D-Day: 6th June 1944
The famous Normandy landings took place on Tuesday 6th June 1944. Codenamed Operation Overlord but more often known as D-Day, it was an Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Normandy in northern France.
Seaborne and airborne troops from Allied countries reclaimed the region amid fierce resistance. The operation began the liberation of Europe, paving the way for Allied victory.
Visit to Normandy in 2014
We visited Normandy, France in 2014 for the 70th-anniversary commemorations of D-Day. Many veterans joined world leaders, tourists, and locals on the streets to celebrate the liberation of France.
Sword Beach, Ouistreham, Normandy, France
Sword Beach was one of five landing areas chosen for the Normandy invasion on D-Day 6th June 1944. It was taken by British forces who advanced towards Caen.
German Battery, Pointe-du-Hoc, Normandy, France
Pointe-du-Hoc was taken by 2nd US Rangers. They held out against the odds for two days on the Normandy cliffs. The 1st US Rangers formed in Carrickfergus.
Fighting on the Beaches
Many soldiers, sailors, and airmen left the counties of Northern Ireland to take part in the D-Day landings. Some were part of Operation Neptune with 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles. Others landed around Ranville with 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles as part of 6th Airborne Division. Many more served with various regiments throughout the Normandy campaign.
Petty Officer Stoker
John William Coleman
Royal Navy Petty Officer Stoker John William Coleman was born in Liverpool, Lancashire but made a home with his wife and daughter in Belfast, Co. Antrim.
John Shanahan served with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Ulster Rifles. The Cork native fought in Normandy after landing on Sword Beach on 6th June 1944.
Richard Keegan served with 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles in World War Two. Born in Lisnaskea, Fermanagh, he spent much of his adult life in Co. Armagh.