1st Division - 16th Regiment - 1st Battalion - A Company - Account

At approximately 0530 hours on 6 June 1944 the company disembarked from the USS Samuel Chase for the invasion of France. Company A was the assault company of the reserve battalion and landed on Easy Red beach at H+70 (0740 hours). After landing on the beach and finding the assault waves still on the beach Captain Pence ordered the Company to pass through the assault waves and beach obstacles and seize the first high ground. In moving his Company off the beach, Captain Pence was wounded and the company carried on under Lieutenant Dillon all the time being under heavy enemy concentrations of artillery, mortar, machine gun and sniper fire. While moving through an anti-tank ditch (which was mined) and through a mine field, Lieutenant McElyea and Lieutenant Webne were wounded together with approximately 45 EMs from mines and small arms fire. The company pushed on to the high ground and toward a sector of the 2nd Battalion’s objective. After reaching the high ground the company was up against numerous enemy machine gun nests which had to be cleared out before advancing. Technical Sergeant Benn, taking over the 4th Section after Lieutenant McElyea became a casualty, was ordered to clear out a wood from which we were receiving enemy fire. Technical Sergeant Benn and a least three others became casualties when Lieutenant Webne and his section were sent in to assist the fourth section, where he and his section became pinned down. Lieutenant Long and Lieutenant Hinchcliffe flanked the enemy positions. In clearing out one of these machine gun positions, Lieutenant Long and part on his section were caugh in enemy machine gun cross fire, where he and his men became wounded, captured, or killed. Lieutenant Hinchcliffe and his section came on line with Lieutenant Long and proceeded to assist in knocking out the enemy machine guns. After some time, friendly fire opened up on the flanks, thus distracting the enemy and allowing Lieutenant Hinchcliffe and his section to withdraw, losing about three Enlisted men. The enemy apparently withdrew so the company continued advancing, still meeting some resistance but succeeding in pushing through and reaching the objective, where the company again ran into fairly enemy resistance, composed of several machine guns., machine pistols, and snipers. The company took up the fight placing rocket, mortar, anti-tank grenade, and small arms fire on the emplacements and succeeding in silencing the enemy machine guns in the area, leaving only occasional sniper fire or the remainder of the night. Here the company halted and the men and officer rested the rest of the night. Lieutenant Kolb joined and assumed command of the company just prior to reaching the objective with Lieutenant Jones and excess men of the company. During the night it became necessary to outpost the company front. Lieutenant Hinchcliffe and his section were ordered to undertake this mission and, after leaving the company, sere lost, and he dug in for the night about ¼ mile to the company front. He had small fire fights throughout the night and succeeded in knocking out at least one enemy machine gun nest with mortar fire. At daylight contact was made with him and the company advanced approximately ½ mile where it was ordered to patrol all surrounding fields, hedges, woods, roads, and trails with one mile to the front and the small gap between the company and the 18th Infantry. This mission was carried on throught the day and night.