WARS END NEWS
[The Gazette and Daily (York, Pennsylvania) · Tue,
Jan 20, 1948 · Page 3]
Vets Vie For Honor
Of Being First
Countian To Land In France on D-Day
of minutes probably separates the two most likely contenders for he
distinction of being the first York countian to fight his way ashore
on the Normandy beaches of France on D-day, June 6, 1944.
However, a Red Lion [PA] paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne
Division who jumped between 12 and 1;30 a.m. on that historic day
appears to take honors for the first countians to hit the soil of
The two GI's are Harry E. Dehoff, 1518 Second avenue, and Clayton
H. Plitt, 711 Pacific avenue, both 8th Infantry regiment, 4th
Infantry Division veterans. Most of the answers, incidentally,
were from veterans of that outfit.
The paratrooper is Charles H. Koons, 105 West Gay avenue, Red Lion.
The Gazette and Daily reader who wrote the paper asking for the
name of the first soldier of the country to get into France stirred
interest among a number of D-Day veterans and relatives
who wrote, telephoned and visited the newspaper office to put in their bid for the honor.
More Replies Welcomed
The issue is by no means closed, and more answered
are welcome. Address them to the City Editor, The Gazette and
Daily, York, Pa., giving the name of the veteran, the hour of his
landing, his outfit, and any other interesting details of his
Koons, who served with the 508th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne,
was shot as he was coming down and was taken prisoner before the
invasion was in full force.
He was moved by the Germans
to three different hospitals before U.S. troops liberated him 22
days later at Cherbourg.
Dehoff and [Plitt] both quoted the 8th Infantry regiment unit
Citation, which stated the assault waves of the regiment made the
initial landing on the beaches of Cotentin peninsula at 0630 (6:30
a.m.), or half an hour after the official H-hour of 6 a.m. (continued)
(continued from Page 3)
Plitt, who was with Headquarters company said
he personally went ashore at H-hour plus five minutes.
Dehoff recalls that he was credited with capturing the first
Germans of his platoon.
Jesse L. Mille, 135 West Jackson street, landed with the 4th
Infantry Division on Utah beach, at 7:43 a.m. He was with the
238th Combat Engineers.
Dale S. Craley, 254 West Broadway, Red Lion, recalled that he hit
Omaha "Easy Red" beach before 8 a.m. on that memorable day in one of
the first boats to go in. a member of the 116th Infantry
regiment, 29th Division, Craley later made Technical Sergeant and
was wounded three times, the first 10 days after he landed in
Carlton E. Hess, of Hallem, went in at 8 a.m. with the 4th Infantry
on Utah beach. He enlisted in 1940, received his commission
before going overseas, served
European campaign and was discharged in 1945.
David Kennedy, Glen Rock, RD 1, telephoned the Gazette to say he
landed at H Plus two and a half hours on Utah Beach with
Headquarters Company, Third Battalion of the 8th Infantry regiment,
4th Infantry Division. Kennedy served with the division three and a
half years as a 57mm anti-tank crewman,
Landing with the third wave of troops on a beachhead east of
Cherbourg, Milton F. Stine, son of Mr. and Mrs. William F Stine, 109
West Cottage place, was wounded shortly afterwards, when a leaping
mine exploded in his face. He was a member of the 18th
Infantry, Company K, 1st Division. Stine is now a resident of
Eugene B. Druck, Winsor RD 1, landed on the Normandy beach with the
22nd Infantry, Fourth Infantry division, at 8:45 a.m. "I might
add," he wrote that I came through the war wit a few shrapnel
wounds, otherwise I was OK."