6th June 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day

To honour the memory of all the signallers who played such an important role in the D-Day landings and to the many who paid the ultimate price. A celebration of wireless communications between sites and locations in England and France where D-Day activity took place on 6th June 1944. Where practical, partaking stations will be communicating operating equipment types in use at the time.
VMARS members will be commemorating the unprecedented events that took place on the Normandy coast of France on 6th June 1944, when Allied Forces invaded the beaches to gain a foothold in enemy occupied France. Further information will be added to this page as it becomes available.

 
 
Special Service troops of 47 Royal Marine Commando land at Gold Beach near Le Hamel on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
British Troops coming ashore on Gold Beach 6th June 1944

6th June 2019 Activity Plan
From the early morning of 6th June 2019, Martin Smyth, M0MGA and Tony Barron, G3YYH, are planning tp operate a portable station on the British Gold King Red Beach where in 1944 the 5th East Yorkshires and 6th Green Howards came ashore under enemy fire. At the same time, David Coles, M0IDF,will be operating from the site of the glider landings made by the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry to sieze the bridge over the river Orne at  Ranville and the Bénouville bridge, now named Pegasus Bridge in honour of the Parachute Regiment, a short distance up the Caen Canal from the ferry port at Ouistreham.



The HF equipment planned for use in this exercise is the same as that used extensively by British and Canadian forces on that historic day in 1944 and at Gold Beach will consist of a Wireless Set No.19 MkIII HP operating with its high power unit and using 12 volt batteries for the power supply. The aerial will be an inverted V  cut for the operating frequency of 3.615 Mc/s on the 80m amateur band, The station will also have a pair of crystal controlled Wireless Set No.46 manpacks which were widely used for communications on the beaches. At Pegasus Bridge David is planning to use either a Wireless Set No.19 MkIII or a New Zealand built ZC1 transceiver along with a PCR1 general coverage receiver. He will also be fielding a Clansman 320 HF manpack and will be operating from a 1942 Bedford MWD lorry. The aerials available at this location are planned to be 3/4 wave length long wires for 80 mtrs. and 40 mtrs. and whips for the lorry. All communications on 3.615 Mc/s will be made in Amplitude Modulation.


In addition to working on AM and FM  David, M0IDF is intending to operate SSB equipment from the Pegasus Bridge site and with a planned schedule on either 40m or 80m to make direct LSB contact with the Light Criuser HMS Belfast, now a floating museum located in the Pool of London. HMS Belfast was the Flag Ship of Rear Admiral Frederick Dairymple-Hamilton and the lead ship of Bombardment Force E, tasked with supporting the British and Canadian Gold and Juno Beach Sectors.

Southdown Amateur Radio Society (SARS) will be active under the call sign GB2SF(Sword Force) from 6th - 8th June, operating from Beachy Head at the former NATO radio navigation site. They are commemorating the British  troops who sailed from that area of the South Coast to attack the designated Sword Beach on 6th June.  Equipment being operated on 3.615 Mc/s using AM will be a Wireless Set No.19 MkIII and a Wireless Set No.62 station. On 51.700 Mc/s they will be using a Clansman VRC353 set. SARS will also be working HF bands in SSB modes from Beachy Head using a Clansman VRC322.
Updates of SARS news about this station will be posted on their website which can be found on this link.

 
Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society will be operating a CW station on their primary frequency 7.035 Mc/s, 7.020 Mc/s secondary from Windy Ridge at Whaddon Hall in Buckinhamshire, using Whaddon and Paraset equipment. On 6th June 1944 this site was transmitting ULTRA intelligence decoded at nearby Bletchley Park to the invasion Field Commanders.

ON4ALY, Xavier and friends are travelling from Belgium to a location on or near to the football field at Ranville, location of the river Orne Bridge, operating with the special call F/ON6JUN/P on HF and 6m in CW, SSB and Digital modes. Xavier says that they would welcome any calls and also visitors to their station. We are hoping that they will be tempted to use AM and FM on our proposed operating frequencies 0f 3615 Kc/s and 51.700Mc/s, perhaps with a piece of ex WWII Belgian Special Forces equipment.

As well as making contacts with Europen stations, it is hoped that communications can be established with some of the historic military vehicles assembled for the 75th event at Arromanche on the western end of British Gold Beach and further west with vehicles at the U.S. Utah and Omaha beaches. To the east of Gold beach are the British Sword and Canadian Juno Beaches where communications are planned to be established on 3.615 Mc/s and 51.700 Mc/s. Any stations permitted to operate on those frequencies are most welcome to join in and it is not necessary to be a VMARS member to do so.. We are encouraging people to put their callsigns, planned location and, if applicable, military vehicle type, onto a list being compiled by Martin Smyth, M0MGA, who can be contacted at martin-smyth@tiscali.co.uk.

 
VHF operation
The organisers are aware that a number of vehicles and individuals use Clansman VHF equipment such as the 351, 352 and 353 sets.  Martin and Tony will be also be operating a Clansman PRC352, along with David, M0IDFrunning a VRC353 from Pegasus Bridge. VHF operations will take place on 51.700 Mc/s in Frequency Modulation mode at any time during the period that the event takes place..

Advice on operating transmitters in France
British amateurs who hold a full Advanced licence are permitted to operate in France under the international CEPT agreement of which both Britain and France are signatories. UK Intermediate or Foundation licence holders are not permitted to operate in France unless they are supervised by a UK Advanced or a French licence holder, whose callsign only should be used. Radio amateurs from other countries which are signatories to the CEPT agreement and who are permitted to operate in France under CEPT may also supervise operators. It is a requirement that all amateur radio licence holders operating in France must have their licence immediately available for inspection if required. The correct operating protocol is to prefix your UK callsign with the letter F, e.g. F/ M0XYZ.  

6 metre allocations in France are the same as they are in the UK, 50.00 Mc/s - 52.00 Mc/s. The VMARS activity co-ordinated for 6th June 2019 will take place on 51.700 Mc/s..Users of modern amateur radio 6m equipment should be aware that military Clansman 351, 352 and 353 VHF sets work using 25Kc/s channel spacing and not 12.5Kc/s as used on amateur sets, so communications channels should be selected accordingly. Clansman VRC353 sets should be selected to transmit and receive NARROW bandwidth. Unless modified, Clansman VHF equipment transmits a sub audio tone of 150 c/s which causes rough sounding transmission to be heard at the receiving end when using modern amateur equipment. Clansman VHF receivers have a filter which overcomes this problem so their receive signals are not affected. However,  Clansman VHF set owners operating on amateur bands are strongly advised to modify their sets to turn off the 150 c/s tone and information on making this simple adjustment is widely available on the internet. 

Please be aware that there is no amateur radio 4 metre allocation in France and the 70 Mc/s - 70.5 Mc/s available in the UK is widely used by the French military and Gendarmerie. The use of the 4m band for amateur radio in France is unauthorised and illegal.The penalties in France for operating radio equipment on unauthorised frequencies or without a valid licence are severe and can result in confiscation of equipment and of the vehicles from which it is illegally operated.
 

Event Call sign       

  Name       
Location 
Equipment 
Vehicle   

  Operating Frequencies/Modes  
F/M0MGA
F/G3YYH
Martin
Tony
Gold King Red Beach
WS19HP, WS46   Clansman VRC 353
3.615 Mc/s AM
51.700 Mc/s FM
F/M0IDFDavidPegasus Bridge
Bénouville
WS19 MkIII, ZC1
Clansman VHF
1942 Bedford MWD lorry3.615 Mc/s AM
51.700 Mc/s FM
80/40m LSB
HMS Belfast
Flagship of Bombardment Force E Gold & Juno Beaches
Pool of LondonModern24 X 6 inch and 4 inch gun Light Cruiser80/40m
LSB
GB2SF
(Sword Force)
Southdown Amateur Radio SocietyBeachy HeadWS19 MkIII
WS62

Clansman VRC322 HF
Clansman VRC353 VHF
Landrover Defender 110 FFR3.615 Mc/s AM
51.700 Mc/s FM
HF SSB
GB1SOE
operated by
MKARS members
Milton Keynes Amateur Radio SocietyWhaddon, Buckinghamshire

Location of ULTRA Intelligence distribution to Field Commanders
Whaddon MkIII
Whaddon MkVII Paraset
HRO

Home Built AM
In June 1944 Whaddon Hall was MI6 HQ Section VIII (Communications) commanded by Brigadier Richard Gambier-Parry. The site had direct communications with the Beach Heads during the Invasion3.615 Mc/s AM
 7.035 Mc/s primary CW
7.020 Mc/s secondary.CW

 
F/G3ZIBDaveSt Mere Eglise
Merville Battery
Ranville
Collins TCS
PRC320
1943 Willys Jeep
US Navy F.O.O
3.615 Mc/s AM
G0GNERobinButser Hill
Nr. Portsmouth
Clansman
VRC 353
Clansman
VRC321
Air Drop Lightweight Landrover51.700 Mc/s FM
3.615 Mc/s AM
G7KNS
M0RYK
Gordon
Mike
Crowborough Camp
East Sussex
WS19 MkIII
Clansman
VRC 353
PRC 320
Series 1 Landrover3.615 Mc/s AM
51.700 Mc/s FM
F/M0ZZKMattGrandcamp-Maisy
Nr. Omaha Beach
Clansman
PRC 320
PRC 352
1942 Ford Jeep3.615 Mc/s AM
51.700 Mc/s FM

Organisations and individuals who are planning to operate stations from locations in England or France where D-Day activity took place are invited to add their details to the above list and join in with the vintage wireless communications on 6th June. Please contact Martin Smyth at
martin-smyth@tiscali.co.uk with details


Note for those indending to travel in the Normandy Beaches area on 6th June 2019

As this is the 75th anniversary of D-Day there are few left alive who actually took part in or witnessed these momentous events and are able to attend a significant.anniversary in person for probably the last time. Due to the significance of the occasion the area will be visited by numerous senior political, royal and military representatives from countries directly involved in the landings and in the Battle of Normandy, so requiring extensive security arrangements to be put in place. These are likely to impede travel along the coastal areas at times, so participants planning to travel to Normandy for this occasion are advised to make alternative secondary arrangements as a back up for their primary plan should it prove necessary in the event of access being restricted. At Ver-Sur-Mer, opposite Gold Beach the French President, Mr Macron and the UK Prime Minister, Mrs May are scheduled to lay a foundation stone for a memorial being built to remember the 22,000 troops under British command who died in the Normandy actions. Other points of significance are likely to be affected as VIP's visit them.   


  .
Image result for d day vehicles arromanches beach

 
Tides - The beach at Arromanches is accessible for vehicles for a couple of hours each side of low water. Please note that access to the beaches with vehicles is controlled by the local harbour authorities.

     Local times of the tides on 6th June are:-
Arromanches High Water  00:19 7.25m
Arromanches Low Water 
07:561.05m
Arromanches High Water 
12:53
7.00m
Arromanches Low Water 
20:14
1.30m

       For Arromanches tides on other dates click here                For tides at other Normandy beaches click here

 
            
 
C47 Dakota's flying over Normandy for the 75th D-Day anniversaryImage result for mass c47 dakotas
As part of the 75th anniversary, what is claimed to be one of the largest concentrations of C47 Dakota aircraft in recent times will be flying over Normandy out of Caen Carpiquet airfield. Mass parachute drops are planned and further information on this event can be found on this linkThe Caen Carpiquet Tower frequency is 134.525 Mc/s.

The Carpiquet airfield was captured by the Luftwaffe in June 1940 and was used by them as a base for operations in the Battle of Britain. In July 1944 and following several weeks of fierce fighting by British and Canadian artillery and ground troops, the German held airfield was taken and used as a forward base for Allied airforces. 


               Click on the family picture to listen to 1940s radio music

 
    Click on the BBC microphone  to hear D-Day News reports      Related image                            

 

 

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