On June 6, 1944, Canadian, American, and British troops landed on five different beaches across the Normandy coastline, marking the beginning of the campaign to liberate north-west Europe from German occupation.
The D-Day assault on Normandy, codenamed Operation Overlord, was the largest seaborne invasion in history.
Canadian soldiers played a pivotal role in the success of the Allied landings in Normandy. In fact, of the nearly 150,000 Allied troops who landed or parachuted into Normandy on D-DAY, 14,000 were from Canadian forces, 3,000 of whom were in the first wave.
The first Canadian troops on French soil were men of the First Canadian Parachute Battalion. These paratroopers landed between the hours of 1:00 AM and 1:30 AM on June 6, one hour ahead of the rest of the brigade, although many would be scattered around the French countryside. The 3rd Canadian Division would go on to break the back of the assault, helping to provide time and space for the massive Allied buildup that would eventually retake France.
Juno beach itself was 9.7 kilometres wide. The first Canadian infantry set foot into this defence network between 7:45 AM and 8:15 AM. As the boat ramps came down, many men raced to the sea wall. In some sectors, this bombardment had been quite effective, in others, men were shot before exiting their landing craft, with others barely making it ashore.
Today, we remember Canada’s contribution, and honour the brave soldiers who gave their lives during this absolutely terrifying operation.
7 Southern Albertans who lost their lives on this day are commemorated each November in the Field of Crosses.
𝗗𝗔𝗩𝗜𝗗, 𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗛.
Age 20 - Pte CScotR
𝗗𝗢𝗕𝗕𝗦, 𝗝𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗽𝗵 𝗗
Age 36 - Capt RCA
Age 22 - Pte CScotR
𝗠𝗰𝗟𝗔𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗟𝗜𝗡, 𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗱 𝗟
Age 32 - Pte CScotR
𝗠𝗢𝗢𝗥𝗘, 𝗥𝗼𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘁 𝗙
Age 23 - TR 1st Hussars RCAC
𝗥𝗢𝗕𝗜𝗡𝗦𝗢𝗡, 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗻 𝗙
Age 21 - GU RCA
𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗘, 𝗘𝗱𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗘
Age 25 - Pte RCA