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Normandy sites reborn amidst the pandemic
Issue Nr.2

Last week, we introduced you to some sites and museums in Normandy that use the lack of visitors and the time available to modernize their premises and services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we will look at the Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église.

The renovated C-47 building (Photo: airborne-museum.org)
The renovated C-47 building (Photo: airborne-museum.org)

Lying a couple of miles from Utah Beach, Sainte-Mère-Église was the town liberated by the paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division on D-Day. The museum was created upon the initiative of the then-mayor of the town, Alexandre Renaud, and opened its gates in June 1964 in Eisenhower street. The museum was donated a Waco glider and a C47 Skytrain in the following years and has become one of the main tourist attractions in Normandy. It is located in the center of the town next to the church where American paratrooper John Steele got stuck on the steeple with his parachute on D-Day. These events were all immortalized in the 1962 war movie, The Longest Day. On top of that, many of the scenes were shot in the actual town.

The renovation of the C-47 building (Photo: Airborne Museum, Facebook)
The renovation of the C-47 building (Photo: Airborne Museum, Facebook)
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The building which houses the C-47 has been renovated over the recent months and reopened its doors last week on October 20. Its first visitor was the legendary veteran paratrooper from the 101st Airborne Division, Vincent Speranza, whose actions during the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium inspired the Belgian Airborne Beer.

Vincent Speranza in the newly renovated C-47 building (Photo: Airborne Museum, Facebook)
Vincent Speranza in the newly renovated C-47 building (Photo: Airborne Museum, Facebook)
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