After leaving the German Cemetery (more on that here: https://beyondthemilestravelblog.com/2020/06/14/remembering-d-day-part-2-the-cemeteries/ ), we headed to Angoville-au-Plain. This was my favorite part of the tour!
There is not much to this small town but it’s the church that holds the history and story of Robert Wright and Ken Moore.
These two heroic US army medics with the 101st Airborne Division used the church as a makeshift hospital during the invasion of Normandy.
It was interesting and also kind of eerie to see the church pew with a blood stain still visible from those 3 days that this was used as a makeshift hospital.
Both Robert Wright and Ken Moore received the Silver Star Medal for their bravery not only treating American soldiers, but also injured local residents and even German soldiers.
They treated these patients as bombs were being set off all around the church outside, shattering windows and even collapsing a portion of the roof.
This was a story I don’t remember reading in the school history books and hearing it as we looked at the blood stains from that time, puts a whole different perspective on how awful it would be to live thru a war.
The town celebrates these medics and has a memorial set up outside the church. Robert Wrights remains were buried at the site.
From there we headed to one of the more well known spots in Normandy, Utah Beach.
Utah Beach was the westernmost landing site of the invasion and was much more successful than the landing at Omaha Beach where there were many more casualties.
The beginning of the landing didn’t begin as a successful one though as they were off by 1,800 meters. This ended up working to their advantage as it led the Allied forces to a much less defended area of the beach.
Our guide took us to the beach and as we stood on the beach he told the story of the landing. You could close your eyes and get clear picture in your mind of the landing as he described it to us.
There were many statues and artifacts to see at the Utah Beach site. This section of beach is popular today for horse trotting practice. It was fun to watch them practicing on the beach, amazing how fast these horses can go!
After Utah Beach, we stopped for lunch. Lunch was at an old restored restaurant called Café J. Phillippe Epicerie. There are photos of soldiers outside this café back in June of 1944. The café was restored and has many artifacts from the time of the war to check out before or after eating lunch. I love when tours pick such interesting places like this for a meal, it really adds to the feel of the tour and is so much better than just going to another modern restaurant.
After relaxing at lunch and fueling up, we were ready for an afternoon full of visiting a few more stops in Normandy. Stay tuned for next week’s blog on all that we saw that afternoon.