Gold Beach 6 June 1944
As the first rays of dawn break over Gold Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944, twenty-three Halifax bombers of 76 Squadron headed inland over the breaking surf below. Their task: to annihilate the large German coastal gun battery of Mont Fleury that overlooked the beach where elements of the British 50th Division would shortly be landing.
As ships of the Royal Navy joined the barrage and with the battery all but silenced, the bombers headed north over Gold Beach towards England. Escorted by P-51 Mustangs from the 359th Fighter Group they witness the unforgettable sight unfolding below them in the light of dawn, as a vast flotilla of landing craft heads toward the Normandy shore.
By midnight the 50th Division had landed over 25,000 men, and linking up with the Canadians on Juno Beach, had secured a deep bridgehead along a six mile front. The Battle for Caen and their long, slow march to Berlin had begun.
This atmospheric piece is part of The Normandy Portfolio – June 1944 and is available individually or as part of a pair along with RETURN OF THE HUNTERS.
Each copy in every edition is signed by the artist as well as three highly distinguished aviators who flew on Halifaxes during WWII and the Normandy Invasion:
Warrant Officer REX STATHAM
Flight Lieutenant ERIC BERNARD
Flight Lieutenant JAMES HAMPTON