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D-Day Beachhead

The Second World War, 1944, Victory in Sight


D-Day Beachhead



Date of Issue

November 7, 1994




Postal Administration



The Second World War, 1944, Victory in Sight

Series Time Span


Perforation or Dimension



Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.


Designed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier.

About Stamp

Canada Post Corporation's tribute to the Canadian war effort continues with four stamps to mark the 50th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944 and the subsequent advance up the European coast. The Germans had ejected the British from Northwest France in 1940, and defeated the Canadians at Dieppe in 1942. Nevertheless, it was only a matter of time before a full-scale invasion was mounted. The questions were where when, and at what cost. At the Quebec Conference of August 1943, it was decided that the Normandy beaches of the Baie de la Seine would be the site for a June 5th landing with possible postponement to the 6th of 7th if necessary. It was anticipated that Canadian casualties for D-Day would be approximately two thousand. Five assault divisions were to be lanced from the sea, just after three airborne division were dropped under the cover of darkness. Canada's section was Juno Beach, between the British beaches, Sword and Gold. Over 15,000 Canadians troops, about a fifth of the total invasion force, were to secure the Canadian sector which was about four and a half miles of the 55 mile invasion front. Just after midnight on June 6, 450 troopers of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion crossed above the English Channel. Within hours, 84 were Nazi prisoners, 19 were dead and 10 injured. RAF Bomber Command launched the heaviest blow it had ever struck. The RCAF's No. 6 Group had 230 aircraft dropping 859 tons of explosives, with only one aircraft lost. The US Army Force dropped another 3,000 tons during the 30 minutes before the troops went in. The Royal Canadian Navy assisted with Bangor class minesweepers clearing a path through sea mines, corvettes escorting shipping, destroyers shelling the coast and infantry landing craft bringing in troops. About 110 Canadian ships and 10,000 sailors participated in "Operation Neptune". At 8:12 a.m. the first Canadian units hit the beaches meeting fierce opposition. But by 10:30 a.m. the following message was sent to General Crerar, Commander of the First Canadian Army: "Beachhead gained. Well on our way to our intermediate objectives." On that single day, Canadian casualties numbered 1,074 including 359 dead. D-Day was a triumph, but Canadians had paid for their success in blood.
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Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, Vol. 3, No. 6, 1994, p. 8-9.

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