Sunday, June 23, 2019

D-Day +75 Years-- Part 13: Rangers "Get Up There and Lead the Way"

General Norma Cota, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, was told that one of the groups huddling on the shoreline were Rangers.  he went over to them and yelled "(Damn) it, if you are Rangers, then get up there and lead the way!"

Spotting an abandoned bulldozer, Cota asked for a volunteer to drive it.  A hand went up, and James Gilligan, a combat engineer, helped the redheaded GI load the bulldozer with explosives to blow a hole in the walls the Germans had built across an exit from the beach.

"The last I saw of (the volunteer) he was hightailing along the beach toward the draw, coolly sitting erect on the dozer, still with the complete load of TNT, seemingly protected by magic from harm,"  Gilligan recalled.  "By the time I got there walking, the mines were gone and the walls were down."


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