Parachute Jump Over France to Commemorate D-Day


The BBC shared a story on January 29, 2014 of the plans Britain has to commemorate the 70 years since D-Day. The tribute will take place on the fifth of June and it will be carried out on members of the 16th Air Assault Brigade. The jump is set to be held over the village of Ranville in Normandy, which was liberated by the British 13th Parachute Battalion in 1944.

The jump is just one of the events planned to commemorate the anniversary. The Defense Minister, Lord Astor, said “I’m delighted that the Ministry of Defense will be supporting the veterans of this historic campaign as they gather to remember on the beaches of Normandy. “The 70th anniversary will be an occasion for us all to pay fitting tribute to those who fought for the liberation of Europe, and I know that our servicemen and women will be honored to take part.”

Ranville was the first place that was liberated in France on D-Day. The parachute jump will be followed by a memorial service. On June 6th, there will be another service of remembrance that will take place at Bayeux Cathedral and will be followed by a special event at the Bayeux Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.

Normandy Veterans Association said this year’s tribute will be the last one it will officially mark before it is disbanded. The national secretary for the group, 89 year old George Batts, has said: “we are disbanding because we are losing too many members. We used to have 15,000; but, now we are down to less than 600.”

D-Day took place on June 6, 1944 and it was the first stage in the liberation of Europe from Nazi rule. More than 80,000 British and Canadian soldiers took part in the invasion and nearly 3,000 Allied forces lost their lives. The Ministry of Defense said that veterans who wished to return to Normandy in June will be able to apply for financial support from the Big Lottery Fund.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE