U.S. Army, 1st Infantry Division
Tuesday, June 20th
The Big Red One - The 1st Division
Arthur L. Chaitt enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and was assigned to the mine-sweeping unit of the First Infantry
Division. Mr. Chaitt credits his survival to the bravest group of combat soldiers ever known.
After his discharge, Arthur Chaitt continued his connections with the Big Red One as Executive Assistant to the
Director of the First Division Association. Three years later, he became Director himself, a position he continued
to hold until retirement a few years ago. His long association with the First Division provides a wealth of information
that Art will share with us on June 20 at 7:00 p.m.
June 6, 1944 was D-Day at Normandy, France and the 16th Regiment of the 1st Division participated in the initial
assault on Omaha Beach at about 0630 with the 116th on its right. Two battalions of Rangers, formed in a provisional
force, were assigned to take the bluffs on the west end of the 116th's sector. Three companies of this Ranger force
assaulted the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, three miles west of Omaha Beach. Their assignment was to neutralize the
powerful artillery guns atop the point, which could give devastating fire to the invasion forces.
(On September 12, 1998 Leonard Lomell told his story of the Ranger attack on the "Guns of Pointe du Hoc.")