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WORLD WAR II PARATROOPERS

NORMANDY APRIL 2004

HOME
The Holland/BastogneTour 2009
THE 2009 NORMANDY TOUR
THE BOB SLAUGHTER OMAHA BEACH AND BEYOND TOUR
ANGOVILLE AU PLAIN STAINED GLASS WINDOW PROJECT
GORDON YATES H/506 GROUPING
THE CURTIS F. PARSONS GROUP MEDIC
THE JOHN W. GIBSON STORY 506TH MEDIC
THE HARRY D. CLEARWATER GROUP
CAPTAIN FRED O. DRENNAN MEDAL GROUP KIA
HARROLD MUSSER GROUP
EMORY NEWSOM GROUP/ POW
MARKET/GARDEN AFTER ACTION REPORTS FOR THE 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION
STUDENT CLASSROOM VISITS
NORMANDY APRIL 2006
HOLLAND APRIL 2006
NORMANDY APRIL 2004
HOLLAND 2004
BASTOGNE, BELGIUM 2004
PEGASUS BRIDGE 4/28/04
RELICS FROM NORMANDY
SOME OF MY COLLECTION
THE M-42 JUMP SUIT
DRESS UNIFORMS
JUMP WINGS
ARMY JUMPWING MANUFACTURERS LIST
JUMP WING OVALS
OTHER TYPES OF AIRBORNE PATCHES
REENACTORS
FAVORITE LINKS
ABOUT ME
CONTACT ME

This page will have pictures of all of the locations that I visited in the Normandy area. They are not in any particular order. Turn your sound on as there is music that accompanies this page. The music on this page is from the group "Amici Forever" it is called " Requiem for a Soldier".

We drove through the small village of Hiesville en route to the Chateau Colombieres area. Hiesville lies in the "DZ C" and close to the Glider landing zone "E" area. It also served as the divisional POW compound and held the first temporary German cemetary behind Utah Beach.
 
Pathfinders found their way here after completing their D-Day signaling missions.
 
The Chateau Colombieres, located just north of Hiesville, served as the division hospital and was heavily destoyed by mortar and Luftwaffe bombing. The original chateau was demolished and replaced by a modern style brick home. It retains the original stone fireplace however.
 
Across the small dirt road facing the chateau location sit 3 stone buildings, the middle one being a very large long one. In this courtyard the division POW compound was located. (see pics)
 
We then proceeded to Culoville and followed the the same route that Col. Sink took in his "wild ride" on D-Day.

The POW compound at Colombieres.
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The road to the chateau and Hiesville.
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The POW compound and the monument next to Colombieres.

The pictures below show "DZ C" and also the entry into Vierville. It was here that not much happened on D-Day but on D+1, 2/506th ran into German Paratroopers who had taken up postitions in town. After heavy action involving 2/506, supported by American tanks, the village was in US control and became an assembly point for the 501st. 

Drop zone "C" and the entry into Vierville.
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506th,501st and 501st pathfinders were active in Vierville.

The pictures below show the monument to the two 2/501st medics Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore who established an aid station inside the town church at Angoville au Plein. The church is pictured from the monument as well as myself at the doors of the church.
 
A very nice lady came running across the street and let me into the church which is kept locked up. The pictures show the blood stained pews in which the troopers lay wounded and dying. Included are pictures of the altar and ceiling.
 
I found the grave marker of Corporal Donald E. Schinkoeth 501st PIR 101st Airborne Division at the US Cemetary at Omaha Beach. Sadly, he was KIA June 6th, 1944 by a rifle grenade in the area around Angoville au Plein.

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The inside of the church at Angoville au Plein
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The bloodstained pews in the church at Angoville.
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The grave stone of Don Schinkoeth 501st, 101st.
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Schinkoeth was KIA on June 6th. Near Angoville au Plein.

The Crisbeq-St.Marcouf area was the northern boundry of the bulk of the 101st Airborne drop area.
 
The battery at Crisbeq housed four 210mm guns, one 150mm gun, six antiaircraft guns and numerous machine gun emplacements. It was built on top of a hill that gently slopes down to the sea. At this writing the area was being prepared for the 60th anniversary of D-Day and a museum is being built inside one of the huge concrete bunkers. Most of the bunkers were eventually blown up and colapsed by US Army engineers.
 
On the night of the D-Day drop men from the 377th PFAB, the 502nd and the battery garrison encountered each other in this area. The 4th and 9th Infantry Division fought here as well.
 
The pictures show the Crisbeq battery as well as the church in St. Marcouf.
 

The battery at Crisbec.
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Note that the steps at the church have been rebuilt differently.

Although not directly paratrooper related, I suggest a visit to the Azeville Battery. It has many impressive bunkers and blockhouses. It originally housed 170 men and contained 4 105mm guns in a dozen casemates that were firing on Utah Beach. It has an extensive underground tunnel system and storage areas that were taken by the 4th Infantry Division on June 9th.
This was the battery that was called on to shell it's own German battery at Crisbec.

The Azeville Battery.
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On D-Day Ravenoville saw much activity by troopers of both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. We started our tour above Ravenoville at Crisbec-St.Marcouf and followed the D-14 road down to St.Marie du Mont. This was the same route that Don Burgett took on D-Day+1.
 
The pictures include the drop zones between Ravenoville and Ravenoville Plage. This is where men of A/506th landed.
 
Pictured is the church in Ravenoville. This was the sight of a gunbattle between A/506th men and Germans that were holed up inside the church.
 
Just south of Ravenoville is the famed Marmion Farm. Also known as the "Stopka Strongpoint" named after Major John P Stopka. This acient farm served as a gathering point for strays of all regiments, most from the 506th and 502nd but also included were troopers of the 82nd's 507th and 508th.

The drop zones between Ravenoville and the sea.
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Ravenoville Plage. Some troopers were dropped here and drowned.

THE MARMION FARM
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OR, "THE STOPKA STRONGPOINT".

Dirt road past Marmion and sea road to Ravenoville
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The church in Ravenoville.

The large building next to the church.
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Church in Ravenoville.

The pictures below show the hedgrows much the way they looked in June 44. Most were tall like shown. They are now much lower. Behind the church in St. Germain de Varrreville is where Lillyman's Pathfinder group set up the guidance equipment. Col. Cassidy landed on the crossroads of the D-14.

Hedgrow's and St.Germain de Varreville church.
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I believe this to be the site that located the guns taken by Winters group at Brecourt Manor.

The monument at Beuzeville to Lt.Meehan's stick.
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St. Germain de Varreville and St. Martin de Varrevile.

Pictures below show the village of Les Mezieres also known as the "XYZ" complex. It is very close to the D-14 and St. Martin de Varreville. This is where Staff Sergeant Harrison Summers led the attack on a complex of 11 buildings. He personally killed several dozen enemy and the local garrison of over 100 soldiers. I, as many, believe that Summers should have received the Medal of Honor for this action. He was awarde the DSC instead.
 
In visiting these areas, one should be respectful of people's property and not enter any buildings, fields or bunkers without permission of the owners or caretakers. It was at building 5 that the owner set her dogs on me and my son. I was lightly bitten on the hand by the Saint Bernard. We did not enter the driveway or property but were standing on the main road into the village. Communication with her was impossible so we moved up the road.

XYZ BUILDINGS 2,3,4 and 5.
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Beware of dogs at building 5!

Building 8 on left. The road towards D-14.
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Building 9 and area. Beware of Dogs here as well!

La Fiere Manor and the bridge next to it that crosses the Mederet River saw very heavy fighting by the men of the 82nd Airborne Division. Troopers came in the back way to the manor and attacked the Germans that were holding the main building. One trooper crossed over to the open doorways that are pictured and tried to toss a grenade into the first floor window. It bounced off, but the second try was successful. They entered the manor through the doors on the side of the house and found themselves in the basement. They could hear the Germans on the wood floor above and one trooper machine gunned them directly through it! One of the troopers proceeded up the ancient stone spiral staircase and was shot at through a small window. The same trooper returned years later and recalled this incident. He went to the spot and dug into the soft stone uncovering the round that was fired at him. It remains buried in that staircase. Ironically, the round was probably fired by a fellow trooper that was dug in on the road from Ste. mere Eglise.
 
General James Gavin lead the attack here to secure the bridge and Marcus Heim took out 3 German tanks with a Bazooka as they attacked across the causeway road from Cauguigny. Charles DeGlopper of the 325th GIR was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions here.
 
 We stayed in a small but very nice room at the manor that had a queen sized bed down stairs and 2 single beds upstairs. Yves and Chantall Poisson are the owners of the property now for more than 32 years. Yves knows all of the history regarding the manor as well as the action that took place there on D-day. He gave us an unbelievable personal tour of the property and expertly tells the story of the battle that took place there!
 
The morning breakfast is fresh and was great and Chantall is a teriffic host and loves to share the books and binders full of pictures and stories of the Veterans who have visited there since the invasion. You should also stop in and eat at the Cafe' La Fiere next to the bridge. It is owned by an English couple named John and Josie Liversedge and Josie's daughter Gemma expertly handles the food service. They have a small bar and an Internet connection as well.
 
The manor itself was built in the 1400's on an old Viking fort and had it's own chappel on site that is now a garage. The main house was partially destroyed during the battle and has been repaired.
 
Yves still finds artifacts of all kinds on the farm and allowed me to take pictures of them.
 
The surrounding fields are used for jump exhibitions and this June for the 60th Anniversary they are expecting a crowd of 50,000 people!

Iron Mike statue. The Poisson's and my crew.
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Yves and Chantal Poisson have lived at the La Fiere Manor for over 32 years.

Plaques dedicated to men of the 82nd Airborne.
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The plaque didcated to Charles DeGlopper.

Iron Mike and the back path to La Fiere Manor.
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The La Fiere Manor.
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The road leads to Ste. Mere Eglise. Just around the curve was where Maj. Kellam was killed.

Back way to the manor. Ryan in front of our room.
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The Paratroopers hid in these doorways in the attack on the Manor.

The monument and bridge.
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Towards the Manor from Cauquigny. Towards Cauquigny from the Manor.The Germans attacked up this road

The side of the manor. Church in Cauquigny.
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Troopers tossed grenades in the windows. Bodies from both sides lined the area of the church.

The La Fiere Manor and the Madelleine River
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This area was flooded by the Germans to deter parachute and glider landings.

La Fiere Bridge
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Picture courtesy of CJ Stark

The center of Carentan
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The large cathedral in Carentan.
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The famed stained glass in Ste.mere Eglise church
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The church steeple in Ste.mere Eglise.

The center of town in Ste.mere Eglise.
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The museum at Ste. mere Eglise.
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(Left) Monument in the town square in Ste.mere Eglise.

The C-47 "Argonia" and Waco Glider.
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Inside the museum in Ste.mere Eglise.

Poignent reminders of the cost of freedom.
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101st Airborne markers from the US Cemetary at Omaha Beach.

82nd Airborne grave markers.
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From the Cemetary at Omaha Beach.

Other pictures from the Cemetary.
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The American Cemetary above Omaha Beach.
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Courtesy of CJ Stark. Taken on 6-6-04.

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Courtesy of CJ Stark. 6-6-04

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Courtesy of CJ Stark 6-6-04

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Courtesy of CJ Stark 6-6-04.

The view from the bluffs above Omaha Beach.
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Courtesy CJ Stark 6-6-04.

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Courtesy CJ Stark 6-6-04.

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Courtesy CJ Stark 6-6-04.

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Courtesy CJ Stark 6-6-04.

Omaha Beach from the top of the bluffs.
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Omaha Beach from below the bluffs at the water line and low tide.

Bunker at Omaha Beach and leading up to it.
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Omaha Baech and the group I was with. Me,Ryan,Tim and Scott.

Beach obstacles at Utah Beach
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Pictures of Utah Beach

Near the Utah Beach museum. Ryan next to Gun.
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Utah Beach

More scenes from Utah Beach.
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It was a cold and windy day when we visited.

Dead mans corner.
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The road (Purple Heart Lane) leads south to Carentan.

Brevands and the wooden bridge to the locks.
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Catz and the lock area.

City Hall in St. Marie DuMont.
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The town pump and church in St.Marie DuMont. All in the area of the town square.

The steeple and entry into town from the beach.
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The town pump in St. Marie DuMont

I am working on pics from Bastogne and Holland. Look for them soon!