Explore History

Second World War (1939-1945)
The Navy in European Waters  - D-Day and the Normandy Landings

Over 100 Canadian warships and some 10,000 Canadian sailors supported D-Day, the 6 June 1944 landings in Normandy. Canadian ships and sailors helped protect the invasion fleet, cleared German minefields, and ferried Allied troops across the Channel.

Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando Battle Dress Blouse
Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando Battle Dress Blouse

This battle dress blouse belonged to Lieutenant Dudley Rayburn, a beachmaster with the Royal Canadian Navy's Beach Commando "W".

Created in early 1944, Beach Commando "W" went to France in early July 1944. Rayburn, a naval reservist since his youth in the 1920s, was a beachmaster who oversaw operations on a sector of Juno Beach. The left sleeve of his battle dress blouse carries "Canada" and "Commando" flashes (top). A Combined Operations patch (bottom) with an anchor, sub-machine gun, and eagle represent the navy, army, and air force operating together.

Battle Dress Blouse
CWM 20000131-001

HMCS Caraquet Model
Oropesa Minesweeping Float
Tangled Float, No.2
Chaudières Embarking for Normandy Assault
Third Canadian Division Assault Troops
260th Landing Craft Flotilla, Southampton, England
Officers of the 260th and 262nd Flotillas
The Crew of LCI(L) 135
LCI(L) 249, Bernières-sur-Mer, 6 June 1944
LCI(L) 249 at Bernières-sur-Mer, 6 June 1944
LCI(L) 135 on Juno Beach
LCI(L) 249 in Drydock, Portsmouth, England
White Ensign, LCI(L) 250
Chaplain James Harold Graven's Pyx
Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando Battle Dress Blouse
Lanchester Sub-Machine-gun
Southampton Pub, D-Day Plus One
Rescue at Sea
The Gale of Hurricane Force on the Normandy Beach