The Dawn of the Longest Day

Discussion in 'History' started by Naval_Gazer, Jun 6, 2013.

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  1. I'll leave someone else to mention the sterling work of the X-Craft and the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP) during the lead-up to the Normandy landings but I thought it appropriate today, exactly 69 years after 'D' Day, to publish the following excerpt from pages 114-120 of The Frogmen - The Story of the Wartime Underwater Operators by T J Waldron and James Gleeson (Evans Brothers Ltd, L0nd0n November 1950):

    I was proud to be a friend of the Petty Officer who, thanks to his Kapok Jacket, survived the explosion in the water "quite close to him". He eventually became Lt Cdr Robbie Robinson MBE RN who suffered pain from his injuries right up to his death in March 2004.
     
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  2. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    A good time to remember Gordon Newman, Gordon was an X Boat swimmer who did some of the exploration work on beach densities prior to the landings. Gordon crossed the bar about 3 years ago. A good friend and gentleman. RIP mate
     
  3. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    If we are raising a toast, then I'll have a sip and raise my glass to my grandfather who landed on Sword beach on D Day. Brave buggers the lot of them.
     
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  4. I will raise my glass and toast their memory with you.
     
  5. Blackrat

    Blackrat War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Agreed. The vast majority of us volunteered to serve. The vast majority of those guys didn't.

    Brave doesn't really cover it to be honest mate. I'm always humbled when i meet one of these blokes.
     
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  6. .

    Channel 4 has a "live" webpage recording hour-by-hour of seven survivors ;

    D-Day Home

    IF you click on "George" (an X-Boat X-23 commander) you will find his story stretching back to 12th March 1944.
     
  7. My Gampy Scott flew in by glider at Normandy, my other Grampy was in Italy.

    Today I count myself lucky still and thank my Grampy's and those like them for what I have today.

    RIP I know I will always remember
     
  8. Watched the CH5 documentary last night, didn't realise the massive loss of life at OMAHA was largely contributable to the US leaders cowardice in dropping off tanks too far from the beach, where they promptly sank, and the stubborn refusal of US commanders to use Flail tanks.
     
  9. Very interesting program on TV last night on channel 5 covering the various inventions created for the invasion. Culminated with the meeting up of three veterans, a german,american, and a RN capt of one of the landing craft. Like many of you no doubt, I have been all around the various sites and the museums in Normandy and felt the enormous effort that was made. God rest their souls who perished on those beaches.
     
  10. Glass raising and toasting here as well !!!
    Great respect to each and every one of them.
     
  11. The guy that got my interest was the Yank that took part in Operations Torch, invasion of North Africa, Husky, the invasion of Sicily, Tiger, the fiasco at Slapton Sands and finally Neptune, the invasion of Normandy. Did he land at Omaha beach? Did he survive the slaughter there? Did he survive the war?
     
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  13. Tommo, I'm posting this on the main site rather than PM you in case it may be of interest to others but you mentioned your Granfather who saw service in Italy. Through my day job, I have a long standing link with the Italy Star Association who hold their annual reunion in the Chichester area in May each year. This year, the 'D Day Dodgers' 'First into Europe' as they like to call themselves celebrated the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Sicily and Italy, next year, they are making plans for a tour and pilgrimage of Monte Cassino and the 70th Anniversary of the Battles of Monte Cassino. They are very active in wanting to recruit friends, relatives of holders of the Italy Star to keep the memory alive of that sometimes forgotten campaign 'Who said Italy was going to be warm and dry' as a 90 yr old said to me this year. 27 of the veterans were 'on parade' this year. If anyone would like to join the Italy Star Association here are the contact details or PM me. Thanks for reading this. Italy Star Association 1943-1945
     
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  14. Divers pay was well earned on that day!

    I have nothing but the utmost respect for that generation. I would love to stand up with pride and say that my grandparents were there on the beaches of D-day, but unfortunately one granddad was a crab living the life in sierra leone and the other couldn't serve for medical reasons.

    Nice little British Pathe video on LCOCU

    NAVAL FROGMEN - LCOCU - British Pathé
     
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  15. Thank you for that. I will pass the info on to my father as it was his dad who fought in Dunkirk, Africa and then Italy. He died when I was 1 year old in '79. My mothers father fought in Dunkirk, D-Day, Arnhem, hidden by a farmer then helped to liberate Belsen. He later lost his right leg to gangrene when the shracknel that remained in his leg after the war effected him in his 70's. He was recruiting SGT at Redruth Army Recruitment office in the 50's
     
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  16. And me - Dad landed with the Hampshires (sorry Dad, ROYAL Hampshires). Only time he'd ever talk about it was on New Year's Eve, when he'd had a few. He still cursed the Elmer boat driver, who promised to put them on the beach feet dry, hit a sandbar, and reversed from underneath them, leaving them chest deep a long way from shore, with "every ferkin German gun in France shooting at me personally". So here's to you Dad, and all those who went with you. You might not have won medals for gallantry. but you and all the other lads were heroes to me - and always will be.
     
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  17. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    My Grandad was SAS during the war and I once asked him if he was on the landings. He gave some vague answer. It wasn't till I want to join the Navy and then once I had that he full opened up.

    For months prior to D-Day he had been behind enemy lines doing recon etc. On D-Day he and his men were allowed to go and spread confusion. In fact he arrived at a small village in Normandy to find the Germans wanted to surrender to him and his three oppos. So he order the 50 Germans to drop their arms in the river and go to the large barn. He then radioed to get troops to come and secure the village. Of course he couldn't raise anyone so got the locals to pass a message and eventually some Yanks turned up.

    Here is a photo of him just after D-Day with his jeep.

    Edited to add - still a shit beret Grandad
    PS - Miss you.
     

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