‘A Pilgrimage for my Dad’

The day before D-DayGreenham Common Remembers

Making what she calls ‘a pilgrimage’ to Greenham Common in early September is Pauline Natividad whose father was an American GI based in England, one of thousands of Allied troops preparing for the Invasion of Occupied Europe in June 1944.

Greenham Common was one of the pivotal airfields of WW2 and it was from here that paratroopers of the 101st Airborne, nicknamed the Screaming Eagles, took off to play their part in the D-Day Campaign.

On the morning of the 5 June 1944, General Dwight D Eisenhower (Ike) Supreme Commander of the Campaign drove from his HQ near Portsmouth to meet men of the 101st, a moment in time captured in what has now become one of the most iconic photographs of the war.

The American MemorialRemembering these men, and all the American personnel not just from the airfield, but also those who played their part as members of all American Armed Services, is the motivation behind an open air Service which is being held at the American Memorial, Weber Road, Greenham Business Park at 11 am on Saturday 9th September. This coincides with Greenham: 100 Years of War and Peace, the main event of which is being presented on the 8th and 9th September.

Pauline was reunited with her father after many years of searching and she spent many happy times with him, and her new family in America, before he passed away in 2015. ‘I am delighted to have been asked to read a lesson during the Service,‘ she said ‘for me it’s like being able to thank my Dad for being my Dad and for what he and all his comrades did for us’. Angela Parsons, another GI War Babe, will also be in attendance on the day.
 
The Service will be led by the Reverend Keri Eynon, Royal British Legion Padre, and a contingent of the American WW2 Living History re-enactors and their British counterparts who are taking part in the event, will be also on parade.

Click to download a location map of the American MemorialAll are welcome to attend the Service.

Weather and traffic permitting a convoy of WW2 military vehicles will leave the Business Park after the Service at approximately 11.45 am in convoy to the Royal British Legion Newbury Branch in Pelican Lane. It will travel along the A339, then via Newtown Road to the Bartholomew Street pedestrian area which will be open to allow the convoy to drive through the town centre at approximately noon.

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