On 6 June, 1944, D-Day, Easy 506th fought one of its most important battles. In a field between le Grand Chemin and the Brecourt Manor house, was a manmade ditch lined with trees. Spaced at intervals along that ditch, were three German artillery pieces, sited on the shoreline of Utah Beach near Exit two, over five miles distant. Another gun was set off to the west a short distance left of the far end of the treeline shown in this photo, and was facing west (opposite direction of the beach).
The Mission was simple: “There’s fire along the hedgerow there. Take care of it.” The order went to First Lieutenant Richard “Dick” Winters, the acting commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. The order came from the battalion’s operations officer, Captain Clarence Hester, who, with a sweep of his hand, showed Winters the area he was to attack.
The sound of the enemy fire was close and unmistakable. German artillery was raining fire down on Utah Beach, the westernmost invasion beach along the Normandy coast, where at that very moment American soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division were struggling ashore. It was the 8:30 in the morning of D-Day––June 6, 1944... (read more below)