Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day Anniversary Post #2: D-Day Items

As a second post in honor of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, I thought I'd post a picture of some D-Day related items I possess.

Below is the picture and below that a description of the items in it...

D-Day Related Items (C) Marc Osborn

Helmet. In the middle on top of the books is a WWII-era U.S. tankers helmet. It is not vintage from the time, but is a 100% replica. Tankers landing on D-Day would have been wearing one of these. Sadly, most tanks and the men in them did not make it to the beach or much farther because pre-invasion Allied bombardment did not take out the heavy German guns on the beach.

Books. The helmet is sitting on two books by author Steven Ambrose about June 6, 1944. One is simply titled D-Day and gives an account of the invasion, primarily but not all, from the American point of view. The other book is called Pegasus Bridge. It tells the harrowing tale of British glider-borne troops who landed in the early morning hours behind enemy lines to take and hold a key bridge so troops coming in from the sea could move inland.

Rocks and Sand. These are actually from Omaha and Utah Beach respectively. I collected these on my visit to the two beaches in 1994. The taller, skinnier bottle contains sand from Omaha Beach. The other bottle has sand from Utah Beach in it. The rocks are from Omaha Beach.

Pouch and Patch. The pouch is vintage WWII era, although not used on D-Day in Normandy. It held first aid items and could be affixed to a soldier's belt. The patch is the insignia of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division. This division began its legend on D-Day by dropping behind enemy lines at night and proceeding the seaborne assault to capture and hold key towns, bridges and crossroads behind the invasion beaches.

Concrete Chip. This is an actual chip from Hitler's "Atlantic Wall" in Normandy.

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