May 29, 2014 - The 70th anniversary of the massive D-Day invasion of World War II will be commemorated at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh on June 6-7, including programs with veterans of the Allied offensive that began on June 6, 1944.
Friday, June 6, marks 70 years since 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. According to the U.S. Army archives, 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 foothold in Normandy. The 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.
“We feel it’s important to honor these veterans for their service at Normandy and throughout the war,” said Bob Campbell, EAA AirVenture Museum director. “Time is taking these members of the Greatest Generation from our midst, so this anniversary is a fitting time to mark this historic moment in our history.”
The June 6 activities honoring the aircraft and the men and women who served during WWII will be held in the EAA AirVenture Museum’s Eagle Hangar starting at 11 a.m. Included in the event are:
- 11 a.m. – Brief program commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, including a wreath presentation, playing of “Taps,” and C-47 flyby.
- 12:30-3 p.m. – Various D-Day and World War II veterans at Eagle Hangar recall their wartime experiences. Museum visitors will also have the opportunity to climb inside the cockpits of several World War II-era aircraft.
- 7 p.m. – Free D-Day presentation in museum’s Eagle Hangar.
On Saturday, June 7, World War II-era aircraft will be on display and will make flyovers at the museum’s Pioneer Airport, including a 1 p.m. flyover by an iconic P-51 Mustang fighter. In addition, re-enactors will provide living history displays throughout the day.
All activities are included with regular museum admission (EAA members admitted free), except the Eagle Hangar presentation on Friday evening, June 6, which is free to the public.