2nd Ranger Battalion
Plot J, Row 6, Grave 4
1stSgt. Henry S. Golas was a member of the 2ndRanger Battalion that was assigned the mission of mounting the cliffs and attacking the guns of Pointe du Hoc.
After marrying his wife, Genevieve, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Golas volunteered for the 2ndRanger Battalion, a group of men known for their incredible physical and mental fitness. Golas advanced through the ranks and was soon promoted to first sergeant of Company ‘C’.
In preparation for D-Day, the men of the 2ndRanger Battalion were trained to scale the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and at Pointe de la Percée. It was a dangerous but necessary mission to be carried out. He trained with his men for a year before heading to Normandy.
The 2ndBattalion landed at Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6. Witnesses confirm that Golas never made it to the cliffs. He paused at the water’s edge to help and encourage his men. As Ronald Lane describes in his book Rudder’s Rangers, “Golas was still at the water’s edge when suddenly he was hit by machine gun bullets. He raised his rifle and started charging across the sand, determined and in pain. The German machine gunner continued to fire, hitting Golas with every step he took. He fell to his knees, tried to raise his rifle but couldn’t, and then he fell forward as though with his last breath he wanted to continue the charge.”
Awards: Purple Heart
Henry S. Golas is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot J, Row 6, Grave 4.