Sunday ended what has become the “world's largest paintball event” held annually in Wyandotte, organizers said.
More than 4,000 participants invaded the 720-acre tract of land owned by Dewayne Convirs for the 10th annual D-Day scenerio.
Oklahoma D-Day is a large-scale “epic” paintball game built around the theme of the Allied invasion of the Normandy Coast.
The actual invasion occurred on June 6, 1944, in which Allied forces massed the largest seaborne and airborne invasion ever attempted. The purpose was to free German-occupied western Europe and open a second front. The Russians had been fighting the Germans from the east for four years.
Oklahoma D-Day is a family event and entertains more than 10,000 campers, vendors and players. The near week-long event began Monday.
Throughout the week, participants engaged in mini war games representing World War II battles like the Battle of Dunkirk, Raid on Dieppe and others.
Classes in leadership, marksmanship and air ball fields were held throughout the week.
Organizers said it is not uncommon to see players dressed in the vintage uniforms toting paintball markers looking like Thomson submachine guns or German assault rifles.
Convirs created the event in honor of his grandfather who hit Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, with the 238th Combat Engineering Battalion.
“The event is a tribute to our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers,” Convirs said. “The event is to not only have fun, but to remember the sacrifices both sides made and to remember the history of where we all somehow have a link to the past and make a connection to these brave men and women of the 1940s.”
Convirs has transformed the approxamte one-square-mile field into the French Cherbourg Peninsula of 1944. The field has three prepared and well-defended landing beach areas representing the Normandy invasion sites.
The game is played over the full field with two opposing sides. The Allied army and the German army are both represented at the main event for Oklahoma D-Day, the Normandy Invasion.
The German army is dug in and bunkered on the field while the Allied army make its simulated assault from both the sea and air. The German armored units patrol the extensive area while German scout units keep watch from all parts of the field. Allied units storm the beaches and airborne troops attack from any and all directions.
Convirs began with a one-man operated surplus store in 1990. In 1997, he began the annual D-Day event on his paintball field. It has since become the world's largest annual paintball event.
The Bunker Extreme paintball field is located two miles west of Seneca on Oklahoma Highway 60 and is open 7 days a week.
For more information on daily games and year-round events, call 918-666-3411.