Charles M Shay Indian Memorial
Location and info
This superb memorial stands proudly at the Eastern end of Omaha Beach and was created to honour Charles Norman Shay and the memory of 500 American and Canadian Indian soldiers who participated in Operation Neptune, for the liberation of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Warriors storming Omaha Beach on 6 June represent many indigenous nations from across the United States.
Most served in the 1st or 29th Infantry Divisions, others with the Rangers or in field artillery battalions.
About 175 American Indians invaded Omaha Beach. Some were medics, others fought as seamen, scouts, snipers, radio operators, machine-gunners, artillery gunners, combat engineers or forward observers.
A member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, 19-year old Private Shay was a combat medic from Indian Island, Maine. Soon after dawn, he came ashore near here as a member of an assault platoon. Repeatedly plunging into the treacherous sea, he carried critically wounded comrades to safety under heavy fire.
For his unselfish heroism on this beach, he was awarded the Silver Star and he continued to save the wounded until the war ended. He continues to live in Normandy.