16/1-ID – Omaha Beach – (Journal)

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Journal entries, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, June 1944, Normandy, France. (Raw Data)

0630- First wave lands on schedule on the beach of Normandy, France, and meets fierce resistance on beaches. Beach is under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. No advance made inland as beaches were fully covered by pillboxes and mine-fields just inland from beaches.

0730- Forward CP lands. Beach still under small arms and machine-gun fire. No advance made inland. Casualties extremely heavy. Slight artillery fire on the beach. Heavy machine-gun fire covering all exits and the entire beach.

0805- Rear CP lands. Beach still under heavy fire. CP established on beach and infiltration started thru right flank of area at small break thru. Minefield cleared out and all troops on beach commence moving of to flank.

0830- First four prisoners all from 8/916.Regiment (352.Infantry-Division), brought in.

1000- CP established just off beach on side of hill at [984895]. Battalions are moving forward, but are out of contact with regimental CP. Beach and entire territory still under heavy fire and companies are meeting heavy resistance. Several landing craft have received hits and troops still landing on the beach are receiving artillery fire, causing medium casualties. Things are becoming organized, however, and the situation is beginning to clear.

1055- 1/16-IR and 2/16-IR get contact with the Regimental CP and are moving forward slowly, hitting very heavy resistance.

1115- CO to CO 2/16 : Hold up at 38. Right, and we have contact with 2/16. The 5/916 is reported to be located at Surrain.

1135- Negative report to Division by radio.

1145- S-3 to EX 1/16 and 2/16: 18-IR has landed. They will go in on your right. They will take your objective. You dig in and prepare for a counter-attack, OK. Able Co is on the right, Charlie Co on the left, Baker Co following. We are still advancing slowly.

1145- S-3 to CO 2/16: I talked to Capt Smith and told him about the 18-IR. How soon can you move rear part of your CP here by us up forward? We have someone on the way back now to pick them up and guide them forward.

1205- EX 1/16 to CO: Can we get any tanks up to Colleville-sur-Mer? Able Co: No, none of them are up to here yet. They aren’t off the beach. However, as soon as we can possible get anything up, we will shoot it up to you. Kept yelling for it.

1210- CO Charlie Co and CO to S-3: We must have tanks or artillery up here soon. Will you see what you can do about it for us? Able Co, OK.

1220- Information received that the 3/18, was in, but location at the present time was not given. Probably only a rumor.

1223- MSG to CO 3/16 and 2/16. Has had units in Colleville-sur-Mer for some time. 1/16 Landed on the left of E-1 and is pushing in to assist the 2/16. In taking its objective.

1232- EX 1/16 to S-2. Able Co is at [678892]. Part of Baker Co is with them, and the rest is in reserve. We are going over to Point 19 first, and then towards 38. Charlie Co is at [681884], moving very slowly. Capt Merendino, Baker Co said he lost about 12 men from pillboxes firing on them. He couldn’t get contact with the Battalion. Maj Driscoll said he wanted him over on the right. Maj Driscoll to S-3: We are 100 yards NW of 20. We are still pushing.

1255- In with 3/16 by wire

1245- MSG to CG 1-ID: Prisoners stated that the CP 10/726.Regiment is at St Laurent-sur-Mer. CP 12/726.Regiment at Grandcamp-les-Bains. That is in the 116-IR Sector. 916.Regiment in sector of 16-IR. CP, 5/916.Regiment at Surrain. The 916.Regiment relieved the 915.Regiment two weeks ago.

1301- Out by wire with 2/16.

1312- 1/18-IR, lands and is passing thru the CP area, moving forward.

1318- Maj Lauten to 1/16: Lt Kolb is trying to find your CP and will follow the wire line up.

1326- S-3 to 2/16 Fwd: Where are you? CP is now moving forward. We are not in contact with them just now. They took a radio with them to keep in contact with us.

1327- S-3 to 1/16: Are you with Maj Driscoll now? No, he is at the forward CP and we can’t contact him now. However, I can give you the dope. Able Co pinned down by a strong point, just at the head of the draw at E-2, over by 20, west of Colleville. Baker Co is going along, sending a couple of sections over to help out Charlie Co. Charlie Co is 100 yards NW of Point 20. Naval Shore Fire Control Party is out with Maj Driscoll now. 2/16 is held down. We are in buildings S and E of 20. There is stuff all around. S-3: Artillery fire is coming in on the beach now. Well, I can’t see where it is coming from up here.

1355- White out by wire.

1422- More prisoners brought in. Prisoners have been coming in by twos and threes since the landing.

1425- MSG 2/16 to CO : Item Co held up at Point 8. Item Co unable to assemble forces to advance and has enemy infiltrating his position. Love Co same situation as Item Co. Item Co and Love Co are just beyond Point 9. Tanks and reinforcements needed. Time : 1330.

1440- 1/16 to S-2 Charlie Co the same as before, and Baker Co has moved up to the right of them. There is no other change.

1502- S-2 to 2/16: Have they cleaned out the town yet? Last report I had a half-hour ago was that they were just on the outskirts of the town. I will check by the 300 set and let you know

1515- 2/16 to S-2: Capt Dawson started into the town. He had a small counter-attack. He had a couple of sections as far as the church. Wozenski is trying to clean up. Dogtag is going thru the town. S-3: Half tracks are in. I am sending them up. What is you CP location? CP is at [683885]. We have contact with the 1/16 only by means of passing men. The 2/18, is passing through. Easy Co is working up on the right, between George Co and Red. We received information from a civilian that there were about 150 Jerries in Colleville-sur-Mer. We have only about 200 men left; 115 in George Co, 2 officers and 40 men in Easy Co, and 2 officers and 12 men in Fox Co. There are possibly 20 more around.

1540- 2/16 to S-2 : What is the latest with Blue ? Not so good. Part of Item Co didn’t land. Very low on strength.

1540- 1/16 to S-2 : Charlie Co is moving very slowly. Baker Co is on our right, moving slowly, because of machine gun fire. As far as we know, Able Co is in the same spot.

1640- S-2 to switchboard : Are we in with Danger Advance ? No, sir.

1725- In by wire with Decoy.

1800- Capt Smith, 1/16 to S-2: Maj Driscoll says we need stuff up here to take out these pillboxes. If we can’t get it, we will be held up. We’re leaving this for your consideration.

1830- 26-IR started landing on beach at 1830. A few enemy artillery shells landed near them along the beach. Shortly after, the cruisers and artillery guns opened up for a short period of time.

1935- Cruisers and ships firing heavy counter battery on guns firing on beach.

1940/- Enemy barrage of artillery landing along the beach where the troops are landing. Casualties light.

2045- S-4 to Danger 6: Do you have an ammunition supply? We don’t have any as of yet. S-4: Do you have any transportation in yet? No. We are getting some in on DUWKs and as soon as they come in, we will send out one of the DUWKs with ammunition. It will come in at E-1.

2048- Delight line is out.

2100- Capt Robbins to Maj Heath: A German prisoner had two maps on him with 3 spots underlined. Believe they are strong points. These are at [659874], in vicinity of the road; [665874], running along the road junction and road north of it at [666875]; and at Surrain, they had underlined around [670859]. Very little change.

2115- Col Pickett, Div Sig, to Mr Wiles? What is your equipment status? We are very short on our signal equipment. All the men that were carrying equipment were hit and we had to salvage what we could off the beach. Col Pickett: OK. I will try to get you another signal crew and what equipment I can.

2124- Capt Bour, White 1, to S-1 : Any improvement on the evacuation of wounded ? If at all possible, we will send them out to the ships tonight. Send them up to us as soon as you can, and we will take care of getting them out.

2140- S3 18-IR to S3 : Williamson is located just north of goose egg on your map. One company at [702872], one at [702872], one at [695873], and one at [788875]. They are advancing to the high ground and then will move toward the West. We are holding back out 1/16. Do you have anyone in Colleville ? Not that we know. S3 18-IR : Is your 2/16 at [682878] and your 1/16 at [679878] ? Yes, that is right.

2145- Danger 2 to S2: What’s the situation in front of you? Very vague. There is a pillbox in the draw near Colleville, and its causing us trouble. G2: Is the enemy close to the edge of Colleville? The 18-IR is at the top of the hill south of Colleville, but our right flank is still held by the enemy. There is no enemy North of the road except at E-3 exit, where there is a pillbox. There’s a heavy gun at Formigny and a few small ones at Russy. A few tanks were seen yesterday in Colleville. G2: What about your left company? They are on the edge of Le Hamel. G2: Did you run into any tanks? No reports of any today. We got prisoners from 10/916 and 14/916 is the only company we are in contact with now. G2: There is a lot of shelling from the southeast and the Maisy area.

2205- G3 to S3: Any more dope on your two units near Colleville? The general says that place must be cleaned out tonight. The 18-IR two battalions in front of you. No, no more dope on that.

2242- Danger 4 to S3: Do you know where the temporary vehicle area is? Yes. It is at Ex-1. Capt Fish has been out there. G4: I’m setting up a temporary ammunition dump there. The ammunition will be rationed. Do you know anything about the 116-IR? Yes. They are getting along OK. They are southwest of St Laurent.

2255- Capt Toby 7-FAB to S2: I had a report from a Medic that people in St Laurent had 29 Jerries billeted with them. They left tonight and were to meet in Louvieres.

2257- S2 to danger 2: Col Evans, we had a report from the 7-FAB, who talked to some civilians who said that the 29 officers who had been billeted at St Laurent. They were gone tonight and the officers were to meet at Louvieres.

2300- Maj Tegtmeyer to Col Ficchy: We are not able to evacuate any of our people. There are no evacuation facilities at the beach and something must be done. We will try and see that this is taken care of at once.

2310- CO 2/16 to S2: Can you give me any dope? Yes. Two battalions of the 18-IR are on that hill by you. OK. People are infiltrating. We are digging in and need reorganization. Tell the Colonel.

2310- Air raid on ships, beach, and short distance inland.

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