D-Day: Utah Beach
US Army Take Tare Green and Uncle Red
The westernmost of the five code-named landing beaches in Normandy, Utah is on the Cotentin Peninsula, west of the mouths of the Douve and Vire rivers. Amphibious landings at Utah were undertaken by United States Army VII Corps, with the amphibious assault led primarily by the US 4th Infantry Division and 70th Tank Battalion, supported by airborne landings of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division. The intention was to rapidly seal off the Cotentin Peninsula, prevent the Germans from reinforcing Cherbourg, and capture the port as quickly as possible. Allied forces attacking Utah faced two battalions of the 919th Grenadier Regiment, part of the 709th Static Infantry Division. While improvements to fortifications had been undertaken under the leadership of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel beginning in October 1943, the troops assigned to defend the area were mostly poorly equipped non-German conscripts.
The first troops to reach the shore were four companies from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry, arriving at 06:30 on 20 LCVPs. Companies B and C landed on the sector codenamed Tare Green, and Companies E and F to their left on Uncle Red. Captain Leonard T. Schroeder, leading Company F, was the first man to reach the beach.
Military Units Featured
4th Infantry Division
The 4th Infantry Division is a division of the United States Army based at Fort Carson, Colorado. Originally created during World War I, it is currently composed of a Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, three brigade combat teams (1st Stryker BCT, 2nd Infantry BCT, and 3rd Armored BCT), a Combat Aviation Brigade, the 4th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, and a Division Artillery. The 4th Infantry Division’s official nickname, “Ivy”, is a play on words of the Roman numeral IV.
Military Personnel Featured
Leonard T. Schroeder
Leonard T. “Max” Schroeder Jr. (July 16, 1918 – May 26, 2009) was a colonel in the United States Army, who served on active duty from 1941 to 1971. As a captain during World War II, he commanded Company F of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division in the Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944, landing on Utah beach in France. Leading the men of his company, Schroeder was the first American soldier to come ashore from a landing craft in the D-Day invasion.
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