Comparison of a Recent Photo of D-Day veterans, with one from 1944?

International Misleading

Despite the fact World War II (WWII) had occurred around 8 decades ago, unpleasant memories of WWII with massive carnage and destruction is still being talked about. At the same time, certain key incidents are being remembered and honored as well.

One such event is the D-Day (Battle of Normandy) victory and the 78th commemoration of D-Day falls on 6th of June. On this backdrop, we noticed a misleading photo comparison claiming to be World War II veterans from 1944 and present. Let’s have a look at the claim.

Social Media Posts

A Facebook user posted a photo comparison post with the below text.

“World War II Paratroopers sitting across from themselves in the same plane that dropped them into Normandy in 1944.”

Facebook | Archived

These posts have been so viral in Facebook space closer to the D-Day 

Due to the viral nature of these claims, we decided to do a fact check on this.

D- day & Its Significance

D-Day marks a significant moment in WWII history, as it marked the beginning of the Operation ‘Overlord’, a significant operation which began the process through which victory was eventually achieved for the Allied forces. Statistics of D-Day, are staggering and was considered the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare at the time. 

Using a series of deception techniques to wade off the Germans, along with detailed planning, Allied Forces (British, American, Canadian etc.) led by General Dwight Eisenhower landed on the Nazy controlled Normandy beach in Northern France on the 6th of June 1944 and successfully seized control. By the end of August 1944, the German Army was in full retreat from France. During this key battle, thousands of soldiers from both allied and axis forces lost their lives. More details about this can be found from here. Archived.

Original Image shows British Paratroopers on a mission to Holland and not France!

We did a Google Reverse Image Search and were able to find the original image claiming to be the one taken in 1944.

IWMArchived  | Alamy |DailyMail

According to photo description, this image depicts the British paratroops preparing to take off, on their way to a mission on Nazi controlled territory in Holland in a Dakota DC-3 (C-47) airplane on the 17th of September 1944.

However, the D-day (Battle of Normandy) is considered to have effectively been concluded by the end of August in 1944, by which the Allied forces had reached the Seine River, Paris was liberated, and the Germans had been removed from northwestern France.

Therefore, the original image was taken more than 3 months after the actual D-Day on 6th of June 1944, hence did not directly relate to the Battle of Normandy. However, some of these men pictured in the image could have fought in the Battle of Normandy as well. 

Color photo claiming to be a recent photo of WWII veterans!

After that we searched about the recent part of the comparison image and found that it represented past and present Paratroopers of The Parachute Regimental Association

Iconic aircraft brings Paras’ past and present together

PRA| Archived  | Flicker

The image caption states that these were 25 past and present veterans from the East Anglia branch of the Parachute Regimental Association, when they had visited Colchester’s Merville Barracks in 2011. The photo was captured while these men were taking a tour on a restored WWII aircraft (Dakota), that helped forge the reputation of the British Army’s Airborne Forces.

Since the names of the men present in each of the photos were not listed it’s hard to verify whether some of the paratroopers who were indeed part of D-Day operations on 6th June 1944, were seen in both photographs.

Yet it’s clear that both incidents are not directly related to D-Day paratroopers and it’s clear that the two photographs do not capture the same group either. Also, while both pictures were taken with the same aircraft model the C47 (Dakota) there is no evidence to suggest that it was the same aircraft either.

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Conclusion

According to our investigation, we were able to find out that the viral image comparison image does not have a direct link to the Normandy operation or D-Day (6th June 1944) in France.

The B&W image was taken in September 1944, when a group of British paratroops were preparing for a mission on Nazi controlled territory in Holland. The color photograph was taken in 2011, when 25 past and present veterans from the East Anglia branch of the Parachute Regimental Association in the UK, comprising both past and present paratroopers.

While there is a possibility that some of the paratroopers from D-Day (6th June 1944) could have been present in both the images there is no evidence to suggest the same and it’s highly unlikely it’s the same aircraft also. However, the aircraft model is the same, Dakota (C-47).

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Title:Comparison of recent photo of D-Day veterans with one from 1944?

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Misleading

4 thoughts on “Comparison of a Recent Photo of D-Day veterans, with one from 1944?

  1. Thank you for your investigation. Most of the time, I will check the Stories I share. In this case I didn‘t… and so I have shared a fake! Thank your for your help!

    Regards

    Hans Richard

  2. Ok, thanks . I dind’t check this pist. I just shared because i thought it’s great, that these heroes could reunited after all those years i’m sorry i din’t want to share fake news ir whatever.

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