Chapter 2: Utah
Added to the Overlord plan in early 1944, the landing area known as Utah Beach, to the far western end of the invasion area, was considered vital to the overall operation. The Allies had to gain a foothold on the Cotentin Peninsula if they had any chance of establishing a beachhead in Normandy. Rear Admiral Don Moon’s Force U was to land elements of the 4th Infantry Division and the 70th Tank Battalion at 6:30. Later forces from the 90th, 9th, and 79th Infantry Divisions were to link up with the airborne forces to establish the beachhead at Utah. Although the landing forces were blown nearly a mile off course, the landings were successful and less deadly than Omaha Beach. The US Navy, however, suffered heavy losses, including the destroyer USS Corry. The days that followed would be considered by some to be their D-Day, as heavy losses were incurred in taking German artillery strong points along the coast.