Liberation - Sainte Mère Église, June 1944 - by Richard Taylor
For nearly four years the swastika had flown belligerently over the small town of Sainte Mère Église in Normandy. But suddenly, shortly after midnight on the night of 5/6 June 1944, parachutists from the 82nd Airborne Division began landing in and around the town. One of
them, John Steele, even landed on the church, his chute caught on the steeple. He survived. By 04.30, after a tough fire fight, troopers from the 505th PIR had raised another flag over the town – the Stars and Stripes – and Sainte Mère Église had become the first town in Normandy to be liberated by the Allies on D-Day. Sherman tanks landing on nearby Utah Beach with the US VII Corps were soon passing through the newly liberated town on the way to the front.