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Archives on the Air 266: Dispatches from D-Day – Harry C. Butcher papers 

It was June 6, 1944 at 6:30am. Kenneth Crawford of Newsweek was part of the first wave of troops on a landing barge approaching the Normandy coast.  

He had the distinction of being the first war correspondent to land on Utah Beach. It was what we now know as D-Day. The voyage from the mother ship, which housed almost 2000 officers and enlisted men, was difficult. It took the landing barge nearly four hours on rough seas to reach shore. Many of the troops were seasick.  

Officers, enlisted men and Crawford stormed the 500-yard beach – jumping into waist deep water, carrying packs, guns and radio equipment. Fired upon by the Germans, there were numerous casualties. Crawford narrowly avoided being shot. Soon, though, the battalion he was with began capturing German prisoners. Most were frightened and wounded teenagers. 

See the Harry C. Butcher papers at UW’s American Heritage Center to learn more about the American invasion of Normandy in World War II.