Blue plaque for US troops unveiled at Swanage station

Home UK News Blue plaque for US troops unveiled at Swanage station
Blue plaque for US troops unveiled at Swanage station

A plaque marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day is being unveiled at a station where American soldiers embarked on their journey to Normandy.

GIs from the 26th Infantry Regiment of the US Army’s First Infantry Division were stationed in Swanage, Dorset, while they trained for the Allied invasion in June 1944.

Swanage Railway, now a heritage line, transported the soldiers and their equipment to and from the town.

The blue plaque at Swanage Station honours the troops who were sent to Omaha Beach and commemorates the railway’s role in D-Day.

Railway trustee Robert Patterson said: “The plaque is an important reminder of the sacrifices that many young men made for our freedom – particularly the young American troops who made friends in Swanage but subsequently lost their lives during the attack on Omaha beach.”

One of the GIs, Bill Lee, who died in 2018, returned to Swanage in 1989 when he described the railway as “a vital link to happy times with new-found friends”.

He said: “The people of the Isle of Purbeck were an important part of our lives and we needed that. We were brash, different and full of bravado but they took us in as part of their families – and for that we will always be grateful and never forget.”

Guests at the unveiling, which takes place at 13:30 BST on Monday, will include Swanage D-Day veteran Peter Lovett.

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