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June 6, 1944

June 6, 1944

June 6, 1944 marks the 76th Anniversary of Allied Forces landing on a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified Normandy coastline. Comprising British, Canadian and American soldiers, the invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history with more than 73,000 American soldiers making the initial landings with the support of nearly 7,000 US Navy vessels. Although Marine Corps involvement in the Pacific theater of World War II is well known, there were some Marines that participated in the European campaign as well. Marine Major General Robert O. Bare was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts on D-day and obtaining valuable intel as an observer attached to British Assault Force J. See these photos from the Robert O. Bare Collection depicting what he saw on the beaches of Normandy!

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Bill O’Neill - July 5, 2020

My Dad and LCT 544 took infantry scouts and beach engineers with bulldozer and jeeps, originally scheduled to land on Easy Green, landed instead on Easy Red and remained to load a 112 wounded and took them out to the transports designated as hospitals. He passed in April of last year.

Chris A WESLING - July 5, 2020

I never knew any Marines were in Europe in WW11. My Father was active duty Marine from 1942-1972 & retired MGY/SGT. Saipan/Tinian, Iwo-Jima, Korea, & Vietnam. Sempr-Fidelis Marines

MSgt Edd Prothro, USMC Ret. 1964-1984 - July 5, 2020

My father, like many WWII vets, seldom spoke of his experiences during the war, even though he reentered active duty as a Warrant Officer from 1948 to 1952. Except when the movie “D-Day The 6th of June” was released in 1956. That’s when I first overheard he, my uncles and friends discuss the operation, mostly related to the degree of authenticity, or lack of, which the movie portrayed. That is also when I learned that his cousin, Hernan Prothro, was KIA on Omaha Beach during the invasion. Much later, after I joined the Marines, one of those uncles-in-law, Jake Scheer, expressed his great displeasure with the Marines performance at Omaha Beach on D-Day. As his name implies, he was of German heritage and spoke the language fluently. Therefore, he was assigned to an infantry unit as an interpreter, was captured on 6 June and spent the entire war as a POW. I never fully understood why he was pissed at the Marines, because I was surprised to learn any were involved in Operation Overlord. But, it had something to do with instructions from the Beach Masters (similar to Shore Party Battalions) who had directed their unit into a particularly hot and hostile area inland, where most of them were subsequently captured. That’s the only time I had heard of Marine Corps involvement on D-Day, but I guess it makes sense because we were supposed to be more well versed in amphibious operations. I’ve always had the greatest respect and honor for all of them that fought in WWII. Semper Fi!!!

Bob 1381 - July 5, 2020

My uncle was in the U.S. Army and landed at Normandy on D-Day. He drove a bulldozer and was supposed to clear a road around the cliffs for other vehicles to get to the top. Before he got across the beach an artillery round hit his bulldozer sending tiny cable shards through his body and taking out one of his eyes. After 3 days on the beach and 28 days in England he was back in Europe with a glass eye and a new bulldozer. He went on to earn two more Purple Hearts, one at the Battle Of The Bulge and another during another battle somewhere else in Europe. I always looked up to him as he was the only other member of my immediate family to see war. Bob 1381, Vietnam 66-67.

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