American Paratroopers in Normandy (101st & 82nd Airborne Division)

Discover the American Airborne targets like Utah Beach Exitroads, Carentan, Sainte Mère Eglise, la Fière Bridge and la Barquette locks, and learn about the battle of the hedgerows and offers brought by these paratroopers.

  • Utah Beach
    Utah Beach
Tour Durationapprox. 8 hours
Tour Price€ 695
Pickup timeapprox. 9.00 hrs
Drop-offapprox. 17.00 hrs
Locationin or near Bayeux / Carentan /Cherbourg (Other locations can be arranged)
Capacitymax. 5 persons
Lunchprice is not included in the tourfee. Your guide will discuss arrangements on the morning of the tour.

* 101st Airborne Division

– UTAH beach exit roads

One of the vital objectives of the 101st Airborne Divisions was to protect and secure the exitroads leading off UTAH beach, to enable the 4th and 90th Infantry Divisions moving up to Cherbourg and Cutting the Cotentin Peninsula.  

Also we’ll visit the location of the French General Leclerc and the 2nd Armoured Division of the Free French army. Next to his monument you’ll see a Sherman tank and 2 armoured vehicles. In the direct vicinity you’ll be able to see some German bunkers, part of the famous German Atlantic Wall. 

– Brecourt Manor

As portrayed in “Band of Brothers”, this German artillery battery had to be taken out of action by Easy Company, 2nd battalion, 506th PIR, because these guns were firing onto Exit road nr. 2 and disrupting landing forces of the 4th Infantry Division trying to leave UTAH.

We’ll visit the monument, from where we’ll explain how Easy company disabled the four 88 mm guns under command of 1st Lieutenant Dick Winters.

– Sainte Marie du Mont 

the first liberated village by the 101st Airborne Division, in addition to secure the exitroads leding off Utah Beach.

Visit the French resistance monument, and take a tour around the beautiful church, where elements of the 101st AB Div. eliminated a German sniper hidden in the steeple.

– Angoville au Plain

See tour “American Sector”

– Locks of La Barquette

The locks that controlled the waterlevel of the Douve-river, was an objective for Colonel “Jumpy” Johnson, CO of the 501st PIR. He managed to take this objective in the early morning of June 6, by sending 50 men of his collected group of 150 men,  to take the locks before the enemy could bring the area under shell fire.

Early afternoon the defensive positions at la Barquette were met by intense enemy artillery and mortar fire. With the help of a naval shore fire control officer, who was in contact with the cruiser USS Quincy. Within a few minutes the first salvo was accurately delivered on enemy positions, who were partially neutralized. 

– Dead Man’s Corner

the crossroad to be taken by the 101st AB Div. paratroopers before they would reach Carentan. The name “Dead Man’s Corner “refers to a small allied tank that was taken out by German paratroopers who were well entrenched around the building that today houses a very interesting museum.

The tankcommander was killed trying to escape his tank, and was hanging over the turret for days, before the body could be recovered finally.

– Purple Heart Lane

The only road leading to Carentan, coming from Dead Man’s Corner. The area on both sides of this road was flooded by the Germans. The 101st paratroopers had to cross 4 (!) bridges on this approximately 4 miles long road.

Their commanding officer was Colonel Robert “Bob” Cole, who started with 400 men. After 3 days of fierce fighting and the first bayonet charge of WW II in order to chase the Germans out of their slittrenches , only less than 250 men were able to take new positions around the captured farmhouse, at the outskirts of Carentan, after

*  82nd Airborne Division

– Sainte Mère Eglise 

See tour “American Sector”

* Neuville au Plain Crossroad

Neuville au Plain is located north of Saint Mère Eglise, at the National Road 13. The capture of the village was a task of the 505th PIR, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort, who broke his ankle during his jump into Normandy (see movie “the Longest Day”), on the early hours of June 6, 1944.

Let us guide you to the location where lieutenant Turner B. Turnbull, together with only 42 paratroopers, managed to stop a column of 200 German soldiers approaching from direction Cherbourg.

Finally Neuville au Plain fell into American hands on June 8th, after 2 days of fierce fighting.

– Railwayline Caen – Cherbourg

Another Allied objective, to get hold of German equipment -and troop transportation via this railroad, coming from Cherbourg.

– La Fière Bridge and Chef-du-Pont bridge

We continue our tour to another essential mission of the 82nd Airborne Division: the bridges West of Sainte Mère Eglise, spanning the Merderet river and the one outside Chef-du-Pont, amidst the swamp area purposely flooded by German Forces.  

In the early hours of June 6, 1944, the bridges were taken by a company of the 505th PIR as well as elements of the 507th and 508th, followed by a counterattack by the Germans, backed up by tanks.

The following 2 days, this was repeated several times. However, the American paratroopers managed to hold their positions until June 9th. Despite a lack of ammunitions, but backed up by American tanks from UTAH-beach, General James Gavin and his paratroopers led a bloody assault to take control of the road and capture the little hamlet of Cauquigny, for once and for all.

– Iron Mike Monument

Just to pay tribute to the numerous American paratroopers who lost their lives in this area, during this battle that took place from June 6 – June 9, and those who drowned upon landing in the flooded area in the early hours of June 6, 1944,  a statue baptized “Iron Mike” was erected here. 

Battle of the Hedgerows

“Hedge warfare” started immediately in the early hours of June 6, after landing the American and British paratroopers. 

Allied gliders, loaded with men and equipment, hit the hedges in the same way as a car would be launched at full speed against a wall…..

The end of the war of the beaches gives way directly to the war of the hedges..

Throughout our tour we will encounter this vegetation regularly, giving you an idea of the challenges the allied soldiers had to face.