Mechanical Solutions at the National D-Day Memorial
Bedford is a small town in Central Virginia with a population under 7,000 citizens in contrast to 1944, when they only had 3,200. Bedford’s sons and fathers answered the nation’s call during World War II like so many others. Many of these soldiers were part of Company A of the 116th Infantry Division and Company A of the 29th Infantry Division. On June 6th, 1944, United States soldiers invaded France at Omaha Beach to push German soldiers out of Western Europe in one of the most infamous battles in history.
By days end, the small town of Bedford suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses per capita.
This distinction is why Bedford became the home of the National D-Day Memorial, symbolic of all communities, regardless of size, whose citizen-soldiers served on D-Day. The memorial offers its 60,000 annual visitors a unique vision into what may very well be the most impactful 24-hour period in wartime history.
Part of the visitor experience involves a live recreation of the landing at Omaha Beach. The Beach Tableau uses air lines in the water to simulate gunfire soldiers had to endure during their invasion. The National D-Day Memorial began having issues with these air lines failing, mechanically.
The airlines feed solenoid valves (automatic fluid flow control) which the Beach Tableau has strategically placed throughout the active scene. Southern Air’s Special Projects work scope including replacing the original tubing, making sure the right connections triggered the correct solenoid valves (gunfire splash) and keeping all mechanical work out of sight to visitors.
Southern Air plumbing mechanics brought their plumbing expertise to the prestigious job site. They removed and replaced thousands of feet of air tubing, some as long as 200 feet! When it came to setting and testing the controls, Southern Air Commissioning set, helped troubleshoot and repair the controls popping off the gunfire.