The Normandy beachhead. General Charles De Gaulle, and other Free French officers and officials, in jeeps, make their way into village of Courseulles-sur-Mer. Barrage balloons seen in sky. Allied troops move along roads in military vehicles and on foot. A French Catholic priest, on a bicycle, recognizes General de Gaulle and his party, stops his bicycle in amazement and doffs his hat. A Frenchman, gardening, waves. Man, on horse-drawn cart, stops to look. Women on the side of the road greet and wave to the jeeps. People on either side of the road. General Charles De Gaulle arrives with other officers in the village. Children offer flowers to th General. Several people look on. The General and officers walk through the streets of the village. The General meets the villagers. A French sailor kisses a woman. General De Gaulle speaks from a platform,under a Free French Cross of Lorraine flag, and flanked by British and American flags. A huge crowd gathered to listen to the General. Several women and children look on. General Henri Giraud, stands nearby. The audience sings La Marseillaise. The General amidst the villagers.He kisses a small child. Buildings in view behind. The General proceeds to the vehicle.
View from a 4-engine airplane in flight over altocumulus clouds. Setting sun creates pink colors. Scene changes abruptly to views, inland from Omaha Beach, at Colleville-sur-Mer, France, of the temporary military battlefield cemetery established by the U.S. First Army, on June 8, 1944, right after the Allied invasion of Normandy, in World War 2. Simple wooden crosses mark the graves of the fallen Americans, each identified by one of their dog tags fastened to the marker.
Twenty one former Nazi SS men go on trial before military tribunal for the massacre of 1944, of 642 men, women and children at a village in Oradour-sur-Glane. While in the village, seven survivors survey the charred buildings of the hamlet which was put to torch. Abandoned bicycle with flowers. Mourners at graves.
A group of passengers waiting to go on board the American ocean liner SS Washington, standing at the port of Le Verdon Sur Mer, Bordeaux France. Passengers leaving France shortly before its fall to Nazi Germany are shown inspected for passport and searched before boarding. A car being hoisted onto the ship. View of the clock tower and loading areas at the port of Le Verdon Sur Mer (subsequently destroyed by Nazi Germany later in the war, in November 1944). Captain Manning standing on the bridge. View of ship SS Washington pulling away from dock. June 1940.
German prisoners of war at work digging graves for fallen American soldiers, at the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944. This is the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II, and located on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, east of St. Laurent-sur-Mer and northwest of Bayeux in Colleville-sur-Mer. (It is now the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.) Vertical posts with dog tags attached, mark the gravesites of the fallen troops. American soldiers sit near covered bodies of the fallen and perform tasks of identification and grave assignment. Covered remains of one soldier are carried across the field on a stretcher. Barrage balloons are seen in the sky overhead.
Memorial Ceremony (including Roman Catholic Mass) for fallen U.S. troops,on June 10, 1944 during World War 2. The location is Omaha Beach, St. Laurent sur Mer, Normandy France, where the U.S. 1st Army established the first American military cemetery in France, during World War II. U.S. troops line the area. An altar is set up on the hood of a jeep parked in the sand. An Army Colonel standing in rear of the jeep reads from a notebook. Soldiers all stand with heads bowed. Among them are African American soldiers of the 320th Battalion. A Chaplain's assistant sits at a keyboard instrument next to the jeep. A Roman Catholic Army Chaplain in white clerical robes conducts a mass. Numerous grave markers can be seen in the distant background. Several French civilians stand with the soldiers, who bow heads in prayer. The Chaplain administers holy communion to kneeling soldiers. A French civilian woman places flowers near recent temporary grave markers of U.S. fallen (stakes bearing their dog tags). A color guard stands with American flag, as squad of riflemen fire gun salutes. Three French civilians stand by the flowers. U.S. Army bugler blows taps. All present salute the fallen. Some indivual soldiers walk to the markers of their buddies.