North Shore Regiment
The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment landed at 'Nan Red' beach near St. Aubin at 8:10. Assault engineers and DD tanks of 'C' Squadron, Fort Garry Horse accompanied the regiment. The 14th and 19th field Regiments, Royal Canadian Artillery fired a steady barrage onto the beaches with their 105mm guns, beginning at 7:39 and lasting for thirty minutes.
'B' Company landed at St. Aubin proper. In the village located on the highest point of land there was an encased strong-point housing a 50mm gun. The strong-point had survived the preliminary bombardment and its defenders inflicted heavy casualties and destroyed several Sherman tanks. Once the LCA's landed, the troops headed across the 300 feet of beach to the cover of the beach wall. Small-arms fire buzzed everywhere. They used wire cutters and bangalore torpedoes to blast their way forward and were at close quarters with the enemy. They were pinned down by mortar and machine gun fire. Snipers were also inflicting casualties.
Lt. 'Bones' McCann: "We found that the guns and emplacement that were to have been put out of business by the air force were intact and very much in use. Also that Jerry had a beautiful underground system of communicating with his pillboxes. Now came the test. Things weren't going as planned and unless we captured those heavy guns Jerry was potting landing craft with, things were going to get worse. And worse they got, for there we were with nothing heavier than Brens with which to attack heavily fortified enemy posts."
The Fort Garry Horse DD tanks arrived within minutes of the infantry
and fired steadily from their beach positions. They awaited the Armoured
Vehicles, Royal Engineers (AVRE's) to clear a beach exit through a minefield
but gave up waiting and pushed on through the minefield loosing three
tanks in the process. The remaining 13 tanks worked closely with the infantry
and St Aubin was soon under control except for the strong-point.
'A' company landed on the right and came under machine gun fire, mortar fire and 88mm air burst. They sustained casualties but broke through and cleared their portion of the beachhead. They entered the western edge of St.Aubin and began clearing the houses in the village. They had to use extreme caution after they encountered a house that been booby-trapped. They obtained their initial objective along the coast road at 0948 hours and then joined up with the Queens Own Rifles on the right.
'C' and 'D' Companies landed after the first wave at 09:45 and moved into St. Aubin. Captain Bill Harvey of 'D' Company, described the action as they moved into the village: "I moved up towards the road parallel with the beach and saw puffs of smoke coming from a pillbox. I got Sergeant Joe Bertin to fire two hits on the pillbox. I moved along the street and found everything at a standstill since a German 75mm gun controlled the area. A dozen high explosive mortar bombs did the trick and we cleared the gun position. But we were held up by snipers. Then our guns got into fire position and disposed of the sniper controlled from the tower."
Lieutenant-Colonel Don Buell described the hard morning's fighting: "Word came by my signaller that A Company had taken its objectives but in doing had suffered 25 casualties. B Company reported they required much more time to complete their task and subdue the strong-point. However, they had completed clearing their portion of the village. D Company reported that they had cleared the remainder of St. Aubin but had some difficulty at isolated spots."
'C' Company met up with two troops of tanks and advanced towards Tailleville. Tailleville contained a battalion headquarters and a company of the 736 Grenadier Regiment. As the North Shores moved forward through the fields the enemy mortars opened up. The Sherman tanks gave good supporting fire and they slowly advanced. After six hours of fighting they took Tailleville. 'A' Company followed behind 'C' Company and sealed off the southern side of Tailleville.
By 2200 hours the North Shores were in a tidy defensive position. 'B' Company was positioned on the east and south of St. Aubin. 'D' Company was moved up to Tailleville on the east flank, 'A' Company stayed in the southern edge of the village and 'C' Company in the center.
The North Shores suffered 125 casualties on June 6.