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 R49431
War Grade Tyres
1944 BSA Airborne # R49431 is in superb unrestored original condition, and it rides well. The BSA handlebar grips are reproduction but all the other parts are original. The handlebar is dented on the left side at the top.
Both original transfers (decals) are intact, it has usable War Grade tyres (one has been repaired), and a good condition BSA saddle. The retractable pedals operate freely, and the bicycle folds easily.
It’s not easy to find good original unrestred examples these days. This is as good as any original BSA Airborne I’ve come across recently, 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
WW2 BSA AIRBORNE FOLDED
and compared with
WW1 BSA MILITARY FOLDING BICYCLE
BSA LAMP BRACKET
BSA MILITARY FRONT BRAKE
BSA MIITARY REAR BRAKE
UNFOLDING THE AIRBORNE: TOP WING NUT
UNFOLDING THE AIRBORNE: BOTTOM WING NUT
QUEEN MARY INSPECTING THE TROOPS
WAR GRADE TYRES
POSTWAR: BSA AIRBORNE ARMY SURPLUS SALES