The longest Day lives on
Sainte Mère Eglise, first town
liberated by the American airborne divisions on D-day, is five
minutes away. Utah and Omaha beaches, la Pointe de Hoc, Arromanches
its D-Day Museum and 360 degrees cinema, and the impressive American
at Colleville sur Mer are all within easy driving distance.
Utah Beach is the western most of the five beaches designated for the D-Day landings in June 1944. Located in the Cotentin Peninsula, La Manche, it was added by Gen. Eisenhower to the original D-Day plan to ensure the early capture of the vital port of Cherbourg. The nearest major town for the allies was Carentan home of Easy Co. 506th PIR.
Through Carentan ran the main road to Bayeux which would link the allies who landed at Utah Beach to the allies at Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beach. The most senior Officer was Brigadier Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the eldest son of President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt Jr. was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest-ranking US military medal and is buried at the American Cemetery Normandy.
By the end of the day 20.000 men had been landed and 1700 military vehicles. A guided tour of the Museum at Utah Beach can be arranged from Chateau de l’Isle-Marie with our private historical guide.
Wall of Liberty
The United States World War II Wall of Liberty Foundation supported by the French Ambassador to the United States is campaigning to build a Wall of Liberty at Utah Beach. This will be a counter friendly addition at Utah Beach to the American Cemetery Visitor Center overlooking Omaha Beach near Bayeux.
A landscape park will serve as the setting of the Wall or Liberty, honoring the memory of American soldiers who fought on the beaches of Utah Beach and Omaha Beach. Fund raising has begun in earnest for this audacious project.
Sword Beach was the furthest east of the D-Day landing beaches. The key objective was to quickly capture the city of Caen and the nearby Carpiquet aerodrome. Commando unit’s lead by Lord Lovat were tasked with seizing the bridges and linking up with paratroopers of the 6th Airborne Division who had captured the famous Pegasus Bridge. Chateau de l’Isle-Marie hosted Lord Lovat’s children and it was a great honor to retrace their father’s footsteps in Normandy.
Pegasus Bridge also known as Benouville Bridge has a museum and memorial. The French originally planned to dismantle the old Pegasus Bridge but British Veterans Associations bought the bridge for a symbolic price of 1 pound.
Gold Beach was assaulted by multiple brigades of the 50th Infantry Division. The primary objective was to seize the town of Bayeux, the Caen-Bayeux road and the port of Arromanches. The secondary objective was to link with American forces at Omaha Beach to the west and to Canadian forces landing at Juno Beach to the east.
The town of Arromanches lies along the stretch of coastline designated as Gold Beach during the D-Day landings. It was chosen as one of the sites for two Mulberry Harbors build on the Normandy coast, the other one constructed further west at Omaha Beach.
The D-Day museum in Arromanches overlooks sections of the Mulberry Harbor and tells the story of the construction and installation of the artificial harbor – an amazing feat of engineering. Highlights include a collection or artefacts, working models, a diorama and unique film footage of the D-Day landing beaches.
The Price of Freedom is an exceptional 360-degree film projected onto 9 screens in a circular cinema. Archive footage of the D-Day invasion is interweaved with images of present-day Normandy.
Nearby is La Cambe, the largest German Military cemetery in Normandy. 21.400 German soldiers are buried here. Near Chateau de l’Isle-Marie is also the German Military Cemetery at Orglandes with more than 10.000 graves.
The Juno Beach Center is a museum and cultural centre which opened in Normandy, France on June 6th 2003. The centre was established in Canada as a non-profit organization as a learning centre and tribute to all Canadians, both Civilian and Military. Exhibits include 'The Royal Canadian Air Force during the World War II’ a tribute to Canadian veterans. A special private tour of the Canadian Battle of Normandy and D-Day sites has been developed by our private historical guide who can create an itinerary as a standalone tour.
Band of Brothers
Based on the Stephen Ambrose book the HBO mini-series “Band of Brothers” follows Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment from Boot-camp through D-Day, Market Garden, Bastogne and onto the capture of Hitler’s Eagles Nest.
Easy Co. 506th PIR landed in Normandy and captured the 105mm guns at Brecourt Manor saving many lives on Utah Beach. From there Easy Company captured the town of Carentan.
Following in the footsteps of the Band of Brothers you can discover the exciting history of Easy Co. 506th in Normandy and visit the drop zones, the Normandy battlefields, D-Day landing beaches and German Headquarters. Our private historical guide offers specialist guided tours of the Normandy battlefield sites and personalized D-Day tours of the Invasion beaches.
Easy Co. 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment – In photographs is the history of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, in an unparalleled limited edition book. Compiled by company historian Jake Powers it features over 400 rare photographs and items of memorabilia – including maps, diary extracts and rosters – together with a 20,000-word text from surviving company veterans.
In 2005 the Band of Brothers reunion tour sponsored by Jeep chose Chateau de l’Isle-Marie as their headquarters. Easy Co. 506th PIR veterans, family members and actors were reunited and escorted from Paris to the Chateau de l’Isle-Marie for the start of a memorable 15 day reunion tour.
A private visit to Brecourt Manor where Maj. Winters and his men captured the 105mm guns saving many lives on Utah Beach was arranged. The Paratrooper museum at Dead Mans corner warmly received Easy Co 506th PIR veterans for their opening ceremony.
The Dead Mans Corner Museum near Carentan has some truly unique Easy Co. 506th PIR exhibits and dioramas. An official ceremony at the Airborne Museum in Ste Mere Eglise was followed by a solemn ceremony at the American Cemetery Bayeux.
Our friend Nicholas Roylance from Genesis Publications who filmed the Easy Co. tour will publish a limited edition book in 2008 on behalf of the Men of Easy Company Foundation. This limited edition book will be the first and probably last great photographic document covering the history of Easy Co. 506th PIR. Genesis will publish never before seen photographs and personal documents. Deluxe Limited Editions will be signed by Easy Co veterans. Genesis has promised a limited edition book news update as the project develops: www.genesis-publications.com
The American Cemetery, Bayeux
The American Cemetery, near Bayeux will have a new Visitor Center as of June 2007. It will tell the story of the 9378 American heroes who are buried here. With marble Crosses and Stars of David, the American cemetery is a solemn, spiritual experience that all Americans should share.
The World War Two Normandy American Cemetery is situated on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel. Omaha Beach is accessible from the American Cemetery.
The American Cemetery is located north west of Bayeux and is an easy drive from Chateau de l’Isle-Marie. 9378 American soldiers are buried here. On the walls of the semicircular garden of the memorial are inscribed the names of 1557 Americans missing in action who gave their lives in the service of their country during the D-Day invasion.
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