American airborne units were created during the Second World War. These elite units played a major role in the success of the Normandy landings. The paratroopers had received special and intensive training for many months in order to be ready for their mission, which was to begin on June 6, 1944. When they first arrived on Norman soil on D-Day, they were the spearhead of the Allied forces. 3 days and 3 nights; this was the time during which these men had to stand and survive on Norman soil. In reality there will be more than 30 days left…
Come and discover the battle sites of the 101st and 82nd Airborne with our specialist parachute unit guides. You will walk through the Drop Zones, the locations of the field hospitals, you will cross the towns and villages liberated by these elite soldiers. This specialized tour will allow you to understand and imagine the complexity of the parachutists’ mission, from the preparation in the United States and then in England, to the victory in Normandy.
Departure & Arrival : Carentan / Bayeux
Visit Schedule : 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Number of persons : Up to 8 people
Vehicle : Minivan 9-seater comfort vehicle
Language : French or English
Museums : A visit to a museum can be added to your discovery day. Discover our partner museums, here
480€ per day (Up to 4 people)
+ 30 € /Pers. (From 5 to 8 people)
PROGRAM OF THE VISIT :
SAINTE MÈRE EGLISE
Mythical city of the parachutists, Saint Mère Eglise is one of the main objectives of June 6, 1944. During this visit, we will accompany you in the discovery of the airborne units. You will be able to discover the famous story of John Steele, this paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division, who was hanging from the church bell tower. Many other paratroopers arrived on the square where you will chew. You will visit all the places full of history of this small Norman village. You will also have the opportunity to have lunch on the church square, the place where the film “Le Jour le plus Longest” was shot.
The place called “La Fière” is located in the Merderet marsh, 1mile from Sainte-Mère-Eglise. This vast area of flooded fields was the scene of a 4-day battle, that of the “Pont de La Fière”. You will discover how paratroopers and gliders of the 82nd Airborne Division fought on this bridge, and how this battle was decisive in the success of the D-Day landing. Every year, hundreds of paratroopers are dropped above La Fière on the occasion of the D-Day commemorations, in order to pay tribute to all those men who fought for freedom.
SAINT GERMAIN DE VAREVILLE
Although very little known, the small village of Saint Germain de Vareville nevertheless had a very important role during the first hours of the landing. During the night of June 5-6, 1944, the apple fields bordering the village saw the arrival of the very first American paratroopers on Normandy soil in the glow of the C-47s. Known as Pathfinders, come and discover the mission of these elite soldiers who had a direct impact on the success of the Normandy Landings. You will be able to discover the Pathfinders’ monument as well as the exact place where Franck Lillyman’s team landed in the first minutes of June 6th, 1944.
UTAH BEACH, SAINTE MARIE DU MONT AND BRECOURT MANOR
Utah Beach is one of the 5 beaches where the Allies landed. German defences have been installed there since 1943, and the beach is ready to welcome a landing… at high tide. Air and naval bombardments will precede the landing, with more than 23,000 men on the single day of D-Day. In the land towards Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, a German battery is a threat to the landing at Utah Beach: the Brécourt battery. Discover how this battery was destroyed by a few soldiers from the 101st Airborne’s 506th PIR (part of the “Band of Brothers” series). Today, the small village of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, and its proud church overlooking the surrounding countryside, have regained their former peacefulness.
DEAD MAN’S CORNER
The “Dead Man’s Corner” is a necessary passage for soldiers of the 101st Airborne to access the city of Carentan. Today, the D-Day Experience Museum, which honors American paratroopers, is located there. The “Screaming Eagles” will take the Carentan – Saint-Côme du Mont road to take the town from the north. This famous causeway crossing the Douve river and the Madeleine river will then be nicknamed the Purple Hurt Lane in reference to the War Wounded Medal. Without following a bayonet charge led by the battalion commander himself, the famous Battle of Cabbage Patch.
Carentan was liberated on June 12, 1944, and was the hinge point to join the men of Omaha Beach. Discover the military strategy and the battles that took place there, but also the first ceremonies for the soldiers of the 101st Airborne, on Republic Square. Featured in the mini-series “Band of Brother”, the city of arches now has very strong links with the United States. We will present you the feats of arms that took place there, including one that was awarded the “Medal of Honnor”, the highest distinction of the American army.
To Know :
- Visitors can be picked up outside the proposed locations (Carentan/Bayeux), in which case a supplement of 50 € (round trip) will be charged.
- A visit to a museum can be added to your discovery day (Utah Beach Museum, Airborne Museum, D-Day Experience, Overlord Museum…).
- Museum admissions are not included in our price proposal (preferential rate in the presence of the guide).
- Noon meals are not covered.