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OPERATION OVERLORD 2022

  • 1 Jun 2022
  • 6 Jun 2022
  • Normandy, France

****THIS IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY****

TO REGISTER YOU MUST COMPLETE REGISTRATION FORM ATTACHED BELOW AND SEND TO: [email protected]

Normandy, France. 1 June 2022 - 6 June 2022 Commemoration Jumps

General information

At the invitation of the municipalities of Azeville, Graignes, Carentan and Sainte Mère Eglise, Round Canopy Parachuting Team (RCPT) will perform four commemorative jumps during the 78th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

After 2 years of inactivity due to Covid-19, we have suffered drastic increases in the costs of plane, fuel, insurance, transport. We had no other choice to pass on these costs in our jump prices, which were calculated as accurately as possible on the basis of full flights/planes. We therefore reserve the right to cancel flights if they are not full, or to offer participants participation on another jump. In order to avoid last minute changes, we ask that you return your registration forms as soon as possible. And more than ever, the first will be the best served. (thank you for your understanding)

RCPT intends to conduct these WWII-style jumps in strict compliance with all current general safety rules under RCPT and FAA-approved operating procedures. Our events are driven primarily by the spirit of airborne brotherhood; we strive to provide crowd and jumpers with a historically accurate performance on the famous Drop-Zones used in June 1944. Additionally, the Team's goal is to honor veterans and bring history to the public through demonstrations of airborne activities.

The administrative PC of RCPT will be established in the village hall of Azeville during the schedule that will be sent to registered participants.

The starting point for the operations, briefing, packing, will take place at the Normandy Victory Museum in Catz-Carentan according to the schedule that will be communicated.

RCPT is not organizing central accommodation this year. Requirements

-Be a qualified parachutist.
-Be currently a member of RCPT with up-to-date membership.
-Be current on jump basis, have made a parachute jump under round canopy within the 6 months preceeding the event.
-Have a medical statement "fit to jump" less than 24 months old.
-You must have insurance that covers parachuting activities.

Equipment

Own an MC-1C/D, SF10 or set 10 main parachute with 5-foot “C47” extension, all steerable. Own a reserve T-10R or Mirps parachute, checked and approved by a certified Rigger within the last 6 months.
There will be no parachutes for hire.

Uniforms

World War II U.S M42 type uniforms. UK WWII uniforms accepted
"Corcorans" type jump boots, M1 Steel WWII style parachutist helmet (without half-moon attachment)
Authorized equipment: M-36 haversack, M-36 style suspenders, first aid kit, ammo pouch, paracord, Mae-West life jacket, M2 paratrooper knife.

Aircraft: Skytrain C47

First day : Wednesday June 1 2022 DZ Azeville Batteries In memory of Eugene Staley

The German Batterie at Azeville is part of the iron triangle and is situated to the north of Utah Beach.
Just after dawn on June 6th 1944, after an eventful night, shells started dropping in the area. Crisbecq had quickly sunk a destroyer. Azeville, whilst not sinking a ship, damaged several ships during the first few hours.

The Americans landing on Utah had the taking of this batterie as one of their D-day objectives. The American troops of the 4th Infantry Division who disembarked at Utah had the objective of controlling both Crisbecq and Azeville batteries by the afternoon of D-day. The German resistance was more intense than had been anticipated.

By the evening of D-day, the Americans had not been able to move against either batterie, and despite the best efforts of the navy force at sea, the batteries and most of their defences were still in tact. The first American assault on Crisbecq was a disaster and the Americans withdrew. On the morning of June 7th the Americans launched their first attack on Azeville. Infantry, supported by Sherman 75 mm tanks approached casemates 3 & 4 from the south east. The first tanks got to within 80 metres of the casemates, and both the Americans and Germans opened fire at the same time.

The first assault amounted to nothing but there were many dead on both sides. This was the first of many assaults and between each assault the USS Nevada shelled both batteries together with Quineville a little further to the north. During the night of June 7th - 8th, the Americans tried to surround both batteries for another assault. The commander of Crisbecq "Commander Ohmsen" phoned Azeville to ask that them to shell his batterie to try and dislodge the Americans. During the night of June 8th - 9th the USS Nevada damaged casemate No 1 with two 356 mm shells (14 inch). The first caused the damage visible on the exterior wall and the second came in through the gun window. This shell did not explode, but killed the gun crew of five before entering the plotting room and also killed the crew in here. During the morning of June 9th, the Americans bombarded the area and encountered weak resistance. The Captain walked out of casemate No 4 with an American parachutist who had been taken prisoner earlier, waving a white flag. For the troops at Azeville the war was over. Of the German force of around 250 at the start of the battles 169 were taken prisoner.

Second day : Thursday June 2, 2022 DZ Graignes In Memory of Franck Newton

Shortly after 02:00 hours on D-Day, Tuesday, 6 June 1944, twelve planeloads of American paratroopers from the 3rd Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, were scattered throughout the marshes south of Carentan.
They were supposed to have been dropped 18 miles to the northwest at drop zone “T” near Amfreville, but instead ended-up in the vicinity of the French village of Graignes. Theirs was the worst mis-drop of any U.S. airborne unit on D-Day. After days of fierce battle elements of the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen had conducted the final assault on Graignes.

When the 17th attacked, it was with a regimental sized force of approximately 2,000 men. The odds were ten-to-one in the Germans’ favor. The 182 paratroopers defending Graignes inflicted an estimated one hundred killed and two hundred wounded on the Germans during the fighting on 10 and 11 June. On Tuesday 13 June, Germans began systematically rounding-up French civilians suspected of assisting US troops. A total of forty-four villagers were rounded up, interrogated by the Germans as suspected collaborators with the Americans and were then shot dead. Other SS men dragged Father Leblastier and Father Lebarbanchon from the rectory into the courtyard outside, and shot them both dead. The Germans then discovered Madeleine Pezeril and eighty-year-old Eugénie Dujardin and shot them both dead in their beds.

Thereafter, the SS men ransacked the village for any valuables they could steal,the Germans burned the village. They poured gasoline over the bodies of Father Leblastier, Father Lebarbanchon, Eugénie Dujardin and Madeleine Pezeril and then set them on fire. The ensuing blaze was allowed to burn out of control, destroying 66 homes, the boys’ school, Mme Boursier's café, and the 12th-century church. Another 159 homes and other buildings were damaged either as a result of that fire or the fighting. Before the 11 June battle and the German retaliation that followed, the village of Graignes had consisted of just over two hundred dispersed homes and other structures. Afterward, only two houses survived unscathed.

Third day, Friday 3 June 2022 Operation Purple Heart Lane, Carentan In memory of Robert E.Wright

Leading the attack of the 502nd, the 3rd Battalion (3rd/502nd PIR) under Lt Col. Robert G. Cole found Bridge No. 2 (the Douve bridge) unrepaired and the engineers assigned to the task pinned down by fire from an 88mm gun. Cole sent his S-2, 1st Lt. Ralph B. Gehauf, with a patrol across the river in a small boat.[1] They made their way to the last bridge, which they found blocked by a Belgian gate. The patrol was able to push the obstacle aside only 18 inches, just enough for one soldier at a time to negotiate. The patrol soon came under flare illumination, mortar, and machine gun fire and eventually returned at 05:30, when the attack was postponed. Most of the fire appeared to be coming from a large farmhouse (49°1844.6′′N 1°1537.2′′W) and a hedgerow on higher ground 250 yards to the right of the highway beyond Bridge No. 4.

The 327th GIR's 1st and 2nd Battalions crossed the Douve River during the early morning hours of 10 June. 1st Battalion received friendly fire casualties from US mortars during the crossing by rubber boat. Some units waded across the river. After reaching the east bank in the early daylight hours the 327th GIR swung south towards Catz. 1st Battalion attacked on the south side of the Isigny highway and 2nd Battalion was on the north side. With Company G in the 2nd Battalion lead, heavy casualties were received as they approached Carentan. G Company was placed in reserve and was attached to the 3d Battalion of the 327th . In the early daylight hours of the 11th, Company A of the 401st (3Bn) and Co G of the 327th attacked southward along the Bassin a Flot, again taking heavy casualties.

At 01:45 1st/327th GIR began crossing the footbridges over the lower Douve, and by 06:00, under cover of artillery fire, the entire regiment was across. It captured Brévands and began the three-mile (5 km) movement south and west. Company A of the 401st GIR, accompanied by the Division Assistant G-3, left the column and marched east toward Auville-sur-le-Vey to link up with the U.S. 29th Infantry Division. The 327th did not encounter serious opposition until it approached the bridges spanning the Vire-Taute Canal east of Carentan at 18:00. It went into the attack with two battalions on line and by midnight held the east bank.

The Douve bridge was still not repaired when 3rd/502d PIR returned at noon. The paratroopers used engineer materials at hand to improvise a footbridge and began their attack shortly after 13:00. Moving single file down the causeway and advancing by crouching and crawling, the point of the 400-man battalion reached Bridge No. 4 at about 16:00, with most of the unit past Bridge No. 3. Under artillery and mortar fire, and then sniper and machine gun fire as they got within range, casualties among the 3rd/502nd PIR became heavy. Nightfall ended the advance but not the casualties, when an attack at 23:30 by two low-flying German Ju 87 Stukas strafing the causeway killed 30 men and knocked I Company completely out of the battle. The severe casualties suffered by the 3rd/502d PIR, estimated at 67% of the original force, resulted in the nickname "Purple Heart Lane" applied to that portion of the Carentan-Sainte-Mère-Église highway.

Fourth Day : Saturday 4 June 2022. Rest

Fifth Day, Sunday June 2022 Sainte Mère Eglise – La Fière DZ La Fière : Operation Father Maternowski (KIA June 1944)

One of the essential missions of the 82nd American Airborne Division was to take the bridges spanning the Fière river and the ones in Chef-du-Pont, all located west of Sainte-Mère-Église. Between 6 and 9 June 1944, fierce battles took place in the surrounding area of Merderet, in the midst of swamps purposely flooded by German forces.

On 6 June, at daybreak, a company belonging to the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) as well as soldiers from the 507th and 508th regiments took the La Fière manor as well as the bridge over la Fière river by storm. At the end of the afternoon, German forces, though backed up by tanks, failed to recapture the bridge.

The following two days German forces counter-attacked repeatedly. Yet, in spite of a lack of ammunitions, the American soldiers stood their ground. On 9 June General John Gavin led a bloody assault through the flooded areas to take control of the road and make it safe. Backed up by tanks from Utah Beach, American paratroopers managed, once and for all, to take the village of Cauquigny. This victory put an end to the battle of La Fière river.

To pay tribute to the numerous American paratroopers and infantry men who lost their lives in this area, a statute baptized ‘Iron Mike’ was erected.

This year again, the RCPT will perform commemorative airdrops along with the active military airborne forces on DZ “La Fière”. Our jump will be dedicated to Franciscan father Maternowski, Chaplain of the 508th PIR 82nd AB, he perished after being shot in the back at the battle of Gueutteville, the morning of June 6th 1944.

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Please fill in the attached registration form, the final schedule and ops orders will be sent soon..

In remembrance of Brent, Pierre, Rémi en Rudy..

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO OPEN REGISTRATION FORM!

Registration form RCPT Overlord 2022.pdf

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