WWII Photo – Incredible D-DAY Flyover View off the French Coast – June 6th, 1944


Followers of PortraitsofWar will know that photos taken on D-Day are some of the most sought after images for WWII photo collectors.  I only have a few dozen in my collection, and this is the first taken from the skies above the English Channel on that fateful day.  The massive fleet was the largest ever put together in world history, and must have been a sight to behold. This post goes out to my Great-Uncle Brendan who made the landing with the 29th Division.

 

Original Never-Before-Seen WWII D-Day Landing Photos on Omaha Beach – LCT-535


Preparing the 535

Half the fun of winning a new group of WWII photos on eBay lies in the research and presentation of the material.  After recently having placed the winning bid on a set of 50

or so WWII photos of what appeared to be some sort of beach landing, I quickly realized that I had something more important in my possession.

After asking the gracious seller a little bit of info about the provenience of the lot, I soon found out that the photos came from the estate of a deceased WWII veteran from Santa Rosa, CA.  Al Pellegrini was the skipper of the LCT-535 during the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, and either snapped, or was given these photos as a memento of his time aboard the 535.

According to a 1994 article by Gaye LeBaron of the Press Democrat,

“Ensign Albert J. Pellegrini of Santa Rosa, California, came early to the invasion of Normandy.  He landed his LCT 535 about 10 minutes ahead of H-Hour on the sands of Omaha Beach, earning the distinction of being the skipper of the first American vessel to land on the French coast on June 6th, 1944.”

Wow!  What did I stumble across with this innocuous looking eBay listing?  I hope to present these photos to show the world the faces of the first men to land on Omaha Beach on that fateful day nearly 70 years ago.

3rd Trip on June 6th - Dropping off Field Hospital

Many more photos to come!