Saunton Sands D Day Event

In 1943–44, thousands of American GI’s descended on the village of Braunton to train for the D-Day landings amongst the dunes of Saunton Beach. 

On Saturday June 2nd & 3rd, 2018, Devon D-Day stepped back in time to commemorate this period in its history with its annual Saunton Sands D Day event.

Saunton Sands played a very important role in the Second World War, as did much of the North Devon coastline.  When it was realised that the incoming troops to Britain from America had not received enough training ahead of the invasion of Europe, and with only a few months to go before the attack was planned, an urgent solution was required, this came in the form of the American Training Center (ATC).  

Soon the beaches of Georgeham, Putscborough, Croyde, Saunton and Woolacombe became training grounds as part of the American Training Center.


An informative and enjoyable weekend hosted on Saunton Sands. The 2018 event was no exception. Saturday saw over 140 WW2 vehicles driving along the beach with the added visual of a DUKW in the sea.  Visitors to the beach were able to watch a variety of living history displays and re-enactments giving the visual story of what happened on these beaches. 

Those who stayed for Saturday evening were given a wonderful performance from the Military Wives Choir.

A truly amazing sight was seen on Sunday with 10 Piper Cubs and an Auster landing on the beach. The First Wave 44 living history group gave some stunning re-enactment demonstrations throughout the  day, portraying the 146th Enginner Combat Battalion who served at the U.S Assault training  Center and landed on Omaha beach.  

The 75th Anniversary of D Day will be held in 2019 on the weekend of 1st-2nd June on Saunton Sands 

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