[et_pb_vertical_timeline title=”Timeline Normandy Invasion June – August 1944″ _builder_version=”3.17.6″ background_color_gradient_direction=”1px” label_font=”|700|||||||” line_color=”#e02b20″ label_text_color=”#3c488c” background_color_gradient_type=”linear” background_color_gradient_direction_radial=”center” background_color_gradient_overlays_image=”off”][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D-1 June 5th” timeline_label=”Royal Navy: Alan Johnson” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about Alan Johnson” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/alan-johnson/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ background_size=”contain” headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

The first stage of the invasion began before troops landed on the beaches. The coastline had to be cleared of mines that the Germans had put in the sea to stop any ships sailing too close to the shore.  Alan was on one of 8 ships that worked along the coastline, clearing mines.  He was 18 years old serving on the Minesweeper HMS Onyx and they started at 8.30 in the evening of 5th June and finished clearing the mines by 4.30 am on the morning of 6th June

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D-Day June 6th” timeline_label=”Royal Navy : Harold Addie” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about Harold Addie” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/harold-addie/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

Troops, tanks and vehicles were landed on the beach from 5.30 am. Harold was 19 when he was on a Troop Landing Craft which landed Canadian troops on Juno Beach very early on D-Day morning.  It was about an hour after the invasion had started and the craft had drifted out of position, so that it landed in line with a German machine gun. Harold witnessed many injuries and deaths to those soldiers as a result.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D-Day June 6th” timeline_label=”Royal Navy: Jim Clegg” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about Jim Clegg” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/james-clegg/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

Royal Navy ships were being used further out at sea. Their job was to bombard the German defences and clear the path for the troops who were landing on the beaches. Jim’s ship HMS Frobisher was a Destroyer.  Jim was very proud that his Destroyer damaged (“we blew the top off”) and stopped the firing of a large gun based at Caen, the main port of Normandy.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D-Day June 6th” timeline_label=”Army: Pat Lannon” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about Pat Lannon” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/patrick-lannon/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

Pat was 19 when he landed early in the morning. He was part of the Infantry.  Pat’s troops had to get up the beach to start firing back at the German soldiers. He remembers that everything felt confused – in an attack there are no clear lines and it was the corporals and sergeants who were doing much of the organising.  In his account Pat remembers the corporal who literally pulled him up the beach as Pat clung on to his webbing belt.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D-Day June 6th” timeline_label=”Army: Percy Redfern” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about Percy Redfern” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/percy-redfern/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

Percy landed on the beach at Normandy with the same group as Pat Lannon. He was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) as a vehicle mechanic pulling an Armour D8 and a trailer. After unloading the trailer and the D8, Percy had to push the wreckage on the beach to one side, away from the road. In the same way as Pat was looked after by a corporal, since Percy was only 18, the driver mechanic (a corporal) looked after him on the beaches while they were clearing the damaged vehicles. Sooner than he had expected the beach was cleared for troops landing and the D8 Armour moved on to clear the roads nearby.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D-Day June 6th” timeline_label=”RAF: Bob Lasham” use_read_more=”on” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3c488c” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C” read_more_text=”More about Bob Lasham” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/bob-lasham/” use_background_color_gradient=”off” background_color_gradient_type=”linear” background_color_gradient_direction_radial=”center” background_color_gradient_overlays_image=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on” background_size=”cover” background_position=”center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_blend=”normal” allow_player_pause=”off” background_video_pause_outside_viewport=”on” text_text_shadow_style=”none” text_shadow_style=”none” headings_text_shadow_style=”none” box_shadow_style=”none” hover_transition_duration=”300ms” hover_transition_delay=”0ms” hover_transition_speed_curve=”ease” text_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0em” text_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0em” text_text_shadow_blur_strength=”0em” text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0em” text_shadow_vertical_length=”0em” text_shadow_blur_strength=”0em” headings_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0em” headings_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0em” headings_text_shadow_blur_strength=”0em”]

Bob was the pilot of a Lancaster Bomber. On D-Day Bob firstly flew to attack a gun battery. In this action two planes were shot down, with all lives lost. When returning to the airbase his Bomb Aimer told the crew ‘ The sea’s full of ships’ and then they realised that it was D-Day. Bob flew a second flight in the evening to bomb an ammunition dump. During the whole of the Normandy Invasion he flew as air support, mainly bombing transportation and railway bridges.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D+4 June 10th” timeline_label=”Army: Bill Ward” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about Bill Ward” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/bill-ward/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

Bill was in the Royal Artillery.  He landed in Normandy as part of the 2nd wave (the beaches had been taken and it was safe to land now). Within 4 days since the start of the invasion the beach had been cleared, and most of the bodies removed. They drove past wrecked tanks and vehicles to set up their guns. Their aim was to capture Caen (the port in Normandy) in one day but it was several weeks before Caen was taken. Bill’s route took him through woods that overlooked Caen. From here he saw the first big wave of bombers that went over and practically destroyed Caen. The American bombers were flying very high when they flew over, but the English bombers (such as Bob’s Lancaster) went over only 1000 feet up and so were clearly visible to Bill. It was painful to watch some of the English bombers come down, but Bill remembers that ‘they did a terrific job’, and Caen was eventually taken.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D+25 July 1st” timeline_label=”Army Nurse: June Davies” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about June Davies” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/june-davies/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

June landed safely on a Normandy beach and was taken to the city of Bayeux to set up a hospital in tents. June was a nurse in the surgical theatre and as there was still a lot of fighting her job was to help do the emergency surgery before the wounded men were sent back home to Britain to receive more specialist care. She was very busy with all the casualties and every time the fighting moved further away, the field hospital had to pack up the tents and follow the front line.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D+54 July 30th” timeline_label=”Army Cook: Wally MacKenzie” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about Wally MacKenzie” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/wally-mackenzie/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

It has been said ‘an Army marches on its stomach’ – meaning that you have to feed your fighting men to keep them going. So someone like Wally, who was trained as a cook, was a key part in the follow up to the invasion. When he joined the Army Wally was put on a course to learn about cooking and providing food to keep the rest of the Army going. His training was intense and professional, with the army cooks teaching him everything he needed to know as a ‘crash course’. Wally was sent over to Normandy as the army was moving further away from the coast and he was needed to set up Field Kitchens to cook the soldiers’ food.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”D+75 August 20th” timeline_label=”Army Engineer: Arthur Moore” use_read_more=”on” read_more_text=”More about Arthur Moore” read_more_url=”https://stockportveterans.com/veterans-stories/arthur-moore/” animation=”off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ headings_font=”|700|||||||” headings_text_color=”#3C488C” font_icon=”%%30%%” icon_color=”#ffffff” circle_color=”#3C488C”]

Arthur was sent over to Normandy towards the end of the Normandy Campaign to use his expertise to repair all the railway lines (and railway bridges) that had been destroyed by both troops and the bombing from aircraft. They needed to be destroyed to slow down the German Army, but when the Germans had started to retreat, good communication was needed. This meant the repair of roads and railways and so skilled men like Arthur were sent into Normandy to do these repairs. By the time he was sent to Normandy he had been promoted to Sergeant and was a qualified permanent way inspector.