D-Day Conneaut PX Online Store
Thank you for visiting our PX store. D-Day Conneaut is
funded 100% by donations and through sales of event
memorabilia. Below is a selection items
commemorating current and past D-Day Conneaut
events. Your generous contributions and purchases
help ensure this event will continue for generations
Custom D-Day Challenge Coin Display Holder Designed
by Eric Montgomery
Order your custom designed D-Day
Challenge Coin holder to proudly display your
collection of coins. One position for each coin for
the intended series of 11. The Allied side features
the cooling shroud pattern from the Browning M1919A4
.30-caliber Light Machine Gun. The Axis side on the
reverse features the cooling shroud pattern from a Maschinengewehr 42 aka the MG 42. Heavy duty,
weighing in at almost 5 lbs., this steel display can
be set on a desk or mounted to a wall. Limited
quantities are available."
Designed by Eric Montgomery
The 2016 D-Day Challenge Coin - “Over the Target”
On the morning of June 6th, 1944, soldiers on their
way to Normandy in landing craft of all shapes and
sizes awoke to the sound of thousands of allied
aircraft overhead. Bombers and fighter planes filled
the air in what must have been one of the most
incredible sights of the entire war. The vast naval
flotilla which carried these soldiers and sailors
into battle were equally matched by the formations
of propeller driven warbirds manned by brave crews
piercing the thin air above… ALL on their way to
Since the end of World War II, much has been written
in the history books concerning the effectiveness of
the allied bombing campaign on D-Day. I think that
it would easy to debate either position, but no one
can question the bravery and the courage of those
who did it. As I walked this past June though
German, Commonwealth and American cemeteries which
stretch across the beautiful countryside of
Normandy, among the thousands of brave souls that
gave their lives are the graves of airmen whose
missions ended abruptly long before the initial
planning of Operation Overlord ever began.
For the aircrews of bombers sent on missions
hundreds of miles from their English bases, D-Day
itself was the midpoint of all of that sacrifice. In
weather unpredictable, against a hardened and
entrenched enemy who embraced the emerging
technology of radar and who were also equipped with
some of the most accurate and deadly weapons ever
conceived, these men somehow mustered the might
needed to assure victory.
To honor those brave aircrews and to remember all
those who served on that longest day on both sides,
D-Day Conneaut is pleased to present our 8th D-Day
series commemorative challenge coin; “Over the
The Allied side inset of the 2016 coin features a
B-26 Martin Marauder as it crosses the channel on
its way to a low level strike mission to support the
This Marauder was one of 11,590 allied aircraft of
various types used during D-Day.
The Marauder and its cousin, the Douglas A-20 Havoc,
provided low level bombing missions against bridges,
railroad yards, arms and fuel depots. Four engine
heavy bombers, the B-17’s, B-24’s, Lancaster’s,
Halifax, Stirling’s and numerous others flew
countless missions over a year in advance of the
invasion to soften targets, disrupt communications
and to disable the enemy’s production of weapons of
Spearheading this heavy bombardment was the American
8th Air Force, who undertook a strategic campaign of
high level bombing, then supported by the tactical
campaign of medium to low level missions of the
American 9th Air Force who both were complimented by
missions flown by the Royal Air Force, the Royal
Canadian Air Force and the Royal Australian Air
Force. Together, day and night, a relentless stream
of aircraft was sent over the channel to the front
door of the enemy, wherever they may be.
It only fitting that appearing on the Allied face of
the 2016 challenge coin is the all encompassing U.S.
Army Air Forces shoulder insignia to the east and
the Bomber Command insignia of the Royal Air Force
to the west. Also highlighted are the 6 major
bombers used by the allies in the battle; the Boeing
B-17 Flying Fortress, the Consolidated B-24
Liberator, the Handley Page Halifax, the Avro
Lancaster, the Douglas A-20 Havoc and the
aforementioned B-26 Martin Marauder.
Rounding out the elements of the 2016 Allied side of
the coin is the 48 Star Flag of the United States at
12 o’clock high. To “Old Glory’s” east, the Free
French Flag, to the west, Australia. The British
Flag takes up position on the bottom right and the
Canadian Flag to the lower left. As in all the coins
in the series, Liberte’, and the longest day itself,
D-Day June 6, 1944 complete the scene.
Depicted on the Axis side of the coin is the radar
installation at Douvres-la-Délivrande France. The
site today is one of the few places were you can see
a giant convex shaped radar dome called a Wurzburg.
Impressive, not only in its size alone, the radar
dome and support system weighs nearly 20,000 pounds.
Close inspection of the dome itself reminds me of
the honeycombed construction of one of the most
famous aircraft of the 20th century, the zeppelin.
In fact the Wurzburg was designed and manufactured
by Telefunken and the Zeppelin Company, the maker of
This Wurzburg radar site served a duel role in the
battle of Normandy; detection of oncoming allied
air-raids and as a high tech tool to provide a
vectored direction and intercept elevation for
defending Luftwaffe Fighter patrols. Hidden
underground in a concrete bunker, measuring 6 foot
thick in some places, was the heart of the entire
site; a central room featuring a large gridded glass
topped table. Using data gathered from the radar
domes, operators in the control center shone color
coded lights from underneath illuminating the
positions of aircraft both friend and foe. German
pilots were then given instructions as to where to
fly to. Their movements could then be tracked in
relationship to the targets. As they flew, even more
precise directions and altitudes were then given for
the intercept. This tactic worked extremely well for
the Germans early on.
In addition, German radar sites throughout Normandy
were also linked to coastal gun batteries operated
by the Kriegsmarine. The shore batteries received
information about a pending raid via an elaborate,
thus slow, communication network that was also
encumbered by cross service delays.
On the evening of D-Day, most of the radar sites
that were still standing after countless allied
bombing raids were rendered useless by allied
jamming and deception tactics. First of these
deception operations was called operation “Taxible”
which employed 16 Lancaster bombers which dropped
thousands of aluminum foil strips called “Window”.
These particles slowly floating through the air
confused the operators of the radar station and
overwhelmed the radar system itself. Operation
“Glimmer” caused even more confusion when 6 more
British Stirlings conducted a similar operation at
low level that simulated an invasion convoy
approaching Boulogne. Operation “Titanic” didn’t
deploy any “window” particles but were easily
tracked, on purpose. What was dropped over these
areas were thousands of dummy parachutists which
carried explosive charges set to go off upon impact
with the ground or set to blow up on a time delay.
These dummy parachutists were nicknamed “Rupert” and
you might see a few hanging in trees around the
grounds of Conneaut.
The radar site at Douvres-la-Délivrande is located
just north of the French city of Caen and just a few
miles south of Juno Beach. Well worth the visit, the
site is often overlooked by the tremendous history
that surrounds the entire Normandy coastline.
The main feature on the Axis side of this year’s
coin is the Wurzburg radar dome. Shown in the
foreground is a towed 88mm anti-aircraft gun and
crew and a second 88mm gun in the distance.
Encircling the scene is the phrase “Der Feind Sieht
Dein Licht!, meaning, “The enemy sees your light.”
The Luftwaffe Observer Badge appears at the bottom
of this scene, to the west, the German Luftwaffe
Flak Badge, and to the east, the Coastal Artillery
Badge of the Kreigsmarine. Above, a flight of B-17’s
can be seen in the distance as the German soldat
calls out “Luftangriff!” - Air Raid!
The remaining features of the 2016 commemorative
coin celebrate the 72nd anniversary of D-Day, LXXII,
and our 17th year XVII of the event here in
This coin and all those in the D-Day Conneaut series
was researched and designed by Eric Montgomery, WWII
Veteran Liaison, D-Day Conneaut, and is available at
the event PX or online at www.ddayohio.us/px-store.htm
All proceeds benefit the event.
Designed by Eric Montgomery
The 2015 D-Day Challenge Coin - “The Armored Spearhead”
As one looks back towards the D-Day landings, we often think of what courage it must have taken for the men who stormed the beaches, sailed through mined waters or flew through or jumped from the air. What we do not think about is the innovation, the engineering and the forethought that went into the D-Day landing itself.
Invasion planners knew if the infantry was to stand alone without armored support against the German army, equipped with arguably the best battle tanks in the war, the allied invasion and many of those that took part in it might be as short lived as the 1942 landings at Dieppe.
The German tanks included the Panzerkampfwagen VI, aka the Tiger, and the Mark V Panther, and the experienced crews that manned them. To honor and remember those who took part in the initial landings and to their foes who patiently waited for orders from high command, D-Day Conneaut is pleased to present our 7th D-Day series commemorative challenge coin; “The Armored Spearhead”.
The costly lessons learned at Dieppe challenged Allied leadership to resolve the issue of landing armor support to those infantry coming ashore. They assigned Percy Hobart, a British armored warfare expert, and a handful of others the task of developing a series of ingenious gadgets mounted to allied tanks, notably the Sherman, Churchill and Cromwell.
There were flame throwing tanks called “Crocodiles”, carpet laying tanks called “Bobbins”, tanks that blew up mines called “Crabs”, tanks that bridged gaps over ditches called a “Fascine”, bulldozing tanks to clear away obstacles on the beach and several other variants.
But the most innovative of all was the DD tank, or “Duplex-Drive” the official name for a M4 Sherman fitted with a water tight collapsible canvas skirt and duel propellers to enable the tank to “swim”. The men came up with a novel concept; attempt to float a 35 ton tank from a landing craft at sea a mile or more out from shore. In training and in the right conditions the skirts held but in combat on D-Day itself? Let’s find out.
In what some would consider a relatively safe position, inside of a tank for example, the baptism in combat for the DD tanks at Omaha Beach in particular began as soon as the first tank cleared the ramp of their landing crafts. The seas were particularly rough at Omaha and the landing craft were lined off askew to the waves. Some tanks within seconds of leaving their LCT’s were hit by high breakers that came over the top of the skirts and quickly filled the evacuated space inside the skirt. The tanks took on too much water and sank; some with their crews still inside.
As disaster mounted, the other tanks in the flotilla were brought in directly to the beach by the Navy. Of the 112 tanks assigned to land on Omaha Beach, 58 made it in while only two actually swam ashore as planned. At days end, only 42 of the DD’s were still operational.
Over on Utah Beach, quite the opposite was happening as 27 of the 32 DD’s made it ashore by swimming some 1500 yards. The tanks arrived onshore 15 minutes after the first infantry landed. Four tanks that did not make it in did not even have a chance to get off their landing craft as it hit a mine or were stuck by German artillery fire before they were able to release their compliment.
On the British beaches, Sword in particular, the landings were fairly successful. The DD’s swam ashore from about 2 miles out. Only 1 tank was knocked out, colliding with an LCT and sank. On
Gold Beach, choppy seas had a marginal at best showing of successful landings. 23 of the 40 DD’s deployed there made it to shore.
At Juno, the Canadian sector, more favorable conditions at the western end of the beach enabled 21 of 29 of their DD tanks to make it in. In some cases the water level was so shallow that the tanks just waded right in skimming the bottom as they emerged from the channel. Rough seas hampered the landing towards the eastern end of the beach and as a result, infantry causalities were higher thus validating the justification for heavy support.
I think it safe to say the arrival of any tank must have been quite a welcome sight for the boys on the beaches regardless of where they were or how they arrived.
The Allied side inset of the 2015 coin features a DD tank of the 13/18th Royal Hussars Tank Squadron making its way through the streets of Ouistreham on D-Day itself. In the background a second DD tank follows up and to the right of the tanks, the light rail tracks along the road edge. Also appearing on the Allied face is the famous Royal Tank Corps Badge often seen on the beret of Field Marshal Montgomery, and to the east, the Naval Amphibious Forces sleeve insignia to the west. Also highlighted are the 5 major tanks used by the allies in the battle, the M4 Sherman, the Mk IV Churchill, the Mk IV Cromwell, Mk VI Centaur and the M3 Stewart which are remembered on the panel positions.
Rounding out the elements of the 2015 Allied side of the coin is the Canadian flag taking top billing this year. To the Canadians east, the British flag, to their west the 48 Star American flag, the French flag at the bottom right, and making their second appearance on a D-Day challenge coin, the Polish flag, bottom left, as their armored regiments fell into a reinforcing role as the battle in Normandy progressed into the summer. As in all the coins in the series, Liberte’, and the longest day itself, D-Day June 6, 1944 complete the scene.
Depicted on the Axis side of the coin is quite a contrast. Featured is Tiger #222, the tank commanded by German SS-Hauptstrumfuhrer Michael Wittmann in the Battle of Villers-Bocage on the 13th of June, 1944. During his service, Wittmann’s record of destruction totaled 138 tanks and 132 anti-tank guns and countless other vehicles. A skilled and aggressive commander of his tank, he was one of the few to earn the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. That honor was presented to Wittmann by Hitler himself.
With the battle of Normandy a week old, German defenses were becoming weaker and weaker due to significant casualties. A hole developed in the German lines and Montgomery, looking to seize the advantage, attempted to make a run on the back side of Caen. He ordered the British 7th Armoured Division, to reroute and break through. On the morning of June 13th, the lead British tankers advanced rapidly and approached the town of Villers-Bocage, a small village but never the less a strategic Norman crossroads town. These lead tanks passed through the town without much incident. In support of these lead tanks was the 22nd Armoured Brigade, ordered to take a fateful break for morning tea as they waited for the rest of the Division to catch up. Wittmann was watching.
Wittmann on D-Day was in command of the 101st Heavy Tank Battalion of the 1st SS Panzer but miles from the fighting. Held up in Belgium until receiving word from Hitler to advance on Normandy, Wittmann arrived in the area of Villers-Bocage on June 12th along with 6 Tiger tanks at the head of the column that spread as far back as Paris. Realizing the importance of the town, Wittmann ordered these tanks to take up defensive positions hidden on the high ground overlooking the village.
A few hours later, the British column had stopped right below his position, unnoticed by the unsuspecting allies. Wittmann quickly reacted, and ordered 4 of his 6 tanks to engage the British ahead while he and the other tank moved down and into the town itself. Wittmann’s tank broke down while on the way and after taking command of the other tank he and his crew went on alone. In the next 15 minutes, Wittmann was to destroy 13 tanks, 13 armored halftracks, and 2 anti-tank guns firing at will as he travelled through the town. With more British tanks approaching, Wittmann was in the process of withdrawing from the town when a lone surviving British anti-tank gun moved into position for a shot. The anti-tank gun fired and knocked out one of the treads of Wittmann’s Tiger, leaving it disabled but not out of action. For the next 20 minutes, Wittmann used his machineguns and 88mm main gun to blast anything that moved. The British withdrew and Wittmann and his crew left the town on foot hoping that their tank could be recovered at some point.
The battle of Villers-Bocage is the focal point of the Axis side of this year’s coin. Shown is Wittmann’s tank as he was turning around at the end of town; smoke billowing from a destroyed tank in the distance. Encircling the scene is the phrase “Der Sieg Wird Unser Sein!” meaning “The victory will be ours.” The German Tank Assault Badge appears to the west while the Oak Leaves and Swords appear to the east separating the signature element on each D-Day challenge coin, Gott Mit Uns and 6 Juni Normandie. Der Schwarze Baron, Wittmann’s nickname meaning “The Black Baron” looms over the town. Wittmann was later killed in Normandy on the Eight of August, 1944. His grave, located in the La Cambe German Cemetery, is one of the most visited in all of Normandy to this day.
The remaining features of the 2015 commemorative coin celebrate the 71thanniversary of D-Day, (LXXI), and our 16th year (XVI) of the event here in Conneaut.
The coin was researched and designed by Eric Montgomery, Staff, D-Day Conneaut.
"Rangers, Lead the Way" Designed by Eric Montgomery
ago, at the signature ceremony of the 40th
anniversary of Operation Overlord, President Reagan
delivered a stirring address from the top of a
little known cliff in Normandy called Pointe du Hoc.
The “Boys of Pointe du Hoc” speech highlighted the
perilous mission of D, E and F companies of the 2nd
Ranger Battalion. The president delivered his
address from on top of the German command and
control observation bunker which still exists today.
If you have never heard the speech, it is well worth
the time to listen to.
Therefore, it is only fitting for the 70th
anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, and the 15th
year of D-Day Conneaut, that this historic site be
featured on this year’s coin. This edition is the
sixth in the D-Day Conneaut series: "Rangers, Lead
the Way", proudly honors both sides of story.
Led by Colonel James Earl Rudder, the Rangers scaled
the 100 foot high cliff face using rocket powered
grappling hooks, ropes and ladders to reach the
summit to attack and destroy the German heavy gun
positions on the plateau above. Some have described
this assignment as a suicide mission. Yet Rudder
inspired and encouraged his men and gave them a
sense of confidence. He trained his troops
relentlessly, climbing cliffs all over the coast of
England, including the near vertical walls on the
Isle of Wight.
From these heavily fortified positions, the German
guns at Pointe du Hoc could unleash havoc on both
Allied ships in the channel and troops on both Omaha
and Utah Beaches simultaneously. The 11 mile range
of these six 155mm guns prompted Allied planners to
release smaller landing craft from a great distance
from the beach. In some cases the assault troops
endured a 3 hour ride on pitching seas before
reaching land. The stronghold was a formidable
position and thus attracted numerous Allied bombing
raids. Fearing the destruction, the Germans moved
the guns to an orchard behind their original
positions. Yet there was no way to tell where the
guns were at this time in history. Fearing the
worst, they had to be taken out.
Initially the landing craft carrying the Rangers
drifted off course. After discovering their true
position the landing craft and men inside endured
continuous fire from atop of the cliffs as the
passed parallel to the beach. Eventually arriving at
the base of the cliff these specially designed and
fitted landing craft launched rocket powered
grappling hooks and attached ropes to the summit
above. The Rangers were joined by two of four 101st
Airborne paratroopers that survived a hasty exit
from their burning C-47 plane before it crashed into
the channel the night before. Those that were lucky
enough to begin their climb were met by Germans
defenders from the garrison above. Many of the men
failed to reach the summit and many more were killed
or wounded at the base of the cliff from grenades
tossed down from the defenders above. To assist the
climbers, the US Navy destroyer Satterlee turned
their guns on the defenders and within 5 minutes the
first Ranger reached the top.
Much to the surprise of those that reached the
summit, the guns were gone. A scouting patrol found
them in the orchard, abandoned, the barrels having
never fired a shot. Of the 225 plus men who were
tasked to scale the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc,
approximately 90 were fighting ready on D-Day plus
The Allied side inset of the 2014 coin features the
first Ranger to make it to the top. In the
background appears the signature geography of Pointe
du Hoc, a pointed arrowhead shaped rocky
outcropping. The cliff edge barbed wire fence has
been blown away by Naval fire and a Ranger is shown
pulling himself up from the edge of the cliff, M1
Garand in one hand, a roped grappling hook in the
Supporting the 2nd Rangers left flank and landing
near Vierville, the 5th Rangers were assigned to
approach Pointe du Hoc from the east. 2 days later,
they made the link up with their 2nd Ranger
brothers. The remaining companies of the 2nd and the
5th landed further east on Omaha in support of the
1st Infantry Division. This region of the beach was
under the command of General Norman Cota who allied
his men to get off the beach or die. He was heard to
say “Well then Goddammit, Rangers, lead the way!” as
the Atlantic wall at Omaha Beach was breached. Also
appearing on the Allied face is the Ranger shoulder
sleeve insignia, the parent regiment of both the 2nd
and the 5th, the 75th Regiment.
Rounding out the elements of the 2014 Allied side of
the coin is the American Flag, front and center, the
British to its left, the French to its right, the
Canadian on the lower left and making its debut the
flag of Greece whose Navy supported the landings
with two destroyers.
Depicted on the Axis side of the coin is the Command
and Control Observation Bunker located at the edge
of the cliff at Pointe du Hoc. It is probably one of
the most preserved features of the Atlantic wall.
The majority of the gun positions look more like a
lunar landscape. From this heavily reinforced
concrete domed bunker, the field of view is
absolutely breathtaking. For miles one can see into
to the English Channel and to its left, Utah Beach
and to its right, Omaha. It’s quite a
view…especially to the German observer taking a
break outside from its protective cover. Nearly 4
feet of concrete protects the observers. From inside
the observers could relay position and range of
target to awaiting gun crews.
These elaborate structures, tunnels, crew quarters,
observation and firing positions are known to
history as the Atlantic wall. The Wall spanned from
the Norwegian coast to the south of France. Built
under the command of Organization Todt, this
necklace of reinforced concrete emplacements, “Eine
Perlenschnur Aus Stahlbeton” were built to last 1000
years. The jewels of this necklace were the
precision engineered gun positions. The crews that
manned them wore the Coastal Artillery badge of
honor. Yet despite their design and complexity they
were to last for less than 5 hours under the full
weight of the Allied invasion.
The remaining features of the 2014 commemorative
coin celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, (LXX),
and our 15th year (XV) of the event here in
Conneaut. Lastly the signature “Liberté” which has
been on every D-Day Conneaut coin caps the Allied
"Hold, Until Relieved" Designed by Eric
The 2013 D-Day Conneaut Challenge
Coin "Hold, Until Relieved" depicts two significant
events and locations synonymous with the intrepid story
of that Longest Day; The British Glider Assault of the
bridges at Bénouville and Ranville and the giant
observation bunker in Ouistreham at the mouth of the
Caen Canal and Orne River.The 2013 coin is the fifth in the commemorative
coin program highlighting the significant events of the
The Story behind the coin:About 1 hour before midnight on the Sixth of
June, six Airspeed “Horsa” gliders towed by Halifax
Bombers departed from an airfield in Dorset England.Their mission was to capture and hold the Caen
Canal Bridge near Bénouville and the Orne River Bridge
near Ranville.Just after midnight, 00:14 to be exact, the
gliders landed mere yards from their objectives.The very surprised German defenders were quickly
Crucial to the further success of
the seaborne landings, the task of capturing these
vitally strategic bridges fell to the Glider-borne
Infantry of the British 6th Airlanding
by Major John Howard, Company D of the Oxfordshire and
Buckinghamshire Light Infantry along with their attached
sappers and engineers secured both bridges in little
more than 10 minutes.
Sadly, the first allied causality
as a result of enemy action in Normandy occurred just as
the lead elements of the assault force made their way
across the Bénouville Bridge.Lt. Den Brotheridge, while leading the charge
across the bridge, was struck down.His body lies in the Ranville Churchyard near
Ranville was the first village in France to be liberated
by the allies.
The Allied side of the 2013 coin
features the canal crossing assault moments after the
gliders touched down.The bridge, renamed Pegasus Bridge in honor of
the men who liberated it, is shown in its original
construction with soldiers of the “Oxf and Bucks” racing
The famous Gondrée Café can be seen across the canal and
in the foreground the wing of one of the gliders.The Café serves as the annual June 6th
gathering point for veterans of the battle to this day.
The operational success code words,
“Ham & Jam” along the towns of Ranville, Bénouville and
Merville, home to a battery of German artillery guns
which threatened Sword Beach are also written on the
The artillery battery at Merville was initially attacked
on D-Day morning by paratroopers of the 9th
Parachute Battalion supported by paratroopers of the 1st
Canadian Parachute Battalion.These men heroically assaulted the emplacement,
destroyed the guns inside but the battery itself
remained intact.The position remained under German control until
August 17th when the withdrawal of German
forces in France began.
Depicted on the axis side of the
coin is the Flak Tower/Observation Bunker located at the
mouth of the Caen Canal and Orne River in the seaside
village of Ouistreham France.The Grand Bunker, from its position located only
a few hundred yards from the British landing beach
codenamed Sword, the German inhabitants easily surveyed
the entire area.So cleverly devised, the bunker never caught the
attention of D-Day invasion planners and thus was never
bombed or attacked until discovered on D-Day.
The scene depicted upon the axis
side shows the 52 foot high bunker from above and
surrounding territory before the invasion.The concrete reinforced structure was the 6 story
self contained high-rise home to 52 German soldiers.Disguised amongst homes in the area the only
opening aside from the entry door was a 10 inch high
slit to allow the artillery range finder within the
cupola to sight in its targets.Aside from the range finder, contained inside the
bunker was an electric power generator, a fresh air gas
filtration system, housing for the troops, medical
facilities, an armory, ammunition stores, radio room and
telephone switchboard all protected by a network of
overlapping machine guns.“Alle Zusammen fur Deutschland” meaning “All
Together for Germany” accentuates the colossal effort to
build the bunker and the Atlantic Wall, surrounds the
On D-Day, Franco British Commandos
attacked the structure only to be beaten off by machine
guns and grenades thrown from roof top gun pit.Three days later and surrounded on all sides, 4
men of the 91st Field Company of Royal
Engineers, 3rd Canadian Division, breeched the armor
plated reinforced door.Soon to follow was the surrender of the garrison
inside and the liberation of Ouistreham was finally
The Belgian Piron Brigade joined in
the fight for Normandy in early August and served under
the command of the British 6th Airborne
The unit initially was held in reserve to liberate their
homeland but Major Jean-Baptiste Piron, commander of the
1st Belgian Infantry Brigade lobbied his
exiled government to petition the British command join
in the fight.The Belgian flag joins the flags of Britain,
Canada, France and the United States for its first
appearance on a D-Day Conneaut coin.
Remaining features of the commemorative coin
celebrate the 69th anniversary of D-Day,
(LXIX), and our 14th year (XIV) of the event
here in Conneaut.The uniform shoulder insignia of the British
Airborne forces, the flying horse Pegasus and their
famous red beret cap insignia serves to separate the
dates of the coin.Lastly the signature “Liberté” which has been on
every D-Day Conneaut coin caps the allied side.
"The Deadly Skies" Designed by Eric Montgomery
The 2012 D-Day Conneaut Challenge Coin "The Deadly
Skies" is the fourth in the commemorative coin
program highlighting the significant events of the
Normandy Invasion. Inspired by elements involving
aircraft and their role in the blockbuster D-Day
movie, “The Longest Day”, the coin captures two
signature events highlighted in the film and the
exciting role that aircraft plays at D-Day Conneaut.
Depicted on the axis side of the coin is a Focke-Wulf
190 piloted by Josef “Pips” Priller in his signature #13
designation as he attacked the British beachhead known
as Sword Beach. Yet this moment made famous in the book
and movie was not the only actions of the Luftwaffe on
that Day of Days as additional fighters from units
stationed around Normandy scored numerous air to air
victories against allied fighters and bombers. Also
little known was a Luftwaffe bomber unit,
Kampfgeschwader 54, which made several attacks along the
coast line on D-Day. Surrounding Priller’s strafing run
scene is the phrase “Horrido Wieder Ein Luftsieg”
meaning roughly the equivalent of “Tallyho - Another Air
Victory!” Also notable is the Luftwaffe Pilots Badge
separating the signature “Gott Mit Uns” (God’s with Us)
and the June 6th date and location of the battle in
Normandy.The allied side too takes it’s inspiration from
The Longest Day as Hawker Typhoons serving throughout
the morning of D-Day were cast to their primary role of
ground support. These tank busting rocket carrying
planes of the Royal Air Force were instrumental in
breaking up German reinforcing or reaction forces on the
move within Normandy. The allied airforce dominance in
the air proved to be one of the key elements to inland
victory and throughout the breakout campaign that
followed beyond the hedgerows. Featured on the 2012 coin
are the names of the signature fighter planes of the
allies on D-Day: the P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightening,
Hawker Typhoon, Supermarine Spitfire and the P-51
Mustang. The Mustang, contrary to popular belief was
more prevalent in the RAF than in the American
contingent at that time and was flown in great numbers
by Australian and exiled Czechoslovakian pilots
throughout the war. As a result it’s only fitting to
honor their contributions on this particular coin with
the appearance of their national flags. Depicted upon
the allied coin face in celebration of the 68
anniversary of D-Day, (LXVIII), and our 13th year (XIII)
of D-Day Conneaut is a Kubelwagon, perhaps the same
vehicle as driven by Werner Pluskat, lying in flames
behind a French church after being strafed by an allied
fighter. A Tiger tank and a German troop carrier
narrowly escape the attack to fight another day. Major
Pluskat, commanded the 352nd Artillery of the German
352nd Infantry Division during Allied invasion. He was
the first German officer who saw the Allied invasion
fleet on June 6, 1944, survived the beach landing, and
was ordered to leave the area before the area he
commanded was overwhelmed. Finally, the RAF cap emblem
serves to separate the dates of this years’ coin
designed honor the fighter planes and the pilots that
flew them on that longest day, June 6th 1944.
"The Restless Waves" Designed by Eric Montgomery
“The Restless Waves” is the third coin in the D-Day Conneaut Commemorative
series. The 2011 coin honors those who served in naval
operations prior to and during D-Day, June 6th, 1944.
The coin also celebrates the 67th anniversary of the
invasion and the 12th of D-Day Conneaut.
The Allied Naval Expeditionary Force, 6,939 ships in total,
was divided into two Naval Task Forces. The western task
force under the command of Rear-Admiral Alan G. Kirk and the
eastern task force under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir
Philip Vian sailing on the flagships USS Augusta and HMS
Scylla respectively. The Invasion Fleet was drawn from eight
different navies, five of which are represented on the 2011
coin: Canada, France, the United States, the Netherlands and
Norway. Liberte' again adorns the coin and the stars
have been replaced by the Amphibious Force emblem......
Holland and Norway Flags: At dawn on June 6th, while supporting the British Army landings at Sword Beach, Norwegian Destoyer HNoMS Svenner was sunk by torpedoes launched from German S-Boats. 33 crewmen were lost. Hr. Ms. Sumba and Hr. Ms. Flores of the Dutch Navy gave support during the invasion by bombarding German positions and additional Motor Patrol Boats screened further attempts by German Schnellboots engaged in trying to intercept the cross channel convoys.
The main feature of the allied side of the coin features the USS Emmons 1500 yards off shore from the Fox Red sector of Omaha beach. The Emmons partnered with other destroyers fired upon and destroyed many of the hard points and entrenched mortar positions. The bell tower of the Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Our Lady of the Assumption) church in Colleville-Sur-Mer, used by the Germans as an observation post, was subsequently destroyed by the Emmons’ 5 inch guns later in the afternoon of the 6th.
Officers from the USS Augusta in the foreground survey the action. When onshore V Corps Commander General Gerow finally established communications with General Bradley, his first message was, "Thank God for the U.S. Navy!"
Operation Maple outlined the laying of mines to force German ships away from air protection of the Luftwaffe where they could be attacked by Allied destroyer flotillas. Mine sweeping operations were aided by the Dutch and Canadian Navies.
Prior the invasion, Hr. Ms. Marches sunk on May 20, 1944, by an acoustic mine. All except one man of the entire crew of 20 were lost.
Operation Postage Able - One of the little known operations that contributed to success of the D-Day landing the verification that the beaches were suitable for an amphibious landing. On January 16, 1944, a British mini submarine, the HMS X20 planned to spend four days off the French coast. The midget sub was commanded by Lt KR Hudspeth and Sub. Lt. B. Enzer, with the Combined Ops Pilotage Party comprising of Lt.Cdr. Nigel Willmott, and two divers, Major Logan and Sergeant Ogden-Smith onboard as well. During the daytime, periscope-level reconnaissance of the shoreline and echo-soundings were performed. Each night, the sub would approach the beach, and the divers would swim ashore to take soil samples for analysis. The divers went ashore on two nights to survey the beaches at Vierville-sur-Mer, Moulins St Laurent and Colleville-sur-Mer in what became the American Omaha Beach. On the third night, they were due to go ashore off the Orne Estuary (Sword Beach), but by this time crew fatigue and worsening weather caused commander Hudspeth to shorten the operation. The sub returned to HMS Dolphin on January 21, 1944.
Operation Gambit - During the landing phase of the invasion two British midget submarines were tasked to mark the extreme left and right limits of the British and Canadian invasion beaches codenamed Sword and Juno. HMS X20 and HMS X23 arrived in position on 4 June and, due to the delay caused by bad weather, remained in position until 4:30am on the 6th. When they surfaced, the crew erected the navigational aids, an 18-foot telescopic mast with a light shining to seaward, a radio beacon and echo sounder tapping out a message for the minelayers approaching 'Sword' and 'Juno' beaches. A similar operation had been offered to the US landing forces to mark their beaches, but was declined. The submarines were at some risk of damage due to friendly fire and in an attempt to counter this Lieutenant Honour, the captain of HMS X23, acquired and flew an ensign of the size more normally used by capital ships.
The Axis side features one of most kept secret operations of the second world war. Exercise Tiger, an allied amphibious training operation at Slapton Sands off the English coast. Shortly after midnight on 28 April 1944, nine German torpedo boats moved into Lyme Bay after intercepting heavier than normal radio traffic. Within a few moments, the Schnellboots of the Kriegsmarine and their torpedoes found their mark. One LST (landing ship, tank) was seriously crippled. Another LST burst into flames and trapped many of the soldiers and sailors below deck. A third LST sank immediately, sending hundreds of U.S. soldiers and sailors to a watery grave. It was the costliest training exercise in all of World War II and held secret within the minds of the survivors for nearly 60 years. As the bodies washed ashore in days ahead, the official count rose to 749.
Quartermaster soldiers onboard LST 531 were among the hardest hit. The 3206th Quartermaster Service Company was virtually destroyed. Of its 251 officers and men, 201 were killed or wounded. The 557th Quartermaster Railhead Company also lost 69 men. When the remaining LSTs landed on Slapton Beach, the blunders continued and a further 308 men died from friendly fire.
Following an order made by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the British heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins shelled the beach with live ammunition. Eisenhower felt that the men must be hardened by exposure to real battle conditions. On the beaches a white tape line was laid on the beach indicating the point where Americans should not cross until the live firing had finished. As reported by the Royal Marines, the Americans were going straight through the white tape line and were killed after being blown up by friendly fire.
Schnellboote of the 9th flotilla were the first naval units to respond to the invasion fleet of Operation Overlord. They left Cherbourg harbor at 5am on 6 June 1944 and found themselves confronted by the entire invasion fleet. They fired their torpedoes at maximum range and returned to Cherbourg. As mentioned previously, Norwegian
Destroyer HNoMS Svenner was sunk by torpedoes launched from these torpedo boats.
All told, during World War II, the Schnellboote sank 101 merchant ships totaling 214,728 tons. In addition, they sank 12 destroyers, 11 minesweepers, eight landing ships, six MTBs, a torpedo boat, a minelayer, one submarine and a number of small merchant craft. They also damaged two cruisers, five destroyers, three landing ships, a repair ship, a naval tug and numerous merchant vessels.
Sea mines laid by the Schnellboote were responsible for the loss of 37 merchant ships totaling 148,535 tons, a destroyer, two minesweepers and four landing ships. In recognition of their service, the members of Schnellboot crews were awarded the Knight's Cross on 23 occasions, and the German Cross in Gold on 112 occasions.
Shaped into an anchor, the phrase "TORPEDO LOS AUF MANÖVER TIGER" translates simply into English as Torpedo fired at Exercise Tiger. As in the previous coins, GOTT MIT UNS, the phrase upon every German Soldatin's belt buckle, is embossed upon a sunburst field just as it was in 1944. The phrase, WIR FAHREN GEGEN ENGELLAND, meaning, We Sail Against England, was a song written in tribute to the Kreigsmarine, encircles this dramatic scene. The Kriegsmarine emblem also adorns the coins' outer rim. This spectacular coin is minted in complete 3D protected by an epoxy coating. Help keep our event alive with this outstanding commemorative. The brave men sailing upon these restless waves, are so honored on our 2011 commemorative. Supplies are limited so don't delay in ordering yours.
"Airborne" Designed by Eric Montgomery
Okay, Let's Go!; with those words stated by Supreme
Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the
largest armed invasion ever known to man got
underway. D-Day Conneaut is pleased to present our
commemorative coin for 2010 by featuring these three
little words on the face of a coin depicting Allied
Airborne and Axis Air Defense Operations. On the
66th Anniversary of D-Day and our 11th Anniversary,
this coin is the second in a series of D-Day
Conneaut commemoratives. Just as in 2009, this
antique bronze medallion is 1-3/4 inches in diameter
and features both an Allied and Axis side.
The Allied side features allied paratroopers
descending into the town at Sainte-Mère-Église at
2:04 AM June 6th 1944. The church in the town
center where American Paratrooper John Steele hung
from a church spire is the main feature of the coin,
but there is so much more. A number of parachutists
are etched into the coin face as well as 3 C-47's,
one of which is illuminated by search lights from
anti aircraft artillery batteries which were
stationed around the town. LIBERTÉ lies below the
scene in this years coin, terra firma for the troops
descending to earth. The flags of the major allied
air forces involved as well as the U.S. unit
designations of 101st, 82nd and the 6th British
Airborne or Operations Neptune and Tonga flank the
flags. New Zealanders of the RAF provided air
support, so the flag of New Zealand has replaced the
Polish Flag for this year. 1944 NORMANDY LXVI (66)
and 2010 CONNEAUT XI (11) is etched in the outer
face rim while the inscription of D-Day June 6 1944
crowns the inner scene. As in last years coin, the
font chosen closely represents the same font used on
the grave markers in the Normandy American Cemetery
overlooking Omaha Beach.
The axis side features a German mobile Anti Aircraft
Flak-gun and unit in action inland near the City of
Caen France. On the afternoons of the 6th and 7th
of June, C-47's towing Horsa Gliders filled with men
and equipment were sent to reinforce the British and
Canadian Paratroopers which landed early on D-Day.
The inner design features a scene reminiscent of
those operations, code named Tonga, in a life and
death struggle upon the plains of the French
countryside. As in the 2009 coin, GOTT MIT UNS,
the phrase upon every German Soldatin's belt buckle,
is embossed upon a sunburst field just as it was in
1944. The phrase, ZUR ERINNERUNG AN MEINE
DIENSTZEIT, meaning, In Remembrance of My Service,
honors all who gave all on that day of days
encircles this dramatic scene.
D-Day Conneaut T-Shirts
Designed by John Karapelou
2015 D-Day Hoodie Designed by
T-Shirt Designed by
Women's T-shirt is sold out.
Close Out Sale Designed by
Close Out Sale Designed by
D-Day Conneaut Commemorative Shoulder
$6.00 Designed by
John Karapelou & Eric Montgomery
Pack Includes one each of our commemorative patches.
Cost: $25 (save $1 each)
$6.00 Designed by
John Karapelou & Eric Montgomery
3 inch diameter
- 100% embroidered
$6.00 Designed by
Wayne Heim & Eric Montgomery
3 inch diameter
- 100% embroidered
$6.00 Designed by
Wayne Heim & Eric Montgomery
3 inch diameter
- 100% embroidered
$6.00 Designed by
Wayne Heim & Eric Montgomery
3 inch diameter
- 100% embroidered
NEW D-Day Conneaut
Commemorative DVD: $18
Place your order today!
Purchase a copy of our all new D-Day Conneaut DVD
featuring interviews of staff, reenactors, veterans
and guests. Filmed during the 2013 event, DVD
features personal stories and insight into why this
event exists. See coverage of all three battles held
at the event featuring hundreds of WWII reeanactors
from all over the United States and Canada. Listen
while WWII veterans tell their personal stories and
share what D-Day Conneaut means to them.
DVD also includes bonus 2 bonus slide shows of
hundreds of current and historic event photographs.
2010 An Evening to Remember
Enjoy a collection of Conneaut WWII
veterans that present their unique recollections of combat
and survival, sacrifice, courage and service on a special
introductory DVD. This unique collection of Army Air
Corps, Marines, Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and Army
Nursing Corps was recorded specifically to benefit D-Day
Conneaut by The Conneaut Public Library. Our
appreciation for the Librariy's efforts in preserving the
legacy of our Greatest Generation knows no bounds.
Facilitated by Lauren Horwood and Bryan Gildone, this highly
memorable and educational video with inspire and enlighten.
Own your own copy today by ordering online now. All
proceeds from the sale of the DVD benefit D-Day Conneaut.
Veterans featured on the DVD are:
Bob Goldsmith - 8th Air Force 385th Bomb Group Ball Turret
Gunner and POW Lt. Chuck Marcy - 8th Air Force 447th Bomb Group B-17 Pilot
Bob Kennedy - United State Marine Corps Band - Trombone
Ruth Speer - Women's Army Auxiliary Corps - Army Air Corps
Mary Jane Lamp - Army Nurse Corps