Photo comparison shows D-Day beaches as they were in 1944 and as they are today

RAF reconnaissance planes have taken shots of the D-Day beaches after 70 years. With today’s stand-off technology and higher resolutions.

RAF Tornado GR4 jets from II (AC – Army Co-operation) Squadron from RAF Marham have used today’s technology to emulate their World War II counterparts that, on D-Day, Jun. 6, 1944, took the first pictures of the Normandy landings.

The two Tornados flew at 400 mph and 20,000 feet over Gold, Juno, Utah and Sword beaches, replicating the images the same squadron and their Mustang brought back during the 36 reconnaissance sorties flown on D-Day.

70 years ago, II (AC) Squadron used bulky cameras loaded onto the bottom of the Mustangs to get panoramic images of the beaches. Today, a single Tornado sortie provides much better results using the RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado) which takes aerial images and the Litening III Advanced Targeting Pod that is able to capture Full motion video.

Here’s the comparison between the quality of images taken today as compared to those of 1944.


Image credit: Crown Copyright

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.