June 6, 1944: D-Day invasion

On June 6, 1944, nearly 160,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed along a 50-mile stretch of the French coastline.

They were there to liberate Western Europe of Nazi Germany’s control in a battle on the beaches of Normandy.

It would later be known as D-Day.

The Herald went to press that evening with this:

SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCES, June 6 –(AP) The allies landed in the Normandy section of Northwest France early today and by evening had smashed their way inland on a broad front, making good a gigantic air and sea invasion against unexpectedly slight German opposition.

Four thousand ships and thousands of smaller landing craft took the thousands of American, British and Canadian seaborne forces from England to France under protection of 11,000 allied bombers and fighters who wrought gigantic havoc with the whole elaborate coastal defense system that the Nazis had spent four years building. Naval gunfire completed the job, and the beachheads were secured quickly.

Thousands of highly-trained troops leaped down well behind Nazi lines from carrier sky trains boring through the rainy, stormy night and a headquarters officer declared this “very large scale” operation was “carried out with great precision. Our losses in aircraft were extremely small. It was a fine job – very fine indeed.”

The Germans were known to have probably 1,750 fighters and 500 bombers to meet the attack. Why they did not use them at the start was not apparent, but allied airmen warned that a violent reaction might be expected soon, noting that Herman (sic) Goering in an order of the day had told his air forces, “The invasion must be beaten off even if the Luftwaffe (German aerial warfare branch) perishes.”

The Herald covered the war from its start from when Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939 to V-E Day (victory in Europe) to its end on V-J Day (victory in Japan).

See the June 6, 1944 edition of The Herald and others in our collection of historic front pages.

More in Local News

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

Camano Island man gets 18 years for role in drug ring

He was convicted of helping lead a drug distribution network in four Washington counties.

Lake Stevens man missing since beginning of January

Jason Michael Knox White hasn’t used his credit card or withdrawn money from his bank since then.

Most Read