Remembering D-Day and Desert Storm


With 23rd Anniversary of the Desert Storm (24 February) quickly approaching, it is only fitting that I stumbled across D-Stripes, a site that states –

D-Day stripes, “A symbol of recognition”

On Friday June the 6th 2014, it will be the 70th Anniversary of Operation Overlord – or D-Day as it has come to be known.

Prior to the invasion, every aircraft taking part had to have black and white recognition stripes painted on their wings and fuselage to limit any friendly fire from the armada of ships crossing the Channel. 

This year, show your recognition of the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women involved in the operation by wearing your stripes.

Part of the funds raised are donated to charity:  D-Day Revisited, who’s “aim is to raise awareness of the sacrifice and bravery shown by all the servicemen and women, and civilians who took part in Operation Overlord, or D-Day as it has come to be known. With your help we can help remember the actions that took place and also help donate some much needed funds to service veterans in need”.

I really like this idea of recognizing some of the innovation that helped save some lives on that tragic day – and I personally will wear an Armband to commemorate.  If I had one nitpick however, the use of the 101st Airborne’s Screaming Eagle for a British Charity might be a little much…..but I could be overreacting.

Take a look at their Products Section to see what you too can wear, if not to support the Charity – then to at least raise awareness for the cause.

Now, as many of you know, some of my posts have double-meanings or are tied to something in my past….and D-Day Stripes is no different.

Leading up to the beginning of Desert Storm, the 501st MI BN (my old unit) had orders passed down to recognition marking put on their vehicles as well.  All US Vehicles were to have an “Upside Down V” as a Chevron to denote allied status.  Considering that there were many Soviet vehicles on the battlefield (for both sides) – this seemed like a feasible and practical idea, especially since Tankers are not well versed in some of the unique systems configurations we deployed with.

Of course, given enough moving parts, the military can mess anything up….and its the next part that still makes me laugh to this day. 

In what appears to be someone at Division being unable to read – the individual in charge of Designator Markings misread the MI and interpreted it as M1 – thereby having that painted on all of the 501st systems as well. 

Don’t believe me – well, here is photo proof, a 501st MI BN TacJam  (A23) that I helped maintain back in the day – a museum piece at Tobyhanna Depot.  The Chevron is faded, but you can still make out the hand painted M1 on the side.

So – on the 24th, break out your M1s (preferably written in sloppy Sharpie) and help recognize and remember what is quietly becoming the “Forgotten War” – Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Like Paul Harvey used to say – Now you know the rest of the story.

Cheers –


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