Restaurant Le Roosevelt - Utah Beach

The history of Utah Beach : dangers
Testimonies of Roger Chagnon, NOIC's veteran

L'organisation de la plage d'Utah Beach

Most invasion stories, written over the years on land operations, focused mainly on the activities of the Army and rightfully so. However, the Navy Amphibious Forces, i.e., NOIC and NBB men also had critical and equally dangerous roles. Early landings of the men would make them targets of artillery shelling, bombing, beach obstacles and small arms fire by the enemy. Fortunately, the beac landings were approximately one mile to the left of their intended location with the result that, resistance was much less than anticipated and with significantly less number of casualties. Still, the men sought empty foxholes many times oer during the first week to seek shelter from bombing raids and particularly enemy artillery shells coming in at random times to the beach area. Casualty losses for all units of the Navy Amphibious Forces area difficult to determine for many reasons but some information on the casualties of the 2nd NBB communications or medical units. As for NOIC, unofficial reports estimate 5 casualty losses. One sustained wouds from artillery shelling. Another loss was that of a radioman who had previous service in the African campaign and who was hospitalzed for battle fatigue minutes after a bombing raid by the Germans.

Le débarquement des hommes

In addition, three British sailors assigned as liason to NOIC were coming ashore on their landing craft when it washit by enemy fire and swamped with some loss of lives. Replacements for the three sailors showed up 2 or 3 weeks later and operated with the NOIC Group for about 1 month. Casualties for the NOIC men were comparatively small... thanks largely to landing on the wrong part of the beach.

The army and Navy men on Utah Beach owe a debt of gratitude to the 101st Airborne Division because it is known that on D-Day, a parachute infantry company of that Division eliminated a German 4-gun battery which was firing 105mm artillery shells near the center of the Utah Beach landings. Although it did no take care of all artillery problems, many lives were probably saved as a result of that action. Coinciding with American troop advances inland, artillery shelling and bombings diminished considerably in the Utah Beach area.

Apart from the bombing, the shelling and the ever-present danger of stepping on a land mine, there were many unforgettable scenes such as long columns of German POWs marching to a stockade and the wounded and the dead being transported on top of jeeps to the beach area for evacuation to England. There was also the sight of trucks, jeeps, buldozers and other equipment scattered all over the beaches and of troops landing and moving ahead to the front. An unforgettable event occured about 200 to 300 meters behind the Roosevelt Restaurant, where six Americans and one german soldier were found dead in a large hole, buried under a mound of sand, either the victims of a shell or a bomb. The sight was gruesome and brought tears to the onlookers knowing that these young boys were full of life just days before.

The bunker - Dangers - Conditions - Recreations - Restaurant

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