This year being the 75th anniversary of D-Day a great deal of reminiscing about the events of Operation Overlord have been recalled.

The triumphs and the losses, the success of D-Day and the tragedy of ‘Exercise Tiger’ when hundreds of servicemen on a pre-D-Day invasion of Slapton Sands were attacked by enemy E-boats and perished in the waters of Lyme Bay.

Weymouth’s American Memorial on the Promenade commemorates D-Day. Each year there is an American Day service on May 27. This is the day in 1944 that the build up of American Force ‘O’ was formed up in Weymouth and Portland ready for embarkation. The memorial was unveiled in December 1947 with the date of the unveiling on it. Since then much has been added to the wording over the years since its construction. Exercise Tiger is recorded with the number lost through the tragedy. Below this is recorded the loss by sinking of the troopship Leopoldville, on the night of December 24, 1944, Christmas Eve. 803 were lost when torpedoed by a U-boat only five miles off of Cherbourg.

Except for the crew of the vessel, of whom most were Belgian, the greatest of the losses were American troops. Reporting of the sinking was restricted at the time because of the number lost. Therefore, there is a proposal to lay a wreath this year being the 75 anniversary of the loss of the Leopoldville on Christmas

Alvin Hopper

Walpole St