June 2002

Plaque near by the Pegasus Bridge We went on our way to Bénouville. On the map it looked like we would be traveling on good roads, but in reality it was quite different. We drove through villages and the roads were pretty bad. There were holes, worn out asphalt and invisible traffic lights.

At Bénouville we visited the museum Mémorial Pegasus and the Pegasus Bridge.
In the nighttime from 5 and 6 June 1944, the gliders of the 6th British Airborne Division under command of major John Howard landed here. His unit specialized in taking bridges. Every glider had 30 soldiers on board and they had to take the two bridges at Bénouville and Ranville. They had to do this so the 3rd British Division from Sword Beach could move quickly to Caen. The German watch-posts didnít notice the gliders and by surprise the bridge was conquered in about 10 minutes. There is now a monument placed where each glider landed. When we saw the distance we couldnít understand why the Germans didnít notice the gliders landing?
Lieutenant Dan Brotheridge was killed on this bridge. He was the first allied soldier killed in the battle of Normandy
Major Howard made the café near the bridge into a command post. This building still exists today and it is still a café.
The bridge over Canal de Caen is not the original bridge, but only a look-a-like. Since 1993, the original bridge is in the museum next to the canal. It wasn't suitable for today's traffic.
Taking these two bridges is the first victory in the battle of Normandy. It lead to a quick conquering of Bénouville, where we found the first liberated town hall.

Plaque on the Pegasus Bridge The new Pegasus Bridge The new Pegasus Bridge The new Pegasus Bridge
German gun The original Pegasus Bridge The original Pegasus Bridge Major John Howard
Major John Howard The first town hall that was liberated