Naval Demolition Troops Run for Cover on Omaha Beach

June 6, 1944 Photograph

Once ashore, the important task of clearing the beaches fell to the men of the Naval Combat Demolition Units. These units were vital in clearing the beaches of mines and obstacles for following waves of landing craft. Facing the same deadly fire as the infantry, men of the Combat Demolition Units initially used explosives to blow up the obstacles at both beaches. Once a foothold had been established, these same units used bulldozers and other heavy equipment to move obstacles off of the beach, clearing the way for additional landing craft to come ashore.

Moving 'on the double' these members of a U.S. Navy beach battaluon [sic] dive for the protection offered by a ditch as a Nazi plane swoops down to strafe the shore somewhere in Normandy.