IWM Duxford commemorates the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings with a range of events, family activities, exhibitions and digital resources which explore the preparations for the invasion of Normandy and the final decisive D-Day mission.
IWM Duxford commemorates the 70th anniversary of D-Day
IWM Duxford commemorates the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings with a range of events, family
activities, exhibitions and digital resources which explore the preparations for the invasion of Normandy
and the final decisive D-Daymission.
Personal stories come to the fore as we look at themany individual contributions that combined tomake
the D-Day invasion a success. Complementing those personal experiences are hands-on family activities
which bring the science and history of D-Day to life, alongside events which show the aircraft and
vehicles in dynamic action.
D-Day Landings Tour
Saturday 5 April, Wednesday 30 April, Saturday 3 May, Wednesday 21 May, Friday 6 June
Our Land Warfare exhibition features one of the best collections ofmilitary vehicles in the country,
including types that were used in the D-Day Landings.
In the D-Day Landings Tour, our guide will discuss the strategic planning for D-Day, the work of the
resistance, how deceit andmisinformation played a vital role in preparing for the D-Day Landings, the
challenge of themission itself and the specialist armoured vehicles that were used.
The tour will look at some of the vehicles in the collection and will explain how they would have been
used in the D-Day Landings. We’ll also look at some of the unique archive filmthat is on show in the Land
The D-Day Landings Tour commences at 11amin the entrance of AirSpace. It runs for approximately 90
minutes. Groups will not exceed 25 people and there will be plenty of opportunity for questions, debate
and personal interaction. The tour is suitable for all ages but is primarily aimed at adults. Placesmust be
booked in advance and can be booked online at iwm.org.uk
Ticket prices (including admission to all IWM Duxford exhibitions):
Adult (16-59 years) £20.75
Child (under 16 years) £3.25
Senior (60 years and over) £16.60
Student (in possession of a valid student card) £16.60
Unemployed (with proof of entitlement) £16.60
Disabled Adult (proof of disability allowance required) £16.60
Disabled Senior (proof of disability allowance required) £14.50
Disabled Student (proof of disability allowance required) £14.50
Disabled Child (proof of disability allowance required) £3.25
Carer (one per disabled visitor) £3.25
Supporter (Duxford Aviation Society Member, Friend of Duxford, IWM Friend, IWM Volunteer) £3.25
Easter Holiday activities
Saturday 5 to Monday 21 April
The Science of D-Day
Sponsored by Lockheed Martin
Conservation Hall, AirSpace
Our Easter holiday activities look at the ingenious inventions created by scientific boffins to ensure
victory on D-Day. We’ll explain how tanks weremade to float, how they carried their own bridges and how
There will be plenty of opportunities to try your hand at using these inventive pieces of equipment. Have
a go at firing a petard and then take a look at the real petard that can be seen on the Churchill tank in our
Land Warfare exhibition. Build your own Bailey bridge and see two real Bailey bridges that are still in use
on a daily basis at IWM Duxford. Learn how to drive a tank, try on somemini-uniforms,make an Airfix
model of an aircraft that would have been used in the preparation for the D-Day Landings and enter our
creative competition to design your own specially-modified D-Day tank.
Easter holiday activities are included in general admission to IWMDuxford. Visitors aged 15 or under
enjoy free admission to themuseumand to our Easter holiday activities.
The D-Day Anniversary Air Show
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25May
The D-Day Anniversary Air Show commemorates the 70th anniversary of this decisivemilitary campaign,
demonstrating the vital role that aerial warfare played in the invasion of Normandy.
The air show will feature fighter, bomber and transport aircraft types that would have been seen over the
beaches of France, together with thrilling ground content. This special D-Day Anniversary Air Show is not
Air Show tickets and hospitality passes are now on sale and can be purchased online at iwm.org.uk
The recommended last booking date for overseas postal delivery is Friday 9 May.
The off-sale date (and last date for UK postal delivery) is Tuesday 13 May.
Purchase your tickets in advance and receive one free child ticket with every adult ticket purchased.
You’ll also enjoy 10%off ‘on the day’ ticket prices.
Advance ticket prices:
Adult (16 or over) £24.75
Child (5 to 15 years) £16.30
Spring Half Term
Monday 26May to Sunday 1 June
Activities take place across themuseum
During Spring half term, follow our trail around themuseumand encounter some of the aircraft and
vehicles that would have been used on D-Day.
Follow the story of this huge and complex operation, and find out how Allied air, sea and land forces
combined to liberate Europe. We’ll take you through the build-up to D-Day: fromthe Allies’massive aerial
bombardments and clever tricks to fool the enemy, through the role of naval forces, to the arrival of
thousands of troops in France by air and by sea. Find out the impact of tanks, trucks, vehicles and
weapons on the fierce fighting that followed.
You’ll find outmore about each historic object you encounter on the trail, including how it was used on
D-Day and the experiences of themen relying on it for a successfulmission.
At the end of our trail, in Land Warfare, you’llmeet our costumed character representing a D-Day soldier,
who will tell you about his experiences and will show you the equipment that would have been used by
soldiers and airmen during the D-Day Landings.
There will be hands-on craft activities and dynamic games to enjoy which will bring D-Day history to life
for all the family.
Spring half termactivities are included in general admission to IWM Duxford. Visitors aged 15 or under
enjoy free admission to themuseumand to Spring half termactivities.
Military Vehicle Show
Sunday 15 June
Enjoy a special day out for Father’s Day at the Military Vehicle Show. Exploremilitary vehicles large and
small, frommotorcycles to jeeps, ambulances to huge trucks and tanks. Some of the vehicles on display
will be of the type used during the D-Day Landings. See the vehicles up close and then watch themcome
to life as they parade around the airfield during the cavalcade.
A wide range of living history groups will bring Second WorldWar history to life, chatting to visitors and
encouraging families to try onmilitary equipment and clamber aboardmilitary vehicles.
Join us for the Military Vehicle Show – an unforgettable experience for Father’s Day.
Adult (16 to 59 years) £18.50
Senior (60 years and over) £14.80
Child (under 16 years) Free
Concessionary prices available – see iwm.org.uk for details.
D-Day-The Last of the Liberators photographic exhibition
By Robin Savage
Produced by the Airborne ForcesMuseum(Airborne Assault) and Helion Books
April to December
Mezzanine Gallery, AirSpace
D-Day -The Last of the Liberators is a collection of photographic portraits of some of the last surviving
British Normandy veterans. It records, in a unique way, the stories of these remarkable individuals and
their emotional but dignified return to the locations, inmany cases the exact spot, which are tied to their
most profound personalmemories of the campaign; places where they saw action or were wounded,
where they experienced instances ofmiraculous chance or where they witnessed their friends being
taken away fromthemthrough the horror of battle.
The photographs in the exhibition are 15 of those froma new book of the same name. Taken during the
68th and 69th anniversaries by photographer Robin Savage, they are a record of some of the final visits
these brave and dignifiedmen and women willmake to the places that imprinted themselves indelibly on
D-Day -The Last of the Liberators is included in general admission to IWM Duxford. Visitors aged 15 and
under enjoy free admission to themuseum.
The Padre’s Trail in the Land Warfare exhibition
Our Land Warfare exhibition houses one of the finest collections of tanks,military vehicles and artillery in
the country. It charts the technological advances that have changed the face of ground warfare.
The Normandy Experience in Land Warfare vividly tells the story of the D-Day Landings through sound,
filmandmilitary vehicles set in evocative dioramas.
As part of our commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, we are adding a layer of interpretation to
The Normandy Experience which gives a very personal view of the D-Day Landings and how it felt to be in
the thick of the action.
Captain Leslie Skinner was an army chaplain who landed on the coast of Normandy on themorning of
6 June 1944 with the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry tank regiment. Apart from29 days spent at home
recovering fromhis wounds, he spent the rest of the war with the Sherwood Rangers as they fought
through France and into Germany. It is Captain Skinner’s story that is told in his own voice via extracts
fromthe diary hemeticulously kept throughout his time with the Sherwood Rangers.
He saw it as his duty to find the bodies ofmen who were killed as the Regiment’s tanks advanced. On
many occasions, he risked his life to ensure that his comrades’ bodies were recovered or buried. The
work could be harrowing and he refused to allow the other tank crews to help.
Padre Skinner travelled all over the front line and the battlefield, talking to the troops and listening to
their worries. As this extract fromhis diary shows, he experienced at first-hand the stark realities of
25 June 1944: “In burst ofmachine gun fire I dived into slit trench on top of young soldier… it was his first
show and he was all alone. I assured himthat themachine gun fire was way up in the air…he picked up a
ration box lid and held it above ground. Burst [of fire] cut it in two. It shookme. When firing stopped I
moved out. He, poor devil, had to stay. About 11:30…Shrapnel gotme across forehead and knockedme
out. Lots of blood but soon conscious.”
The Padre’s Trail is included in general admission to IWM Duxford.
D-Day collections on display at IWM Duxford
Land Warfare exhibition
Land Warfare is home to the Normandy Experience and the Monty exhibition. Together they tell the story
of the finalmonths of the war in Europe, fromD-Day, through the fierce battles in France to VE Day.
The Normandy Experience featuresmany of the types of tanks and vehicles that took part in the
liberation of Europe. These include the GMC Amphibian DUKW and the Sherman Grizzly tank. Nearby are
examples of German tanks and vehicles thatmade up some of the fierce defences encountered in the
battles of 1944 and 1945.
Field Marshal Montgomery – Monty to the troops – commanded the Allied land forces on D-Day. At the
nerve centre of his operation was his Tactical HQ, which is on display in the Monty exhibition. Visitors are
able to peer through the windows of Monty’s headquarters and imagine this dynamic leader at work.
In addition to the tanks and vehicles displayed in realistic dioramas, Land Warfare also contains powerful
personal stories fromthemen who took part in Operation Overlord.
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain, which is suspendedmajestically fromthe ceiling in the American Air Museum,
was delivered to the United States Army Air Forces in April 1944 and served with the 316th Troop Carrier
Group of the 9th Air Force. It was assigned to the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron and operated from
Cottesmore in Lincolnshire for a year.
It is believed to have participated in the airborne drops over Normandy in 1944, the airborne assault on
Holland in September 1944 and the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945.
The P-47 Thunderbolt that can be seen in the American Air Museum is the type of aircraft flown by pilots
of the 78th Fighter Group, fromRAF Duxford, in support of the D-Day Landings.
The B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator also flew in support of D-Day operations. Examples of these
aircraft can also be seen in the American Air Museum.
The Avro Lancaster bomber flew bombingmissions in support of D-Day operations. You can get up close
to a Lancaster bomber in our AirSpace exhibition.
Airborne AssaultMuseumin AirSpace
Airborne Assault is the Regimental Museumof The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces. It tells the
stories of the soldiers who go to war fromthe air, including the significant contributionmade to the
D-Day Landings by the Airborne Forces and Parachute Regiments.
Of particular interest in this 70th anniversary year is the originalmap used to plan the D-Day operation,
which would have been viewed by Field Marshal Montgomery and General Eisenhower. Also on display is
the accompanying planningmodel which was used to strategically plot themission to capture Pegasus
There is also amodel of Bing, one of the paradogs who were trained to parachute alongside the troops
and to undertake guard,mine-detecting and patrol duties.
RAF Duxford’s D-Day history
D-Day and the 78th Fighter Group
May to June
In June 1944, RAF Duxford was home to the 78th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces.
Equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts, its pilots flew severalmissions on D-Day andmanymore in the days,
weeks andmonths that followed.
The fighters of the 78th Fighter Group encountered very little resistance fromthe German Air Force on
6 June 1944. Their aircraft flew equipped with bombs and were sent to attack targets such as railway
bridges and enemy airfields.
During May and June, we’ll be tweeting summaries which show how the 78th Fighter Group built towards
D-Day operations, what they did on 6 June 1944 and how they supported the fighting in France.
Follow@historicduxford to read these summaries fromthe 78th Fighter Group diaries and look out for
related posts on our Historic Duxford blog at http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-duxford/historicduxford
In our Historic Duxford exhibition, you can find out what life was like for the American servicemen who
were based at RAF Duxford during the latter stages of the Second World War. See interviews with
American pilots who took part in D-Day and see the A2 flying jacket which belonged to Lieutenant
Colonel Lawrence ‘Larry’ Casey.
Casey was an American fighter pilot who flew fromRAF Duxford. On 11 June 1944, he was shot down
over France. With the help of the French resistance, he was able to avoid capture andmake it back to
Britain. Casey later flewmissions in the Pacific and he stayed in the United States Air Force after the
Second World War.
– Ends –
For further press information please contact:
Esther Blaine +44 (0)1223 499 320
Notes to Editors
IWM Duxford is Britain’s best-preserved SecondWorld War airfield, with a fascinating history that dates
back to the FirstWorld War. Its story reflects the landmark achievementsmade in aviation history. IWM
Duxford is Europe’s premier aviationmuseum, where historic buildings intersperse with state-of-the-art
exhibition halls, including AirSpace and the American Air Museum. Historic aircraft can regularly be seen
taking to the skies fromDuxford’s wartime airfield. Through the rich displays of aircraft and the powerful
stories of themen and women involved, we tell the story of the impact of aviation on the nature of war,
on people’s lives and on the social and economic history of the region. With one of the finest collections
of tanks,military vehicles and artillery in the UK, we also show the impact of technological development
on war and conflict.
Winter 2013/14: 27 October 2013 to 14 March 2014 10am– 4pm. Last entry an hour before closing.
(Closed 24 – 26 December).
Summer 2014: 15 March to 26 October 2014 10am – 6pm. Last entry an hour before closing.
IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in
conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.
Our unique Collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people,
places, ideas and events. Using these, we tell vivid personal stories and create powerful
physical experiences across our five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a
destructive and creative force.We challenge people to look at conflict from different
perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and
its impact on people’s lives.
IWM’s five branches attract over 2 million visitors each year. IWM London, our flagship branch,
is transforming with new FirstWorld War Galleries and a new Atrium with large object displays
which will open in summer 2014 to mark the Centenary of the FirstWorld War (Please note IWM
London is closed until July 2013 when it will partially re-open, and in June 2014 the museum will
fully reopen). Our other branches are IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building
designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world-renowned aviation museum and Britain’s
best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters
belowWhitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.
First World War Centenary
2014 – 2018 marks the centenary of the First World War, a landmark
anniversary for Britain and the world. IWM will mark the centenary by
leading a vibrant, four year programme of cultural activities across the
country, including the opening of brand new First World War Galleries at
IWM London in 2014. For more information visit www.1914.org
housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS
FirstWorld War Centenary
2014 – 2018 marks the centenary of the First World War, a landmark anniversary for Britain and the world.
IWM will mark the centenary by leading a vibrant, four year programme of cultural activities across the
country, including the opening of brand new First World War galleries at IWM London in 2014. For more
information visit www.1914.org