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Nicholas Lamia

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Nicholas Lamia’s outfit from the Naval Combat Demolition Unit’s (NCDU) Assault Force 'O' of the Western Naval Task Force assaulted Normandy Beach on 6 June 1944. It had 16 Landing Craft’s Mechanized (LCM’s) that were the initial assault force and was the first force to reach Omaha beach on D-Day. Nicholas Lamia’s LCM was full of engineers and demolitions troops to clear the beach of obstacles (20 Army 20 Navy). His job during D-day was to land the men on the beach during the amphibious assaults while he manned the 50 caliber machine gun. Lamia’s LCM approached the beach under terrible automatic fire and almost without exception every LCM was subjected to mortar, machine gun and German "88" barrages.[1] As Lamia (with the initial assault force) approached the beach they received fire from a two story building on the hill. Nicholas Lamia and Joey Kuntz both focused their 50 caliber machine gun fire on the building’s window. They saw an explosion in the building and the firing from the building ceased. The boat was cleared of the Engineers under vicious fire and the ramp was lifted. The moment Lamia’s ramp reached the top closed position, the LCM was hit by a German 88 mm round and tore the ramp open like a tin can, but it did not sink. Of the 16 LCM’s in NCDU, 13 were sunk or out of commission.

On D-day of the Rhine Assault Nicholas Lamia’s unit, Unit 3 (Task Force 122.5.3), ferried across the Rhine under enemy fire 3,000 troops, 374 Tanks, Tank destroyers and antitank guns, 15 bulldozers, 180 weasels, 80 57-mm guns, 300 loaded jeeps, and 200 other vehicles; on the return trip his unit evacuated 200 casualties and 500 prisoners! Unit 3 assisted in bridge construction by streaming protective nets and cables, and by patrolling. One LCM in his unit ferried across on one trip Winston Churchill, Field Marshals Montgomery, Sir Alan Brooke, and General Simpson. After the crossing of the Rhine, with the help of the naval landing craft, the Third Reich collapsed and surrender came 7 May 1945.[2] Nicholas Lamia’s awards include the rank of Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour, the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with seven bronze stars, the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, and the Combat Action Ribbon.


  1. "Combat Demolition Units of the Atlantic Theatre of Operations". Naval History & Heritage Command. Naval Historical Center. October 2001. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  2. Morison, Samuel Eliot (2002). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol. 11:The Invasion of France and Germany, 1944-1945. Illinois: University of Illinois Press. p. 322. ISBN 0252070623. Search this book on

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