D-Day 75th Anniversary

D-Day 75th Anniversary

A Royal Signaller serving with NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) has re-enacted sending the first message back from the D-Day beaches – by releasing a pigeon from France on the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

Signaller Harry Swann, 24, from 252 Signal Squadron – dressed in full WW2 uniform – released ‘Bernard’ from Sword Beach in Normandy to re-enact the first message sent by homing pigeon on D-Day.

In June 1944, the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps – as the British ‘I Corps’ – led thousands of multi-national troops landing on Sword and Juno beaches in Normandy. To mark ‘D-Day 75’ this year, troops from the modern-day Corps headquarters returned to France with members of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA).

75 years on, at the precise time and place, Signaller Swann released the pigeon from the seaside resort of Hermanville-sur-Mer back to the UK to represent the moment when the first troops had come ashore.

Dressed in authentic WW2 uniform, on loan from the Royal Signals Museum in Blandford, the Royal Signaller completed his own personal ‘D-Day’ journey by sailing across from Gosport to Normandy.

Want to read more – read the full story in the Summer edition of The Wire magazine – out shortly!

Photographer:
Warrant Officer Class 2 Mark Nesbit / MoD Crown Copyright

Words by Major Laurence Roche