Archive for June 2014 | Monthly archive page
The first village liberated by the Americans was St. Mere Eglise. This little village is much as it was seventy years ago. The film ‘The Longest Day’ starring Robert Mitchum and John Wayne featured the story that unfolded here.
Pfc John Steele made history when he, in the dark hours before daylight on June 6 descended into the town site where his parachute became entangled in the steeple of the church there. Hanging in plain view of the enemy, Steele was able to survive this battle, but was later killed in action later in the war.
This part of the movie was filmed on site here.
- The church at St. Mere Eglise. There is a mannequin hanging from a parachute on the steeple to commemorate John Steele’s famous landing.
West of Omaha Beach lies Utah Beach where a far less bloody battle took place here on D-Day. Utah Beach would serve as the port of entry for allied forces. Vast numbers of personnel, materiel, jeeps and tanks began their trek to Berlin here.
Seventy years ago today, allied forces successfully cracked Hitler’s Atlantic Wall at Normandy. Specially trained Army Rangers landed near a point of land called Pointe du Hoc where their mission was to dispatch the 88 mm gun that was positioned on the cliff high above the sea. The Rangers achieved their objective in scaling the cliff at Pointe du Hoc, but when they secured the flat top of the peninsula, they found that the Germans had moved the 88 mm gun to another location.