The memorial at Picauville commemorates those airman of the 9th Airforce’s Troop Carrier Command and troops of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions who lost their lives in the area of the memorial on June 6th 1944.
Picauville lies on route D15 some 3 miles east of St Mere Eglise and 4 miles north of Saint-Come-du-Mont, the home to Dead Man’s Corner Museum.
The memorial is located on the outskirts of the village, but is not very easy to find. Follow the signs or ask someone for directions. In 2009 a large scale model C47 Dakota model was added to the memorial, which gives the illusion of the aircraft flying low over the area. The memorial has a car park, large enough for a coach and easy disabled access.
The memorial is built of local stone, with six black plaques. An engine from a C47 aircraft that crashed near Picauville in the night of 5 to 6 June 1944 forms part of the memorial. Sixteen parachutists and four crew men died in the crash of the plane.
The aircraft commemorated on this memorial took off from Welford and Upottery airfields.
Description of the Troop Carrier units
The main task of Troop Carrier Command was that of supporting airborne assault missions, both in the dropping of the assault troops, followed by re-supply missions.
Troop Carrier Command also delivered fuel and ammunition to fast-moving units close to the front lines, and sometimes even behind enemy lines.
On the return flight seriously wounded troops would be evacuated, with the wounded soldiers being strapped to stretchers rigged two deep in the fuselage. Many of these troops, who could not be effectively treated in field hospitals, would have died were they not evacuated by the ‘transports’.
Towards the end of the war, IX Troop Carrier Command repatriated tens of thousands of POWs on these airsupply return legs.
Between 27 Aug and 7 Oct 1944, IX Troop Carrier Command aircraft flew the largest airborne assault in history (Market Garden), where they delivered 4 million gallons of fuel, over 6,000 tons of ammo, nearly 2,000 tons of rations, over 6,000 tons of ‘other combat equipment’, and evacuated more than 16,000 wounded soldiers