‘The first sight I got of the beach, I was looking through a sort of slit up there, and it looked like a pall of dust or smoke hanging over the beach.’
Lt. Ray Nance, Executive Officer, 116th Infantry Regiment, US 29th Division

’…we were hearing noises on the side of the landing craft like someone throwing gravel against it. The German machine gunners had picked us up. Everybody yelled, ‘Stay down!’… I noticed the lieutenant’s face was a very gray color and the rest of the men had a look of fear on their faces. All of a sudden the lieutenant yelled to the coxswain, ‘Let her down!’ The ramp dropped. … ’
Pvt. H. W. Schroeder, 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Division

’… the craft gave a sudden lurch as it hit an obstacle and in an instant an explosion erupted. … Before I knew it I was in the water. … Only six out of 30 in my craft escaped unharmed. Looking around, all I could see was a scene of havoc and destruction. Abandoned vehicles and tanks, equipment strung all over the beach, medics attending the wounded, chaplains seeking the dead.’
Pvt. Albert Mominee, 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Division

‘There were… men there, some dead, some wounded. There was wreckage. There was complete confusion. I didn’t know what to do. I picked up a rifle from a dead man. As luck would have it, it had a grenade launcher on it. So I fired my six grenades over the cliff. I don’t know where they went but I do know that they went up on enemy territory.’
Pvt. Kenneth Romanski, 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Division

‘Face downward, as far as eyes could see in either direction, were the huddled bodies of men living, wounded, and dead, as tightly packed together as a layer of cigars in a box. … Everywhere, the frantic cry, ‘Medics, hey, Medics’ could be heard above the horrible din.’
Maj. Charles Tegtmeyer, Surgeon, 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Division

’…I crawled in over wounded and dead but I couldn’t tell who was who and we had orders not to stop for anyone on the edge of the beach, to keep going or we would be hit ourselves. … I ran into a bunch of my buddies from the company. Most of them didn’t even have a rifle. Some bummed cigarettes off of me. … The Germans could have swept us away with brooms if they knew how few we were and what condition we were in.’
Pvt. Charles Thomas, 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Division

—National D-Day Museum, New Orleans