• Chapter 1: Airborne

    Surrounded by enemy forces and armed only with small arms, the six parachute infantry regiments that dropped into Normandy in the dark on June 6 faced untold obstacles behind Utah Beach. The American airborne troops were largely untested: of the six parachute and two glider regiments slated to land in the invasion’s opening two days, only the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and 325th Glider Infantry Regiment had seen combat. Their missions included securing major towns, crossroads, and causeways, and blocking German reinforcements from access to Utah and Omaha Beach to the east. Reinforced by their Glider Infantry Regiments, the American airborne divisions, though inexperienced in combat, were highly trained. Soldiers would have to rely on their training to help them defeat an entrenched enemy.

Learn more about their D-Day stories through our online digital collection.