The Royal Regina Rifles have initiated Operation Calvados, a detailed schedule of events to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2024.
The Allied forces launched Operation Overlord, the largest air and seaborne invasion of the Second World War, on June 6, 1944, in a bid to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation and create a path for the defeat of the Axis Powers.
The Regina Rifle Regiment (as the Regiment was known at the time) played a major role in the invasion at Normandy, France. The Regiment was part of the Canadian battle group that landed on Juno Beach and spearheaded a push inland. Comprised of soldiers from Regina, across Saskatchewan and Canada, the Regiment would receive 36 individual medals of bravery and commendation while suffering 458 fatal casualties in 11 months of fighting from June 1944 to May 1945.
It is the intent of the RRR Senate and Trust to capture and commemorate the history and legacy of those who sacrificed so much while serving the cause of freedom during both World Wars. This will be done with a 10-day Royal Regina Rifles Battlefield Tour of Honour to Europe and include the unveiling and dedication of a Bronze Statue of a Regina Rifleman on the Juno Beach seawall by HRH Princess Ann, Colonel in Chief of the Regiment.
The Tour will involve as many of the current serving Rifles as possible travelling to Europe to walk the ground where history was made; Courseulles-sur Mer, Fontaine Henry, Falaise, Bretteville l’Orgueilleuse, Abbey d’Ardennes, Caen, Leopold Canal, Arras, Ypres and Vimy.
LtCol (Retired) Ed Staniowski was recently in Regina and made stops at a number of media outlets to discuss Operation Calvados and to take about how the people can assist through sponsorship and funding.
To help offset the cost for soldiers who will take part, a broad spectrum of community, provincial and national agencies, corporations, and individuals are being contacted to make contributions. The money raised will cover the cost of current serving Rifleman to travel to Europe and participate in the Tour. Sponsors are asked to consider a donation which will perpetuate the memory of the service and sacrifice by members of the Royal Regina Rifles, one of Canada’s finest Infantry Regiments.
Donations should be made out to The Royal Regina Rifles Trust Fund and be forwarded to the attention of The Honorary Colonel, The Royal Regina Rifles, 1600 Elphinstone St Regina, SK S4T 3N1. E- transfer is also available at email@example.com.
Donations can also be made at Canadahelps.org . Search for The Royal Regina Rifles Trust Fund and a charitable donation receipt will be issued upon donation.
The Regina & District Chamber of Commerce is a proud supporter of Operation Calvados. The Chamber also has a relationship with the Commissionaires South Saskatchewan, an organization which employs more than 500 residents, the majority of whom have served in law enforcement and branches of the Canadian military. The Chamber honours service members from the Commissionaires at each of its luncheons.
On June 6, 2023, the Royal Regina Rifles will be hosting an event at City Hall to introduce the public to Operation Calvados. At 1 p.m., the Regimental flag will be raised for the day at City Hall.
Lieutenant Colonel Kyle Clapperton will address those in attendance and outline Operation Calvados. Mayor Sandra Masters and Chief Evan Bray of the Regina Police Service will also participate in the event.
Included below are links to some of the Operation Calvados interviews with LtCol (Retired) Ed Staniowski:
CTV Morning Live: https://bit.ly/3qbNP8Y
620 CKRM: https://bit.ly/4232d0D (Interview is under Audio On Demand)
CHAB: https://bit.ly/3BQ4T7g (Link includes story and audio)