Thursday was the last day Dad and I spent in France. After packing our backs we left the cottage and drove up to the coast; the plan was to go to Pegasus Bridge and then the Merville Battery before driving to Le Havre for the overnight ferry to Portsmouth.
Cafe Gondree: the first building to be liberated on D Day. We popped in for a bite to eat and sat outside in the late summer sun.
A 50mm PAK38 anti tank gun on the fortress mounting on the eastern side of the bridge.
The current bridge: not the original but a one of a very similar design but a little larger now crosses the canal.
Memorial to Maj. Howard who led the Parachute assault to take the bridge.
Three stone pillars mark where the three gliders touched down, their closeness is testament to some incredible flying from the pilots.
The Pegasus Memorial museum- this was the most modern and well appointed museum that we visited in France.
It had the usual display cases of artifacts: here a case of German weapons and equipment.
Another case had items pertaining to the French Resistance and SOE. The pistol on the left made from stamped metal is the Liberator Pistol clicky.
A contemporary photos show just how close the gliders got to the bridge.
Larger items were set in tableaux, here a jeep and a brace of machine guns. The museum had a very good audio/ visual display based around a large scale diorama of the area.
The original bridge has been preserved in the grounds of the museum with assorted vehicles and guns.
Bullet holes show the ferocity of the fighting.
A Bofors 40mm anti aircraft gun.
An US halftrack.
A Maxon quad .50cal anti aircraft turret- taken from an M16 halftrack.
One of the best British inventions: the Bailey Bridge.
A mock up of a Horsa glider, only a single original airframe exists now.
The remains of a Horsa glider are on display showing just how fragile they were.
A British 17pdr anti tank gun.
A British 25pdr field gun.
Another British gun: this time a 5.5inch Howitzer.
Finally a Centaur IV with the 95mm howitzer. This is of the same type as the one just behind Sword beach that I featured earlier but is in much better condition.