VETERANS who were dropped behind enemy lines in the early hours of D-Day gathered at their former airbase today for a service of commemoration.

Seventy years ago wooden gliders took off from the top secret RAF base at Tarrant Rushton, near Blandford, landing vital troops and equipment in occupied France.

The service commemorating the brave tug pilots, glider pilots and soldiers, took place at the stone memorial by the Tarrant Rushton airfield site at 2.30pm.

Organiser Dennis Hart said: “It is important to hold a service of commemoration to not only mark Tarrant Rushton airfield’s important role in the D-Day invasion of France, but also to say thank you to the brave men who flew from the airfield to start the liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe.

“Many men did not come back, losing their lives in the fight for freedom.”

During the Second World War the base was home to 3,000 servicemen and women.