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"It was actually terribly exciting, we knew this was it"

Eric ReedmanNinety-one year old Eric Reedman was a 21-year-old Leading Aircraftman with Advanced HQ, 80 Wing at the start of D-Day. Two days before D-Day he was posted to Old Sarum, Wiltshire, where his unit waited to make their way to Gold Beach.

Eric says: "We knew that something major was happening because all these units were being called to Old Sarum.  But we didn’t know D-Day was imminent. Old Sarum, we found out was our holding unit until the invasion began. Once inside, that was it – we were sealed in. No one was permitted to leave under any circumstances!

"It was actually terribly exciting, we knew this was it, the second front was opening up and there was a sense of anticipation in the air.

"While at Old Sarum we waterproofed our vehicles and fitted breather pipes to the carburettors to enable the vehicles to be driven off the landing craft into about four or five feet of sea water and up to the beach.

"After being incarcerated for only two days, on the night of 5 June 1944 there came the distant rumblings of tanks and heavy transports to the coast. Later the sky was darkened with the enormous number of aircraft and gliders.

"The troops ahead of us got ashore but then the weather changed for the worse and instead of landing on D-Day on the 6th June we were delayed and we didn't arrive until ten days later."

This blog is in memory of all those men who did not return.

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