American military nostalgia visit for RAF Saltby D-Day commemoration

Source: SKDC website. Image (Getty Images): American troops from the 82nd Airborne Division check their equipment on D-Day (June 6, 1944).


RAF Saltby was home to America’s 9th Troop Carrier Command during 1944, flying paratroopers of the US 82nd Airborne Division to Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion of Europe.

The D-Day 80th Anniversary Commemoration at RAF Saltby event, included a service of commemoration, military re-enactors, an Army field kitchen and talks in the Buckminster Gliding Club clubhouse.

Senior United States’ military representatives attended on a nostalgia visit to an airfield that played a significant role in the Allied war effort, the latest in a series of such visits.

They include the commander of the United States 314th Airlift Wing from Little Rock, Arkansas, the modern day equivalent of the 314th Troop Carrier Wing operating from RAF Saltby in 1944.

Author and Troop Carrier Command world authority, Lt Col Mark Vlahos, attended, giving an illustrated talk  – RAF Saltby 314th Troop Carrier Group  – and offering to sign any of his books for visitors who have previously bought copies.

He portrayed Colonel Clayton Stiles, the Commander of the 314th Troop Carrier Group stationed at RAF Saltby in WW2, ‘visiting’ for the first time since the war ended.

Another talk from heritage specialist Brian Riley – Airborne Forces of Britain, the United States and Poland  – focuses on the unique alliance and presence locally of Allied airborne forces from the United States, Britain and Poland that helped change the course of the war

Darren Bond’s talk  – America’s 82nd Airborne Division – revealed the division’s history and its association with RAF Saltby and includes a demonstration of battle kit worn by both American and British airborne soldiers.

For Buckminster Gliding Club, Chairman John Elkington said: “We are extremely proud of the heritage here at the airfield.  We have a permanent memorial to allied forces and this event is an opportunity to honour the American troops and aircraft that flew from here on 6 June  1944.”

The commemoration is the latest in a series of US nostalgia visits over the years. The 314th Airlift Wing also gifted £3,000 to help restore the bells at Saltby Church.

The event has been organised by South Kesteven District Council, Saltby Airfield History Group and the Buckminster Gliding Club.  

Kindly hosted by Buckminster Gliding Club. See website for directions. Buckminster Gliding Club | Saltby Airfield (

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