Military Records

Records Relating to D-Day

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Photograph No. 111-SC-194399 (War and Conflict Number 1040); General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the order of the Day. Full victory-nothing else to paratroopers in England, just before they board their airplanes to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe, June 5, 1944. (National Archives Identifier 531217)

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Reel No. 208-UN-106 (RG 208: Records of the Office of War Information, 1926 - 1951; Motion Picture Films from "United News" Newsreels, compiled 1942 - 1945); "D-Day 1944". (National Archives Identifier 39013)

D-Day, June 6, 1944, was part of the larger Operation Overlord and the first stages of the Battle of Normandy, France (also referred to as the Invasion of Normandy) during World War II. It was the culmination of the Allied powers strategy for the war and a multinational effort. The success of the D-Day invasion facilitated the opening of the Western Front of the War.

The National Archives (NARA) has in its holdings a multitude of records related to D-Day and its surrounding events. The records are held by various Archival units and are in many formats. This page provides a list of selected records to show the variety of information available as well as links to relevant resources.

Many records relating to D-Day are described in NARA’s National Archives Catalog

Selected List of Textual Records at NARA Relating to D-Day

Meteorological & Climatological Situation:

The following series contains information related to the meteorological situation on the days leading up to D-Day, which had a significant factor on the chain of events. Also included are reports about the sun, moon and tides.

Numeric Files, 7/1943 - 8/1944
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF); G-3 (Operations) Division; Meteorological Section
Record Group 331, Entry UD-31C
1 Box
National Archives Identifier 601510

 

D-Day Message and Other Messages:

Refer to Caption

 

D-Day Order of the Day , statement as issued to the soldiers,

sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force, June 6, 1944.

(National Archives Identifier 186473)

The following series contains information from a wide range of time and events. Decimal 335.18-2 contains information relating to D-Day, including the D-Day message Eisenhower issued to the troops participating in the invasion as well as other messages, notices and correspondence related to the dissemination of Eisenhower’s message. 

Decimal Files, 1944 – 1945
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF); Adjutant General's Division; Executive Section
Record Group 331, Entry NM8 56
208 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 613030

The following item from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum contains the message Eisenhower had drafted in case the invasion had failed.

In Case of Failure" Message Drafted by General Dwight Eisenhower in Case the D-Day Invasion Failed
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David)
Series: Principal Files, 1916 - 1952
Collection: Eisenhower, Dwight D: Papers, Pre-Presidential, 1916 - 1952
1 Item
National Archives Identifier 186470

 

Invasion Planning:

The following series contain information related to the planning of the invasion covering a wide variety of topics including possible invasion locations, bombing targets, fleet composition, obstacles on beaches as well as underwater and deception plans.

Numeric Subject Files, 1943 - 08/1944
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF); G-2 (Intelligence) Division; Operational Intelligence Sub-Division
Record Group 331, Entry NM-8 12
6 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 572342

Planning and Background Papers Pertaining to Operations Anvil and Overlord, 1942 - 1945
War Department. European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army. Office of the Adjutant General. Administration Branch.
Record Group 498, Entry UD 386
1 Box
National Archives Identifier 5725897

Correspondence and Communications Files, 04/14/1944 - 09/28/1944
Department of the Navy; Cruiser Division Seven
Record Group 313, Entry A-1 184
27 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 596804

WWII Operations Reports: Pre-Invasion Planning, 1940-1948
Department of the Army; The Adjutant General's Office;
Record Group 407, Entry NM-3 427D
Boxes 19216-19320
National Archives Identifier 305275

Note: This series covers a wider range of time and events than just D-Day and the Normandy Invasion.

 

Naval Operations:

The following series contain information related to the naval operations of D-Day.

Operation Neptune Report
War Department; European Theater of Operations; U.S. Army; Historical Division
Record Group 498, Entry UD 580
2 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 5821670

Plans, Orders, and Other Records, ca. 9/1943 - ca. 8/1944
Department of the Navy. Twelfth Fleet. Eleventh Amphibious Force
Record Group 313, Entry A-1 248
25 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 580950

Note: This series covers a wider range of time and events than just D-Day and the Normandy Invasion.

 

Reports, Communications, Correspondence Files:

The following series contain information related to reports, communications, and correspondence at various levels of command related to D-Day.

Reports Relating to Operation OVERLORD, 1944-1945
War Department; U.S. Forces; European Theater of Operations; Historical Division
Record Group 498, Entry UD 618
2 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 5880333

Report Entitled "Utah Beach to Cherbourg", 1944 - 1945 [VII Corps]
War Department; U.S. Forces; European Theater of Operations; Historical Division
Record Group 498, Entry UD 973
1 Box
National Archives Identifier 5891637

Decimal Correspondence Files, 1944 – 1945
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF); G-4 Division; Executive Section
Record Group 331, Entry NM8 34
218 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 602967

Note: This series covers a wider range of time and events than just D-Day and the Normandy Invasion.

 

Battle Participation Awards:

The following series contains information related to awards files for participation in D-Day.

Records Related to Battle Participation Awards for the Battle of Normandy, 1944 – 1946
War Department; U.S. Forces; European Theater, Adjutant General Section
Record Group 498, Entry UD 422
2 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 5730570

 

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Cemeteries and Memorials:

The following series contains information on the ABMC's cemeteries and memorials related to D-Day. In particular the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial located in Colleville-sur-Mer on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery and the Brittany American Cemetery located located on the site of the temporary American St. James Cemetery.

World War II Cemetery and Memorial Files, 1947 - 1968
American Battle Monuments Commission
Record Group 117, Entry A1 9
82 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 20761886

Note: This series covers a wider range of time and events than just D-Day and the Normandy Invasion.

 

Background Files on D-Day Publications:

The following series contains the background files for Gordon A. Harrison’s "Cross Channel Attack", which is an in depth publication of D-Day published by the U.S. Army.

Background Files to the Study "Cross Channel Attack", 1947 – 1954
Department of Defense; Department of the Army; Office of the Chief of Military History
Record Group 319, Entry P 92
5 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 2133216

 

Anniversary Commemorations:

The following series contain information related to milestone anniversaries of D-Day and the Normandy Invasion. Some documents relate to a much larger World War II commemoration, but have extensive files on D-Day. The records relate to press coverage, speeches, plans and briefing files, photos, various heads of state participation, other nations schedules of events, as well as veterans and unit participation accounts.

Reports Relating to Commemorations of the Battle of Normandy and Other Battles in Europe, 1993 – 1995
Department of Defense; Department of the Army. U.S; 50th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Committee
Record Group 335, Entry A1 1017
5 Boxes
National Archives Identifier 6861860

Records Concerning Observances of the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, Operation Market Garden, Victory in Europe (V-E) Day and other World War II Events, 1984 - 1985
Department of Defense. Department of the Army. Office of the Secretary. Office of the Chief of Public Affairs.
Record Group 335, Entry UD-06W 9
1 Box
National Archives Identifier 23869756

Note: These series cover a wider range of time and events than just D-Day and the Normandy Invasion.

 

Requesting and Researching Records:

If you find records of interest in the National Archives Catalog and wish to order copies, please send your request to inquire@nara.gov and include the following information:

  • Record Group number or Collection information
  • Series title
  • National Archives Identifier (NAID) and title for the file unit or item
  • Container number (if available)
  • Name of NARA facility that has custody of the records
  • Your email address
  • Your mailing/postal address

If you only wish to have information about the records, please indicate that in your request. Otherwise, NARA will send you a price quote based on a page count for the selected item(s) or file unit(s). Please limit your request to 3 items or file units at a time.

Please Note: That although most records in NARA's custody are described at the series level in the National Archives Catalog, very few records have been digitized and accessible online.

The National Archives at St. Louis maintains the Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) of veterans that served in the United States Armed Forces, including World War II. More information about records at our facility may be found at: https://www.archives.gov/st-louis/

For information regarding research at the National Archives, please visit our web page: Plan Your Research Visit.

 

Other NARA Resources:

D-Day 75th Anniversary National Archives Animated GIPHY Story

75th Anniversary of D-Day National Archives Museum Event and Featured Documents

"75th Anniversary of D-Day" Pieces of History Blog of the National Archives

"D-Day and the Normandy Invasion" Virtual Exhibit on Google Cultural Institute

Today's Document D-Day Page

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum:

Operation OVERLORD: A Guide to the Historical Holdings in the Eisenhower Library on Operation Overlord including the planning, invasion and campaign up to the breakout at Saint-Lô

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum D-Day Page

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum Twitter Page

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum:

D-Day: FDR and Churchill’s “Mighty Endeavor” Special Exhibit for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

A "Mighty Endeavor:" D-Day Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum D-Day Page

FDR’s D-Day Prayer from the Forward with Roosevelt Blog of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

Blog Posts:

"Airplanes Over France, June 6, 1944" from the Text Message Blog of the National Archives' Textual Records Division

"Finding My Father in the Archives" from the Text Message Blog of the National Archives' Textual Records Division

"The First D-Day Documentary" from the Unwritten Record Blog of the National Archives' Special Media Division

"Images of the Week: D-Day in Color" from the Unwritten Record Blog of the National Archives' Special Media Division

"A Newsreel Cameraman’s View of D-Day" from the Unwritten Record Blog of the National Archives' Special Media Division

"Patent of the Month: Higgins boats" from the AOTUS Blog of the Archivist of the United States

"Rebuilding After World War II: The Experience of Saint-Lo, France" from the Text Message Blog of the National Archives' Textual Records Division

Prologue Articles:

Prologue Publication Article Vol. 46, No. 1 Spring 2014 - "Ok, We'll Go", Just What Did Ike Say When He Launched the D-Day Invasion 70 Years Ago? by Tim Rives

Prologue Publication Article Vol. 38, No. 3 Fall 2006 - D-Day Classroom: Eisenhower Library Program Offers Students Lessons in History and Leadership

Teaching Resources:

Teaching With Documents: D-Day Message from General Eisenhower to General Marshall

Teaching With Documents: Message Drafted by General Eisenhower in Case the D-Day Invasion Failed and Photographs Taken on D-Day

DocsTeach World War II Page with D-Day Images Included

 

Other U.S. Government Agency Links:

U.S. Army Europe D-Day 75

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial located in Colleville-sur-Mer, France

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Brittany American Cemetery

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument

Library of Congress Veterans History Project: D-Day

"Cross Channel Attack" from the U.S. Army Center of Military History’s by Gordon A. Harrison

Normandy Invasion, June 1944 - Overview and Special Image Selection from the Naval History & Heritage Command

"The Normandy Invasion" from the U.S. Army Center of Military History

U.S. Army's D-Day page

"D-Day 1944: Air Power Over the Normandy Beaches and Beyond" from the U.S. Air Force History and Museums Program by Richard P. Hallion

"Allied Air Forces Paved Way for D-Day" from the U.S. Air Force News Section by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa 

 

Other Related Links:

National WWII Museum 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Normandy (France) Tourism Website: 75th Anniversary D-Day Commemoration and Events

Imperial War Museums (IWM) D-Day 75

Juno Beach Centre

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