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WARS END NEWS LINE (3)


[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

   A matter 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 France.
   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 service career.
   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 France.
   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

throughout the 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 Lancaster.
   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."

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