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75th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings

Media release: 30 May 2019

New Zealand will mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on Thursday 6 June at 11.00am. The public is welcome to attend this commemoration

Hon Ron Mark, Minister for Veterans is attending the commemoration. A small group of veterans and their family members are also confirmed to attend.

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, 153,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in Northern France. It was the largest combined naval, air and land operation in history. It marked the beginning of a sustained campaign that would ultimately help end the Second World War in Europe.

Nearly 11,000 New Zealanders were serving in the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy at the time and played a critical role in the D-Day Landings and the campaign for Western Europe in 1944-45.

The New Zealand Merchant Navy ships Monowai and Aorangi took their places in the D-Day armada, carrying troops and supplies and later helping bring casualties back to England. A Spitfire from the RAF’s 485 (New Zealand) Squadron downed the first enemy plane on 6 June, while in July ten New Zealand sailors lost their lives when the destroyer HMS Isis struck a mine off the Normandy coast.

Commemorations of the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings are also taking place across New Zealand and around the world.

For more information about New Zealand’s involvement in the Normandy Landings and the war in Western Europe visit www.nzhistory.govt.nz/war/d-day
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National Commemoration to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings
Thursday 6 June 11am, (please arrive by 10.45am)
Hall of Memories
Pukeahu National War Memorial Park
Wellington


Updated on 4th June 2019