The Association was formed in October 1999 by a group of like minded WW2 enthusiast’s who, decided that they’d like to be part of a group that was tailored to meet their needs and aspirations. The group already held a strong core of friends who re-enacted the 2nd Rangers Battalion and we decided to use this as a building block in the formation of Normandy44. Despite popular belief this club was not formed on the back of the “Saving Private Ryan” phenomenon. Members actually portrayed the 2nd Rangers at the premier of the film in Edinburgh. When Normandy44 was initially formed we only owned a couple of vehicles, this has now grown along with the club and we currently own nineteen WW2 U.S. Army vehicles. Amongst our collection we have some very impressive kit including; 2 x M24 Chaffee tanks; 3 x Half-tracks; 1 x White Scout Car and a Weasel. We have formed two other new units within the association; the 102nd Cavalry who man our two tanks and the 5th Rangers Battalion; who are a brother unit who fought alongside the 2nd Battalion in Normandy.
Our Mission statement is simple and underlines our willingness to respect and Honour the dead and injured of all nations during WW2, whether they be military or civilian a like. We will endeavour to keep their memory alive and try to give the modern public a brief insight into the everyday lives of the Servicemen and woman that sacrificed so much on our behalf’s. We do this by displaying the vehicles and equipment in an accurate an educational manner and are always willing to talk to the general public and answer their questions. We try and be proactive and inclusive in our display’s and often invite the public to sit down and listen to our display team as they talk about issues relevant to the Rangers. We have amassed a very large collection of original WW2 U.S. Army tents and equipment and this acts as a perfect backdrop to our talks and has the feel of a real working camp.
As well as taking part in static display we also do more mobile impressions such as re-enacting WW2 battles and skirmishes for the general public. We often hold training weekends specifically for the membership where we teach them important things like weapons safety and field craft.
The camaraderie that abounds within the association is well known amongst our fellow re-enactors and stands us in good stead when working with other groups. The old musketeer ethos of “All for one and one for all!” truly describes the membership of this association and I have been a proud member since its conception………….so I should know!
Dale Davidson…………Founder and Chairman of Normandy44