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The village of Sainte-Mère-Église in 1944

One of the strangest incidents during the Second World War took place in the French town of Sainte-Mère-Église. During the Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, paratroopers of the Allied forces parachuted into the town in the middle of the night.

 
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The Sainte-Mère-Église church

The parachute of John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment got caught on the spire of the Sainte-Mère-Église church, which dates from the 12th century.
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A memorial to the John Steele, the U.S. parachutist

After playing dead for hours, Steele was captured by the Germans. He later escaped and helped to liberate the town. Today a mannequin with a parachute represents his long suspension from the tower.
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Stained glass window depicting the paratroopers

The Virgin Mary is depicted on one of the two stained glass windows in the chapel of Saint-Mère-Eglise that commemorates the landing of the paratroopers on D-Day.
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The other stained glass window depicts St. Michael

St. Michael is pictured among the insignia of the Allied military units that fought on D-Day. Sainte-Mère-Église ended up being the first town liberated by the Allies.