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D-Day - June 6, 2014

Q: Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion of Normandy, France. The very first troops to hit Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, were part of a legendary army division that’s now headquartered at Fort Riley, Kan. Can you name the division?


TRIVIA-UPLOADPhoto by The U.S. Army



A: The First Infantry Division, also known as The Big Red One - also known as “The Fighting 1st." (Incidentally, the Big Red One celebrates its 97th birthday this month!)



D-Day is another term for the allied invasion of Normandy France during World War II. The invasion, the largest of its kind in human history, was orchestrated by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, of Abilene, the Supreme Commander of all allied forces in Europe. The first wave of troops to hit Omaha Beach (one of four designated invasion areas or landing zones) was comprised of U.S. Army soldiers from the “Fighting First,” or First Infantry Division. This unit is often called the Big Red One, for its distinctive shoulder patch. During its long life, the Big Red One has been stationed at many forts. The division and its headquarters first moved to Fort Riley, Kan., in 1955.  
Fun Fact: During World War II, the 1st Infantry Division was the first to reach England, the first to fight the enemy in North Africa and Sicily (the first on the beaches of Normandy in D-Day, as we mentioned) AND the first to capture a major German City, Aachen. Yes, these fighting soldiers are just that bad!
Fun Fact 2: The Big Red One has fought in every major American conflict except one, the Korean War. At that time, the First Infantry Division was busy keeping the peace in Germany. (The Fighting First also supplied security for the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.)


BIG RED ONE's Facebook page:

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