The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles
Liberation: June 9, 1944
12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
746th Tank Battalion
Grenadier-Regiment 1058, 91. Infanterie-Division
On the night of June 7-8, 1944, the 8th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division was established south of Neuville-au-Plain. Elements of Grenadier-Regiment 1058 (91. Infanterie-Division) are installed as a solid defense in the village.
On 8 June at 8 am, the 8th Infantry Regiment rushed forward and seized Neuville-au-Plain and continued its offensive towards the north. On its left flank, the 2nd Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (82nd Airborne Division) and the 2nd Battalion of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment (82nd Airborne Division) pierced the front line, crossed National Road 13 and then headed for Fresville. At the approach of this commune, the infantry and the artillery is unleashed on the Americans who are slowly slowed down. Paratroopers and glidermen fight a resolute opponent: in the early evening, the 2nd Battalion of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR), supported by C Company of the 746th Tank Battalion, manages to enter the village. Company E under the command of Captain Robert “Bob” Dickerson is on the left flank, Company F of Lieutenant Joe B. Gault on the right flank and Company G of Captain Irvin Bloom in reserve.
These men engage in a very short-range battle and the losses are significant, on one side as well as the other. The Germans began to retreat in the early hours of 9 June, taking advantage of the darkness and the terrain compartmentalised by the imposing hedges. A group of paratroopers from Company I of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which bypasses Fresville by the southwest towards Grainville, is attacked by Germans who, with their MG 42 machine gun, kill three soldiers: Arthur S.Hile, Irving L. Jones and William A. Stephens.
At 1 am, the glidermen of the 325th GIR took possession of Fresville. They set up defensive positions for the night before resuming the progression towards the train station of Montebourg the following morning.