Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Memorial to D-Day's secret heroes unveiled

From the MoD:

Countess unveils memorial to wartime secret heroes

2 Oct 12

An elite group of men who paved the way for success on D-Day have been honoured with an imposing monument on Hayling Island in Hampshire.

Combined Operations Pilotage Parties memorial stone
Countess Mountbatten of Burma speaks at the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties memorial stone dedication ceremony on Hayling Island [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Dan Rosenbaum, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, and Major General Ed Davis, Commandant General Royal Marines and Commander Amphibious Forces, led tributes to veterans of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP), who carried out top-secret missions in the run-up to the Normandy invasion, after the unveiling of a granite monument by Countess Mountbatten of Burma on Friday, 28 September.

The COPP played an instrumental role in saving thousands of lives during the Second World War by reaching enemy-occupied invasion sites and recovering surveillance information. 

The forerunners of the Special Boat Service, the Special Forces arm of the Royal Marines, they marked out the navigation channels for landing sites used on D-Day in 1944.

Speaking at the monument site, General Richards said:

"As an organisation they were unique - taking risks in paddling miles from the relative safety of a ship or submarine to the dangers of enemy-occupied territory in two-man teams, they proved their courage time and again.

"Their exploits were relatively secret at the time but now should be remembered with great pride."...

Long overdue, I'd say.  Read the rest here.

No comments: