Day 1
Home Up Day 1 Day 2

 

 

The start of the tour was to the action that took place at Pegasus bridge, which was taken by Major John Howard's force, landing in Horsa gliders.   

Sword Beach

Arromanches

Longues Battery

The photo shows the new bridge, the original is close by at the museum.  The weather was rather cold and windy while we were there. 

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The photo on the left shows the gun position at the end of the bridge, Howard's glider came to rest only about 50 yards from this position, incredible bit of work by the pilot.  On the other side of the bridge is the Cafe Gondree.  The original cafe owner and his wife had passed information on the German troops to the Allies via the Resistance.  The bridges were essential to the Allies to protect the left flank of the Invasion forces.

The photo above and to the right are from the Times newspaper, 26 April 2004.  The one above shows Jim Wallwork who piloted the first glider to Pegasus Bridge.  He now lives in Canada where he moved in 1956, he is now 84 and said he would be attending the 60th anniversary "dead or alive".  The photo on the right shows a cockpit of a Horsa that is being recreated for the Pegasus Museum.

Staff Sergeant Geoff Barkway.  The Daily Telegraph for 18 June 2006 had an obituary for Geoff Barkway, he was the pilot of the second glider at Pegasus Bridge and so would have landed behind Jim Wallwork [above].  On landing Geoff's glider broke in two and catapulted him through the canopy into an adjacent pond, he got back to the glider and released the co-pilot who was trapped in the glider.  Geoff was later shot in the arm and would later lose his arm.  Because of 'admin screw-ups' he was belatedly awarded the DFM for his part in this successful exploit.
Sword Beach was the eastern end of the Invasion beaches.  This shot is taken from the main beach exit on the 6th June.  It shows the flat nature of the beach, no seawall, and the beach side houses that were used as landmarks by the incoming landing craft.

Having driven along behind Juno and Gold beaches, we went into Arromanches, including a visit to their museum.  Arromanches was the location of one the famous Mulberry Harbours, and some of the remains of the large concrete units can still be seen in the photo.  There are a number more of these sweeping round and out of sight to the right of this photo.
The day rounded off with a trip to the Longues shore battery, with its four concrete bunkers and the guns still there, though in different states of destruction depending on how badly they were hit that day in '44.

This was the eastern most of the four guns.  As Richard would say, it's been 'well wellied' by the naval guns of the invading force. Inside one of the bunkers, taken from behind the breech and showing where a shell came in on the right side of the gun, exploded and killed the whole crew.