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Amphibious Landings on Utah Beach

2nd Army Division lands on Utah Beach, debarks from LST. August 1-2, 1944.

The amphibious landings on the various beaches were staggered in time in order to take into account tidal variations. H-hour for the assault on Utah Beach was set for 6:30 a.m., an hour earlier than the scheduled landings on the British beaches. After receiving fire from German shore batteries for some minutes, however, at 5:36 Rear Admiral Morton L. Deyo, USN, the commander of the bombardment group off Utah, ordered his ships to return fire. The American battleship Nevada, a survivor of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the two American heavy cruisers Tuscaloosa and Quincy and several British warships began firing their pre-landing bombardment. 

GIs of the 90th Division (‚ Tough Ombres‚ ) wait to land at Utah Beach on June 10, 1944.
Amphibious trucks bring in supplies on Utah Beach, Les Dunes De Madeleine, France. June 1944.

Throughout the day the big warships and the smaller destroyers fired on targets of opportunity and supplied on-call fire for the troops of the United States 4thInfantry Division. At one point during the initial fighting on June 6, Nevada’s 14-inch guns destroyed a concentration of German tanks and artillery that was hindering the advance by paratroops of the 82ndAirborne Division.

Abandoned German gun and defensive position. Utah Beach, June 1944

Bombarding Force A, supporting Utah Beach, consisted of:

USS Nevada(Battleship)

HMS Erebus(Monitor)

USS Tuscaloosa(Cruiser)

USS Quincy(Cruiser)

HMS Hawkins(Cruiser)

HMS Enterprise(Cruiser)

HMS Black Prince(Cruiser)

HNMS Soemba(Dutch) (Gunboat)

USS Fitch(Destroyer)

USSCorry(Destroyer)

USS Hobson(Destroyer)

USS Shubrick(Destroyer)

USS Herndon(Destroyer)

USS Forrest(Destroyer)

USSButler(Destroyer)

USS Gheradi(Destroyer)