When the Allied Forces landed on Normandy Beach, the U.S. Coast Guard took part in the greatest amphibious operation the world had ever seen. On June 6, 1944, the Coast Guard joined the other U.S. military branches and Allied Forces in the operation code-named Overlord. The Coast Guard played an integral part in Operation Neptune, the code name given to Overlord’s amphibious assault and naval gunfire support operations.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft is scheduled to join with President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week in France for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Adm. Zukunft assumed the duties of Coast Guard Commandant May 30, 2014.
A fact sheet about the Coast Guard and its participation in D-Day provides units, commands and statistics about the service’s actions.
Read about the events of June 6, 1044, in “U.S. Coast Guard at Normandy” by Coast Guard historian Scott Price: http://www.uscg.mil/history/articles/h_normandy.asp.
For tweets from Normandy, link to the Commandant’s Twitter account: www.twitter.com/admzukunft
The Commandant’s Instagram account, www.instagram.com/admzukunft, will feature photos from Adm. Zukunft’s trip to Normandy.
For media interested in arranging interviews with Adm. Zukunft while he is in Normandy, please contact Lt. Cmdr. Matt Moorlag at Matthew.J.Moorlag@uscg.mil.
Some facts about the Coast Guard and D-Day:
- At least 97 Coast Guard cutters and Coast Guard-manned Navy vessels participated in Operation Neptune.
- More Coast Guard vessels were lost or damaged that day than at any time in its history. Destroyed in action were LCI(L)-85, 91, 92 and 93. The latter three were lost on Omaha Beach while the 85 sank offshore. Their burning wrecks served as navigation markers that day.
- Fifteen Coast Guardsmen died in the invasion on D-Day. Most were crewmen from the LCIs and landing craft that participated in the Omaha Beach assault. Six of those who were killed in action are buried in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France.
- Coast Guardsmen who participated were awarded one Navy Cross, 11 Silver Stars and one British Distinguished Service Cross.