June 7, 1944 – As day 2 began in France, a steady stream of Allied troops were wading ashore, along with supplies and equipment, further expanding the beach head, and in some cases going as much as 41 miles inland. Some points along the invasion route were more easily approached than others, with less resistance. The push was on to gain as much ground as possible – allied planes were dropping technicians and engineers, to secure airfields or clear the way for new ones along the coastline. The much touted German counterattack wasn’t materializing, nor was the much promised visits from the Luftwaffe, who were almost completely missing from the invasion at the start.
And while this was all going on a continent and ocean away, the news was eagerly awaited back home. All the radio networks switched to 24 hour service, in anticipation of updates from the front, and any news – any shred of a rumored report was grabbed onto by an anxious audience. Casualty numbers were purposely kept low so as not to cause alarm. Official reports claimed Allied casualties were light. Although German propaganda broadcast different numbers which were substantially higher, those reports were quashed in favor of the communiqués coming from Allied Headquarters.
Because the networks switched to 24 hour programming, there were large gaps of no new news to report. While waiting, the networks switched back and forth from East Coast to West Coast with generous dollops of music tossed in and local reports, or simply rebroadcasting addresses and news reports from the day before.
Here is a one-hour excerpt from complete invasion coverage by NBC from June 6-9, 1944 from June 7, 1944 from 3:45 am – 4:45 am (Eastern War Time). There’s a lot of music; some of it strange and some of it patriotic. But this was what was going on during that momentous period of our history, some 74 years ago today.