48th Fighter Wing honors D-Day 76th Anniversary

F-15 Eagles assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing conduct a flypast over Normandy, France in support of the 76th anniversary of D-Day June 6, 2020. An epic multinational operation, D-Day forged partnerships and reinforces trans-Atlantic bonds that remain to this day. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Four F-15 Eagles assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron conducted a flyover in France commemorating the 76th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2020.

The flyover was held in conjunction with local ceremonies taking place at Omaha Beach, one of the landing locations of U.S. and allied forces during the Normandy Invasion in France.

The Normandy Invasion, also known as D-Day, was the Allied invasion of Western Europe, June 6, 1944.

“D-Day was one of the turning points in World War II,” said Lt. Col. Todd Pearson, 48th FW chief of flight safety. “It was a significant event in military history and a significant loss of life. It’s important that we as Americans and as military members continue to honor the sacrifices the generations before of us made.”

The invasion, considered the largest amphibious landings of all time, was a joint effort between the U.S., U.K., and Canadian forces. U.S and allied troops stormed the five separate beachheads in Normandy, France, against Nazi forces.

“The significance of that is not lost on me or any of the pilots that flew with me,” Pearson said. “It’s pretty cool to be representing the 48th Fighter Wing, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. in front of the French people and the world to see.”

The operation resulted in the liberation of northern France, victory in the European Theater, and eventually led to the end of the war.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to participate again this year in honoring the brave young men who charged the beaches of Normandy 76 years ago,” said Col. William Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander. “Many never made it home, and it’s humbling to to fly over such historically significant landmarks.”