A tribute to heroes on the 80th anniversary of D-Day

The thoughts of all at Portland Port today turn to the brave troops who departed from the island exactly 80 years ago today for D-Day.

They included thousands of US servicemen bound for a brutal assault on Omaha Beach where casualties were the worst of any of the five landing zones on June 6.

Today we commemorate and pay tribute to all of those who fought their way ashore on that historic day and their brothers in arms who made the ultimate sacrifice.

We recognise the critical role our predecessor naval base played in the invasion and are proud of this heritage that continues to inspire and act as a reminder of the bravery of our armed forces.

In support of local commemorations, we are pleased to play our part by hosting a lunch at the port’s Britannia Ferry Terminal for dignitaries attending a D-Day 80th Service of Remembrance at the US Memorial in Victoria Gardens.

Other commemorations today include a D-Day wreath laying at Portland war memorial, events at the Castletown D-Day Centre and a beacon lighting as well as events in Weymouth and elsewhere in Dorset.

More than half a million personnel left Weymouth and Portland on D-Day and in the following months for the liberation of Europe.

As well as acting as an embarkation point, Portland Harbour was the location for workshops, a field hospital and prisoner of war pens.

Two Mulberry Harbour Pheonix Units still stand in the waters of the port as a reminder of Portland’s contribution to the landings.

They were among more than 200 reinforced concrete caissons built as part as artificial floating harbour breakwaters off the Normandy coast to the support the landings, and were brought to Portland after the war.

According to historian Stuart Morris, Portland's contribution to D-Day was recognised in tributes from the United States where it was hailed as ‘the biggest little port in the world’.

Admin: 6th Jun 2024 08:39:00

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