On 28th April 1944, 749 American servicemen were killed off Slapton Sands in Devon during a rehearsal for D-Day called Operation Tiger.
As the troops were on the water preparing to practice landing on the beaches, German E-boats were alerted to activity in the area and attacked.
Due to the need for absolute secrecy the tragedy was kept quiet and, even today, is not as well-known as it should be.
These servicemen were the first casualties of D-Day, so to highlight this story and to launch our D-Day 75 commemorative campaign, today we laid 749 pairs of Bootprints on the same beach at Slapton Sands.
D-Day and the Battle of Normandy saw over 50,000 servicemen and women die – from Britain, the Commonwealth and America – in a battle that would turn the tide of the Second World War.
This year’s There But Not There campaign encourages you to walk in the bootprints of those servicemen and women who gave their lives in this extraordinary battle.
Our Bootprint plaques each carry the name of someone who died during this battle and all profits support projects that help today’s veterans get back into employment after their service.