Liberation of Le Vast in 1944 during the Battle of Normandy

Le Vast (Manche)

The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles

Liberation: June 21st, 1944

Deployed units:

Drapeau américain 24th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 4th Reconnaissance Troop, 4th Infantry Division

Drapeau nazi 709. Infanterie-Division

History:

Three months after the beginning of the German occupation, the town of Le Vast is confronted with the crash of an English bomber Bristol Blenheim belonging to No. 59 Squadron of the Royal Air Force: September 20, 1940, touched by the German anti-aircraft defense of Maupertus, the plane crashes around 23:10 in a field between Le Vast and Hameau Corbin, a hundred meters from the current ordeal of La Pergée. Pilot Officer Kenneth Victor Palmer (pilot), Sergeant Douglas Allan Walters (radio mechanic) and Sergeant Ernest Edward Wright (observer) are killed in the crash. They are buried in the communal cemetery of Le Vast.

Eleven days after the landing of Normandy on June 17, 1944, the German forces belonging to the 709 Infantry Division in the North Cotentin were ordered to join new lines of defense around Cherbourg. This break in contact takes place over several days, from June 17 to 20.

To prevent reorganization, the Americans launched new reconnaissance in the Val de Saire as early as June 20, 1944. The Troop A 24th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (4th Troop Recognition, 4th Infantry Division) reaches the village of Quettehou at 23:00 and there spend the night. Meanwhile, the Germans take advantage of the darkness to abandon Le Vast and reach Cherbourg.
At the dawn of June 21, 1944, the Americans relaunch their action in the direction of Le Vast: they do not meet opposition, free the town and continue towards Saint-Pierre-Church.

On June 28, the day after the liberation of Cherbourg, the 4th Reconnaissance Troop moved to Le Vast to restore the condition of the men and equipment after nine days of fighting.

Map of Le Vast :

Back to the Normandy cities in 1944

 

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