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D-Day

  • Les Munro
    Bomber Command's key role in D-Day

    In an exclusive extract from the memoirs of the late Dambusters pilot Les Munro, he tells the story of the confusion created by brave Lancaster pilots who, flying without cover, created the impression the Allied Forces were attacking a different region of France. 

  • Lee Wrake
    Remembering the veterans of D-Day

    Sergeant Lee Wrake joined the RAF at the age of 19. On 6 June 1944 he landed on Omaha Beach, and after saving a man who was hit in the stomach, he himself was hit in the chest by shrapnel. 

  • Why the men of Bomber Command must never be forgotten

    Before any troops even set foot on the beaches on 6 June 1944 Bomber Command had already lost almost 300 aircraft and 2,000 men (1,500 killed) attacking invasion targets. Wing Commander John Bell MBE tells us about the significant contribution made by the RAF and Bomber Command in D-Day and why it must never be forgotten.

  • "What a sight it was to look down and see so many boats, like a giant armada!"

    Flying Officer Bunny Mason, 90, was a lone rear gunner on the Stirling Mk 4, which was specially adapted for D-Day to tow gliders over the Normandy beaches. The British Airspeed Horsa glider was used to transport paratroops and equipment, hundreds landing within just a few square kilometres once they were released.

  • Commemorating D-Day, 70 years on
    Spearheading the attack on Fortress Europe

    Spearheading the attack on Normandy was just the start of Geoff Packham's extraordinary experience as the end of the war approached.

  • "Abandon aircraft chaps"

    Navigator John 'Jack' Lott had just celebrated his 25th birthday weeks before D-Day, sadly this was the last birthday he would celebrate.

  • Decoys and deception

    Decoys and deception were just as much a part of the D-Day campaign as the fighters in the air and the troops on the ground. Operation Taxable was conducted on 6 June 1944 and involved aluminium foil being dropped from 16 Lancasters which acted as a 'window' and blocked German radar. Wing Commander John Bell MBE was a Bomb Aimer with 617 Squadron and he recalls what it was like on that night.

  • "I heard the roar of an approaching fighter plane"

    LAC Eric Reedman, 91, landed on Gold Beach on 16 June 1944 where his unit, Advanced HQ, 80 Wing made their way two miles inland to Tour en Besson. Although the Allied Forces were still advancing, Eric and his unit set up a convoy in the relative quiet of an orchard – until he found himself being shot at by enemy aircraft.

  • "He screamed 'leave me, let me drown'"

    Omaha beach was the largest of the five beaches and heavily fortified by the Germans. The Americans suffered huge losses here as they made their advance. Twenty-three-year-old Lee Wrake was transporting trucks onto Omaha beach when he was hit in the chest by shrapnel. Prior to that he had saved a man, who had been hit in the stomach, from drowning.

  • Landing on the beaches

    In the early hours of 6 June 1944 thousands of Allied troops had begun landing on the beaches of Normandy in northern France at the start of a major offensive against the Germans. Sergeant Lee Wrake, 94, was a mechanic in the RAF, responsible for transporting vehicles on a landing barge, unbeknown to him at the time, loaded with radar equipment on to Omaha beach.

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