Charles Tedesco was with the 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Division during the storming of Omaha Beach and was injured on July 8, 1944. The following is an account of what happened in his own words:
“We were not the first to land on Omaha Beach – but soon after. There were like telephone polls in the water to stop landing crafts from landing, but holes were blasted. We landed on the beach and dug in – 88mm were coming down heavy like rain hitting all around. I had no idea not to touch them and burned my finger picking one up. There were bodies floating in the water all over. The bodies on the sand were stopping the tanks from coming forward. The medics would be cut down as soon as they went to help. So we were stuck. The Colonel orders them to run over our men in order to know out the German Artillery. I could see the men’s heads.
We advanced to Cherburg – hedge row after hedge row – to a wooded area. Another company was to the left of us and were attacked. We were dug in when they came in our area. Artillery came with them. I jumped up and a new guy jumped on my fox hole. I had no where to go and jumped on top of him. Then orders to move out. My hole mate said get off. I had a burning sensation on my back – couldn’t move.
He pushed me off him. All my company left. I was yelling medic but couldn’t move. They finally came back and got me. I had a shrapnel between my 3rd and 4th vertebrae and was paralyzed for about one year. I had 8 operations: 2 in England, but they couldn’t get it out so I was sent to New York then to Hammond General Hospital in California.
I have no feeling on my left leg down to my toes. This was very hard for me to write as I have never told anyone about it.”
We honor you, Charles Tedesco.