Three Momentous Years
Running from 6th June to 7th July 2019
Thurs & Fri 10.30 – 13.30 | Sat & Sun 09.30 – 16.00
The exhibition ‘Three Momentous Years’ commemorates the period 1942 to 1945 and the role played by Greenham Common Airfield, with this year marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day 6th June.
The US Army began moving to Britain in 1942, with the 101st Airborne Division Paratroopers arriving in 1943. Their story is told in the TV series “Band of Brothers”. By D-Day there were 1.6 million US personnel in Britain and in West Berkshire the armed forces outnumbered local people!
On the eve of D-Day General Eisenhower came to Greenham Common and gave his famous speech “the eyes of the world are on you”. Then, on the day, 81 C-47 Dakotas took off at 11 second intervals, followed by waves of C-47s towing Waco gliders.
Greenham Common Airfield played an important role in subsequent operations. In September 1944, 145 C-47s, towing gliders set off for the Netherlands as apart of ‘Operation Market Garden, with the aim of securing the bridge at Arnhem across the River Rhine. This operation features in the film “A Bridge too Far”.
The exhibition displays photographs showing objects that remain from the wartime period as they are today. There are paintings and photographs and a flying suit of the period. In the Cafe there is a tribute on the ceiling with silhouettes of the C-47s and gliders setting off on their missions.