‘Iron Mike’ & The bridges of La Friere and Chef Du Pont

Just a couple of miles to the west of St Mere Eglise, the River Mederet posed a significant natural obstacle to movements of troops, supplies, artillery and armour. The two crossing points at La Friere and Chef Du Pont were vital to the U.S. and German forces alike. The Germans needed to be able to counter attack towards St Mere Eglise and onwards to UTAH beach, whist the Americans needed to not only defend against German attacks but be able to break out across the Cotentin Penninsula towards Barneville. The battle for these bridges raged for three days. The 82nd Airborne beat off German infantry and armour before being relieved.

Bridge at Chef du Pont

Modern day road bridge over the Mederet River at Chef du Pont

507th Parachute Infantry Regiment Memorial by Malcolm Clough

507th Parachute Infantry Regiment Memorial

Charles De Glopper Memorial

Charles De Glopper Memorial. Winner of the Congressional Medal of Honour

Eastern bank, Mederet River

The view from the Eastern bank of the Mederet River looking towards Cauquigny, The flat marshy ground in the foreground was flooded by the Germans

Iron Mike Memorial

The Iron Mike Memorial

Stone bridge La Friere

The stone bridge at La Friere. German counter attacks along this causeway to capture the bridge were beaten off by the airborne troops

The bridge at La Friere

The small but strategically important stone bridge at La Friere