An archived 1944 article from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency claims that two American Jews were the first two American soldiers to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, but subsequent records of them are remarkably scanty if not absent:
A 22-year-old Jewish officer from New York, Lt, Abraham Condiotti, who comes from a Sephardic Jewish family, was the commander of the first wave of small assault boats in the invasion landing between Cherbourg and Le Havre, while another New York Jew, Robert Halperin, was one of the first Americans perhaps the very first – to go ashore in France, it was reported here today from the invasion front.
Condiotti’s own boat, the first to hit the beach, landed less than 60 seconds after H-Hour, B. J. McQuaid, the New York Post correspondent, related in a dispatch written “aboard the combat transport U. S. Barnett in the transport area.” His boat carried members of an infantry company commanded by Capt. Leonard T. Schroeder, 25, of Baltimore, Mr. Quaid wrote. “Just as Condiotti’s was the first boat to hit the beach, Schrceder may have been the first American or even Allied soldier to invade Europe,” he said.
The news about Halperin’s landing, as related by William H. Stoneman, correspondent of the N. Y. Post in a dispatch dated “off the Coast of France,” reads: “One of the first Americans to go ashore in France – perhaps the very first – was Bob Halperin, formerly of the Brooklyn Dodgers professional football team. His job is to mark beaches for the assault infantry, daring job requiring as much brain as courage and barrels of both. He made a hero of himself at Port Lyautey in Morocco, and at Gela, Sicily. He is certainly making a hero of himself in there again this morning, doing a job on which the success of our assault depends and which not one man in a thousand would like to have.”
Halperin was an electrical contractor before joining the armed forces. Lt, Condiotti is a graduate of Brooklyn College. He went into the Navy in 1942. Early yesterday, when his parents heard that the invasion had started, they went to a nearby synagogue and spent four hours praying.
The only records of the existence of Abraham Condiotti seem to be a couple references to newspaper stories at that time which refer to each other as the source. No post-war records of Condiotti seem to exist for such an important person not only in Jewish history, but American military history as well.
Even a mainstream veterans military site finds something odd about the account of Condiotti, “Strangely, though a brief account of his deeds on D-Day appeared in Fighting For America – 1944 Edition, his name never appeared in 1947’s American Jews in World War Two.”
The other Jew to allegedly lead the charge on D-Day, Robert Halperin, seemed to be a renaissance man, winning a medal in the Olympics in sailing, playing quarterback in the NFL, and eventually becoming a founder and CEO of Land’s End clothing company, according to Wikipedia. Yet many of the links in the sources of his Wiki article are dead, and no pictures of Halperin seem to be available anywhere on the internet, which is strange for such a celebrated and accomplished man. And given the Jews penchant for celebrating their own, they normally would have made either a documentary film or Hollywood movie about this jewish hero.