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Bugles on D-Day

D-Day Bugles

Were bugles used during the D-Day invasion? It’s a question I get every so often. There is a photo (above) of a US paratrooper on a transport getting ready to jump. The soldier is PFC Don Ross from the S-3 section, HQ, 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. If you look closely you can see a plastic bugle tucked under his reserve chute. Ross was captured after being hung up in a tree.

Bugles with actual field signals may not have been used by American troops on D-Day but certainly there are accounts of hunting horns used by British paratrooper that night and early morning of the invasion.

Hunting Horn

These small hunting horns are only capable of sounding one note and there is

“Across the moonlight fields of Normandy rolled the horse, haunting notes of an English hunting horn. The sound hung in the air, lonely, incongruous. Again and again the horn sounded. Scores of shadowy helmeted figures, in green-brown-and-yellow camouflaged jump smocks festooned with equipment, struggled across the fields, along ditches, by the sides of hedgerows, all heading in the direction of the call. Other horns took up the chorus. Suddenly a bugle began trumpeting. For hundreds of men of the British 6th Airborne Division this was the overture to battle.”
From: “The Longest Day” by Cornelius Ryan

This is from the movie “A Bridge Too Far” but shows the use of a hunting horn.

“To mark the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings, 89-year-old D-Day veteran Jock Hutton returned to the drop zone he landed in Normandy. He remembers that his commanding officer brought with him a hunting horn so that the parachute soldiers would be able come to a rallying point after they landed in the dark. “It certainly was a big help to those groping in the dark,” he said
From: The June 5, 2014

Bugler Sounds Taps on the Beaches of Normandy

Life Magazine published a photo of a bugler sounding Taps on the beaches of Normandy. The soldier is using a M1892 G field Trumpet made of plastic.


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