May 7, 2019
Naval historian M. Clayton Farrington presents, “D-Day: Operation Neptune,” the story of the greatest seaborne invasion in history on Sunday, May 19, at 3 p.m. in York Hall, 301 Main Street, Yorktown. This free presentation is sponsored by the York County Historical Committee and lasts about one-hour with time for questions/answers.
This year on June 6 we mark the 75th anniversary of the 1944 invasion that spelled the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe. “D-Day: Operation NEPTUNE” was the code name for the naval operation conveying the assault troops across the English Channel, protecting and landing them on the beaches of France’s Normandy coast. Mr. Farrington will describe the meticulous preparation, coordination, and execution of NEPTUNE, to include the role naval fire support played in ensuring Allied victory.
Many are aware that the thousands of Army, Navy, and Coast Guard personnel as well as those of their allies who took part in the Normandy invasion came from staging areas along the southern coast of England in June 1944. However, less widely known is that the long road to Normandy actually began in the fall of 1942 when a main staging area for the first major amphibious operation against occupied French territory was located here in Hampton Roads. Its headquarters was located at a hotel in the Ocean View section of Norfolk. Farrington will trace the milestones along this road to D-Day, which was marked by watershed operations such as TORCH and HUSKY.
Mr. Farrington serves on the staff of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum as editor and historian. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is one of ten Navy museums operated by the Naval History & Heritage Command. The museum is dedicated to the study of the naval history of the Hampton Roads region and is located in downtown Norfolk on the second floor of the Nauticus building, next to the museum ship Wisconsin.