RSL Encourages Australians to Remember D-Day

Media Release RSL Australia

The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) is encouraging Australians to remember the 80th anniversary of D-Day this Thursday, June 6.

On 6 June 1944, after years of secret planning, D-Day marked the launch of Operation Overlord, the mission to liberate Nazi-occupied western Europe. An immense force comprising soldiers, sailors and airmen from 13 Allied nations landed on the beaches of Normandy in France in what remains the largest amphibious operation in military history.

RSL National President Greg Melick said D-Day was the day that turned the tide of World War Two.

“While the majority of Australia’s armed forces were engaged in the war with Japan, Australia played a small yet important role in Europe, with some 3200 Australian airmen, sailors and soldiers participating in D-Day operations. Thousands more served in the wider Normandy campaign, and hundreds made the ultimate sacrifice,” Greg Melick said.

“The date, June 6, 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, which was a pivotal first step in the Normandy campaign – the Allies’ mission to liberate Nazi-occupied western Europe.

“Some 2800 served in transport, glider-towing, fighter and bomber squadrons with the Royal Australian Air Force or the Royal Air Force; around 500 served in Royal Navy warships, torpedo boats and landing craft; and a number of soldiers served on the ground with the British Army. Thousands more Australians served during the Normandy campaign and beyond.

“At least 14 Australians are known to have been killed on D-Day. Hundreds more were killed over the course of the Normandy campaign.

“This Thursday, D-Day’s 80th anniversary, we will join with communities around the world to remember them and all who fought for freedom and peace,” Greg Melick said.

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