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  • "He screamed 'leave me, let me drown'"

    Omaha beach was the largest of the five beaches and heavily fortified by the Germans. The Americans suffered huge losses here as they made their advance. Twenty-three-year-old Lee Wrake was transporting trucks onto Omaha beach when he was hit in the chest by shrapnel. Prior to that he had saved a man, who had been hit in the stomach, from drowning.

  • Landing on the beaches

    In the early hours of 6 June 1944 thousands of Allied troops had begun landing on the beaches of Normandy in northern France at the start of a major offensive against the Germans. Sergeant Lee Wrake, 94, was a mechanic in the RAF, responsible for transporting vehicles on a landing barge, unbeknown to him at the time, loaded with radar equipment on to Omaha beach.

  • Eric Reedman
    "It was actually terribly exciting, we knew this was it"

    Ninety-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.

  • "June 1944 – what a month!"

    John 'Jackie' Reid was a pilot with 605 Squadron at the time of D-Day. He and his Observer Ray Phillips and two other crews were put on special duties and directed to go to Caen on the night of 5/6 June to attack anti-aircraft guns and lights before the airborne troops went in. In an extract from his Operations Records book, John describes events of that night.

  • "It was a sight and sound that would never be forgotten"

    Flight Lieutenant Len Thorne was 24 at the time of D-Day. Although he did not fly over to the coast of Normandy, in an extract from his notes, Len describes the scene of watching aircraft taking off as part of the RAF's air operations.

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