Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer

×HISTORICAL FACTS

The Liberation of Vierville, Colleville and Saint-Laurent
The centre of Vierville was reached at 1100 hours and finally liberated at midday by units of 116th Infantry Regiment. The strong points WN65 and WN64 were also neutralised at midday allowing access to the exit at the Ruquet Valley. Simultaneously, GIs entering to the west of the village of Colleville met heavy resistance from units of 352nd Division which were holding the town centre. The village was only completely liberated the following morning. Reinforcements from 115th Regiment entered Saint-Laurent in the afternoon but the town was not completely cleared of German resistance until the following day.

The Artificial Port at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer
The two artificial ports constructed for Operation Overlord off the Norman Coast, shortly after the landings, were a major innovation and a stroke of genius on the part of the British.
On the morning of 7th June, the first elements of the artificial harbour, codenamed Mulberry “A”, were installed off the coast at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer. The principal structures of the port were the Phoenix caissons which were constructed of concrete and weighed between 1,500 and 7,000 tons and were designed to form a solid breakwater against the sea.
The installation of the breakwater composed of the concrete blocks and old ships, was due to take no longer than three weeks. Following its completion, jetties and platforms would be installed allowing men and equipment to be unloaded. A second artificial port, Mulberry “B” was installed, in the same manner, at Arromanches-les-Bains.

The First Airfield at Omaha Beach
In order to give constant air cover for Operation Overlord, the Allies, by 7th June, had started the construction of airfields in Normandy. The first airstrip was American and was laid out by 834th Engineer Aviation Battalion on the Laurent-sur-Mer plateau, high above Omaha Beach. The first elements of the A21 emergency airstrip were installed, on 7th June, and it was in use by 1800 hours but, it wasn’t before 10th June that the airfield was fully operational and continued so until its closure on 25th August 1944. Two other emergency air strips were installed simultaneously at Asnelles (British airfield B1) and at Brucheville (American airfield A-16). In total, 81 airfields were constructed in Normandy, some in the American sector under the command of US 9th Air Force and others in the Anglo-Canadian sector of 2nd Tactical Air Force.

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