MOUNT VERNON - It was on June the 6th, 1944, that Allied forces began the invasion of France at Normandy, the largest seaborne invasion in history, leading to the Allied liberation of Western Europe from the control of Nazi Germany.
Codenamed Operation Overlord and widely known as D-Day, the invasion involved more than 150,000 American, British and Canadian forces landing on five beaches along a 50-mile section of heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.
The Knox County Historical Society will recognize the 70th Anniversary of this historic event at its meeting on Wednesday, June 4th, at 7:30 p.m. at the KCHS Museum, 875 Harcourt Road. A short documentary film will highlight the events of D-Day, and will be followed with comments by John Holley, whose father was part of the massive Normandy landing, and by Mel Helmich, who himself was part of the follow-up invasion of Europe, landing at Marseilles, France, in October of 1944, and serving in Europe until the end of the war.
A special exhibit about Knox County’s involvement during World War II, prepared in recent years by Kenyon College students, will also be on display at the Museum. The exhibit will then be moved to the Knox County Airport for the special anniversary celebration activities there on Saturday, June 7.
The Historical Society is especially interested in learning about any Knox County veterans who were involved in the Normandy invasion or its aftermath during the latter months of World War II. All persons interested in local history are invited to attend the June 4th meeting at 7:30 p.m., which is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Museum at 740-393-5247.