Lest We Forget – 6 June 1944

12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Georgia, USA - 1943
12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Georgia, USA – 1943

Today I’m remembering those that stormed the Normandy landing beaches seventy years ago. Among those that landed on 6 June 1944 were my father and uncle. My father was part of the Utah Beach landing with the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. This photo was taken at the rifle range in Georgia, USA before shipping out for England. Most likely many, if not all, of these men landed on D-Day.

The 4th Infantry Division landed 21,000 troops at the cost of about 197 casualties on D-Day. My father remembered the rough seas, and that the landing craft couldn’t come in too close to shore, because of the sand bars.The men had to jump out in water over their heads.

My uncle landed on Omaha Beach with the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. The 116th Infantry Regiment was the first to land on Omaha Beach. By the end of that day it is estimated that over 3,000 men were killed, wounded, missing, or taken prisoner from the troops that landed on Omaha Beach. Both my father and uncle were wounded in the days following D-Day. Only my father returned. My uncle, John Doran, was killed in August 1944 storming the gates of Brest, France.

Five years ago I had the chance to go to France and see the Normandy beaches, and honor those that fought for liberty. It was a few days after the ceremonies for the 65th Anniversary. Simply seeing where the Ranger troops first came ashore and scaled the cliffs was humbling.


Walking on the wide sands of Omaha Beach, and looking east and west towards the other beaches, I thought of all of those that sacrificed their lives that day for freedom. Most important is that those fallen are honored and remembered. At the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial you can hear the surf from the beach below. So many died so young. Thank you to all that served –  on land, or in the air, or on the seas – and also to all the men and women that helped plan D-Day.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Omaha Beach, Normandy, France
Flags of the Allied Troops
Trotter out on Omaha Beach

8 thoughts on “Lest We Forget – 6 June 1944

  1. Wow what interesting Post.

    Do you know how I am related you John Doran?

    Hope your summer is coming along nicely.

    Bob Ruthazer, CFLE http://www.FirstThingsRichmond.org cell 804-402-8004

    Major Events: Celebrate Fatherhood: Fun activities for all families & honoring dads. 1-4 June 8 at Ukrop Park.

    Sacred Marriage with Gary Thomas LIVE Aug 23 at WEAG 8:30-12:30


    1. Thanks, Bob!
      I’ll have to post a cousin chart!
      We are second cousins since we share the same great-grandparents. My Uncle Johnny would be your cousin once removed. The words “once removed” mean that there is a difference of one generation. For example, your mother’s first cousin (my father or aunt or uncle) is your first cousin, once removed. Does that make sense?
      Summer is going fine, and hope the same is true for your family. Did you mention you had more photographs to share? I would love to do a post about your Aunt Bess with her photo.
      Warmest regards,


  2. Hey Maryann. Love the photo of the 12th Infantry out of Georgia. My great uncle was in that unit that hit Utah Beach. I’m doing some research on his war time. He was killed in action on D-Day+4.
    Could you give me your fathers name. I’m looking through who served in what company. My uncle was in Company “G” of the second Battalion, 12th infantry regiment. And I wonder if my uncle might be in the picture that you posted.
    Thanks again for the picture!


    1. Thanks for contacting me. What was your great-uncle’s name? God bless him for giving his life for our freedom. Is he buried in France or in the USA? My father, James Doran, was in Company I in the 12th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Division.


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