The 70TH is the last major anniversary commemoration that D-Day veterans are expected to be able to attend, due failing health and difficulties travelling. Nonetheless, those that can are making a special effort to attend 70th Commemorations in Normandy and elsewhere around the world.
In June 2014 it will be exactly 70 years since the largest invasion in history took place. On D-Day; the 6th of June 1944, in almost 7,000 ships the Allied armies transported over 160,000 young men to the beaches of Normandy in France, to fight to liberate Europe of Nazi occupation.
This seaborne invasion was preceded by the landing of 23,400 Allied airborne forces behind enemy lines. They parachuted from the famous Douglas C-47 Dakota – the workhorse of the Allied Air Forces – and landed in Horsa and Waco assault gliders. They raised havoc and suffered great losses to secure the flanks of the invasion beachhead and free the paths inland, enabling the liberators from the sea to fight the Battle of Normandy (6 Jun – 20 Aug 1944).
Today, twenty-seven war cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 of the fallen from both sides. Between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians were also lost their lives. Thousands more fled their homes to escape the fighting. The Liberations of Normandy in 1944 and of Europe in 1945 were achieved only at great sacrifice. Many of those who died were still very young, and died without seeing their twentieth birthday.
Eagle European are delighted to be supporting the LFA (Lee Flying Association)
|LEE FLYING ASSOCIATION (LFA) is leading the UK element of this International D-Day 70th Commemoration having proposed a 2014 Cross-channel Memorial Airborne Invasion formation flight originating from Daedalus Aerodrome, Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire. LFA have invited the Round Canopy Parachute Team (RCPT) to gather the parachutists and WW2 veteran aircraft participating in their “Dakotas Over Normandy” 2014 project at Lee-on-Solent and to launch Memorial Airborne Invasion parachute drop to Normandy on the 4th June, 2014.|
LFA Chairman Mr Jon Butts has formed the “Daedalus D-Day 70th” project team of LFA members, local organisations, volunteers and sponsors. The poject team is preparing to host the Memorial Airbone Invasion participants overnight on the 2nd & 3rd June – organised by Lee-on-Solent Residents Association’s Jock Thompson and hold a public Memorial Service on the evening of the 3rd June organised by Pat Prior of the Royal British Legion, prior to the first cross-channel formation Dakota air-drop since WW2, delivering parachutists to a D-Day 70th Memorial Commemoration in Normandy on 4th June 2014.
The Project Team logo reflects the parachute and glider airborne invasions which commenced on the 5th June 1944 ahead of the seaborne assault. British and Canadian forces landed north of Caen to secure the east flank of the 50 mile invasion beachhead; the Americans secured the west flank on the Cherbourg Peninisla. The Spitfire represents all those that flew and supported 435 D-Day missions flown from Daedalus. The first two aircraft over the beaches at dawn were Spitfires from Lee – the busiest south coast airfield engaged in battle on D-Day.