Vet (95) from Operation Dragoon the “Forgotten D Day”, Speaks Movingly of 70-year-old Event




Seventy years ago this August Allied forces landed on the southern French coast as part of a massive effort to defeat Nazi German armies who were devastating Europe.

Bugler sounds the Last Post

Bugler sounds the Last Post at Draguignan, France

Watch this video of the moving commemorations of remembrance at the Rhone Cemetery this year:


The video above was produced by David Rowe and published to YouTube on Aug 22, 2014.

Operation Dragoon the forgotten D-Day — commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the landings in southern France and part of wider ongoing remembrance events of both World Wars that run through to 2018.

The ceremony was addressed by the Mayor of Draguignan Christian Humbert and Richard Strambio, while a military band was supplied by the US Navy 6th Fleet based at Naples.  Among those interviewed is 95-year-old Richard (Dick) Hargreaves (Major, retired) who aged 24 was with the Allied forces parachuted onto the French coast in August 1944.

David Rowe, the video producer, takes up the story: Just 70 days after the D Day landings in Normandy on the 6th of June 1944, with limited resources Operation Anvil had been planned by the Americans but had received opposition from Sir Winston Churchill.

Finally the invasion of the South of France was hatched. Conditions were far more difficult than that of Normandy, re named Dragoon, this required a seaborne force from various places in Italy and North Africa, date planned for the 15th August 1944.

An airborne task force was sent from Rome first by Parachute followed by gliders. The first village to be liberated was La Motte then Le Muy, this is celebrated annually and remembrance ceremony’s held in the Rhone American Cemetery Draguignan.

Operation Dragoon 70 years on

Operation Dragoon 70 years on

The 70th Anniversary events at the Rhone American Cemetery on 16 August 2014 were described by Anita Rieu-Sicart, Editor of the VAR VILLAGE VOICE in a report in the latest issue of her magazine here:

The Var Village Voice report on the event.

The Var Village Voice report on the event.

Read the latest issue (in PDF format) containing a full report: VVV September issue Rhone commemoration



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