This website is devoted to all soldiers who served and continue to serve with the 299th.

Article #3 - WWII - "You might need this" The Omaha Beach - Kassel Hemet Story


0630 hours—Omaha Beach

At H-Hour, 0630 in the morning the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions land the first waves of troops under heavy fire resulting in massive casualties. The first waves are relentlessly cut down by German machine gun and mortar fire.

Corporal Kenneth Kassel, 299th Combat Engineer Battalion is on Omaha Beach this fateful morning.

Corporal Kenneth Kassel loses his helmet changing landing craft in the assault. A fellow soldier not going ashore gives Kassel his helmet, saying only "You might need this." Reaching Omaha Beach, a bullet pierces the front of Kassel's helmet but is deflected. While the helmet saves Kassel's life, another piece of shrapnel lodges in his head and has to be surgically removed by a doctor. The helmet that saved Kassel's life is now part of the The National WWII Museum's collection.


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