Sainte-Mère-Église in Manche, Normandie, France
82nd and 101st Airborne on D-Day
Location. 49° 24.51′ N, 1° 19.041′ W. Marker is in Sainte-Mère-Église, Normandie, in Manche. Marker is on Rue Général de Gaulle just south of Rue Général Koenig, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in the town square. Marker is in this post office area: Sainte-Mère-Église, Normandie 50480, France.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. In Remembrance of the Airborne Spirit (a few steps from this marker); Clifford A. Maughan P.F.C. (within shouting distance of this marker); House on Fire at Sainte-Mère-Église (about 180 meters away, measured in a direct line); General Gavin’s Foxhole (approx. 3.4 kilometers away); 6 June 1944 at LaFiere Bridge (approx. 3.4 kilometers PFC Charles DeGlopper Memorial (approx. 3.4 kilometers away); 80th Airborne Antiaircraft Battalion, 82nd Airborne Div. U.S. Army (approx. 3.4 kilometers away); U.S. Coast Guard Memorial at Utah Beach (approx. 10.4 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sainte-Mère-Église.
Regarding 82nd and 101st Airborne on D-Day. Lying 8 km (5 miles) inland from the Normandy coast, the small town of Sainte-Mère-Église was well behind German coastal defenses on D-Day, June 6, 1944. As part of the overall Allied landing, code-named Overlord, this town was a major objective and drop zone for U.S. paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. They arrived en masse between midnight and 2 a.m. on the 6th, suffering many casualties during their jumps.
A lucky exception was Pvt. John Steele of the 82nd’s 505 Paratrooper Infantry Regiment. His chute caught on a spire of the town’s church, leaving him dangling helplessly, but he managed to survive by playing dead for several hours. He was briefly taken prisoner by the German occupying troops but later escaped. His ordeal was portrayed by actor Red Buttons in The Longest Day, the
By late morning on the 6th the town was essentially in Allied hands, although heavy fighting continued for several more days. Many residents consider Sainte-Mère-Église the first town in occupied France to be liberated during World War II (although similar claims are made by two towns nearby).
Categories. • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2012, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 652 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 25, 2012, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. 6, 7. submitted on September 26, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 8. submitted on September 25, 2012, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. 9. submitted on September 26, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.