The First Man on Omaha Red
D-Day H-Hour –2:00: The War Memoirs of Capt. William C. Smith Jr.
by William C. Smith Jr.
with William E. Smith and Dr. Philip M. Trinity
Merriam Press Military Memoir ME1
First Edition (2014)
Paperback (ISBN 978-1496106001) – #ME1-P – $16.95
200 6×9-inch pages
61 photos and documents
The history of D-Day on Omaha Red is not complete without this book. Capt. William C. Smith Jr. was the first man on Omaha Red two hours before the invasion. For his service, he received a Bronze Star with V for valor. He has also been inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor.
His story explains how the invasion was different from those of North Africa and Sicily. It also describes in detail how he and the other nine men trained for this most difficult and dangerous job—calling fire from the Navy ships against the German defenses on that fateful day that changed history forever.
But this work also brings the relationships between soldiers to life with humor and a depth of emotion seldom described in other works. It is so powerful because it is told in first person by the man that lived through the four and a half years of World War II. It was written from more than 100 hours of interviews by the authors.
The work begins from the 1st Division’s invasion of North Africa and continues through the breach of the German border. It includes the struggles of the wives and families that were left behind waiting for their loved ones to return from Europe.
Unlike so many histories, this work also details the unique bond between soldiers that forms from mutual dependence. Captain Smith’s relationship with his driver and close friend Sampson gives the work the humanity missing from other memoirs.
This was a story that had to be told, and now it has so that we may better understand the sacrifices these men made in the name of liberty.
Capt. William C. Smith Jr. was the first American on Omaha Red beach 2 hours BEFORE the D-Day invasion. Not only was he a true hero, he was also my father. His memoirs are now available at http://www.merriam-press.com/thefirstmanonomahared.aspx for $16.95.
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Bill Smith is a political science graduate from Ohio State and worked for 2 governors of Ohio. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several political novels on