TracesOfWar needs your help! We miss photos of important sights in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. Submit your photos to and it will be published!

Sainte-Mère-Église Church

The church in Sainte-Mère-Eglise is very famous. It is described in many books and in the movie "The Longest Day" from 1962 it was also mentioned.

Before the airborne troops jumped out of their planes, there was an attack by the allied air force at Sainte-Mère-Eglise. After this attack the U.S. 82nd Airborne and U.S. 101st Airborne Divisions jumped in the vicinity of the village out of their aircraft.

During this operation a part of them ended up in the middle of the village, where they literally fell prey to the alarmed German occupiers. The most famous person from the actions in this village is John Steele, who got stuck during the air landings on 6 June 1944 with his parachute on the church tower. John Steele survived the raid by playing dead.

Do you have more information about this location? Inform us!


  • Text: Ewoud van Eig & Erwin Flohr
  • Photos: Lennard Bolijn (1, 5), Arjan Vrieze (2, 4), Ewoud van Eig (3), Wim Hilderson (6)