Private William Richardson may well have been the first Allied soldier to be killed in the D-Day landings. No one will ever know for sure who was the first Allied soldier to be killed at D-Day but William Richardson must be considered.

Richardson was a paratrooper who was in a Dakota flying towards his landing zone prior to the main Allied assaults on Gold, Juno, Omaha, Sword and Utah beaches. His Dakota was hit by German anti-aircraft fire and he was killed where he sat. The rest of the men in his unit jumped and landed at Bois de Bavent. The Dakota returned to its base in England with Richardson’s body on board. Whether any other paratroopers were killed before Richardson is not known but it does seem possible that he was the first Allied casualty at D-Day.