Tour-en-Bessin in 1944 – Calvados – Battle of Normandy

Tour-en-Bessin (Calvados)

The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles

Liberation: June 8, 1944

Deployed units:

Drapeau américain 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

Drapeau américain 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Drapeau américain 745th Tank Battalion

Drapeau américain 833rd Engineer Aviation Battalion

Drapeau américain 846th Engineer Aviation Battalion

Drapeau nazi Grenadier-Regiment 916, 352. Infanterie-Division

History:

At the end of the afternoon on June 7, 1944, the 2nd Battalion of the 26th Infantry Regiment (1st Infantry Division) commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Derrill M. Daniel (temporarily attached to the 18th Infantry Regiment) seize the crossroads between the national road 13 and the departmental road 206 west of Tour-en-Bessin. The battalion, opposed to elements of Grenadier-Regiment 916 (352. Infantry Division), arrived at the following day, June 8, at 5:30. Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel reported the presence of enemies (infantrymen and artillerymen) In Tour-en-Bessin and the 26th Infantry Regiment (IR) immediately made the request for air support: shortly before 9 am, the air raid was launched over the village. An armored patrol is then sent to reconnoitre the effects of the attack: at 1140, the commune of Tour-en-Bessin is declared “clear”.

The 26th IR, commanded by Colonel John F. R. Seitz, organized his three battalions before launching his offensive on Tour-en-Bessin. Reinforced by tanks from the 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion, the 2nd Battalion supports the assault conducted by Lieutenant-Colonel John T. Corley’s 3rd Battalion starting at 8:40 pm, which is also supported by the Sherman tanks of C Company, 745th Tank Battalion. The Corley Battalion is advancing in the village on two columns of infantrymen who have integrated the Shermans. Several exchanges of shots took place but the Germans folded towards the east and the south. Tour-en-Bessin is fully secured shortly after midnight on 8 June 1944.

The 3rd battalion then proceeds to the hamlet of Sainte-Anne which is reached at 1:30.

The 833rd Engineer Aviation Battalion (July 12-28, 1944) and the 846th Engineer Aviation Battalion (July 26-28, 1944) built two “V” runways east of Tour-en-Bessin. This aerodrome, called ALG A-13 by the Allies, hosts the 373rd and 406th Fighter Groups of the 9th Air Force. It is also designed to receive from 25 August 1944 light bombers type B-26 Marauder belonging to the 394th Bombardment Group. This airfield is operational until December 2, 1944.

Tour-en-Bessin maps:

Image : carte du secteur de Tour-en-Bessin - Bataille de Normandie en 1944