D-day: Omaha Beach Landing – Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France

Omaha Beach Landing
View of the Omaha Beach Landing at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France

This is a beach like many others. It faintly comes up from the sea and it’s like one of those beaches where you have to walk through the water for a long time before it’s finally deep enough to swim. Very friendly, especially for families with young children.

On June 6th 1944 the first wave of soldiers had to wade through this water for many yards under heavy fire, before finally reaching the wide beach, having to clear all kinds of obstacles and mines, without any cover to hide behind, before they could run for their lives to make it across, only to find a well prepared German defence force awaiting them. At the end of this day, known as D-Day, an estimate of 2000 men had lost their lives during the Omaha Beach landing operation.

Omaha Beach Monument
Omaha Beach Monument “Les Braves” at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France

Visit Omaha Beach

It’s just a beach like any other, but it tells us everything about the horrors at “Bloody Omaha” during D-Day on June 6th 1944. On the sands of Saint-Laurent is the monument “Les Braves” commemorating and honoring the soldiers that fought here. In the area many other signs and memorials can be found reminding of what took place here. Don’t forget to visit the American War Cemetery at Colleville sur Mer which is only a small drive away.

Omaha Beach monument
Omaha Beach War monument at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France

Operation Aquatint

Operation Aquatint plaque
A plaque to commemorate the British Commando landing in 1942 known as Operation Aquatint

In September 1942, two years before the American Army would land on this beach, a small commando force known as No. 62 Commando attempting a raid called Operation Aquatint on the coast at nearby Sainte Honorine-des-Pertes would accidentally end up on this same spot.
The raid took place only shortly after the failed Dieppe Raid by British Commando’s in August of the same year and the German coast patrols were still on high alert. This presumably is one of the great reasons of why Operation Aquatint failed. After initially heaving great difficulty in finding the correct landing spot, they set foot here and were ambushed by a German Patrol. The Commando’s were forced to retreat to their transports, which themselves were also attacked by German shore batteries.
Forced into retreat the transport left the Commando’s behind on the beach.

Most of the survivors of No. 62 Commando raid were taken prisoner of which only five would survive the war.

3 thoughts on “D-day: Omaha Beach Landing – Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France

barbara h. smith on

Colleville-sur-Mer,Omaha Beach,and all the beaches, are truly holy grounds,where our BEST and most
courageous gave their all ,for all of us…My cousin,Melville “Buddy” Friedman,is buried there,having been
killed on Omaha Beach on July 6,1944…I never knew him,but heard that he was a real patriot,as were they all.,wherever they are buried..I visited many years ago,said prayers at his gravesite,and was moved to tears by the experience…May the lives of each of these young warriors serve as blessings and inspirations for us,now and always…

Louis Lipsky @(barbara h. smith) on

Barbara, I am also a cousin, I am a first cousin of Chaim Vachman who replied here, brother of Buddy lipsky, whom Chaim mentions. My grandmother, Pearl Koenigsberg (nee Friedman) was first cousin of Abe, Buddy’s father. Our family has stayed in touch with Buddy’s family, primarily his late sister Joan Lavin, and her daughter.
I’d be interested in exploring our family connection. Would you e-mail me?
Thank you,
Louis Lipsky

Chaim Vachman on

Hi Barbara,
I think Buddy was mortally injured on D-Day, and later died from his injuries.
This is what another cousin told me. (I’m also related) .
Another cousin, Buddy Lipsky, named after him, is living in Israel

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