Never-before-seen wartime pictures of Winston Churchill offer a fascinating glimpse of the British leader visiting troops in Normandy shortly after D-Day.
The two photos of Churchill are part of a fascinating album of photographs taken by George Lee, who was serving in the Royal Air Force. In the photos, the British Prime Minister can be seen with troops at Airfield B3, which was only about 3 miles from Gold Beach, one of the five D-Day landing sites.
The pictures were taken on July 23, 1944, just a few weeks after D-Day, which was on June 6, 1944. The Normandy landings remain the largest amphibious assault in history.
“To have candid photos of Churchill at that moment in history really is very unusual,” Henry Aldridge & Son Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told Fox News via email. Churchill, who was flown to Normandy by Air Vice Marshal Harry Broadhurst in a captured Fieseler Storch plane, did a speech at the airfield, and then visited troops in the area by jeep.
Lee’s remarkable album contains over 100 photos that document his journey across battle-scarred Northern Europe from Normandy to Berlin.
In addition to images of devastation, Lee also captured pictures of King George VI and Field Marshal Montgomery visiting RAF Squadrons 197, 193, 257 and 266 in Belgium on Oct. 13, 1944. The squadrons, who flew Typhoon fighter-bombers, were conducting missions from Duerne airfield in Antwerp.
Most of the pictures in the archive have handwritten notations on the reverse, according to Aldridge. Also included is a rare original hand written document dated June 6, 1945 regarding the distribution of chocolate for children at the recently-liberated Belsen concentration camp.
A June 1994 newspaper cutting, where Lee states he “contravened regulations by including a camera among his possessions” is also in the archive of photos and documents.
The lot, which will be auctioned on July 21, has a pre-sale estimate of $5,287 to $7,930.
Churchill has been in the news this week amid President Donald Trump’s first visit to the U.K. since winning the 2016 Presidential Election.
Trump paid tribute to Churchill’s legacy on Friday. During a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump made note of his tour of a Churchill exhibit the night before at Blenheim Palace, the estate near Oxford where the wartime leader was born. “It was something very special,” he said.
Trump has long admired Churchill, who coined the phrase the "special relationship" to describe U.S.-British relations.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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