After the Tapestry Museum and Bayeux Cathedral, we drove north to the charming village of Sainte Mère Église.
This town played a dramatic role in the events of June 5-7, 1944. The town had seen Allied air raids before, and a flare dropped from an airplane lit the a house in the town square on fire that night of June 5. If you’ve seen the movie, The Longest Day, you’re familiar with the story. While the townspeople fought the fire, paratroopers landed all around the town.
Most famously, one man, John Steele, drifted too close to the church and his parachute caught on the tower. For two hours, he dangled there, watching the scene below, but unable to get free. The next day, he was taken prisoner by the Germans, but later turned over to the Americans. In memory of John Steele, an effigy dressed in a paratrooper’s uniform hangs from a parachute on the church tower to this day.
Sainte Mère Église was the first town in France to be liberated, another claim to fame. World War II memorabilia and flags of the allied countries are seen everywhere in the town.
It’s also home to the Airborne Museum, which tells the story of all that happened back in June of 1944.
Rebecca and I wandered around before sitting down for a delicious lunch of savory buckwheat galettes.
More #TuesdayTravels to come next week.
Click to subscribe to my Reading Room Blog via Feedburner.