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RAF Saltby to host D-Day 80th anniversary commemoration

A historic airfield is gearing up to host a significant event marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day with some special guests.

RAF Saltby, once home to America’s 9th Troop Carrier Command during the Second World War, played a pivotal role in transporting troops for the Allied invasion of Normandy.

The D-Day 80th Anniversary Commemoration on Saturday, June 8 promises a poignant day of remembrance and celebration.

American 82nd Airborne troops preparing to fly to Normandy from RAF Saltby on D-Day. Photo credit: Richard Chancellor.
American 82nd Airborne troops preparing to fly to Normandy from RAF Saltby on D-Day. Photo credit: Richard Chancellor.

Scheduled from 10:30am to 3pm, the event will feature a service of commemoration, military re-enactors, an Army field kitchen, and insightful talks at the Buckminster Gliding Club clubhouse.

Notable speakers include Lt Col Mark Vlahos, an authority on the Troop Carrier Command, and heritage specialist Brian Riley.

A highlight will be the presence of senior United States military representatives, including the commander of the United States 314th Airlift Wing.

Attendees will have the chance to engage with history firsthand, with talks shedding light on the unique alliance between Allied forces that helped shape the course of the war.

Organised by South Kesteven District Council, Saltby Airfield History Group, and the Buckminster Gliding Club, this commemoration honours the bravery and sacrifice of those who served.

The event is free, but attendees must book tickets for airfield access and talks separately via Ticket Tailor.

Coun Richard Dixon-Warren, SKDC armed forces champion, highlighted RAF Saltby's critical role in Europe's invasion.

“RAF Saltby played a critical role in the invasion of Europe, and we are delighted to help tell the story of the American contribution that helped turn the tide of war,” he said.

For Buckminster Gliding Club chairman John Elkington, the event is a proud moment to honour the airfield's rich heritage and the American troops who served there.

“We are extremely proud of the heritage here at the airfield. We have a permanent memorial to Allied forces, and this event is an opportunity to honour the American troops and aircraft that flew from here on June 6, 1944,” he said.

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