March 4, 2011

"Bud' Lomell, D-Day icon featured in "Greatest Generation' dies at 91

From Asbury Park Press by Chelsea Michels -
TOMS RIVER — Army Ranger veteran and local icon Leonard G. "Bud" Lomell, whose crucial D-Day heroics were chronicled in two best-selling books, died Tuesday of natural causes, according to J. Mark Mutter, township clerk and historian. Lomell was 91.

On the morning of June 6, 1944, Lomell and fellow members of the Army's 2nd Ranger Battalion landed on the beaches of France's Normandy region below Pointe du Hoc, a high promontory from which German artillery could fire on American landing zones.

The Rangers used grappling hooks and rope to scale the 100-foot cliff as German troops fired down on them. Sgts. Lomell and Jack Kuhn found the German's artillery and destroyed the guns with grenades and by smashing their sites, before enemy soldiers could use them. They destroyed the guns just minutes before the Allied landings were set to begin.

In his book "The Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys: The Men of World War II," historian Stephen E. Ambrose said that had the guns not been knocked out, they could have lobbed their huge shells onto the 5,000 ships in the English Channel and the thousands of troops and equipment on Utah and Omaha Beaches.

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