Friday, June 6, 2014
D-Day + 70Y
On this day seventy years ago, the greatest military invasion took place - as Allied Forces landed in Normandy, France to begin the liberation of Europe from Germany in World War II. The day before, on June 5, General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, putting 6,000 ships and more than 176,000 troops into the English Channel for the crossing to designated landing areas on the French coast. More than 12,000 aircraft were used to ferry parachute troops into France and provide air cover. As the sun rose over the beaches the land invasions began and by the end of the day - 18,000 parachutists were on the ground and more than 155,000 soldiers had taken Normandy's beaches.
Part of my job responsibilities is to respond to reference requests for military service records. Unfortunately, the requests for World War II records is dwindling, at least from the "I served in World War II" perspective. We do get a lot of "my father / grandfather / uncle," etc., served "but he didn't like to talk about it" requests. One really only has to take a look at the opening of this movie to understand why.
Congratulations (and a huge Thank You) to all of those brave men who fought on this day and those who gave the "last full measure" seventy years ago.