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D-Day 75th anniversary

Daily News Article — Posted on May 28, 2019

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(by James Gordon, Daily Mail) – The planes that dropped 24,000 American, British,
and Canadian troops into Normandy on D-Day have taken to the skies once again to
commemorate the 75th anniversary of the mission that laid the foundations for Allied
victory over the Nazis.
Twelves planes, including five C-47’s bearing the black and white invasion stripes
of Operation Overlord, left Connecticut on May 19 for their journey across the
Atlantic to northern France.
There, they joined 15 more planes that will drop 250 D-Day paratroopers to reenact
what was the largest seaborne invasion in history.
On June 6, 1944, the planes dropped thousands of troops behind enemy lines in the
middle of the night. The ensuing battle for Normandy ultimately helped pave the way
for Hitler’s defeat and bring the Second World War to an end.
Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy which saw 1,200-
planes take part in an airborne assault followed by an amphibious assault involving
more than 5,000 vessels.
The US, British, and Canadian paratroopers landed on French soil shortly after
midnight and came in either by parachute or by glider.
13,000 paratroopers from the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions along with
British paratroopers — making for a total of about 24,000 combat jumpers landed in
Nazi-occupied France.
The mission for the C-47s and gliders towed by the planes was to dropped the soldiers
behind the Germans’ main lines with the objective of taking the town of St. Mere Eglise
in order to secure key approaches to the beaches.
By the end of that day, nearly 160,000 troops had crossed the English Channel and
landed in Nazi-occupied France and laid the foundations of the Allies victory on the
Western Front, but there were enormous casualties too.
1,500 U.S. paratroopers lost their lives that day – 338 were killed and 1,257 went
missing. …
“This is our last chance to honor the members of the greatest generation while they’re
with us,” Steve Lashley, director of communications for the D-Day Squadron said.
“The 80th will be too late.”
“That’s why we’re doing this mission, we’re bringing history to life,’ said Andy Maag,
who is flying a C-47 named ‘That’s All, Brother.’ [The trip, in which the aircraft had to
make several stops to refuel – in Canada, Greenland and Iceland – took about a week.]

WWII troop carrier, ‘That’s All Brother’

The international event will honor the soldiers of World War II who liberated France
and fought on to victory over the following year.
Next month’s event will see a gathering of volunteer pilots, crews and historic planes all
come together, culminating on June 5 with the paratroopers landing in the same drop
zones that were used in the June 6, 1944 invasion according to the Hartford Courant.
“It’s an extraordinary opportunity to honor our veterans and to teach new generations
about America’s place in the world,” Placid Lassie pilot Eric Zipkin of Middlebury said.
…[On June 6], the plan once again is for the skies over southern England and Normandy
to be filled with the aircraft and hundreds of paratroopers.
The [paratroopers participating in the reenactment will board] the aircraft in England
before flying across the English Channel in formation before the parachute jump into
the historic drop zones of Normandy.
The men will be wearing WWII style Allied uniforms and will jump using military round
parachutes – mimicking those used in 1944. …
While most of the plane’s flight controls are 1930s technology, the latest navigation and
communication equipment has been installed into the old cockpits to ensure the journey
goes as smoothly as possible. Every aircraft it also equipped with life rafts and survival
suits.
“This is dangerous,” said Len Roberto, a member of the board of directors of the
Connecticut Air and Space Center told The Times. “It is not an easy journey in a 75-year-
old airplane.”
In addition to honoring veterans, the squadron’s goal is to inspire young people to learn
about American history and aviation as well as encouraging youngsters to explore
careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Between June 2-9, 30 DC-3 and C-47 planes will come together at Duxford Airfield in
the United Kingdom near Cambridge and then at Caen Carpiquet Airport in Normandy,
According to the organizers of Daks Over Normandy, the June 5 commemorative flight
‘will most probably be the very last large commemoration of this historic day,’ while
some of those who took part in the invasion are still alive.
Published at UK DailyMail .com. Reprinted here for educational purposes
only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from
The Daily Mail.

Questions
1. For what reason were the allied paratroopers dropped into France the night before the
amphibious assault began on D-Day?
2. How many U.S. paratroopers took part in Operation Overlord?
3. How many allied troops in total landed in Nazi-occupied France on D-Day?
4. For what reason are the 12 planes flying from the U.S. to Britain then France for the
75th anniversary of D-Day? (Why do it now?)
5. What is the purpose of the reenactment?
Check out some of the links and watch the videos under “Resources” below.
6. How does learning about D-Day inspire you?
7. D-Day is not part of the required high school social studies curriculum in many states.
Teaching about World War II varies from state to state. It’s often up to the teachers to
decide how much time they want to give to individual battles like D-Day. A teacher in
North Carolina who spent about an hour and a half teaching about D-Day said if this
wasn’t the 75th anniversary of the turning point in World War II, she wouldn’t devote
that much time to it. (Too many other requirements she needs to fulfill.)
a) Consider the importance to the U.S. and the world of the allies winning the war, and
the role D-Day played in making it possible. Why should every high school require
teaching about D-Day as part of their curriculum?
b) Ask a parent and also a grandparent the same question.
CHALLENGE: Research one of the following. Explain the importance of the topic you
researched:

 Operation Overlord
 Pointe du Hoc
 Bedford Boys
 Battle of Normandy
 Portsmouth, England
 Operation Neptune
 Who planned the D-Day landings?
 Who planned the Battle of Normandy?
Role of Eisenhower in D-day

Free Answers — Sign-up here to receive a daily email with answers.

Background
D-DAY:

 On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-
fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy,
France.
 General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will
accept nothing less than full victory.”
 More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by
day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Normandy.
 The D-Day cost was high – more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded
— but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.
(from army .mil)

For FAQs on D-Day, go to theddaystory.com.


Read a commentary about FDR’s DDay prayer.

Resources
What was D-Day?
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Before TV was available to the whole country (beginning in the 1950s), people got their
news from newspapers, the radio, and newsreels that were shown in
movie theaters. Watch a newsreel about D-Day below:
Video Player
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This order was issued by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to encourage Allied soldiers taking
part in the D-day invasion of June 6, 1944. Almost immediately after France fell to the
Nazis in 1940, the Allies planned a cross-Channel assault on the German occupying
forces, ultimately code-named Operation Overlord.
Video Player
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Listen to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address and prayer to the nation on the night
of D-Day below:
(Read FDR’s prayer. Consider these questions about the prayer.)
Video Player
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Listen to President Ronald Reagan’s speech at Point-du-Hoc, Normandy on the 40th


anniversary of D-Day (in 1984):
1. What was the tone of President Reagan’s speech?
2. What was the focus of his speech?
Video Player
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From the CBS archives
A CBS radio broadcast details the Allies’ attack on Normandy as it unfolds on June 6,
1944:
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Inflatable tanks? Read about how the allies fooled the Nazis with a “Ghost Army”

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