Access to Pointe Du Hoc

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Mark Hone, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    I'm making contingency plans for my school Normandy trip in case the US government shutdown hasn't been resolved by the week after next. The cemetery at St Laurent is definitely closed but is it still possible to access Pointe Du Hoc which is also an ABMC site? If I have to scrap much of my OMAHA area tour on Monday I may go down to Tilly and Villers Bocage where one of our old boys was a Sharpshooter tank crewman. Any suggestions for the best place to park a double decker coach? I can describe the action from the After The Battle book on VB.
     
  2. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It's a few years since I was on the Pointe du Hoc site.It is not a staffed site and visitors can wander as they wish.

    Hoever,parking for cars was close by and I cannot see that a double decker bus would create a problem in what is an open and exposed site....might require parking at the junction of the access road and the D514.
     
  3. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    I am not sure how much of the AMBC sites can be closed off. You need to check with the French tourist bodies. There are gates at the front of the ABMC cemetery at Omaha beach allowing access to the car park, but I can't recall seeing any gate on the path leading up to the cemetery from the beach. The car park S of the 1st Division memorial near Pt 62 isn't ABMC. If you are reasonably fit and mobile, you can walk down to the beach from WN62 walk along to the path the American troops took and walk up to the view point over Omaha beach on the NE corner of the cemetery. I am not suggesting that you trespass, but you can see the ground. Nor can I recall gates on the entrances and exits to Pointe du Hoc. I would expect the administrative building to be closed, but you would need to check whether access is still possible,. BTW if you want to visit Omah beach you could visit the grave of Major Gus March Phillips DSO MC and his comrades buried at Coleville Cemetery, the first Allied troops killed on Omaha Beach in Sep 1942..

    For Villers Bocage. This is a slow drive and talk using the road. There are some minor roads S of the big road, but I am not sure this is sensible wuith a double deck coach. There Two options for parking. 1. At the top of Pt 213 I recall somewhere to pull off the road. 2. Villers Bocage town - where much of the action happened. Did the CLY fight in Tilly itself? Did your veteran end up in the merged 3/4 CLY in 4th Armoured Brigade? If so there is another story you might like to pick up about a British Japanese soldier Roy Suzuki http://www.theobservationpost.com/blog/?p=503 .
     
  4. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    Thanks. Our old boy was a crewman in an A Squadron Close Support tank. He ended up bailing out and being captured outside Villers Bocage. He was liberated from Stalag 4B in April 1945.
     
  5. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    A lot of work being doen there at the moment, new pathways, car parking and what looks like a visitors centre.
     
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    As regards parking in Villers Bocage,there are numerous parking places for cars in the main street and there is a car park behind the main street,whether it would have access for a double decker is another thing.

    But,I would say the best place to park is the supermarket on the run in from the A 84 and virtually lies at the bottom of the main street giving easy walking access to the street where the tank engagement took place.

    The supermarket has a large open car park with easy access and it is really a case of contacting them to arrange parking.I am sure they would accept parking from a horde of customers.Up the main street,there are ample number of cafes,ideal for a stop and refreshments..used the place a number of times.
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Looking at Point du Hoc further,it would appear that the memorial at the Point to the 2nd Ranger Battalion was initially erected by the French.

    On 11th January 1979, the memorial was transferred to the ABMC for care and maintenance for perpetuity.

    On my last visit there was no evidence that this was ABMC site but it obviously is.
     

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