When Allied operations stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 (D-Day), General Eisenhower never had a second plan nor did he expect anything less than victory. Field Marshall Rommel was defending France’s coastline and knew “for the Allies and Germany it will be the longest day.” Loss of human lives on D-Day was high for both sides. Camp Hearne honors those service men and women and the civilian lives lost during this critical operation by remembering this day with a special WWII Living History event.
Camp Hearne is bringing WWII history alive Saturday, June 11, with “ground troops” bivouacked on the original site of Hearne’s POW Camp. Re-enactors from both the Allied and Axis Armies will display their authentic uniforms, gear, and weapons from different military specialties such as the paratroopers, medical, infantry, artillery, and signal corps. You will be able to visit the WWII POW Camp Exhibit, walk the trails to prisoner-built remains, interact with WWII living historians as they “show and tell” their collections, watch weapons demonstrations, and view WWII era military vintage vehicles.
There will be a special appearance by General Patton and the Third Army re-enactors. Since Rommel thought Patton would be leading the attack in France, General Patton’s decoy or ghost army across from Calais played an important role in distracting the Germans from the real target at Normandy.
At Hearne’s adjacent Municipal Airport, vintage aircraft and paratroopers will engage visitors with demonstrations and tours of their planes while on the tarmac. If your pocketbook and stomach will allow, buy a ride in one of these vintage planes and fly over Brazos Valley. It’s an experience you will never forget.
Back on the home front, a special period dress contest challenges visitors to don their grandparents or parents’ vintage garb and become part of our most recent past. Be sure to visit the special exhibit in the Camp’s Visitors Center that illustrates the importance of our Country’s “Back the Attack” war bond campaigns.
Admission is free! Gates are open from 10am to 4pm. Camp Hearne is located northwest of Hearne on FM 485. Visit www.camphearne.com for more information or contact Cathy Lazarus or Melissa Freeman at (979) 314-7012.