The Utah Beach D-Day Museum is recognized internationally as one of the premier sites for the remembrance and commemoration of the Battle of Normandy.
Each year the Museum’s collection expands and evolves. Our mission is to ensure the ongoing development and renewal of our exhibits to ensure that the Utah Beach D-Day Museum will continue to provide future generations with a memorable discovery of the pivotal events of June 6, 1944.
In 1962, the mayor of Saint Marie du Mont, Michel de Vallavieille, decides to create the Utah Beach D-Day Museum as a living expression of the town’s appreciation and gratitude for the Allies’ sacrifices. The Museum will initially be housed in one of the German command bunkers of strongpoint WN5.
The Museum’s unique collection of artifacts is largely the result of his tireless efforts, and the friendships he developed over the years with officers and American veterans.
First museum extension:
Construction of the hexagonal gallery to house an American-built model explaining the landings at Utah Beach. The model is still a part of the Museum’s exhibits.
Today, this gallery houses a state-of-the-art three-screen show telling the story of the port at Utah Beach, when in the course of five months more than 830,000 troops and 725,000 tons of material landed here.
Second major extension:
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Museum undergoes its first major expansion benefitting from outside funding. A new hemicycle gallery with stunning panoramic views of Utah Beach is built to house major artifacts, immersing visitors in the historic site of Utah Beach.
With an interest in the Second World War, David and Gene Dewhurst visit the Utah Beach D-Day Museum on a family trip. In an exhibit, they recognize a photo of their father, Major David Dewhurst, posing at the foot of his B-26 Marauder with his crew and learn that he was a decorated squadron commander, who courageously led the final bombing run on the German stronghold WN5, moments before the Allied landing at Utah Beach.
The two brothers are stunned by their discovery, as their father, Major David Dewhurst, had died when they were very young, and they knew very little about him.
Inspired by their visit, the brothers decide to spearhead the major renovation and expansion project that had been under review for several years. They go on to finance over a third of this ambitious project.
The Museum reopens with 23,000 square feet of gallery space showcasing the extraordinary success of one of the most complex military operations of the WWII. Highlights of the new museum include:
- An original B-26 Marauder in a custom-built aviation hangar
- Oral histories of the liberators, civilians, and soldiers
- An original “Higgins Boat” LCVP landing craft
- The award-winning documentary, “Victory in the Sand”