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Click on the names above to read veterans' stories and see where they fought

Flying over D-Day

The Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France on D-Day nearly stalled on the sands of Omaha beach. The heavy seas which drove landing craft far off course and stiff German resistance threw the ambitious attack into confusion. This chaos is caught on an aerial photograph which has just been released to the public by Keele University Aerial Photographic Library.

The photograph - taken at 10am on 6 June 1944 by the US Army Air Force - shows the eastern section of the beach codenamed Omaha by the Allies, cluttered with tanks and beached ships.

Whereas elsewhere American, British, Canadian and French troops made quick progress inland, at Omaha the 34,000 men landed soon after dawn and found themselves facing withering enemy fire as they waded out of the surf and crossed the sands strewn with mines and obstacles. More than 3,000 Allied soldiers were killed, wounded or went missing.

Six veterans of that fierce battle British, American and German have told BBC News Online about their experiences. Click on their names under the aerial photo to read their stories and see where they fought on "The Longest Day". (NB. some actions took place just outside the frame of this picture and positions have been approximated.)

View of Omaha Beach courtesy of Keele University Aerial Photographic Library and copyright of The GeoInformation Group. www.historicairphotos.com

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