MIL-OSI United Kingdom: RAF commemorates D-Day 8007 Jun 2024

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Source: United Kingdom – Royal Air Force

Royal Air Force personnel have been heavily involved in D-Day 80 commemorations over the past week.  

Through flypasts, ceremonial events, reenactments, educational programs, and international collaborations, the RAF has ensured that the legacy of D-Day is remembered and celebrated, inspiring future generations to appreciate the values of courage, sacrifice, and unity. Here are just a few of the highlights in pictures! 

UK National Event in Portsmouth  

Attended by His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla, the National Commemoration event retold stories of bravery for Allied Forces in Europe. 

The ceremony was closed by a spectacular flypast by the RAF Red Arrows, who flew in formation with the RAF Typhoon aircraft, painted in it’s D-Day livery.  

Corporal Joe Randall, now aged 100, was a member of the Airfield Construction Squadron and landed in Normandy on D-Day +3.  

Commenting on the D-Day 80 National Commemoration Event, he said, “It’s had me feeling a bit weepy at times, but it’s been a magnificent day.” Joe even had a message for today’s RAF aviators. “Be proud of yourself and be proud of the RAF, ‘cos believe it or not, we’re the best!” 

UK Commemorative Event, Normandy 

Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families gathered at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The significant occasion marked the first time the completed Memorial has served as the centrepiece for a major D Day anniversary. 

Wreath Laying Ceremony, Scotland 

In Scotland, a tri-service ceremony was held at Findhorn beach on 6th June. The region played a crucial role in the D-Day landings, with the beaches providing the perfect training grounds for what the troops would face in Normandy.   

International Commemorative Event, Normandy 

Over at Omaha Beach, the RAF Red Arrows joined in mixed formation with the Patrouille De France to commemorate the historic day, whilst veterans and world leaders from across the Allied Forces watched.   

A400 Paradrop, Normandy 

In Sannerville, France, three Atlas C1 (A400M) aircraft dropped paratroopers over ‘Drop Zone K’, mirroring the actions of RAF Dakota aircraft 80 years ago.   

The event marked the first public display of the A400M’s paratrooper deployment capabilities and saw 16 Air Assault Brigade paratroopers jump from aircraft’s the two side doors simultaneously.  

Vigil at Bayeux War Cemetery 

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission held a vigil at Bayeux War Cemetery – the largest WWII Commonwealth cemetery in France – on the evening of the 5th June. The RAF Band provided moving music throughout and King’s Colour Squadron personnel stood guard at the memorial until the early hours of the morning.  

National Memorial Arboretum Service of Remembrance  

The Royal British Legion hosted an event at the National Memorial Arboretum to reflect on the significance of the 6th June. An A400 Atlas from RAF Brize Norton conducted a flypast over the event and a wreath was laid on behalf of the RAF by Air Vice Marshal Simon Edwards, Director People. 

MIL OSI United Kingdom