Earl A Hoag Jr

Earl A Hoag Jr

World War II · US Army

World War II D-Day Landing

  • Omaha Beach, France

Co. B, 116TH Regiment,  landed at H +30 [H hour plus 30 minutes] on Omaha Beach at Dog Green.

The 116TH Regiment was attached to the 29TH Infantry Division, XIX Corps (MG Charles H. Corlett, Commanding), 1st Army, under Lieutenant General Omar Bradley.

Pvt. Hoag survived the landing but suffered shrapnel wounds from an artillery shell 29 June 1944, at St. Lo, Normandy, France. He died 9 Jul 1944.

    Earl Arthur Hoag Jr. was born 28 Aug 1922 in Waverly, New York, the second of three children of Earl William and Esther Pauline (Lunn) Hoag. His sister, Evelyn, was four years of age at Earl's birth, having been born in 1918.  Earl's brother Robert was in 1924 and died 2 years later making Earl the couple's only son. "Junior Hoag", as he was known to family, registered with the draft on June 30, 1942. At the time he was employed as a railroad fireman, his father being a railroad engineer. His registration card lists him as 5' 10", 136 lbs, blue eyes, with a scar over his left eye.  He enlisted on December 1, 1942. Earl achieved distinction as a marksman during  training at Camp Maxey, Texas and, after a furlough, was sent to Europe. The 29th Infantry Division trained in Scotland and England for the cross-channel invasion, October 1942-June 1944. Teamed with the 1st Division, a regiment of the 29th Division (116th Infantry) was in the first assault wave to hit the beaches at Normandy on D-day, 6 June 1944.  The 29th's 116th Infantry Regiment (temporarily attached to the 1st Division) was given the task of opening and holding two inland passages (Dog One and Dog Three) in the 3,000 yard stretch of Omaha to which they were assigned. Early on D-Day morning, in the face of intense enemy fire, Earl landed on Omaha Beach at Dog Green with Co. B, 116th Regiment,  at H +30 [H hour plus 30 minutes]. The 116th Regiment was attached to the 29th Infantry Division, XIX Corps (MG Charles H. Corlett, Commanding), 1st Army, under Lieutenant General Omar Bradley. The Regiment was assigned four sectors of the beach, code-named: Easy Green, Dog Red, Dog White, and Dog Green. Soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division boarded a large number of attack transports for the D-Day invasion, among them Landing Craft, Landing Ship, Tank and Landing Ship, Infantry ships and other vessels such as the SS Empire Javelin, USS Charles Carroll, and USS Buncombe County. The soldiers of the 116th Infantry began to hit the beach at 0630, coming under heavy fire from German fortifications. "A" Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry was annihilated by overwhelming fire as it landed on the 116th's westernmost section of the beach, along with half of "C" Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion which was landing to the west of the 116th. Perhaps the worst area on the beach was Dog Green, directly in front of strong points guarding the Vierville draw and under heavy flanking fire from emplacements to the west, near Pointe de la Percee. The distraction of outgoing rocket fire in support of the second wave's assault exacerbated the difficulties of the landing. The first boats from "B" hit the beach at H plus 26. The craft which touched down on or near Dog Green came under the same destructive fire which had wrecked Company A, and the remnants of the boat sections mingled with those of Company A in an effort for survival at the water's edge. The sea had been so rough throughout the journey that all hands had had to bail with their helmets in order to keep the boats afloat. As with "A", "B" was little affected by the enemy fire until the ramps were dropped; then automatic fire from both flanks broke around the boat exits. Three hundred yards out, the Company came under mortar fire. They then jumped into neck-high water and started ashore. In general, "B" was supposed to come in and land on top of the "A" landing, supporting and reinforcing it. But the smoke and dust of battle had wholly obscured the scene by the time "B" arrived with the result that the landmarks were invisible and the coxswains became confused. Whether this worked out badly for "A", it at least became good fortune for some of "B"’s teams, though a few suffered as hard a fate as "A". Those who landed off the flanks of "A" came off better and even achieved limited penetrations; others which were steered into the sands where "A" was already sweating were similarly cancelled out. The Division soon secured the bluff tops and occupied Isigny on 9 June. More than 800 members of the 116th Infantry were killed, wounded or missing during the assault on Omaha Beach, but their courage and bravery helped create a foothold that allowed follow on forces to continue the assault.  The Division cut across the Elle River and advanced slowly toward St. Lo, fighting bitterly in the Normandy hedge rows. After taking St. Lo, 18 July 1944, the Division joined in the battle for Vire, capturing that strongly held city, 7 August. Pvt. Hoag survived the D-Day landing but suffered shrapnel wounds from an artillery shell on June 29, 1944, at St. Lo, Normandy, France. He died on July 9, 1944, in Basse-Normandie, France, at the age of 21, and was buried in Athens, Pennsylvania.