Campaign launched to find ‘The Lost Clickers’ of the D-Day landings in Preston

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ACME Whistles, world-leader in whistle design, innovation and manufacture is calling out to D-Day veterans and their relatives to find what have been coined ‘The Lost Clickers’ of the D-Day landings.

Supported by The Royal British Legion and intended to meaningfully mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, ACME Whistles is searching for original ‘Clickers’ issued to the American Airborne Division as a vital piece of survival equipment.

Paratroopers were dropped into darkness behind enemy lines on the night before D-Day, if they were not alone when they landed, or later detected someone close by, they were to click once. Two clicks in reply meant friend, no response meant something else.

It was assumed that Clickers would be captured and even replicated, so they were to be used for 24 hours only and after that banned completely.

Many replica and counterfeit Clickers have been found, but very few genuine originals have ever been seen. 7,000 Clickers were made during the six-month period immediately before D-Day in 1945. Some were nickel plated but some were just left in plain brass, to ensure that there was time for every Clicker to be individually tested in time for D-Day.

The genuine originals have tell-tale features that only ACME, as the manufacturers will instantly recognise.

Simon Topman, Managing Director at ACME Whistles said: “During World War II ACME played a vital role in the war effort.

"There was no commercial trade as production was given over entirely to making whistles for the war effort, and of course, Clickers.

"The factory itself was bombed when incendiary bombs were dropped and one found its way down the lift shaft, exploding in the cellar.

"Whistles were sent raining out into the streets of Birmingham, a third of the factory was demolished, but so essential were its products that it was rebuilt in just four days.

“We have people contact us regularly with ACME Thunderers, Metropolitan Police Whistles, Artillery Whistles and Infantry Whistles that were used in World War II, but never a Clicker. To mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings we would love to find as many of the original Clickers as possible.

“Perhaps your great Grandad was a D-Day veteran, maybe he has a box of war medals where it could lie unknown? Maybe an elderly neighbour is a widow of a D-Day veteran who doesn’t realise the significance of the unassuming Clicker? We ask that people start seeking them out, to see if they can unearth a lost piece of sound history.”

Catherine Davies, Head of Remembrance at The Royal British Legion said; “D-Day marked a turning point in the Second World War and changed the course of history. We honour the bravery and sacrifice of our D-Day veterans and we celebrate the hard won peace, democracy, and diversity they fought for.

“As we commemorate 75 years since the Normandy landings it’s great to see organisations such as ACME find ways to thank this special generation, and we look forward to seeing what the search for the lost Clickers unveils.”

If/when the Clickers are found veterans, friends and family who take ownership of them will be invited to a special commemorative day, hosted by ACME Whistles.

If you believe you’re in possession of an original ACME Clicker please contact: Ben McFarlane,Ben.McFarlane@ACMEwhistles.co.uk, 0121 554 2124 or feel free to message on Instagram: @ACME_whistles