Posted on April 23, 2019
With less than 50 days to go, plans are being finalised by the Royal Navy, Army and the RAF to offer both ceremonial and logistical support to ‘D-Day 75’. In total, more than 4,000 personnel will be involved in the commemorations in both the UK and France, along with at least 11 Royal Navy vessels and multiple aircraft including the Red Arrows and the Spitfire.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “75 years ago troops from 14 allied countries united together, many on the south coast of Britain, before launching the historic operation to liberate Occupied Europe. Britain must always keep the legacy of that special generation alive. I urge people to join our Armed Forces in showing that all of us, young and old, will never forget the price they paid for the freedom and peace we now enjoy.”
On 5 June, D-Day veterans, VIPs and serving personnel will attend a national commemorative event on Southsea Common in Portsmouth where much of the invasion sailed from.
26 aircraft from the RAF will fly over the south-coast city where 300 veterans will embark on their journey to Normandy on board The Royal British Legion’s specially chartered ship. HMS St Albans, a Type-23 Royal Navy frigate, will escort the ship to Normandy along with four smaller Royal Navy vessels.
Commemoration events in Portsmouth run from June 5-9, while across the country there are also events at the National Memorial Arboretum and Imperial War Museum Duxford.
In Normandy, airborne landings and a visit to Bayeux, the first town liberated by allied forces, are also on the itinerary.