A clear day, and an early start. And all the boats with their precious cargo heading across to Normandy. And among them, a man I used to know.
Dan never mentioned his spell in the Army. And so when I thought about it - as I occasionally did, he having lived through two world wars, after all - I presumed he'd been too young for the first and maybe too old for the second. He'd have been in Dad's Army, I assumed.
But when he died and his widow, Ede, suddenly put a picture on the sideboard - they were proper Londoners, they had to have a sideboard - and he was in uniform in the picture, well obviously that was me better educated. But still no mention of what he did.
And when Ede died, and they went through the precious things, then, and only then, did a member of the family get Dan's medals. Not from the attic - from the Ministry of Defence. He'd never bothered getting them himself. Maybe he didn't see the campaign as a celebration. They also found his discharge papers - a battered old booklet. Very little information. Place of discharge, number, but also regiment and dates, obviously.
Turned out Dan was there, on the day or - possibly - in the evening of the first day. Driving a truck behind the boys in tanks. All the way from Sword, eastward and up.
Still, no more details than that. No clue to whether he was brave, what he saw. And, in the regimental history, they found the clue to why his daughter - whom he first saw when she was a year old - always treasured a bracelet made from Dutch coins.
As I say, he never mentioned it. Not once. Never said what it was like, to be a man pushing middle age watching all those young lads go out and many - on both sides - not go home. Never mentioned the weeks getting out of Normandy, or the schlep across northern Europe - or the feelings of boredom on that return to England, a sense of freedom in the office in Northampton, and the new discovery of a home in a village near Luton - the back of beyond to a Holloway boy, with space and fields instead of the miles of bomb sites and the broken windows.
As I say, never mentioned anything about it, at least not to me. Just drove his lorries, wore his trilby, smoked his fags, drank his beer and still ate jellied eels. But I bless him with all my heart.