Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower’s orders of the day for June 6, 1944 were clear: “Full victory – nothing else.” The largest military strike of its kind, D-Day started 70 years ago by landing more than 21,000 “Screaming Eagles” paratroopers behind enemy
lines, armed with their battle gear, a Zippo windproof lighter and a small metal clicker, nicknamed the “Cricket”– used to communicate across the battlefield.
During the war years, Zippo dedicated manufacturing efforts to supplying Zippo lighters exclusively to the military. Today, the Zippo archive is filled with letters from soldiers telling how they used their Zippo lighters to light campfires and fuses for explosives, hammer nails, signal to fellow soldiers with the famous Zippo click, heat rations in their helmets, and even save their lives by deflecting bullets. Zippo is proud to present a special limited edition D-Day 70th Anniversary collectible as a tribute to the courage and ingenuity of those who served that decisive day.
The limited edition D-Day 70th Anniversary collectible set comes with limited-edition windproof lighter, Cricket and booklet on D-Day.
Presented in a special gift box and accompanied by a wartime replica brass Acme clicker, or “Cricket”, this set has been created as a tribute to the courage and ingenuity of those who served on 6 June 1944.
It was the US 101st Airborne Division, “The Screaming Eagles”, who were the first troops to drop behind enemy lines. The paratroopers were equipped with Acme Crickets as a secret communication tool, and many also carried their dependable Zippo windproof lighters in addition to their standard battle gear. This gift set is a timely reminder of those who served in one of the world’s most important historical conflicts.
The Zippo lighter, famed for its reliability and durability, was used throughout the World War
II by soldiers to light campfires, light fuses on explosives, hammer nails, signal to fellow soldiers with the famous Zippo click, heat rations in their helmets, and more. There are even reports from some soldiers that the Zippo lighter saved their lives by deflecting bullets! In fact, Zippo owes much of its worldwide recognition to the thousands of soldiers who carried their Zippo windproof lighters into battle. During the war years, Zippo founder and owner George G. Blaisdell dedicated manufacturing efforts to supplying Zippo lighters exclusively to the U.S. military.
About the commemorative lighter
The D-Day 70th Anniversary Zippo lighter features a brushed brass finish with a design utilizing the company’s state-of-the-art color imaging process. Code names of the landing beaches, where so many gave their lives, are revealed and highlighted in the brushed brass finish. The artwork depicts the welded iron girders, often referred to as “Czech hedgehogs,” that were half-buried along the Normandy coastline as an anti-tank defense measure and were visible in so many of the gripping images taken by journalists during the invasion. Each lighter is consecutively numbered and production is limited to 7,000 pieces worldwide.
About the Acme Cricket
The accompanying Acme Cricket, so called because of the “click-clack” sound it makes, was a vital tool for paratroopers to be able to identify each other, and these replicas have been made in the very same factory as the original – J Hudson & Company in Birmingham, England. For the first 24 hours of D-Day, “Operation Overlord”, soldiers identified friends from foes with the cricket. They were to press the toy once “click-clack,” or say “Flash” and the other person was to immediately respond with “click-clack, click-clack” or say “Thunder.” If they didn’t respond, the order was to fire.
The Zippo D-Day 70th Anniversary commemorative is available online at www.zippo.com and retails for $80.
Editor's Recommendation: Warman's World War II Collectibles
This book pays tribute to the countless World War II memorabilia that survived and is now among the most highly-sought after of all militaria. In the pages of this book you'll find:
- 3,000 listings with values and detailed descriptions
- More than 1,000 photographs
- Sections featuring uniforms, headgear, accouterments, medals, firearms, bayonets, knives, daggers, swords, and personal items
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