D Day (Minus 1)

The plan for the day was to travel to Cherbroug, then a plane ride for Pieter and myself and a bit of shopping for the ladies. Time did not allow us to visit the Militaria sale in Carentan, a real pity, but maybe next time. At least after breakfast we were treated to a convoy of at least 50 vintage military vehicles (including a number of motorcycles with wailing syrens!) past our hotel.

Arriving in Cherbroug a few complications, but after a bit of trekking, walking and asking we figured best way to the airport is by taxi and this was duly done. With no luggage storage facilities available we took our suitcase (1 for the family) along and were able to store it at the organizers table (it was used to display t-Shirts for the rest of the afternoon).

A quick beer, lunch (boerewors rolls, or reasonable French equivalent) and then the long awaited flight in a Dakota. The flight crossed over the American landing beaches and Carentan, having spent the past two days there it was really terrific to see the town from the air!



Our flight (note Pieter and a Vetran from the Division Le Clerck - Jacques- whom we met at check-in).

Our flight (note Pieter and a Vetran from the Division Le Clerck – Jacques- whom we met at check-in).

About 2/3 through the flight the soft drone of the Dakoto proved more than a match for Pieter and he fell asleep. The taxi arrived punctually at 14:00 and with Pieter lying down I collected some T-shirts, only for him to run into the building – as he awoke disorientated in the taxi (believing he was still in the plane with me abandoning him) – straight to me of course! Excellent instincts and good reflexes by the driver who was 1 step behind him.

Normandy Beaches

Normandy Beaches

Then to the station, to wait for the girls carrying large bags of shopping and a train to Mont St Michelle.

With most of the landing area closed for the 6th to all traffic we thought it best to leave the wartime endeavors for a cultural visit on the 6th, to the second most visited site in France, the Abbey of Mont St Michel.

A few boring, but interesting facts, Field Marshall Rommel was not in Normandy at the time of the invasion, he was at a meeting in Berlin, the Germans thinking conditions too bad for an invasion (and his wife’s birthday was at the time).
D-Day was supposed to be the 5th, but it was delayed due to bad weather on the day (hence our jump did not work out on the 4th I think).
Most of the German command was not at the front but in Rennes for a war gaming session, the train we took to Mont St Michel terminated at Rennes two stations later, so we were unwittingly copying their behavior.

Arriving safely we got a bus and arrived at our lodgings. Dinner and all crashed rather late (it was still light at 10:10 when we admired the sunset).