My uncle was a fighter pilot in W.W.II, flying P-47 Thunderbolts and based in Britain. On the eve of operation "Overlord" (launched June 6, 1944) a letter was issued to all the servicemen to be involved.
While going through some books my late uncle left me, I found his yellowed copy. It was carefully tucked away in his old copy of the U.S.A.A.F. procedures manual. I have since returned this letter to my aunt, but I thought I would share this historical document with you.
The tone of it indicates the seriousness of "Overlord". Had it not succeeded, we would live in a world much different than the one we know. (notice the letter isn"t dated, this is because the actual launch date was uncertain due to prevailing weather conditions and not wanting to tip off the enemy)
ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere, march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
[This message was edited by Fair_GwenofAir on 02-22-02 at 02:14 AM.]