Flotilla of LCIs Make Their Way toward Normandy with Barrage Balloons Overhead

June 6, 1944 Photograph

As the naval bombardment began, thousands of LCIs (Landing Craft, Infantry), LCTs (Landing Craft, Tank), and other troop transports moved toward the beaches. As the transports came within a few kilometers of the beaches, the LCTs lowered their cargo of LCVPs — known as Higgins boats in honor of their creator — into the sea. Packed inside each boat were upwards of three dozen infantrymen.

Courtesy of The Naval History & Heritage Command

A convoy of Landing Craft Infantry (Large) sails across the English Channel toward the Normandy Invasion beaches on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

Naval crossing of the English Channel