Omaha Beach - ‘Bloody Omaha’
Updated: Jun 6, 2019
Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944 is often remembered as ‘Bloody Omaha‘. Omaha was the bloodiest of the 5 beaches.
1,164 deaths and over 4,000 wounded.
Throughout the day operation, 36,000 troops were brought to shore through Omaha Beach, including 26 initial waves of 1,000 per wave. The beach invasion began just after 5 AM, and stopped near 3 PM, once the defenses were captured.
(View West toward Utah Beach)
It is emotional to stand here, recognizing many died, but it also feels very victorious. It was on this series of 5 beaches, Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, 75 years ago this week, the European war theater would begin to change. Complete victory would later follow as a result.
Standing here you can only imagine the fear of the Germans when Operation Overlord began. You gain scope and scale of the Operation, and can visualize how the channel must have looked with ships, planes and troops coming forward with such force.
You can also imagine the fear in the eyes of the United States troops who were committed to the plan. At Omaha Beach, you look up toward bunkers of artillery and machine gun defenses. You were a target from above. The first waves off the transport boats would find it challenging, with the majority of those first men not surviving the approach .
(Raymond kneeling where troops would have taken position if they made it to the beach. Many didn’t. This view is up toward the elevated horizon filled with defensive positions).
We recognize and thank the heroes, of Omaha Beach. Because of these heroes, we have what we do today.
(A memorial to the combat medics, who at low tide worked on troops behind these structures).
(View East toward Gold Beach).
(Omaha Beach consists of 3 villages, Vierville, St. Laurent and Colleville).
Did you know?
The story told is that Omaha Beach was named by one of the top Army Commanders, future General of the Army Omar Bradley. Based on a greeting he had the week prior with 2 Sergeants, 1 from Omaha, Nebraska and 1 from somewhere in Utah.
When it came time to name to the ‘beaches’,, he was given the letters O and U to name them with, and he remembered the conservation.
Omaha Beach and Utah Beach were the primary U.S. troop landing zones on D-Day.