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Flying the Beaches on D-Day

Heroes Remember

Flying the Beaches on D-Day

D-Day came and... very exciting time. We had been briefed, as I indicated, by our Group Captain Ernie Moncreif (sp). And three o'clock in the morning we're up. Stradeouder (sp) our great chef who's, had been at a restaurant in the Vancouver area. Superb chef, one of the best ever, there cooking the eggs for us. And Jack Taylor was my leader, there was two of us, we went, we were tasked to, to get airborne and go across to Caen to do a reconnaissance, over at Caen, and then come back to the beach and go up and down the beach, looking for movement there. So, we got airborne just at dawn, because we had to operate in light, did a reconnaissance at Caen, and on the way across, of course, we flew over hundreds of ships and this was a windy day, high overcast and when we got to Caen we had to go under the cloud because it was a wall of cloud at the beach. So we had to go under it, got... forced us down to about five hundred feet, then we were able to get up and go back to, south to Caen. Did a reconnaissance there, and of course Caen became the focal point of the battle of Normandy. We then came back up the Orne, and they're in front of us at what we now call Pegasus Bridge, we could see these great Horsa gliders that had come in, in the morning. And that's a fantastic story in itself, but there were these gliders at a place called Ranville, and I couldn't believe that these things were there. We then went on, the two of us, and then we went up and down the British and Canadian beaches just as the first landing craft were coming in. Most fantastic sight I've ever seen.

Mr. Rohmer talks about flying reconnaissance over the beaches early on D-Day.

Richard Heath Rohmer

Major General Rohmer was born in Hamilton, Ontario on January 24, 1924. He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force on his eighteenth birthday. He had received some training in Canada before being shipped overseas to Bournemouth for further training on both Spitfires and Mustangs. He chose to fly a Mustang and was finally able to get into operations in the Fall of 1944.

General Rohmer provided reconnaissance for D-Day, the Falaise Gap and the Liberation of the Netherlands.

After the war, General Rohmer instructed Spitfire pilots on how to attack in the air at Gunnery Instructor School and later went back to college in Ontario, Canada. After graduating from college he went on to practice law. General Rohmer has received several awards throughout his illustrious career including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Canada Defence Medal and is an Officer of the Order of Canada just to name a few. General Rohmer is also a best selling author.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Richard Heath Rohmer
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
403 Squadron
Flying Officer

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