On June 6, 1944, George Davison huddled behind the ramp of his landing craft several hundred yards off Omaha Beach. Rounds of gunfire pinged the flip side. All around, boats were being hit, ”bodies being blown to bits, parts of men flying through the air like birds,” Davison wrote. The ramp fell, plunging the men into water far deeper than they expected. Davison grabbed onto the back of a truck as it rolled off the ramp. The truck sunk like the 2½ tons of steel that it was, and Davison let go. At five feet, eight inches tall, he plunged into the 56-degree surf, his gear a dead weight on his 180-pound frame. He paddled toward shore, and prayed the machine-gun fire thwacking the water around him would miss. A wave gave him a hearty push and his feet touched ground. Relief. At least he wouldn’t drown today.