Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day: Honouring Sacrifice and Valor

Tomorrow, June 6, 2024, marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a pivotal moment in World War II history. On this day in 1944, Allied forces launched Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious invasion the world has ever witnessed. This monumental assault saw troops land on the beaches of Normandy, opening a crucial third front against Nazi Germany. This bold and coordinated effort marked the beginning of an eastward push across Northern Europe that culminated in Germany’s surrender in May 1945.

Among the brave soldiers who participated in D-Day were thirteen Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice. This included two members of the Royal Australian Navy and eleven members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Their courage and dedication were emblematic of the broader Australian contribution to the war effort.

The RAAF played a significant role throughout the conflict, with approximately 10,000 Australian aircrew serving over Europe with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command from 1939 to 1945. This service came at a high cost; of all Australians lost in World War II, more than one in ten served with Bomber Command. These men faced immense danger on a daily basis, undertaking perilous bombing raids and reconnaissance missions that were crucial to the Allied war effort.

As we commemorate this 80th anniversary, we honour the memory of those who fought and fell on D-Day and throughout the war. Their sacrifices helped shape the course of history, ensuring the liberation of Europe from tyranny and the preservation of freedom.

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