It was less than three days after the landings at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, that allied commanders issued orders for the second phase of beach head operations to begin. During the evening of June 8, V Corps issued orders directing an attack, designed to continue the forward movements that were already underway. The 1st Infantry Division’s objectives – and those of the 18th Infantry Regiment – were to be found along the high ground west of the Drome River and on the right flank of the Corps’ assault. This area, known as the Cerisy Forest, was thought to be an assembly area for numerous enemy forces.On June 9, the 18th Infantry Regiment advanced along a front, 4,000 yards wide, on the Bayeux-St. Lo Highway, with Vaubadon and la Commune as objectives. The enemy offered stubborn resistance from several strong point positions, but they were eventually overwhelmed by the courageous determination of the men of the 18th Infantry Regiment.
Shown here, a squad of infantrymen under the leadership of SSGWalter Ehlers during the assault of June 9-10, 1944. Near Goville, France, SSG Ehlers courageously led his men to knock out several machine gun and mortar positions, often exposing himself to enemy fire, thereby eliminating stubborn German strong points and pushing forward the advance of the 18th Infantry Regiment. For his actions during this assault, SSG Ehlers would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his "intrepid leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness."