Extension to the D-Day Paratroopers Historical Center

19th January 2015 • News, WWII News, WWII Veterans • No comments

When the owners of the world-famous Dead Man’s Corner museum (located in Saint-Côme-du-Mont, Normandy, France), announced that they would be adding a new extension to the facility in 2015, I don’t think anyone anticipated quite the scale of the proposed work. With a budget of €5 million, and occupying a space of 2000m², the new “D-Day Experience” is most certainly a unique project.

The artist’s impression below shows the planned works, including the new access road and extension to the site:

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The following Article appeared in the French press, and was written by Giles Le Gendre (translation by Ben Major):

“This project is close to my heart because I am an aviation enthusiast”, said François Jacquet, manager of the company Blue Effects. Experts in the design and manufacture of decorations and special effects, the small Manche-based company (located near Granville for 20 years), was selected by Emmanuel Allain and Michel de Trez, co-founders of “Dead Man’s Corner Museum”, to coordinate the museum’s extension.

“It has been 8 years since the announcement of the project, the volunteers of the museum have worked with local businesses or at least as close to the English Channel. This is a real local roots project”, said Emmanuel Allain. Gathered in a consortium, several companies specializing in set design (Présence à la Madeleine), video (Polymorpha à Rennes), sound (Contact à Acneaux) and technical support (CL Corporation à Rennes) are finalizing the museum tour that will be offered to visitors.

“Our goal is to make the story attractive to young generations and participate in the working memory of the 101st Airborne Division through an innovative museum”, said Emmanuelle Duclos, Director of Communications. In the workshop of Blue Effects, 24 monumental display cases, for the presentation of materials and equipment, are under construction. “We will display collection pieces out of the ordinary, all authentic and identified to the Paratroopers who fought in June 1944 in and around Saint-Côme-du-Mont and Carentan”, said Emmanuel Allain.

The veil is finally lifted on the flight simulator, the star attraction of the museum, which will welcome visitors to the extension. In preparation, at the premises of the company CL Corporation, the C-47 Stoy Hora (used during the filming of the series Band of Brothers by Steven Spielberg and acquired by the museum) was reinforced and mounted on a 7 ton structure.

Takeoff, rolls, pitch, stall; this high-tech simulator will accurately reproduce any sensation of flight. 25 people will be accommodated aboard the fuselage for a trip to the heart of the story. A seven-minute flight and seven minutes of intense emotions with takeoff from England, flying over the English Channel and arrival over the Contentin Peninsula. Through the windows, the roar of engines, vibrations, and the odours of hot oil and fumes.

Visitors can even experience the bullet holes in the fuselage, and under their feet, the rate of fire of a machine gun. These special effects developed by Blue Effects offer great realism.

“A unique attraction in the world, which does not exists elsewhere” says Emmanuel Allain.

The opening of the extension to the D-Day Paratroopers Historical Center is planned for early June 2015, during the commemorations of the 71st anniversary of the Normandy Landings. Its opening could take place in presence of American veterans families.

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