D-Day: Landings

Robert Edlin was a member of the 2nd Ranger Battalion that joined the first wave of the assault on Omaha Beach. We join his story as he his assault craft becomes mired on a sandbar:

“Our assault boat hit a sandbar. I looked over the ramp and we were at least seventy-five yards from the shore, and we had hoped for a dry landing. I told the coxswain, “Try to get in further.” He screamed he couldn’t. That British seaman had all the guts in the world but couldn’t get off the sandbar. I told him to drop the ramp or we were going to die right there.
We had been trained for years not to go off the front of the ramp, because the boat might get rocked by a wave and run over you. So we went off the sides. I looked to my right and saw a B Company boat next to us with Lt. Bob Fitzsimmons, a good friend, take a direct hit on the ramp from a mortar or mine. I thought, there goes half of B Company.” More…