Biography of Mike McKinney

1st Plat., L Co., 16th Inf. Regt., 1st Inf. Div., U.S.A.

     My dad is named Mike McKinney. He landed on Omaha Beach in the first wave of assault troops. He was a Sgt. in the 1st platoon of L Company, 16th Infantry, 1st. Division. Nineteen of the men in his platoon were killed before their boat even reached the beach. His LCI was hit twice by enemy fire. He remembers climbing over the dead bodies of his comrades to get out of the boat. An article in " Stars and Stripes " confirms that he was the first to come ashore in that section of Omaha Beach. He won the Silver Star that day for " traversing the beach, unmindful of his own safety " in an attempt to rally his men. During the war he won another Silver Star and two Bronze Medals. He was also wounded on D Day and won one of the three Purple hearts he was to receive. His best friend was killed on the beach that day right in front of him and is buried in the cemetary overlooking Omaha Beach. After he and his men took out the German pillbox and finally got off the beach he took out a patrol and linked up with some British troops. One of the first things they said to him was, " Have a spot of tea Yank . " He has spoken of how he never thought he was doing more that day than " just doing his job ." He is probably right. He and his men trained for a specific task and they executed it. But the soldier always focuses on the immediate; what is there in front of him. It is history that sees the grand scale and binds up all the collective " just doing my jobs " into magnificent events like D Day. Thank you for taking an interest in the veterans of WW2.

--- Tom McKinney E mail Omahabeach @ aol.com

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