The 101st Airborne Division, known as ‘The Screaming Eagles’, were the first to be dropped in the vicinity of Utah beach after their carrier planes made a low approach from the northwest to avoid radar detection. Cloud cover over the landing zones resulted in widespread confusion as the scout troops, assigned to activate marking beacons, landed off target and some of their beacons failed. The 101st Airborne troops landed over a wide area around their drop zones, whilst suffering significant casualties from anti-aircraft fire, but managed to form small groups in the dark. Although they did not achieve all of their objectives, troops of the 101st Airborne did manage to make their way towards the beach, securing a causeway which allowed them to link up with landing forces at Utah. Although unintentional, the seemingly disorganized scattering of landings helped convince the Germans that the Normandy beach invasions were a diversion.
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