BENOUVILLE/SAINT-AUBIN-D'ARQUENAY
Calvados - 6 and 10 km north-east of Caen
A masterstroke operation for the “Winged Horses”
The 5th Parachute Brigade of the 6th British Airborne Division was assigned a special mission in the first hours of the Landing in Normandy. On 6 June 1944, the parachutists had to seize and hold the bridges on the river Orne, and to block the German reinforcements arrival on the battlefield. Around 1:00 am the 150 men under major Howard landed aboard their gliders near the bridges, and captured their objectives. The German soldiers guarding the Benouville Bridge were quickly neutralized. The Commandos were joined by the parachutists of the 7th Brigade, they repelled several German counter-attacks. in the beginning of the afternoon, Lord Lovat’s Brigade reinforced the position. The Commandos of N°3 Troop in advance guard liberated Saint-Aubin-d'Arquenay.

 
     
   
 
 
 
Pegasus bridge
Bénouville
The Pegasus bridge on the channel of Caen is a recent bridge. The old bridge can be seen beside the Pegasus Memorial; its code name was Euton 1, Euton 2 was that of Ranville bridge on the river Orne.
Situation : across the channel of the river Orne, on the D514 road
Café Gondrée
Bénouville

This small cafe was occupied by a couple, who had been the first Normans liberated on D-day. On the right of the café is a plaque dedicated to Lord Lovat Commandos, and to the 6th Airborne Division
Situation : facing to the Pegasus bridge

  Centaur IV British tank
Bénouville
This tank was equiped with many features of the Cromwell, but its motor was less powerful. The Centaur Mark IV was fitted with a 95 mm howitzer, It had been used on Day d to support the Royal Marines, and in the first weeks of the Normandy battle..
Situation : near the Pegasus bridge
   
Major Howard stele
Bénouville
This stele honors Major John Howard who commanded company D of the 6th Airborne division, and captured the bridge of Bénouville in the night of 6 June 1944.
Situation : near the Pegasus bridge

  Liberation monument
Bénouville
This monument recalls the liberation by the Allied forces of the banks of the river Orne, on 6 June 1944,
Situation : near the Pegasus bridge
  First Speciale Service Brigade monument
Saint-Aubin-d'Arquenay
This monument is in memory of the soldiers of N°3, N°4, N°6 and N°45 Commandos of the First Special Service Brigade, killed in the liberation of Saint-Aubin-d'Arquenay on 6 June 1944.
Situation :
in a corner OF the town place

 
  7th Parachute Regiment monument
Bénouville
This monument is dedicated to the 7th Light Infantry Battalion the Parachute Regiment.
Situation : in the town, on the D514 crossroads
Liberation plaque
Bénouville

This plaque commemorates the liberation of the first city hall in Normandy and in France, on 6 June 1944.
Situation : on the front of the city hall
 
  Bailey bridge stele
Bénouville

This stele is situated on the place where was built one of the two Bailey bridges crossing the causeway and the river Orne. The British armoured divisions used them when Goodwood operation had been launched.
Situation : on the bank of the causeway, 200 meters south of café Gondrée
 
   
ROAD MAP
 
INTERESTING WEB SITES

Personal web site – veterans memories, D-day, Normandy...
http://www.normandy1944.info/
Personal web site about D-day and Normandy battle
http://www.dday-overlord.com/index.htm
1st Parachute Brigade re-enactment association web site
http://www.6th-airborne.org/
Personal web site about 6th Airborne Division Glider Pilot Regiment
http://www.gliderpilotregiment.org.uk/
Personal web site about 6th Airborne Division
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/passion.histoire/paragb.htm

 
All rights of photos, texts, maps and graphics design are reserved