Worthing radio enthusiasts make contacts across Europe as part of D-Day event at Ferring pillbox

​​Amateur radio enthusiasts from Worthing have set up a base station at the Ferring pillbox to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day and made contact with France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, among others.

The Worthing Radio Events Group had a Second World War jeep and weapons for visitors to view and pillbox project leader Pete Coe had a recording of D-Day memories playing inside.

There was a two-minutes' silence at 11am today, June 6, to mark the anniversary and honour all those who took part in the Normandy landings.

The radio group was using the special event callsign GB8OFP, standing for Operation Ferring Pillbox, and was active from 8am, making more than 150 contacts before the silence and continuing until 2pm.

Ian Chapman said he had made contacts including Pegasus Bridge in France, which was a D-Day target. The successful capture by D Company, 2nd (Airborne) Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, under the command of Major John Howard, played an important role in limiting the effectiveness of a German counter-attack in the aftermath of the Normandy landings.

Using a radio with a 1,000 mile reach, Ian was pleased to talk to radio operators across Europe as well as in England, one as close as Selsey.

Ian said: "We set up a special call sign for the D-Day landings. There are a lot of memories in this area and with all they have done with the pillbox, after it had been in disarray, made it the perfect place to set up a radio station.

"I made 150 contacts in Europe and all over the UK in the first three hours, including Bromsgrove, the Yorkshire Air Museum, a station in central London and lots in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany."

Pete, who has led the project to restore the pillbox and make it suitable for visitors, was there to talk to visitors about the work done by volunteers in recent months.