U.S. Embassy, London
March 27, 2019
This year we remember the great sacrifices made by so many Allied soldiers to prepare for and execute the D-Day Landings 75 years ago. To mark this anniversary, U.S. Ambassador Robert ‘Woody’ Johnson is today launching a special campaign to discover British stories about the American soldiers based in this country in the run up to D-Day.
Inspired by the discovery of the little-known story of Mr. Tony Foulds and his lifelong memorial to the American Mi Amigo crew, Ambassador Johnson is calling on people across the UK to get in touch to share their own stories of the Americans who lived in their communities seventy-five years ago.
Ambassador Johnson said:
“Almost every town and village in the United Kingdom has a story to tell about the American soldiers stationed here in the run up to D-Day.
“It is such a privilege to hear about all the experiences those young Americans had in this country –the sacrifices they made and the very special friendships they formed with the British people they stood shoulder to shoulder with.
“To mark this year’s special anniversary of D-Day, I am asking people across the UK to get in touch and share their stories of the American troops in their communities.
“Together, we can keep their memories alive for each new generation to come.”
1. TONY FOULDS:
In January 2018, BBC journalist Dan Walker bumped into an amazing man, Tony Foulds who for 75 years diligently maintained the U.S. Air Force Mi Amigo war memorial in Sheffield every day. Tony’s wish was for a flyover to honor the fallen. Six weeks later, the Embassy along with the U.S. Air Force, RAF and twelve thousand people in Sheffield made that wish come true. The amazing Tony Foulds story proves that the sacrifice of those who served in World War II is still tangible today. It’s living history.
2. THE CAMPAIGN: KEEPING THE MEMORY ALIVE:
This campaign will seek to find living individuals who remember the seminal moment of the Special Relationship; D-Day and the American military presence in the UK during World War Two. We want to recognize them and tell their stories to the next generation.
3. WHAT ARE WE ASKING FOR?
- Are there other unrecognized heroes out there? Are there other amazing stories to be told and shared?
- 75 years on from D-Day, we’re asking you to share your stories of how the Americans who served in Britain during World War Two impacted British lives and the lives of families and friends.
- We want to bring these stories alive, bring these people together and introduce them to the next generation.
- We also want to honor those people in the UK like, Tony Foulds, who have stories to tell about their personal connections to the American military effort in Britain in World War Two.
4. HOW TO GET IN TOUCH
Message: U.S. Embassy London Facebook
Telephone: 0207 891 3809
Write: World War Two: Keep the Memory Alive
U.S. Embassy London
33 Nine Elms Lane
- D-Day was the largest amphibious (land and water) invasion in history.
- Over 2 million US servicemen (GIs) passed through Britain between 1941 and 1945. Their arrival was known as the ‘friendly invasion’ as Americans arrived in vast numbers bringing with them new influences – from jitterbug dancing and big bands, to chewing gum and coca cola
- American personnel in Britain included 1,931,885 land, 659,554 air, and 285,000 naval—a total of 2,876,439 officers and men. While in Britain they were housed in 1,108 bases and camps.
- Between December 1943 and April 1944 the number of Americans in Britain grew from 760,000 to over 1.4 million in preparation for Operation Overlord, the liberation of Europe.
- Americans were stationed in all corners of the British Isles. The largest number, 136,000, were stationed in Wiltshire County (southern England).
- Over 200 airfields were occupied or newly-built by the USAAF. The construction of bases for the 8th Air Force was part of the largest civil engineering programme ever undertaken in the UK. The build-up was phenomenal, with the island nation becoming “the world’s largest aircraft carrier”.
- The U.S. Eighth Air Force arrived in February 1942. By May 1942, 127 sites served as new U.S. air bases. Each base became home to as many as 3,000 Americans.
- Marriages between American servicemen and British civilians: 70,000 estimates
- By 30 June 1946 the U.S. Army had shipped 28,299 adult dependents and 10,424 children from Great Britain to the United States.
- Over 381,000 American servicemen were evacuated from the Continent to Great Britain between D-Day and V-E Day. American servicemen hospitalized in GB reached a peak of 129,000.
- By the end of June 11 (D+5), 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had come ashore.
- 11,590 Allied aircraft flew 14,674 sorties on D-Day. Of those, 127 planes were lost. Some 2,395 aircraft and 867 gliders delivered the airborne assault.
Telephone: 0207 891 3543 or 0207 891 3697