An Australian War Memorial exhibition is telling the story of more than 3000 Australians involved inth the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.
Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the operation, the exhibition will run until September in the Anzac Hall mezzanine, opposite the Lancaster 'G-for-George'.
More than 2500 RAAF personnel were involved in the D-Day landings to begin the liberation of Occupied Europe.
More than 156,000 Allied personnel landed on the first day and, by July 4, more than a million had arrived.
The exhibition at the AWM in Canberra illustrates how the operation was conducted and the role Australians played.
Among the displays are the uniform worn by a RAAF Spitfire pilot, an artwork of No. 460 Squadron and the remains of a Typhoon strike fighter flown by a RAAF pilot brought down over Normandy.
AWM Director Brendan Nelson said the freedoms Australians enjoy were partly owed to the D-Day operation.
“Some 3300 Australian servicemen and servicewomen contributed to Operation Overlord [the code name given to the Allied invasion],” Dr Nelson said.
While D-Day is commonly associated with the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, he said few might be aware of the extent of Australia’s involvement.
“Australia’s contribution and its sacrifice is a little-known story in one of history’s most dramatic events,” Dr Nelson said.
“Few Australians would know that the first enemy aircraft – a Heinkel 177 – was shot down on the day of the Normandy landings by two Australians in a Mosquito of No. 456 Squadron.
“Thirteen Australians were killed on D-Day, including two members of the Royal Australian Navy and 11 members of RAAF.”