June 6, 1944: Allied troops invade on D-Day

Seventy years ago today, Allied troops charged onto the beaches of Normandy, France, in an historic assault that came to be known as D-Day. It marked the beginning of the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June to August of 1944 and eventually ended with the Allied liberation of Europe.

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower told his troops. “The eyes of the world are upon you.”

American, British and Canadian troops stormed a total of five beaches. The one that posed the biggest struggle — and perhaps the one most people associate with D-Day — was Omaha beach, where 2,000 Allied troops lost their lives and many more were wounded.

Some of the only photos from the Omaha beach landing were taken by war photographer Robert Capa, who was working for LIFE magazine at the time. The darkroom technician handling Capa’s film worked in haste and accidentally ruined all but 11 of the photos. You can read about Capa’s assignment and see the photos here.

The front page of The Herald on June 6, 1944, is mostly war coverage. A local story told of the D-Day services planned by Everett churches:

“The majority of the residents of the city went to bed last evening with the knowledge that the German radio had said that the invasion had started. There was no official confirmation from allied headquarters in England. Those who remained up naturally were thrilled at the historic news.

Dean Thomas E. Jessett, rector of Trinity Episcopal church, was awakened by one of his parishoners (sic) shortly after 1 a.m. and requested to toll the church bell. Trinity has no bell.

This morning those walking to work and those riding to their places of employment were for the most part somber, revealing full recognition of the enormity of the task ahead of General Eisenhower’s combined armies in France. The solemnity of recognition will continue throughout the day. Everett’s churches will be open at 8 o’clock tonight for special prayers for the fighting forces of the allied nations now invading Europe and for those forces fighting the valiant fight in other theaters around the world.”

More in Local News

Spring start set for big Everett apartment complex

The building will be eight stories tall, with seven of those visible from Broadway.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Amtrak service from Seattle north unaffected by DuPont wreck

Sound Transit reported no disruptions for its Sounder commuter trains serving Edmonds and Seattle.

Two from Oak Harbor killed in head-on, 2-car crash

One car crossed the center line, hitting the other car. Both drivers died.

Clues in recovered backpack help identify robbery suspect

Police find a ticket with the man’s name on it after an attempted shoplifting at a Safeway.

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

County budget takes effect without Somers’ signature

The council passed its version with unanimous support and could have overridden an executive veto.

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Most Read