Assistant Division Commander of the 29th Infantry Division, landing on Normandy with the first wave and Commander of the 28th Infantry Division. From Find a grave:United States Army General. he was the Assistant Division Commander of the 29th Infantry Division on June 6th, 1944, D-Day. Despite being personally opposed to the daylight landings, having lobbied his superiors for a pre-dawn assault, Cota did not allow this to get in his way at Omaha Beach. One of the highest ranking officers to land on the beaches that day, Cota, working along with one of his regimental commanders, Colonel (later General) Charles Canham, personally rallied his pinned-down troops off the beaches and led them inland, telling them, "Gentlemen, we are being killed on the beaches. Let's go inland and be killed." While under fire, Cota walked towards troops from the 5th Ranger battalion, yelling "What outfit is this?" Someone replied "5th Rangers!" Cota yelled back, "Well, Goddamn it then, Rangers, lead the way!" This was adopted in part as the Ranger motto, "Rangers lead the way." Cota is featured in Cornelius Ryan's book and film, "The Longest Day." In the film, Cota, played by Robert Mitchum, delivers the final line to the driver of a jeep, "OK. Run me up the hill son." Cota's own son, Norman Daniel Cota, Jr, a fighter pilot, flew in support of his father on D-Day. Cota later commanded the 28th Infantry Division and retired as a Major General. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on Omaha Beach.