Saturday, September 22, 2018

D-Day Conneaut 2018



There are two things that I get to look forward to each year; one is Historicon, which I missed for the first time in six years (to which I am still incredibly bitter about, lol!), and the other is the D-Day reenactment in Conneaut, Ohio.


If you've followed the blog for a while you'll have seen posts on this event before. This is my sixth year participating in the event and my seventh overall.


Over 1500 reenactors come from all over the country, and overseas as well - we had several guys come over from England this year - to participate in this reenactment of June 6th, 1944. Estimates for visitors to the event over the course of the three days is somewhere around 30,000.


And each year, just like a broken record, I always say it keeps getting bigger and better. Of course, this year didn't fail to impress.


They have a fully functional spotlight that looks absolutely amazing in the darkness of night.


The 88 continues to be the one demonstration I look forward to seeing every single year.





I've said it before, but when this thing goes off you can literally feel the blast, even being hundreds of yards away.


What an absolutely amazing photo this is!






Embarkation.



Lots more demonstrations and events occurred on the beach this year, with amour being a focus.





These almost look like production stills from a film.


I can always count on someone to capture some amazing photos of the planes making their runs along the beach, and these are some of my favorites.





Using grayscale for the photos really makes them look like they were taken in 1944.




The French resistance have their own battle reenactment now.



I'd been wanting to ride in the sidecar of one of the motorcycles for years now and finally this year got lucky enough to catch a ride in one while heading back to the reenactor parking lot.


This was the motorcycle I got to ride in, and it was brilliant! Though admittedly a bit odd looking with me in my Airborne uniform :)


I'd also never been able to ride in a jeep in all the years I've been doing this event - well check that one off the list too! I was lugging the box of football uniforms and a good 'ol Willey's jeep stopped and got me to the parade ground. Maybe it was my uniform, but let me tell you, I had a time throwing my leg up and over to get in the jeep lol! The only thing left now is to get inside a tank :)


We also had our annual Allies V Axis football match. This year I was asked to captain the Allied squad and get the entire match organized. Unfortunately a period accurate match ball isn't available so I tried to find something that would only look marginally out of place.


I used the opportunity to spend way too much of my own money to get our uniforms to match up just like the movie "Victory" or "Escape To Victory" as it's known in Europe.


The blue socks were a cinch to find, but who knew finding plain white shorts could be such an incredible hassle?

It was literally two days before the event that the shorts finally arrived, so a happy ending and for the first time ever I think we really looked the part - and thankfully continued our winning streak. We'd gone down 1-3 midway through the first half and my heart just sunk because if we'd have lost, it would have been on my watch, and we have yet to lose this match since it began.


I take absolutely horrible photos, unless I don't know the photo is being taken. Which is why these are actually ok and I don't look like a goof, though that bald spot is just awful :)


With all that being said, the photo above is really what this event is all about. Pictured is Al Klugiewicz, a 102 year old vet of the Signal Corp. This is Al in the Message Center, right in front of the telegraph typing out code and not missing a beat. Absolutely one of the most amazing things I've seen since coming to this event!

I've built a couple of small 4Gound kits that should be next up in the blog. As well as a little tutorial on how I make my new and improved clear bases.

As always, thanks for looking!
Ivor

14 comments:

  1. Looks a pretty amazing event, it obviously excites you from the enthusiastic way you describe it.
    Some nice photos there as well.

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    1. It absolutely is John, the few photos that I've put up (or honesty any of the thousands and thousands that are taken) don't really give you a proper feel of exactly how big the event is. Once you set foot in the park it's like going back in time 🙂

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  2. Seems like a great day out Ivor with you looking like a white Pele in that photo :)

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    1. Much appreciated Frank! Lol, my one Pele moment - just like riding in the jeep and sidecar, I can now check it off the list 😀

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  3. What a fantastic looking event Ivor. Glad it was such a success for you personally too

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    1. Thanks Andy! It was definitely nice to be able to put another W on the board, especially after that early scare.

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  4. Replies
    1. Cheers Ralph! Then you know better than anyone that the few photos here don't do the event justice 🙂

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  5. Great report albeit I think David Beckham’s safe for now :)

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    1. Ha! Believe me, I'd say anyone at a rec league level is safe 🙂

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  6. That’s an amazing event that I never knew even existed! Very awesome photos. Those uniforms are a great touch as well.
    I’m gonna go look at all the pictures again now. 😀

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    1. Cheers Stew! Lots of really great people make it all happen :)

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  7. Wow Ivor, that does indeed look like a special day. Seeing the Liberator and Mustang whirl about in the sky over the beach landing reenactment must have been a real treat.

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    1. Cheers Dai! It absolutely is, and very lucky to be able to take part. The planes doing their runs along the beach is definitely a hi-lite for me every year. And it's just crazy how low to the deck they get, lots of "oohs" and "ahhs" from the spectators 🙂

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