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D-Day Veterans

The term ‘D-Day’ was a military code for the date when the Allied invasion, known as ’Operation Overlord’, against Nazi Germany’s hold on Europe would begin on the beaches of the France.  The date was June 6, 1944, when approximately 156,000 Allied troops representing British, Canadian, American and French soldiers and parachutists would make their historical assault to hold back Germany troops during World War II from conquering any further territory.

In your family lineage you could well have an uncle, cousin, grandfather or father who was part of the massive undertaking.  These armed forces from all military branches; army, naval, airman, stormed a 50-mile stretch of coastal beaches along the French Normandy region. These were not empty beaches, but rather heavily-fortified German outposts ready to stop the Allies.

First there were some 18,000 parachutists dropped along the coastline to help secure a strong hold base for the rest of the troops arriving. Incoming ships, some 5,000, loaded with soldiers along with 11,600 aircraft flying in supplies and additional personnel covered the landscape. Unfortunately, approximately 5,000 American troops were killed by the German troops within the first two hours of the D-Day landing. Some of the worst fighting were the battles on Omaha Beach. Throughout the day additional waves of troops poured in and then support personnel such as nurses were sent in four days later to run the field hospitals.

The invasion of D-Day resulted in more than 12,000 Allied soldiers killed or wounded as they moved from the Normandy beaches inland and across Europe. Their actions did succeed in pushing the Nazi war machine back into Germany

There is a National D-Day Memorial located in Bedford, Virginia.  This location was selected because this town suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation. The World War II Memorial in Washington, D. C. represents all the people (men and women), military and civilians who assisted in the war effort. There is a special name search section of those personnel who have been added to the registry of the memorial. Both these sites should be checked to see if any of your relatives were part of the D-Day invasion or served during the war.

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