My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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armyairforce
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

July 27th - D-Day Experience, Dead Man's Corner

The D-Day Experience museum didn't exist on our last visit in 2005 and having heard positive reviews of the place, we decided to give it a go. The weather on the 27th was forecast for solid heavy rain all day, so we figured that being indoors here for the day was a good option!

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We weren't disappointed with the display and really enjoyed the C-47 flight simulator. The original windows have been covered over and flat screens mounted a little higher up, clear of the passenger's heads. You hear the engines start, taxi out and take off. Hydraulics lift the C-47 to simulate the take off and flight.

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Upstairs, there's a large diorama area.

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The Dead Man's Corner building is focused on German items and dioramas.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Utah Beach

We spent most of the day at the D-Day experience, so when we left, we made a trip to the coast to Utah Beach for a coffee and snack. We'd been to the Utah Museum back in 2005, but it was too late in the day to visit at that time. We had a look around the outdoor exhibits, still in the pouring rain and planned to return another day.

The landing craft had recently been repainted.

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Ellon Cottage

Fairly close to the cottage where we were staying, was this ruined cottage. I don't know whether it was damaged during the war, or just collapsed due to neglect. However, the first time I saw it, it immediately struck me how similar it was to the demolished building in the Airfix D-Day diorama kit I'd built with my daughter a few years ago.

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Here's the full diorama.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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In today's news, happy 79th birthday today, to "Faith", my WC51.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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July 28th - Sainte-Mere-Eglise

Sainte-Mere-Eglise was first on the list for Friday the 28th. Once more, we'd previously visited this museum, but it's had another large building added since we were last there.

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The two existing buildings were more or less the same with the C-47 and Waco glider, but smaller displays had changed and interactive displays added.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

There was a fibreglass half uniform on the upper level, so we all stood behind it for a photo. It was a bit low for me and I had to squeeze my shoulders in narrow enough to be out of shot! We didn't take any of our own green clothes on holiday. There didn't seem much point without the Jeep to play with.

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The Waco glider is currently in a parachute shaped building, which isa bit worse for wear now. I think I read that it was going to be moved, but I don't know if the building is going to be refurbished or replaced.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Utah Beach Museum

The weather on the 28th was the opposite of the previous day, with it being bright, warm and sunny. We returned to the Utah beach, this time to visit the museum. The main building was fairly unchanged from memory, but since our last visit, a large hangar was built which now contains a B-26 Marauder.

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This aircraft was formerly located at the "Musée de l'air et de l'espace" at Le Bourget Airport, in Paris. I saw it there in 2008 in its silver and olive drab Free French scheme ( see inset picture ). It is on loan to the Utah museum, but I don't know how long for.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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I don't remember much about the inside of this museum from 18 years ago, other than this beach display area was un-changed.

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Around 1,000 feet to the North West of the museum is another concrete bunker. As we were walking from the museum towards the bunker, a small convoy of a Jeep, two GMCs and a Dodge drove by heading north. We'd see them again later. We had a quick look around the bunker, then moved on up the coast.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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WN8 Battery Blockhaus De La Breche

A little over a mile up the road was the WN8 Blockhaus. I had a 15 minute explore around several bunkers and emplacements before we moved on again.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Leclerc Memorial

Another mile up the coast brought us to the Leclerc Memorial. We came here in 2005 and as expected for an outdoor memorial, it doesn't appear to have changed at all. However, the paintwork on all the vehicles looks in fairly good condition, so they must have been repainted since our last trip.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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It was by this memorial that we caught up with the small convoy that drove by at the Utah museum. They were setting up camp in the field next to the memorial for a military show that weekend.

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We headed back to the cottage after this.

On July the 29th, 30th and 31st, we visited non-WW2 places including Bayeux town, Mont-Saint-Michel, Caumont L'Eventé Slate Mine and Saint-Martin de Mondaye Monastery. We didn't get back to WW2 until the 1st of August.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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August 1st - Normandy Victory Museum

It was another wet day. This was the last day for touring the Normandy area, so we wanted to try and get to several places, even if just for a short time. The Normandy Victory Museum is fairly new, opening in 2017.

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Since this museum wasn't around during our last trip, we wanted to see it this time. There are many dioramas set up around the museum telling a wide range of stories with great attention to detail in the artifacts they have on display.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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There are several larger vehicles on display outside. I was particularly interested in these as they would have been used in the construction of the 8th Air Force airfields.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Pointe du Hoc

We didn't get to Pointe du Hoc until 3:50pm. We came here back in 2005, but more recently, certain pathways through the maze of craters have been closed off to the public. This has resulted in nature taking hold more, with the undergrowth effectively hiding many of the craters, or at the very least, camouflaging the extent and depth of the craters.

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It took me some time to get the picture below, looking out of the bunker. It is a combination of several pictures, each taken with members of the public in different locations. The pictures were then edited together, deleting the figures.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Omaha Beach

Four miles down the coast, our next stop was Omaha beach. Last time here, we didn't have much time and parked the Jeep on the sea front road for a photo with the beach in the background. This time, with the tide out, we went for a walk down to the sea.

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The sand is a strange mixture of quite firm sand and very soft sand that your feet sink into by several inches. When you get down to the water's edge, you realise just how deep the beach is and how far it was to get across once the landing craft hit the beach.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Omaha Beach Museum & Omaha Memorial Museum

It was late afternoon by the time we got to the first Omaha museum. We didn't have time to go in, but had visited before. We just did drive bys, grabbing some pictures of the outdoor exhibits before moving on.

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Steve Carr

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