The landings commenced at 0430 local time. If you look at the memorials around the country that feature non-functioning clocks you will see they are set to this time.
Traditionally, there is a 'Gunfire Breakfast' held in Australian Infantry Battalions at 0430, where troops attend a brief service followed by rum & coffee, before getting ready for the Dawn Service at 0600, then the Church Service and main parade.
My great-(great?)-uncle, sailed off to join the RAF in WWII. Transport ship was sunk in the mid-Atlantic, floated around with another two blokes in a life-raft for around a month before being picked up and making it to England. Flew Lancasters before finally being shot down over Germany. His crew got out but his body was never found. Never got the chance to be someone's great-grandfather. He is my link to aviation, and I'm thinking of him on this day, along with my other relatives - including my father who was an Engineer who served in Vietnam and isn't with us today - and all the other men who went out and served for us.
Location: somewhere in the nth of Oz, where it isn't really cold
gileraguy the timing is a combination of two things, because the troops landed before dawn, and now it's a quiet time for all returned troops to reflect quietly in the calm of the darkness of those mates lost .. it's the one and only day I have a nip of rum .. I thank my lucky stars my bloke came home, and remember those who have not been so lucky.
think of 2, among many others.
One that I met and has now passed..Russell Yeulett from NZ was 19 and aboard a Lancsaster over Berlin when it was set on fire from flak. The captain ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft, while steering it away from the inferno below, it disintergrated and Rusell was the sole survivor, blown out of the tail gunner position. His Captain was awarded the VC, and the crew is listed on a column in the Bomber Hall of the RAF Museum. On an earlier mission Russell's alertness saved the aircraft from a Ju88 night fighter, on which he eventually set fire to one engine after a hectic corkscrewing combat. The crew carried him shoulder high to the mess for a very thankful 'booze up'.
The other, I never met. Was the same age as Russell but from half a world away. Lt Robert Love was with USAAC and never got to the war or fire a shot in anger. When piloting a P 39 in a flight to Port Moresby, to join the air battles in Papua, the flight of 6 ran into bad weather on the east coast of Cape York. Split up into pairs they turned back to find a safe place to put down, the only option, since Cooktown was out of range. Just south of Orford Bay his leader, Lt Robert Yundt selected a beach and went in first and made a successful wheels up landing. He then watched as his wingman Love made an approach, but put his wheels down. Whether he dropped a wing or the gear dug into soft sand, the resuting cartwheel wrecked the aircraft and fatally injured him. In this wild and beautiful place, from a chance decision made in the air a young man died. At another dig on this wreck last year...it has now had 69 years of SE trades blowing sand over it..its more than 6 ft under....I left a solar powered light on the dune by the cross and some wreckage. So for young Robert there is a least a small light on the hill. Lest we forget, indeed.
Was by the shrine this morning watching the march. I thought the roulettes were supposed to fly over at about 10:40 but they never showed up. Were they late? Or was the weather too bad or cloud cover too low for them to make an appearance.
I had quite a few relatives fight in both world wars, though for British forces. Thankfully they all survived (narrowly in some cases). Today Im thinking about PTE Jake Kovco, with whom I served at 3RAR; and LT Matthew Goodall, an old friend from my days in the AIRTC. We shared a passion for aviation and I was in the middle of my pilot training when he was killed in the Seaking crash on Nias Island in 2005. Rest in peace.