Hear how D-Day was broadcast to the world 75 years agoComments
As Allied forces launched their amphibious assault into France to drive out the Nazi regime, reporters witnessed the carnage that unfolded on D-Day 75 years ago. One of these reporters would become world famous — even earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — in large part for his coverage of the moment D-Day began on 6 June, 1944.
American George Hicks was the London bureau chief of the Blue Network when he was embedded as a "pool" reporter with Allied troops off the coast of Normandy. Standing on the decks of the USS Ancon, Hicks reported on the bombardment as the constant and claustrophobic sounds explosions and artillery fire rang over his narration.
According to the US Library of Congress, other reporters beat Hicks at getting their reports of D-Day to air. What made Hicks' broadcast stand out, however, was that he recorded his piece while the invasion was happening — unlike his colleagues, who reported on what they had witnessed after the fact.
Hicks' report would be broadcast in the US just before midnight on June 6.
In the Soundcloud player above, American-British comedian Bob Hope recalls in 1976 NBC's D-Day coverage, including Hicks' historic broadcast. It was Hicks' radio report from the deck of the USS Ancon at the start of Allied forces' invasion that illustrated to listeners around the world the bombings and barrage along the French coastline on 6 June, 1944.