Omaha Beach, Exit E1, Ruguet Valley
"The Bunker" June 6, 1994
June 6, 1944...."We began our run onto Omaha Beach.....A short while later a shell exploded about 20 feet away on my side. Somebody had targeted us.....we were soon ashore.....In minutes the entire platoon was ashore. The noises of mortars and German Machine guns were louder and as I looked ahead the shore was littered with landing ships and craft. All aflame. I didn't know where to look first when I looked up on the Bluffs ahead and spotted a bunker that looked to me to be built into the hills.....Captain Napier was standing near me and he said "Go Get it".....I took up a position behind the rangefinder and in an instant we opened fire. We missed our first three shots as a shell went past us. I made an adjustment on the rangefinder and the next 15 shots went right into the gun port of the bunker. All the time my M16 were firing their 4 50 caliber machine guns at the bunker. No doubt the Bunker was dead."
For the 50th anniversary of D Day We had installed a Battalion Plaque above the gun port of the Bunker we knocked out. My Battalion is the 467th Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion (SP). We are probably the only Separate Battalion to have a memorial plaque on Omaha Beach. The marks made by the 50 cal machine guns on the inside are still visible today. You might see pictures of the bunker if you look for pictures taken of Exit E1 in the Ruquet Valley. That is practically on the dividing line of Easy Red and Easy Green Beaches. The Bunker is on the side of the road leading off the Beach on the way to St. Laurent. Of course we had permission from The Battle Monument Commission and the people of St. Laurent to place the plaque. I am still in touch with the Mayor of St. Laurent: Jean Martin. The Mayor got out all the people he could from St Laurent, Colleville and Viereville for the Unveiling of the plaque and that night they threw a gala dinner dance for us. What a memory.
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