It was on this day 78 years ago that America sent it's finest to war in Europe. June 6th, 1944.  America had already declared war on Japan following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. But Hitler had been rolling with his Nazi party and Third Reich for years by this time, annexing Austria in 1938, invading Poland in September of 1939, then declaring war on France and England, as he continued his conquest of world domination. Hitler envisioned a thousand year reign of the Aryan race and the Third Reich. He not only wanted domination, but he also wanted to eliminate any people or race he deemed inferior, undesirable, or as he said,  "life unworthy of life."  Hitler then had his Nazi military forces round up and execute over 11 million people, including Jews, homosexuals, Slavs & Jehovah's Witnesses.

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Louisiana played a prominent part in the invasion at Normandy.  The famous imgages of troops exiting landing crafts on the beaches of Normandy feature aquatic craft designed by New Orleans native, Andrew Jackson Higgins.  According to NationalWorldWar2Museum.org:

Initially, separate landing craft were used for troops and vehicles, the LCP(L)s and the LCVs (Landing Craft, Vehicle). The LCP(L) was designed without a ramp. Troops unloaded from the LCP(L) by jumping over the side, which proved unsatisfactory because climbing over the side exposed the men to hostile fire. Higgins solved this shortcoming by combining the LCP(L) and LCV’s designs into the Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel or LCVP. This craft, which is now the most famous of Higgins’s designs and is often referred to as the Higgins Boat, allowed infantry or small vehicles to exit through a front ramp.

The Higgins boat literally changed the way we were able to fight war.

 

Every state was affected by WWII, and Louisiana was no exception.  Caddo and Bossier parish suffered losses of young men and women on D Day.  According to information on casualites on D-Day from The National Archives:

National Archives
National Archives
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National Archives
National Archives
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National Archives
National Archives
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The 70th Anniversary Of The D-Day Landings Are Commemorated In Normandy
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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And this doesn't take into account the toll survivors of WWII brought home with them, most of whom never spoke about their experiences with family or friends.  Today, we should take a moment to honor the men and women who took place in the largest ever seaborn invasion of US military troops in history.

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