Next year marks 75 years since "D" Day & many people will be looking to visit the area to remember. But why Cornwall? Here at The Elite Duchy Touring Co we have been researching that very question. Many will know that there were numerous air bases in the county, some of which can still be seen, such as Davidstow and St Eval. But did you know that there was a Naval Air Station at St Merryn, with a bombing range on the cliffs at Treligga? Or that there was a base at St Eval from which anti-submarine missions were flown as well as bombing raids on ports such as Brest?
in the build-up to "D" Day thousands of troops, mainly American, were housed here and eventually embarked for the Normandy beaches from here. Huge temporary camps were set up in places like Chacewater, near Truro, where the US 29th Division prepared for the invasion. Some 7,500 troops made up the division and there is a memorial at the DCLI Museum in Bodmin to the 3,550 who didn't return. Many of them embarked from the beach at what is now Trebah Gardens, which is open to the public and is a beautiful and peaceful spot now. Other embarkation points included Turnaware Point on the river Fal (27,000 US troops departed from the Fal Eustuary and General Eisenhower stayed at Smuggler's Cottage at Tolverne) and Barn Pool at Mount Edgcumbe. 2,000 US troops were stationed in and around Fowey and in order to protect the town, nearby Pridmouth Cove was illuminated as a decoy for any German air-raids! Anyone wishing to delve into the wartime history of the area will find us willing and able to help them explore.