Chef du Pont

The bridge at Chef du Pont was the second bridge that had to be taken and held by the American 82nd Airborne Division. The aim was firstly to take the bridge intact and stop the Germans bringing up reinforcements from Picauville where they had a large garrison. The French always allowed the river to flood during winter months, this made the land better for grazing cattle and sheep during the summer months. The Germans kept the sluice gates closed to keep the area flooded all year round. This meant that all the smaller roads were under water leaving only three routes available for north south traffic. The 508th Regiment dropped nearly two miles to the north west of the bridge between the N13 main road and the railway. Holding this bridge was supposed to be the task of the 505th PIR, who also dropped north of the area. The 505th dropped into an area held by the German 91st Division who had received training in anti airborne landings. The Germans were hampered by the fact that the two of their commanders were away attending war games in Rennes to the south. The Germans had dug into an area to the west of the bridge, they were members of the German 1057th Regiment. General Gavin, the Assistant Divisional Commander arrived here from La Fiere with seventy five paratroopers. With good fortune a glider carrying an anti tank gun came down nearby and Captain Roy Creek, the commander of the platoon holding the bridge used it to good effect, holding off the Germanís until reinforcements arrived. The old bridge was removed some years ago and the new bridge was named in honour of Captain Roy Creek.

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