June 6, 1944, will forever be remembered.

“This day changed the world,” said Scott Grant, historian.

So too, should the brave men and women of the Coast Guard…who at dawn faced the enemy head-on in Normandy, France. By the time the sun set, some had saved lives. Others gave their own.

“I think people are surprised that the Coast Guard was involved at all,” Grant said.

Coast Guardsmen were at the helm of craft that carried wave after wave of heroes onto the beach at Normandy.

While the heaviest casualties happened on the sand, 15 Coast Guardsmen died during the D-Day invasion.

Most were crewmen on the landing crafts. Others rescued soldiers whose carriers sank before making it onto the beach.

“The coast guard rescued over 400 guys on D-day,” Grant said.

Click here to learn more about the U.S. Coast Guard’s role in D-Day