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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sainte-Mère-Église in Manche Département, Basse-Normandie, France — Lower Normandy (Atlantic Coast)
 

General Gavin’s Foxhole

 
 
General Gavin’s Foxhole Marker image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, August 18, 2012
1. General Gavin’s Foxhole Marker
Inscription.
Ici combattit
Le Général
James-M-Gavin
le 6 juin 1944

Translation:
Here fought
General
James M. Gavin
June 6, 1944

 
Location. 49° 24.041′ N, 1° 21.717′ W. Marker is near Sainte-Mère-Église, Basse-Normandie, in Manche Département. Marker is on Route D15, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is about 3.5 km (2.2 miles) west of Sainte-Mère-Église. Marker is in this post office area: Sainte-Mère-Église, Basse-Normandie 50480, France.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 6 June 1944 at LaFiere Bridge (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); PFC Charles DeGlopper Memorial (about 90 meters away); 80th Airborne Antiaircraft Battalion, 82nd Airborne Div. U.S. Army (about 90 meters away); In Remembrance of the Airborne Spirit (approx. 3.3 kilometers away); 82nd and 101st Airborne on D-Day (approx. 3.4 kilometers away); Clifford A. Maughan P.F.C. (approx. 3.4 kilometers away); House on Fire at Sainte-Mère-Église (approx. 3.5 kilometers away); U.S. Coast Guard Memorial at Utah Beach (approx. 13.7 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sainte-Mère-Église.
 
Regarding General Gavin’s Foxhole.
View Showing the Foxhole image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, August 18, 2012
2. View Showing the Foxhole
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions landed between midnight and 2 a.m. near the small town of Sainte-Mère-Église in Normandy, France. Their mission was to cut off resupply or escape routes that might be needed by German units defending the coastal beaches, and where, toward dawn that day, Allied forces would arrive in great strength.

Brigadier General James M. Gavin commanded the 82nd Airborne’s Task Force A, consisting of the 505th, 507th, and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiments. They were brought to France in 378 C-47 aircraft (the military version of the DC-3), to be followed later by additional troops in gliders. The 505th was to take Sainte-Mère-Église itself, while Gavin was the first to jump from the lead plane of the 508th. He landed near the Merderet River about 2 miles north of La Fière bridge.

Seizing this bridge was a major objective, and it was the scene of fierce fighting for days before it was securely in Allied hands. (Some of these details are from Gavin’s 1978 book, On To Berlin: Battles of an Airborne Commander 1943–1946.)
 
Also see . . .  Military history site. An overview of Gavin’s military career. (Submitted on September 24, 2012, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.) 
 
Categories. Notable PersonsWar, World II
 
Looking West from Foxhole Site image. Click for full size.
By Donald W. Olson, August 18, 2012
3. Looking West from Foxhole Site
About 175 yards ahead lies La Fière bridge (near where the car is).
View Closer to the Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, August 18, 2012
4. View Closer to the Bridge
Taking and holding this bridge was a primary D-Day objective of Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin’s Task Force A, comprising three parachute infantry regiments of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Panorama of La Fière Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Donald W. Olson, August 18, 2012
5. Panorama of La Fière Bridge
Today’s picturesque scene looked much different on June 6, 1944. The Merderet River had been flooded by the Germans to impede any advance of Allied troops; the river became 500 yards wide, and General Gavin described the road as looking more like a causeway. Click to enlarge.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 24, 2012, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 854 times since then and 192 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 24, 2012, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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