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Virtual Earth map of Sainte Mere Eglise - Operation Detroit, 6 June 1944

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During World War II, Operation Detroit was the insertion, by parachute and glider, of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division into Normandy on the night of 5–6 June 1944 as part of Operation Overlord. The drop zone for the 82nd Airborne was around Sainte-Mère-Église, to the west of Utah beach, intending to protect the western flank of the invasion.

The objective of the division was to secure the town of Sainte-Mère-Église and to take the bridges along the Merderet River. By doing this, the 4th Infantry Division coming in at Utah Beach would have easy access to making their way northwards towards the ports at Cherbourg.

Casualties for the 82nd on D-Day were about 1,260 of 6,600, or about 20%. On 6 June 1944 the heavier elements of the division landed by glider in Operation Elmira.



 

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