History| D-Day | June 6, 1944 | The United States Army




WWII Posters

World War II era poster portraying a row of men holding artillery shells reading, “Keep ‘em coming and right!” to encourage factory workers to work hard and practice quality control. U.S. Army World War II era poster portraying three women dressed for office work, industrial work, and manufacturing work, respectively, reading “Soldiers without guns,” suggesting women in the workforce are as important to the war effort as Soldiers on the front lines. A World War II era poster depicting a bald eagle in flight reading, “America Calling – Take your place in Civilian Defense,” encouraging Americans to join the Civil Defense effort. A World War II era poster depicting an exceptionally attractive woman in an Army uniform reading, “Enlist in a Proud Profession! Join the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. A lifetime Education Free! If you can qualify.” There is also an address listed. A World War II era poster depicting a Soldier in battle carrying a wooden crate reading, “Pass the ammunition. The Army needs more lumber,” encouraging members of the U.S. timber industry to continue to produce lumber at a high rate. A World War II era poster depicting a handsome young man in wearing a flight jacket, with bombers in the background reading, “O’er the ramparts we watch. United States Army Air Forces,” encouraging young men to volunteer to serve in the air corps. A World War II era poster depicting multiple artillery guns firing, each with an Allied flag on it reading, “United we are strong. United we will win,” suggesting the alliance comprised of Norway, Great Britain, the United States, China, the Soviet Union and Australia is strong enough to win the war. A U.S. Army World War II era poster depicting a drawing of a Soldier and a tank reading, “Help smash Hitler now! Invasion of Europe. (Voice bubble for Soldier saying …) Look! That’s where were need every ton of metal you can mine and smelt.”

U.S. Army Divisions

U.S. Allies

Airborne and Beach Assault

The Normandy beaches were chosen by planners because they lay within range of air cover, and were less heavily defended than the obvious objective of the Pas de Calais, the shortest distance between Great Britain and the Continent. Airborne drops at both ends of the beachheads were to protect the flanks, as well as open up roadways to the interior. Six divisions were to land on the first day; three U.S., two British and one Canadian. Two more British and one U.S. division were to follow up after the assault division had cleared the way through the beach defenses.

Disorganization, confusion, incomplete or faulty implementation of plans characterized the initial phases of the landings. This was especially true of the airborne landings which were badly scattered, as well as the first wave units landing on the assault beaches. To their great credit, most of the troops were able to adapt to the disorganization. In the end, the Allies achieved their objective.

    Medal of Honor

    Private Carlton W. Barrett

    Private Carlton W. Barrett

    Unit: 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

    Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in the vicinity of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France. On the morning of D-day Pvt. Barrett, landing in the face of extremely heavy enemy fire, was forced to wade ashore through neck-deep water. Disregarding the personal danger, he returned to the surf again and again to assist his floundering comrades and save them from drowning. Refusing to remain pinned down by the intense barrage of small-arms and mortar fire poured at the landing points, Pvt. Barrett, working with fierce determination, saved many lives by carrying casualties to an evacuation boat Iying offshore. In addition to his assigned mission as guide, he carried dispatches the length of the fire-swept beach; he assisted the wounded; he calmed the shocked; he arose as a leader in the stress of the occasion. His coolness and his dauntless daring courage while constantly risking his life during a period of many hours had an inestimable effect on his comrades and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

    First Lieutenant Jimmie W. Monteith, Jr.

    First Lieutenant Jimmie W. Monteith Jr.

    Unit: 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division

    Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, near Colleville-sur-Mer, France. 1st Lt. Monteith landed with the initial assault waves on the coast of France under heavy enemy fire. Without regard to his own personal safety he continually moved up and down the beach reorganizing men for further assault. He then led the assault over a narrow protective ledge and across the flat, exposed terrain to the comparative safety of a cliff. Retracing his steps across the field to the beach, he moved over to where 2 tanks were buttoned up and blind under violent enemy artillery and machinegun fire. Completely exposed to the intense fire, 1st Lt. Monteith led the tanks on foot through a minefield and into firing positions. Under his direction several enemy positions were destroyed. He then rejoined his company and under his leadership his men captured an advantageous position on the hill. Supervising the defense of his newly won position against repeated vicious counterattacks, he continued to ignore his own personal safety, repeatedly crossing the 200 or 300 yards of open terrain under heavy fire to strengthen links in his defensive chain. When the enemy succeeded in completely surrounding 1st Lt. Monteith and his unit and while leading the fight out of the situation, 1st Lt. Monteith was killed by enemy fire. The courage, gallantry, and intrepid leadership displayed by 1st Lt. Monteith is worthy of emulation.

    Technician Fifth Grade John J. Pinder, Jr.

    Technician Fifth Grade John J. Pinder Jr.

    Unit: 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division

    Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, near Colleville-sur-Mer, France. On D-day, Technician 5th Grade Pinder landed on the coast 100 yards off shore under devastating enemy machinegun and artillery fire which caused severe casualties among the boatload. Carrying a vitally important radio, he struggled towards shore in waist-deep water. Only a few yards from his craft he was hit by enemy fire and was gravely wounded. Technician 5th Grade Pinder never stopped. He made shore and delivered the radio. Refusing to take cover afforded, or to accept medical attention for his wounds, Technician 5th Grade Pinder, though terribly weakened by loss of blood and in fierce pain, on 3 occasions went into the fire-swept surf to salvage communication equipment. He recovered many vital parts and equipment, including another workable radio. On the 3rd trip he was again hit, suffering machinegun bullet wounds in the legs. Still this valiant soldier would not stop for rest or medical attention. Remaining exposed to heavy enemy fire, growing steadily weaker, he aided in establishing the vital radio communication on the beach. While so engaged this dauntless soldier was hit for the third time and killed. The indomitable courage and personal bravery of Technician 5th Grade Pinder was a magnificent inspiration to the men with whom he served.

    Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

    Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

    Unit: 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division

    Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.