Combat Scenes In France
Cannon emplacement with bare-chested man leaning against
sandbags on right. Another man may be standing directly behind cannon.
A near-miss crater seems to be at left while a cow placidly grazes on the
Château au Hameau de Le Mont, commune de Rauville-la-Place
(view the mansion today) [ID and link courtesy of Claude Demeester]
(Picauville area that has been nearly obliterated by bombing
- location identified by citizen
(Unknown location, sign reads "GC 15 ahead, GC-24 to right".)
Color photo taken January 2009. of a crossroads on
the outskirts of Picauville on the road to St Sauveur-le-Vicomte
Unidentified researcher stated, " So, very little has
changed at the crossroads which I believe are at Pont l'Abbe
[Abbotts Bridge], the building is virtually identical, the roof
window on the top right of the original photo has been removed. two
signs have been added at the lower right of the comparison photo,
the top one is for the town of Valognes which is midway between
Cherbourg and St Mere Eglise. The lower sign is for the German cemetery at Orglandes 5
away, this cemetery has been there since the invasion.
The barn to the left of the Chateau-farm is still there as are all
the metal fencing around the front. The large bush in the front
garden behind the cross is probably twice as large than it was
during the war, this is a flowering bush and I have seen it during
the summer in full bloom. The large tree seen on the left of the
original photograph is still there, however it's now winter and the
original photo was shot during the summer.
The cross is dated 1928.
Read further update on this location from Jim Wrobleski,
"Al Gerheim sent me some information
regarding the Google Map location of "Moaning Meadows" near Sissonne,
France. I couldn't help but notice the called "Unknown location, sign
reads "GC 15 ahead, GC-24 to right."
The roads are now called D15 and D24
[which] is the road that comes up from the south in the center of Pont
L'Abbe, turns west for a mile or so before turning north again to head
to Orglandes. D15 is basically the road from Utah beach to the west that
the 508th (basically) followed in cutting off the peninsula.
Coincidentally, Orglandes is the
village that Al's dad, Harry Gerheim, had marked as his DZ on his jump
map. I had walked through the field there where he had marked. I also
had a conversation with Monsieur Lucien Hasley (with interpretation by
Rodolphe Roger of La Fiere B&B) about this. When we showed Lucien a
printout of Harry's jump map showing the place marked DZ, Lucien was
quick to remark that there was only one group that landed so far north.
He told us that the property owners rounded up that stick of Troopers
and hid them in the sheep barn. They had to hide them as the Germans
were using their Manoir as a headquarters. That was the local
anti-aircraft battery HQ! They were out shooting at the C-47's that
evening, giving the residents time to hide these men.
I couldn't believe my luck! The story
about the war that Harry [told] my mother, that he had been given a
hiding place in the rafters of a barn near where he landed. He said he
was there three days, hiding. He could look down and see the Germans
walking around their equipment. They had to be very still for three
days. After three days Harry said that the Germans left and they were
free to go. He said that the French pointed the way back to the American
lines and tried to escort them, in relays, back to the unit. When we
told that story to Monsieur Hasley we were all surprised because Lucien
said that his parents helped bring those men back to their unit! Can you
imagine how excited we were?
Anyway, I attached a Google Map of the
intersection that I mentioned. Note the sign on the close-up that shows
the way to the German cemetery is in Orglandes. Which makes sense since
it was the area HQ!"
Jim Wrobleski, 2/7/2012
(Chateau de Saint Sauveur Le Vicomte bomb damage - location identified by
citizen Pierre PHILIPPINE)
(Another view of Chateau)
(More bomb damage)
(National Bank with damage)