British and American veterans are set to leave Portsmouth and travel to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
The World War Two veterans have journeyed from across the UK and the US ahead of a series of memorial events to be held this week.
Some of the former servicemen are returning to the beaches of northern France for the first time in 70 years.
Ahead of the trip, more than 30 former US servicemen joined 50 British and European veterans in Portsmouth to visit boats used in the landing on June 6, 1944.
The only four remaining working boats to take part in the campaign will sail to France alongside the veterans.
One former serviceman, Corporal Frank Whalley, told Sky News he will never forget his experiences in Normandy.
"I've never seen a sight like it and I never will again. To see that ... and then later on you learn there were no less than about 7,000 ships in the Channel," he said.
"It was really something that you'll never forget."
Leading Aircraftman Stephen Conyngham said: "I probably won't realise that it's the same place. So much will have altered since then.
"The world's altered. We've altered, without knowing it. I suppose it's a little bit of history that we've created."
The servicemen will join heads of state from 17 nations who are gathering to mark the largest airborn and amphibious assault in military history.
The Queen will be among those gathering at Sword Beach on Friday to remember the sacrifices made by soldiers on D-Day.
The D-Day operation was described by Winston Churchill as "undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place".
The landing marked the beginning of an 80-day campaign to liberate Normandy. Some 250,000 troops lost their lives in the campaign.