Esterle, Paul, S/Sgt

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary MOS
521-Basic Soldier
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1942-1945, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry /L Company
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Staff Sergeant


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Home State
Not Specified
Year of Birth
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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Eric Paul Esterle-Family to remember Esterle, Paul, S/Sgt.

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Date of Passing
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Honorably Discharged WW II


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Operation Overlord/D-Day Beach Landings - Operation Neptune
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
The Normandy landings (codenamed Operation Neptune) were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, but postponing would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days in each month were deemed suitable. Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.

The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 British, US, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France starting at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beach. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialised tanks.

The Allies failed to achieve all of their goals on the first day. Carentan, St. Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five bridgeheads were not connected until 12 June. However, the operation gained a foothold that the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day were around 1,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area host many visitors each year.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Nov 28, 2009
   
Personal Memories

Memories
Paul Esterle enlisted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and belonged to the 9th Infantry division, 60th Infantry Regiment, L company. He participated in the Normandy invasion entering Utah Beach on 10 June 1945. He was combat infantry and fought his way down where he was injured in or near St. Lo when German artillery exploded above the tree line he was sitting under. He was hit with shrapnel and a falling tree limb. Paul Esterle also served in Tunisia with his unit the Octofoils, 9th Infantry division, 60th Infantry Regiment, L company, 3rd Batallion.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  319 Also There at This Battle:
  • Accattato, Rocco, PFC, (1943-1945)
  • Amerman, Walter G., CPT
  • Beck, Carl, M/Sgt, (1942-1963)
  • Bolling, Alexander Russell, MG, (1939-1973)
  • Brooks, Elton E., 1LT
  • Brown (MOH), Robert Evan, CPT, (1918-1952)
  • Bush, William Douglas, 1LT, (1942-1951)
  • Coe, Jim, Sgt, (1942-1945)
  • Crager, Howard, LTC, (1942-1945)
  • Edlin, Robert Thomas, CPT, (1934-1954)
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