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Oubaas watching air activity with British PM Sir Winston Churchill and senior officers at General Sir Bernard Montgomery’s headquarters, 12 June 1944.

Left to right: Lieutenant-General Sir Richard O’Connor, commanding VIII Corps; Churchill; Field Marshal Jan Smuts; Montgomery; Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff.

Photo : IWM

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The Aftermath of D-Day
June 1944 Omaha Beach (Normandy, France) U.S. Graves Registration Service Collection Point for dead American and also German soldiers laying next to each other in order for being processed and prepared for temporary burial.

In WWII the United States Army Quartermaster Graves Registration Service was responsible for the care of the dead in all the branches of military service. They worked with reverence and respect to preserve the dignity of those who sacrificed their lives.

The US military would officially declare a soldier dead after he was missing for a full year. So many soldiers who went missing on D-Day—some bodies, for example, were swept out to sea or destroyed in violent plane crashes—had a death date on their military records of June 7, 1945, a year and a day later.

Of the approximately, 4,414 Allied deaths on June 6th, 2,501 were Americans and 1,913 were Allies.

While casualty figures are notoriously difficult to verify—not all wounded soldiers are counted, for example—the accepted estimate is that the Allies suffered 10,000 total casualties on D-Day itself. The highest casualties occurred on Omaha beach, where 2,000 U.S. troops were killed, wounded or went missing; at Sword Beach and Gold Beach, where 2,000 British troops were killed, wounded or went missing; and at Juno beach, where 340 Canadian soldiers were killed and another 574 wounded.

The vast majority of the men who died perished in the very first waves of the attack. The first soldiers out of the landing craft were gunned down by German artillery. Once those pillboxes were destroyed and the machine guns silenced, the later waves of troops faced far better odds.

Among the stunning losses of those first-wave soldiers were 19 young men known as “the Bedford Boys.” The U.S. Congress chose Bedford, Virginia as the site of the National D-Day Memorial because it suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses of any community in the nation. The 19 Bedford Boys were mostly National Guardsman who were some of the first to land on Omaha beach.

Photograph WW2 US Medical Research Centre.
Source of caption:

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