On This Date, June 6, in 1944: D-Day
On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high--more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded--but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.
Among the allied troops that came ashore in Normandy on D-Day were fourteen Comanches in the 4th Infantry Division, 4th Signal Company. Under German fire they laid communications lines and began sending messages in coded Comanche. For the rest of World War II, the Comanche Code Talkers played a vital role in transmitting orders and messages in a code that was never broken by the Germans.
“The World War II Comanche Code Talkers played a major role in the D-Day assault. These men were an instrumental part in the allies’ success on the European front. Their actions deserve to be known,” Phyllis Wahahrockah-Tasi, Comanche Nation Museum and Cultural Center executive director, told Native American Times. “Code Talking was their specialty but they were Infantry soldiers first and foremost. Their main duty was to establish and repair communication lines during battle. These men are true American heroes and the Comanche National Museum is privileged to tell their story.”
A video feature on the Comanche Code Talkers: