole becomes first allied soldier to set foot on French soil.
00:20 H – British commandos under the command of Major Howard arrive by glider and begin attacks on Pegasus and other bridges over the River Orne.

Allied Glider

01:00 H – U.S. 82nd Airborne Division lands by parachute west of Saint Mere Eglise.

C47 Dakota

C-47 Dakota ( a military version of the DC-3) used to transport airborne troops to Normandy at: Musee des Troupes Aeroportees – Sainte Mere Eglise

01:11 H – First reports of American airborne assault reach headquarters of the German 84th Army Corps at Saint Lo.
01:30 H – U.S. 101ST Airborne Division lands by parachute near Utah Beach.
01:50 H – Main body of the British 6TH Airborne Division lands by parachute east of the River Orne.
02:45 H – Troops bound for Omaha Beach board landing craft.
03:00 H – Allied warships arrive at assigned positions for the assault.
03:20 H – Heavy equipment and reinforcements for paratroops arrive by glider.
03:25 H – German naval observers report presence of Allied task force off the coast of Normandy.
03:50 H – British paratroops begin attack on the village of Ranville.
04:30 H – Sainte Mere Eglise captured by 505th Regiment, U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. Marcouf islets off Utah Beach occupied by Americans.

“(American) paratroopers began jumping out by the hundreds. I saw one paratrooper land in the road but a German killed him before he could get untangled from his parachute. Another (paratrooper) was as killed near me. I will never forget the sight.” – Raymond Paris, resident of St. Mère-Eglise

04:45 H – Two miniature submarines drop off beachmasters and equipment for signaling landing craft. British knockout German shore battery at Merville.

22:00 – June 5, 1944

Commencement of Operation Neptune – Five fleets of assault ships cast off and depart their English port bases.

“We slipped anchor and headed into the Channel to overtake the grey columns of troops transports and landing craft, which now stretched to the horizon and beyond. They filled the scene as far as the eye could see. Overhead, the sky was filled with an aerial armada of bombers.”

John Gough, radio operator on board a destroyer.

LCI Convoy - D-Day

04:00 – June 5, 1944

General Eisenhower gives the go-ahead for the invasion. The plan drawn up expected 132,715 troops to be landed on five beaches with 23,400 paratroopers to be dropped further inland. 6,483 ships were involved.

In case the invasion fails, Eisenhower prepares a statement that reads:

“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Harve area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. If any blame or fault attaches to this attempt, it is mine alone.”

Gen Eisenhower addressing US Paratroopers prior to D-Day.

Gen Eisenhower addressing US Paratroopers prior to D-Day.