1. ITV Report

D-Day veteran: 'I didn't think we were going to make it'

D-Day veterans on their way to Normandy for this year's 70th anniversary commemorations have told of the pain and pride that will accompany them as they remember their experiences in the largest seaborne invasion on history.

Veteran Bob Barker says he will remember the crew he lost. Credit: ITV News

Speaking to ITV News on the ferry across the Channel from Portsmouth, veteran Bob Barker of the King's Liverpool Regiment remembers friends who shared his landing craft but didn't survive.

Bob says the journey back will be "bloody hard", but he feels compelled to return because of "what you've seen, the men you've lost".

Royal Marine Dennis Small from Fremington, North Devon was only 19 when he took his landing craft across the channel as one of a flotilla of twelve.

Dennis Small didn't expect to make it back from Gold Beach. Credit: ITV News

"To be honest, we were young chaps - I didn't think we were ever going to make it," he told us as he looked out over the Channel.

Once they arrived just off Gold Beach, Dennis ferried troops from the larger ships to the beach, taking 50 men at a time.

His landing craft developed a rudder fault on D-Day, so Dennis reverted to the job of spotting snipers and aiding the assault troops as they cleared the beach.

Dennis was among 156,000 allied troops that landed in Normandy on the first day of the invasion. 4,413 died on that first day alone.

He says he is going to Normandy to remember his crew and the work they did during the invasion.

"I don't think it'll ever happen again, that sort of operation," he said.

"To some extent we're quite proud of what we did."

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