Wounded Soldiers Are Administered First Aid by Medical Personnel in a German Trench

June 6, 1944 Photograph

As American soldiers fought their way off the transports and up the beaches, they suffered heavy casualties. Army medics and Navy corpsman selflessly tended to their wounded despite the heavy shelling and machine-gun fire that lasted through much of morning. With a foothold on the beach secured and the infantry pushing inland, the task of administering to the wounded was largely the work of the same Navy and Coast Guard crews that brought the men to shore. As LCTs and LCIs unloaded fresh troops, litters of the wounded filled their places to be hurried back to transports in the hopes medical doctors could save the most seriously wounded.

Somewhere in the beachhead area, American medical corpsmen convert a German anti-tank ditch into a temporary first aid station. Originally intended as invasion defenses, the ditches proved adequate for their improvised use.