On the evening of 5 June 1944, at a dozen airfields across southern England, more than 13,000 American paratroopers prepared themselves for a mission that would change the course of history. The next morning these brave young men found themselves at the forefront of the bitter fighting to secure the right flank of the Normandy beach-head. The odds against them were huge and, if they failed, the American amphibious landings on Utah and Omaha beaches would face disaster – the destiny of the US First Army rested squarely on the shoulders of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.
Anthony Saunders brings to life the tense few hours before departure in his dramatic painting Final Roster. As daylight fades, men from the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, prepare to board the C-47 Skytrains of the 43rd Troop Carrying Squadron that will take them to Normandy.
As a tribute to the gallantry shown on that fateful day, two veterans who took part in operations on D-Day have joined artist Anthony Saunders in signing every print in this memorable edition.
Staff Sergeant EDWARD H. TUNISON
Captain DEAN MCCANDLESS