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Littlehampton gives freedom of the town to Ian Fleming's 30 Assault Unit troops

10-Oct-2013 • Bond News

Royal Marines 30 Assault Unit, founded and commanded by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, have received the freedom of the West Sussex town of Littlehampton, where they were based during 1944.

Troops from the 30 Commando Unit IX Group Royal Marines received the honour before marching through Littlehampton led by their band.

Littlehampton Town Council conferred the freedom of the town on the unit to acknowledge the links between the two.

"The council felt that granting the Freedom of Littlehampton to the 30 Commando IX Group would be an honourable salute to the bond shared by townspeople and the Royal Marines," said mayor Joyce Bowyer.

"I feel truly privileged to be the one carrying out the duties that accompany such an occasion and to be welcoming the troops and the remarkable Royal Band to our town."

During World War II, the unit landed on Utah beach during the Allied invasion of Normandy. After training in Littlehampton and the D-Day assault, 30AU went on to seize the entire German naval archive, later used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials. They captured top-secret German technology and some of the scientists behind it, and played a part in the capture of Hitler's successor, Admiral Karl Doenitz.

The exploits of 30 Assault Unit later became the real-life inspiration for James Bond.

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