D Day at Juno Beach

Medium: Oil on canvas, 24 x 36


This is the initial work on a painting dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Canadian participation in D-Day. On 6 June, 1944, the first of 14,000 Canadian troops landed on a beach code named Juno as part of Operation Overlord. The Canadian troops were joined by many other Canadians at sea and in the air serving with RCN and RCAF units in this, the largest military amphibious operation in the history of warfare.

Historical Note

Sixty years ago, on June 6, 1944 almost 15,000 Canadians participated in the largest amphibious operation in history. They landed at a beach on the Normandy coastline code named Juno. They were at sea in ships of the Royal Canadian Navy, clearing mines, manning landing craft or in destroyers bombarding the beach defences. In the air squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force provided fighter cover, bombed targets in support of the allied invasion and roamed the countryside in fighter-bomber sweeps blasting German transportation and armour moving toward the beach heads.

The Canadian success that day on those beaches was a major contribution to the overall success of Operation Overlord and ultimately the victory of the allied forces in destroying the Nazi Third Reich’s grip on the countries of Europe. Although many years have passed since the historic events of that day Canadians can take pride that at a critical moment in the history of the world and the development of human civilization, Canada and Canadians faced a threat directly and fought the good fight for a good cause.

How historically based paintings are created: The first step is of course a concept. In the case of historical paintings involving aircraft and equipment accuracy is important. Consequently a lot of effort goes into researching technical details. This includes such details as types of equipment, aircraft and vehicles used, squadron and unit codes and insignia and the terrain and weather involved. Studying photographic resources is helpful however artistic imperatives such as composition and the use of the artist’s skill in the creation of the painting ultimately will determine the final product. There is always a balance and sometimes tension in this process of achieving accuracy and art.

For more information, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_Beach