We all know of the heroism of the Troops that hit the beaches on D-Day, June 6. What many people don’t realize is the Navy, in the form of Destroyers, were providing covering fire and taking the shore batteries from basically point blank (4000 yards and less) range to try to put them out of action and save the troops lives.
Gleaves Class Destroyer- This particular one is the USS McCook. See below for more…
Three particular Destroyers stand out- The USS Corry, DD-463, which was the lead Destroyer, and was actually sunk by counter-battery fire from the shore. HERE is a link to her story, with an interview by Edward R. Murrow of the Commanding Officer, LCDR Hoffman.
Another is USS Fitch, DD-462, she was also on the line and was doing the same thing as Corry. The Fitch actually came to the rescue of the Corry personnel, saving many of them, in addition to continuing to counter-battery against the Germans on the shore. HERE is a link to their deck log. Interesting reading, to put it mildly!
Lastly the USS McCook, DD-496. McCook departed with Destroyer Squadron 18 (DesRon 18) and ships of Assault Force “O” for the coast of France. Early 6 June, she arrived in the Baie de la Seine and at 03:20 commenced bombardment of the beaches and waterfront of the Pointe du Hoc–Vierville-sur-Mer area. By 06:16 she had neutralized her assigned targets (three pillboxes, 13 machine gun nests and three shore guns) and had begun to take on targets of opportunity. By the end of the day, she had added to her score seven pillboxes, eight gun emplacements and ten stone houses, in which enemy machine guns and snipers had been placed.
One of the things McCook did was take out the batteries at the top of Pointe du Hoc, allowing 2nd Ranger Battalion to actually make the climb.
I know this is not the standard D-Day post, but I wanted to take a little bit of a different tack than what you normally see…
Thanks for stopping by and reading!