The operation to take and hold what became known as Pegasus Bridge was one of the most daring and most crucial actions of D-Day. At about 11pm on 5th June 1944, soldiers of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry boarded gliders and took off from a Dorset airfield.
They were to be the first allied troops into combat and they were to suffer the first casualties of the Normandy invasion. Martin Dowse spoke to one of the few surviving veterans of the operation who lives in Hampshire about the opening battle upon which the success of D-Day depended.
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