Seventy years ago, my father, G.W.D Slack, fought in Normandy on D-Day. Like many who served, he seldom spoke of his experiences, but did recount one story to me when I was a child.
Before the Channel crossing, he was given a heavy pedal bike which he carried onto a boat, then onto a landing craft and eventually ashore on his arrival at Sword Beach.
After crossing the beach, under enemy fire, still carrying the bike, he made his way to the road and was about to ride forward in the attack when an officer told him to get rid of his bike and walk as there were mines everywhere.
He passed away in October 2012 and left me his medals.
– letter from George Slack, Daily Mail, 5th June, 2014
Preparation for D-Day actually started in august 1943, with the Allies’ preliminary plan. On 6th June 1944, 156,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy. Five days later, a total of 326,657 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had been delivered to the beaches. It became the largest single military operation in history.
1944 BSA Airborne Paratrooper Bicycle
Frame No R43613
Firestone and Dunlop War Grade Tyres
Brooks B17 Saddle
EXCELLENT ORIGINAL UNRESTORED CONDITION
1944 BSA Airborne # R43613 is in superb unrestored original condition, and it rides well.
Both original transfers (decals) are intact, it has excellent condition usable War Grade tyres, original handlebar grips, and a good condition original issue Brooks B17 saddle. The retractable pedals operate freely, and the bicycle folds easily.
This is the best original BSA Airborne I’ve seen, and it’s ready to use and display.
D-DAY 5th JUNE 1944
CANADIAN INFANTRY WITH BSA AIRBORNE BICYCLES:
HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY
WEST NOVA SCOTIA HIGHLANDERS
BSA AIRBORNE FOLDED
FRONT TYRE: FIRESTONE WAR GRADE
REAR TYRE: DUNLOP WAR GRADE
BROOKS B17 SADDLE
BSA JUNIOR PARABIKE v BSA AIRBORNE BICYCLE
Compare the size of the Junior Parabike with an adult Airborne paratrooper bike: 18″ against 26″ wheels. When folded, the adult version is closer in size to the Junior.
The photo below illustrates the identical duplex frame tubing.