For months the world had awaited the news that was to flash to every corner of the civilized world on the morning of 6 June 1944. The aerial assault of Europe had begun in 1942, and an ever increasing avalanche of high explosive and incendiary bombs was dropping on German factories, railroad centers, and big cities. The "rocket coast" of France, from which the flying bombs were planned to be launched against London, was pounded daily by a constant shuttle of bombers from England. Fighter planes swept across France attacking enemy planes and transportation on the ground and literally driving enemy fighters from the sky. Then, during the darkness of the early morning of June 6th, a new aerial blow was struck.
In bivouac areas, the battalion heard wave after_ wave of bombers, a continuous roar, then troop carriers, gliders, 8oo and more, carrying the 82nd. and 101st. Airborne Divisions to Carentan and the Cotentin Peninsula where in a few hours troops of assault Force U would land. The invasion had begun. Meanwhile, the vast armada carrying the seaborne elements was assembling some eight miles off shore, undetected by the enemy. With a hum of motors, the craft bearing the leading waves of assault troops circled and then churned off, leaving white wakes on the dark sea. Wave upon wave followed, amphibious tanks, LCVP's, LCM's, LCT's, LST's, each baring a chosen group of men and equipment. The guns of naval ships flashed and roared, big guns of such vessels as the battleships USS Nevada and Arkansas, and the heavy cruisers USS Tuscaloosa and Quincy. The earth and sky roared and trembled with tons of explosives. In the face of overwhelming allied air superiority, the German Air Force was unable to operate except in small nuisance flights, chiefly at night.
Troops streamed ashore, battled their way across submerged hazards, beach obstacles and with a heroism unsurpassed in history linked up with airborne troops to make a firm beachhead on Fortress Europe. As the build-up continued, the beachhead enlarged until in a few days it was time for the heavy armor to come ashore to break out with the greatest succession of sustained drives the world had ever seen. The Third Armored Division was alerted and moved to the Marshalling areas.