Utah Beach

Utah Beach

Utah Beach

Utah Beach was the code name for the right flank of the Allied landing beaches during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, as part of Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944. Utah was added to the invasion plan toward the end of the planning stages, when more landing craft became available.

Despite being substantially off course, the US 4th Infantry Division (part of VII Corps) landed with relatively little resistance.

The first troops to reach shore were from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry. Captain Leonard T. Schroeder, leading Company F, was the first man from a landing craft to reach the beach.The 1st Battalion landed a few minutes later. Both came ashore considerably south of the designated beaches. The 2nd Battalion should have hit Uncle Red Beach opposite Exit 3. The 1st Battalion was supposed to land directly opposite the strong-point at les Dunes de Varreville. The landings, however, were made astride Exit 2 about 2,000 yards (1,800 metres) south.

Some 20 minutes after the first waves, British Royal Marine Commandos from 30 Commando Assault Unit, under the command of Captain G. Pike, landed at the beach. Their mission was the capture of a German radar station at Douvres-la-Delivrande.

Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., assistant commander of the 4th Division, had requested several times, against his commander's best judgement, to go in the first wave and personally lead the initial attack on the beach strong points. His written request was finally approved by General Barton, 4th Division Commander.

By the end of D-Day, some 23,250 troops had safely landed on the beach, along with 1,700 vehicles. About 200 casualties were recorded during the landings.

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