Code Name: Omaha Beach

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces invaded Nazi-occupied France. The landings were made on five different beaches in Normandy, code named Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword, and Gold.

How did Omaha Beach get such a code name?

Gayle Eyler
Gayle Eyler's photo at Omaha Beach, Normandy. Image © Marcia Bennett.

Gayle Eyler, a carpenter from Bartlett, Iowa, was drafted into service in 1943. He completed his Army training in Bend, Oregon, and was assigned to the First US Army Group Headquarters in London. He, along with a carpenter known only as “Sam,” were tasking with converting apartments into the headquarters for the Allied invasion. Eyler and “Sam” would have breakfast with General Omar Bradley, and were sometimes joined by Allied planners like Patton and Montgomery.

In a letter found after he died, Eyler claimed that Bradley named the beaches “Omaha” and “Utah” beach for the hard-working carpenters who built the headquarters.

But who is “Sam?”

For more detailed information on the life of Gayle Eyler and his role in the naming of Omaha Beach, please visit