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A Crowdfunder campaign has been launched to raise funds for an ambitious project which will honor US Troops who served across the UK in the lead up to D-Day in 1944. The project, named 'Overlord Heritage', seeks to map, mark and honor the locations where thousands of US Army Units were based across Britain during preparations for the Normandy Landings. According to the project, over 1200 towns and villages played host to American servicemen and women. The project will also aim to mark the location of hundreds of crash sites where American aircraft were lost on UK soil.
The Crowdfunder campaign, which runs until February 14, is seeking to raise £22,094 to kick start the project. As well as marking the location of American troops in the UK, the project also plans to create educational tools for schools.
Michael Rainsberry, the organizer of the Overlord Heritage, explained that by developing the project, he wants to "share the amazing discoveries that have been made about the hidden history of Operation Overlord and to teach the young about what took place on their doorstep. This is the best way to ensure that this history is understood, valued and conserved by future generations."
With 2019 marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Mr Rainsberry notes the de-classification of D-Day documents as a helpful starting point for revealing "the names of the many thousands of men and women who came from all over the world to help Europe in the hour of greatest need can now be known. They integrated happily into our British communities – all truly welcomed, irrespective of race, language, gender or creed. They fought as our friends and allies to liberate Europe."
As well as highlighting the history of American troops in Britain, the project aims to commemorate the involvement of troops from all Allied nations, including those from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, the West Indies and countless other nations.
The project's plan to create a national focus will aid a recent number of important developments from local groups, individuals, the US Embassy, US Air Force and local councils to remember American troops who served in the UK. We at The American have reported on a number of these memorials and ceremonies, check our News Section to look back at a few of the events we've reported on. A national scheme will help to reveal more of the many stories which are yet to be told about the hundreds of thousands of brave American service men and women who served on UK soil during World War Two.
For further details on the Overlord Heritage project, and to donate funds, go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/overlordheritagecom.