The Royal Air Force at Omaha Beach
About This Site
This website is dedicated to the men of RAF 21 Base Defence Sector (BDS), 85 Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force, who landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, on D-Day, 6th June 1944.
Their story has remained relatively unknown, but they suffered 48 casualties out of a group of 180 or so, and only in 2012 was their heroism recognised by the unveiling of a monument at Vierville-sur-Mer. It is a remarkable and moving story.
A vast amount of information has been collected as well as interviews with veterans. In 2020, historian Mark Felton produced a very poignant programme for his YouTube channel called “The Brits who stormed Omaha Beach” which gave the story of these brave men a far wider audience. To date, just under 2 million views have been recorded. We recommend you view this and then turn to the Introduction page where you will be signposted to some of the most remarkable aspects of this mission.
The Defining Photograph for 21 BDS
The scene on Omaha Beach on the afternoon of D-Day, 6 June 1944, showing casualties on the beach, a bogged-down Sherman tank, several wrecked trucks and German anti-landing obstructions.
A LST is beached in the left distance and invasion shipping is offshore. More significantly, amongst the trucks in the centre are two burnt-out Crossley 409 receiver or 405 transmitter trucks of 21 BDS (see Radar Equipment section).
Official US Navy Photograph, collection in the US National Archives