A World War II historic guide to discover the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy

Travel Normandy guide François Gauthron offers tours of the Normandy landing beaches, World War II battlefield. Come and discover the most famous part of Normandy where took place the Landing and the battle of Normandy in June 1944 to liberate France and Europe. You will be escorted by a qualified bilingual guide who will show you round the major sites of the beaches. Visit the highlights of World War II sites in Normandy with an expert license guide, first the most important sites of the landing beaches.

Normandy Travel

Travel in Normandy with Francois Gauthron


Lt. Benjamin Vandervoort, Neuville village

North of Sainte-Mère-Église, the 505th's 2d Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort, landed in its assigned drop zone and quickly assembled 575 of its 650 members. After some initial communications confusion (working radios were in short supply that morning), Vandervoort, who had broken his ankle on landing, ordered the bulk of his men to fall back on Sainte-Mère-Église. He left Lieutenant Turner B. Turnbull and a platoon of forty-one to hold Neuville, two kilometers to the north.

Turnbull, a half-Cherokee known as the «Chief» to his men, had hardly deployed his troopers to either side of the road when they were attacked by a company of the 1058th Grenadier Regiment, 91st Division, supported by a self-propelled gun and a tank. Turnbull ordered a fighting retreat a move Vandervoort had tried to signal him earlier and sixteen of the original forty-two troopers reached American lines. Turnbull and his men had bought eight hours, giving Colonel William Ekman, commanding the 505th, time to consolidate his position around Sainte-Mère-Église. In the late morning, the enemy attacked along N 13 from the south, only to be driven back and counterattacked in turn by Company L, 2d Battalion.

Les Closets, ambush road

A German assault was expected from north, so when the 2nd bn proceeded to Neuville, after they captured the village their task was to build up a special welcome for the enemy forces. Lt. Col Vanderhoort had confidence in Turner experience from Sicily and North Africa.
His men from 35 to 42 get into position to form up an ambush. The unit was lightly armed; with only a machine gun, a bazooka team, a few Browning automatic rifles and the rest regular rifles it was hardly a match for taking on the best the German 1058th Grenadier Regiment could throw at them. Soon they could see in the dark at about 400 yards away some movement, ahead was a French biker who told Turner that Americans were escorting a German column of prisoner, but all of them were speaking German!!! He order to one of his machine gunner to do a side salvo to check the French men barware's.
The whole column scattered to side ditches and counter fire Turner's position. The German ruse was discovered. Machine gunner Sgt. Bob Niland (buried at the cemetery side by side with his brother, Remember Saving Private Ryan) volunteered to cover them, but was killed before he could reach his gun. Pvt. Sebastian also volunteered to cover them with a Browning automatic rifle. The small uinit hold the position facing about 200 Germans.