Date: 2 November 1998
On the initiative of the Gibraltar American Council, the Gibraltar Government is to commemorate Gibraltar's vital connection with Operation Torch, the Allied Invasion of North Africa in November 1942, led by General (later President) Dwight D Eisenhower, whose headquarters were in Gibraltar. It is generally recognised that the Allied Invasion of North Africa, which was instrumental to the outcome of World War II, could not have taken place without the participation of Gibraltar and its facilities.
Next weekend (6 8 November) is the anniversary of the invasion A special commissioned bronze plaque will be unveiled by the Chief Minister, the Hon P R Caruana QC, at 11 o'clock on Saturday 7 November at a ceremony on the steps of the American War Memorial. Other events include tree-planting ceremonies at the Mount and at the Convent and the launch of a new Eisenhower Centre, which will temporarily be housed at the Garrison Library. The Chief Minister will also host a dinner at St Michael's Cave and a lunch at the Mount, where he will present a number of specially engraved gold commemorative coins to the principal guests.
Among the overseas invited guests who will be attending are the granddaughter of President Eisenhower, Mrs Anne Eisenhower Flottl, the daughter-in-law of President Roosevelt, Mrs Franklin Roosevelt and the grandson of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Mr Winston Churchill; also present will be senior US Army and Navy Officers The USS Mitscher will be calling at Gibraltar specifically to participate in these events.
Local invitations to attend the commemorative ceremony have been issued to British Legion members and to veterans of the Gibraltar Defence Force who served at the time of Operation Torch.
His Excellency the Governor will also be hosting a formal dinner at the convent in honour of the overseas guests.