CFFC: Fighter Planes of WWII

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is anything having to do with jets and planes.

In Normandy, France, we visited the Overlord Museum near Omaha Beach. The Overlord Museum has displays and dioramas including a variety of equipment used by both the Allies and the Nazis during D-Day and the subsequent month-long battle of Normandy, in which the Allies succeeded in pushing back the Nazis to liberate the north of France.

Operation Overlord (code name for the D-Day invasion) was a tricky operation that was difficult to coordinate due to the complexity and variety of troops and equipment, the expanse of the beach heads, the different countries and companies involved, and the need to catch the enemy by surprise. Paratroopers (the first to deploy) jumped from planes and drifted far off course. Heavy equipment like tanks and trucks had to be unloaded sometimes in 4 feet of water and then brought up cliffs. Of course, the Germans soon realized what was happening so that all this was taking place under fire. They had also put up barriers and mines along the beaches.

Each part of the operation was timed, coordinated by generals far from the beaches. After the naval ships were in position and ground troops on the beach, fighter jets flew overhead to provide cover for the men below, dropping bombs onto Nazi bunkers and strongholds.

We spent three days in San Diego after our Panama Canal cruise a few years ago. The first day we visited the USS Midway Museum. The USS Midway was another World War II relic – a huge aircraft carrier which saw action in the Pacific, and there was a lot to see.

USS Midway aircraft carrier

April Square Tops: Flagpoles

Looking up at the top of flagpoles in Arromanches, Normandy, France.
DSC00293 Flags - Arromanches, France
These are the flags of the nations who participated in the D-Day invasion on the side of the Allies. Arromanches is the site of Port Winston, an artificial harbor created by the British using truck bodies and barges. You can go down on the beach and see the rusted hulks being eroded away by salt water, and covered with seaweed.

You can also drive up a hill to see the Peace Garden and watch a 360-degree video presentation that is quite an emotional experience.

Posted for Becky’sApril Square Tops, 4/11/20.

RDP: Nations of Allies

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today (1/25/20) is nation.

The blogger, Marilyn Armstrong, who wrote about the state of our nation said it much the same way as I would, so I won’t repeat the sentiment, but instead provide a link to her blog.

For my contribution, I remember more valiant days in our history.  I am posting photos I took at Arromanches, France, at the site of Port Winston, an artificial harbor important during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. The flags represent the Allied nations during World War II who contributed to the liberation of France from the Nazis.


Left to right: Netherlands, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), Norway, Poland, Canada, Belgium, United Kingdom, United States of America

Another view:DSC00293
On June 6, 2019 – the 75th anniversary of D-Day – there was a major commemorative event, including the presence of many national leaders, including Trump (I’m glad we were there almost two weeks later instead!). Attendees were given (or they purchased, I am not sure) small crosses with paper flowers attached which they could leave at the base of monuments, write someone’s name, etc. These little crosses were still there when we visited on June 17.
D-Day was the combined effort of several nations, primarily the British, Canadians and Americans. The site at Arromanches is the location of Juno Beach, one of the British invasion sites. The mission that became the Battle of Normandy, which lasted about a month, was successful only because of the perseverance, bravery, and sacrifice of the forces who fought at the cost of many casualties.

FOTD: D-Day Garden Flowers

At Arromanches, Normandy, France, a garden, including flowers and sculptures, was created for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. These flowers constituted the “ground cover” of 1/2 of the garden.
20190617_180154 (2)
More of the garden:

On the left side, are the flowers and remembrance.

On the right is the stark reality of war, with obstacles, half-sunken ships, and sculptures only partially complete of the men who landed here.

Posted for Cee’s FOTD 8/10/19.

D-Day, June 6, 1944

This post is from another blog of my family history that I have rarely posted in – here is the link:

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I am reblogging this post from my family history blog above.

D-Day June 6 1944My mother told me that on June 6, 1944, after hearing the news about the invasion of Normandy, she was worried and scared. She was a young wife and mother of a 21-month-old child, and 7 months pregnant with another. She knew from her husband’s letters that he was somewhere in the English channel on a minesweeper.D-day newspaper headline

Since she couldn’t sleep, she called a close friend, who I believe was also pregnant, and the two of them went out for a walk at 2 am! They walked and walked and talked.
Although Dad wrote home nearly every day, I do not have a letter dated June 6, 1944. However, his letter to my mother on June 9 says that he hadn’t had time to write nor anywhere to mail a letter if he had. It must have been a tremendous relief for my mother to receive Letter #36, which was added to and mailed several days later!

Below is that long letter, written over the course of several days.

My darling –
I wrote & mailed #35 to you last Saturday (June 3), and haven’t written since – I haven’t had time & haven’t been anywhere where I could mail letters. When we get back to such a place, I hope I can cable you, so that you will not be worried about the gap in my mail – this will be mailed at the same time. Last Saturday I also sent a V-mail to Mother. And later in the day I received your #39 (air mail – 9 days) & the article about U.S.N.R.
M.S. – was much interested in the latter. I should get a baleful of your letters when our mail catches up to us again.D-Day invasion map

Your guess is right – we are at the Normandie [sic] beach-head and have been from the start. Have been under way since Saturday night, sweeping over here for the past four days. It has been an experience I shall never forget so long as I live. We have had a couple of bad scares, but so far are untouched. We have swept some mines but been involved directly in no action ourselves. We have, however, been close to plenty of action. Cannot see the details ofwhat’s going on on the beach, and get most of our news over the radio, as you do. But we are getting a good “view” of the naval bombardment & the entrance of all types of naval vessels into the area. Although there is almost constant shelling, it is not so noisy as I expected, and we really have seen less activity than you would think. Of what I can tell you, the thing that impresses me the most is the size of the operation. On the whole, from our point of view, the weather has been good.D-day invasion naval force

Have no idea when we shall leave this area (you will know we have when this letter is mailed, even if I cannot cable), but it can’t be too soon. It is not just the noise, to which

D-day naval bombardment-USS Nevada

D-Day:  USS Nevada

we are getting accustomed, but the rugged character of life on board here. The first couple of days we got practically no sleep at all & were really pooped out – that has improved lately, though sleep still comes in snatches. Since I now feel more rested, the most annoying thing is personal hygiene – last night I took my first shower & shave since we shoved off – in fact it was the first time in five days that I had taken off my clothes at all – my old ideas of frequency of showers & changes of clothes are certainly going by the board!
But we are getting along fine really, and everyone’s spirit seems to be holding up well. We keep busy, & get good entertainment out of our radio. So, darling, please don’t worry – I’ll be all right. What worries me most is that you will worry yourself into an unhealthy state and endanger yourself & L.L.
(Transcriber’s note: L.L. stood for Lester Llewellyn, a highly improbable name for the baby my mother was expecting! Until my second sister was born, my parents affectionately referred to him (her) as Lester Llewellyn.)


Since I have told you about all I am allowed to, there isn’t much more to say. One of our crew exhibited a fine bit of timing – he got appendicitis & had to be transferred of the ship the last day before we left the United Kingdom!

Did I remind you about the people to put on the birth announcement list? I guess I did. Don’t forget the Kuhns & my other cousins & aunts. Don’t forget Geo. & Eleanor Thomas – you say you saw George – is he contemplating moving back to Janesville soon?
Tell Judy thanks for her letter – I really enjoyed it. She certainly has learned a lot of words & other tricks since I saw her. I sure do miss her something awful.
Swell that your Mr. Rauch is so good – I hope you can keep him and that he will work for you enough to get done what is necessary.
Sure glad to hear that Mother was getting better – hope she is fully recovered by now. Maybe I shall hear from her soon.

You seem to be working awfully hard – darling, don’t get yourself too tired – you know what it did to you in Boston, when the nervous strain was less than it is now. You should get some relief when the maid starts, which I hope is by now. You don’t say anything more about having the baby restored to upright position again & whether it will stay there – what about it? – I am a little concerned.
Well, I’ll close this temporarily and keep adding to it until I can mail it. Darling, just remember that I shall always adore you.

Sunday, June 11, 1944 – 1:30 p.m.

D-day mines sweptWell, we are still here, and are still keeping busy sweeping, etc. No sign or indication yet as to when we shall get away from here. We are getting a little more used to it, and life does not seem as rugged as it did. We have had another scare or two, but we really in very little danger and less & less so as our forces progress. But we shall still be glad to get away from here whenever they give us the word!
That’s about all I can tell you – we get our news over the radio, as you do, and so know very little more of what goes on than you do. We see only a very, very small part of the activity that is making news. But from all reports the boys are doing a swell job in there – hope they keep it up. And isn’t the news from Italy good? I expect a big offensive on the Russian front soon, and possible other invasions – but I really know nothing about it (if I did, I couldn’t say anything at all!).
D-day painting
Wish we could get to wherever our mail is, because I wonder about you & Judy & Mother – & especially you – how you are & what you’re doing. If I told you a million times, darling, you’d never know how much I miss you. But I hope you can read between the lines, sweetheart, for I really love you, love you, love you with every gram of strength & feeling within me. So take good care of yourself – for me.

June 12, 1944 – 9 a.m.
Just got off watch a few minutes ago, after learning that they are going to pick up our outgoing mail in a little while. So I want to get this off to you. With it I shall send a V-mail to Mother, so that you will hear as soon as possible that we are all okay. Have no idea whether they will bring incoming mail to us, nor when I shall be where I can cable you.

No more news – it has been relatively quiet lately. I guess the fighting is pretty fierce inland, but the boys seem to be making progress. The weather is beautiful today – only the second clear day we have had since we got here.

Must stop now.

Loving you always –

Note: All pictures and diagrams in this post were downloaded from Google Images.