The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles
Liberation: June 6, 1944
501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
III/Grenadier-Regiment 919, 709. Infanterie Division
In the spring of 1944, the village of Saint-Germain-de-Varreville was occupied by the 15th company of the Grenadier-Regiment 919 (709 Infantry Division). The municipality is located north of the “A” drop zone designated by the Americans for the release of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (101st Airborne Division) commanded by Colonel George Moseley. This regiment, through the 1st Battalion under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick F. Cassidy, is responsible for securing the most northerly causeways linking Utah Beach and the inland through wide flooded marshes.
In the early hours of June 6, 1944, parachutes on Normandy began. The first battalion of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) is not being dropped at the intended location, but US paratroopers are moving towards their targets without delay. Lieutenant-Colonel Cassidy was himself parachuted near Saint-Germain-de-Varreville. Several airborne units are mixed up due to these dropping errors: about 180 paratroopers belonging to the 2nd battalion of the 506th PIR gather at night near Foucarville. They were joined by some twenty paras of the 508th PIR (82nd Airborne Division) and, at 3:30, by Lieutenant-Colonel Robert L. Strayer commanding the 2nd battalion of the 506th PIR accompanied by fifty other paras. These elements unite their strength and head south at 4:30. But immediately south of Foucarville, on approaching Saint-Germain-de-Varreville, they were taken to task and fixed there until noon by the adversary.
In the afternoon, company C of the 502nd PIR crosses Saint-Germain-de-Varreville in order to seize Beuzeville-au-Plain. In the early evening, the 1st battalion of the 22nd Infantry Regiment arrived in reinforcement to the benefit of the 502nd PIR, harshly tried by the fighting of the day, and settled for the night north of the village, facing Foucarville. On the following day, June 7, 1944, the 1st Battalion of the 22nd Infantry Regiment launched its offensive towards the north and continued its progression over more than two kilometers.