D-Day Conneaut returns

Join us, rain or shine, as we pull out all the stops!

Once again D-Day Ohio, Inc. will invade the Lake Erie shores of Conneaut, Ohio, and stage the largest D-Day (1944) living history reenactment in the country. Featuring over 1,800 reenactors from across the US and Canada, spectators will witness men, women, and their machines perform a living tribute to the veterans of WWII through dress, mock battles, and living history displays. Meet the real men and women that lived through these times. Last year we were proud to host over 150 WWII veterans and hope to have even more this year.

 Come and be a part of this Admission FREE event and experience what people call the most realistic and educational D-Day reenactment of the WWII era.

The event occurs within the beautifully kept grounds of Conneaut Township Park, in Conneaut, Ohio. Just off Interstate 90 (Exit 241), 5 miles west of the Pennsylvania border, Conneaut is just about half way between Cleveland Ohio and Erie Pennsylvania. There's plenty of free parking with speedy shuttles. *Entry is free but donations of any size are always appreciated as we are 100% funded by donations.

Though D-Day Conneaut is a very popular event, Conneaut Township park has plenty of room to comfortably stroll around and see amazing sites.(Be sure to check out the gallery). With an estimated reenactor attendance of over 1400 reenactors from all over the US and Canada, there's little question why D-Day Conneaut has become the one of the largest WWII reenactment in the country.

Viewing the Battles

Viewing space for the battles is limited. Please help us make the most out of our space by following these guidelines so everyone can enjoy the event. If you choose to bring a blanket or chair for seating.... We ask that those wishing to sit at ground level be given priority for the first 20' closest to the rope lines. No Pop-up Tents or Umbrellas during the battle. Those wishing to use chairs should set up 20' from the rope lines so as to not obscure the view of those sitting at ground level. Those visitors wishing to stand for the demonstration should allow those with chairs and blankets places closer to the rope line so they can also see the recreated battle or demonstration. If you select a sitting location, please remain seated as much as possible during the program so as to not block the view of others.

Schedule of Events

The official schedule is finalized in late spring. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back from time to time to see additions or cancelations.

Official Schedule of Events

Last updated July 15th, 2019.


There will be no shuttle service on Thursday. Parking is available on side streets around the park.
Click the times below to show/hide event details

10:00-2:00 PM
Higgins Boat Rides FREE
Location: Conneaut Public Docks
+

Developed by Andrew Higgins, the Higgins Boat single handedly chained the course of the war by eliminating the grid lock by allowing commanders to land troops and supplies easily on beachheads. According to Eisenhower, "Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us." So notable was the Higgins boat that even Hitler referring to Andrew Higgins as the "New Noah." By the end of the War, Higgins industries would produce some 20,094 Higgins boats for the Allies. Join us at the Conneaut Public Docks, just a short walk from the park, for a free ride in a real historical Higgins Boat.

12:00-5:00 PM
Camps open to public.
Location: Entire Park
+

Join us for the Thursday opening of D-Day Conneaut.

12:00-4:30 PM
Armor and Artillery Display
Location: Omaha Beach - East Beach
+

Artillary and armor played an important roll for both the Allies and Axis troops during the Normandy Invasion and WWII. Visit our Armor units on the beach and learn about the men and the machines that were such a big part of the war.

12:00-1:00 PM
Victory Gardens - Feeding the Homefront During WWII
Location: Homefront - Allied Camp
+

Victory gardens ("war gardens", "food for defense gardens", etc.) where gardens planted and maintained by the public to help support the war effort. By growing produce locally, vital resources used for shipping were freed up to help support the war effort. Secondly, and some say more importantly, these Victory Gardens gave those left behind a way to feel connected to the war effort. Come learn about these gardens and how every day civilians worked to support the war from home.

12:00-12:45 PM
Allied Sand Table Briefing
Location: PIR Headquarters - Allied Camp
+

Prior to the invasion, map makers and model builders were hire by the Allies to create detailed 3d maps of the Normandy coast. These maps, called "sand tables" were vital to giving troups a much needed familiarity with the area they were to shortly invade. Come view sample maps and learn about how they were created and used.

12:30-1:30 PM
German Equipment and Weapons
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion)
+

Stop by the upper German camp and learn about the equiment and weapons used by the German Army during WWII.

1:00-1:45 PM
German Fortifications.
Location: Beach
+

Come and learn about what when into building the fortifications that made up Hitler's "Atlantic Wall".

1:30-2:15 PM
Navy Beach Bunker
Location:Allied Camp - England
+

Come see an accurate recreation of the first communication structure set up on the Normandy beach by the Allied Navy. Learn about their contributions, it's construction, and how it played an essential role.

1:30-2:15 PM
Signal Corps Message Center
Location: Allied Camp - England
+

Come and watch as the Allies man and operate a working WWII Signal Corps Message Center. Learn about the equipment and the vital role it played in keeping information flowing.

2:00-3:00 PM
Victory Gardens - Feeding the Homefront
Location: Homefront - Allied Camp
+

Victory gardens ("war gardens", "food for defense gardens", etc.) where gardens planted and maintained by the public to help support the war effort. By growing produce locally, vital resources used for shipping were freed up to help support the war effort. Secondly, and some say more importantly, these Victory Gardens gave those left behind a way to feel connected to the war effort. Come learn about these gardens and how every day civilians worked to support the war from home.

2:00-2:45 PM
D-Day Demolitions
Location: 29th DIV Headquarters - Allied Camp - England
+

Clearing beach obsticals and opening up the draws were key to Allied troops being able to take the beaches of Normandy and quickly move inland. Come learn about the men and their equipment and the dangers they faced.

2:30-3:15 PM
German Equipment and Weapons
Location: Caen (Upper German Camp) - Occupied France
+

The Allies faced some of the fiercest weapons the German army had when they hit the shores of Normandy. Come learn about the men and the weapons that defended the "Atlantic Wall".

3:00-3:45 PM
Church Service - Chaplains in WWII
Location: Allied Camp - England
+

Not only fighting men and medics landed at Normandy. Come for a short service and learn about the vital roll of Army Chaplains.

3:00-3:45 PM
The 13th Kavallerie and Bereiterinne In Normandy
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France
+

Come learn about the German 13th Kavallerie and Bereiterinne in Normandy.

3:30-4:15 PM
Allied Sand Table Briefing
Location: PIR Headquarters - Allied Camp
+

Prior to the invasion, map makers and model builders were hire by the Allies to create detailed 3d maps of the Normandy coast. These maps, called "sand tables" were vital to giving troups a much needed familiarity with the area they were to shortly invade. Come view sample maps and learn about how they were created and used.

4:00-4:45 PM
U.S. Mortar Demonstration
Location: Sword/Juno Beach
+

Come see and learn about the mortars use by the Allied troops during WWII and the Normandy Invasion.

4:00-4:30 PM
Jedburgh Training
Location: Foucarville - Occupied France
+

Operation Jedburgh, a clandestine operation,  dropped highly trained teams behind enemy lines in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. "Jeds" they were called, were 3 men teams who's job it was to conduct sabotage and disrupt German activities. Consisting of a commander, executive officer and a radio operator, these teams also helped lead the local resistance and were vital to Allied success.  Come watch as new recruits train in guerrilla warfare tactics and learn about their missions ahead and how they will aid in the upcoming invasion.

4:30-5:15 PM
The USO in WWII - Class/Lecture Series
Location: Allied Parade Ground
+

During the war, keeping moral of the troops up was key. Men and women, many away from home for the first time, needed a break from the horrors and a reminder of what they were fighting for. Thanks to organizations like the USO, many entertainers traveled overseas to entertain our troops; providing them a much needed 'shot in the arm'! Often performing in less-then-glamorous conditions, sometimes on a hood of a jeep or from a back of a truck, these performers were a vital part of keeping our men and women going. Come learn a little bit about the USO and how it too helped the war efforts.

5:00-5:30 PM
Memorial Ceremony
Location: Navy Beach Bunker - Allied Paraid Grounds
+

Join us for a special memorial ceremony at the Naval Beach Bunker.

9:00-11:00 PM
Movie Under the Stars
Location: Allied Parade Ground
+

Join us on paraid grounds grounds for our anual WWII themed movie under the stars.

Friday

8:00-8:45 AM
German Formation
Location: Sword Beach
+

Join us for the morning German formation

9:00AM-5:00 PM
Camp Opens to Public
Location: Camp
+

Join us for the opening of D-Day Conneaut 2019.

9:00-9:30 AM
Allied Flag Raising
Location: Allied Paraid Ground - England
+

D-Day ConneautJoin us for the raising of the Storm Flag, signifying the beginning of D-Day Conneaut.

9:00-9:10 AM
Artillery and Tank Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - England
+

Join us for our Big Guns solute. Cover your ears and feel the power of our tanks and armor as they fire a solute to open the event.

9:30-10:00 AM
Allied Medic Training and Briefing
Location: Allied HQ - England
+

D-Day ConneautJoin us for our allied medic traing and briefing as they prepair for the upcoming invaision.

10:00-10:20 PM
Maquis Attack
Location: Occupied France - Near La Fiere Bridge
+

Witness French freedom fighters as they attempt to sabotage the German troops stationed in their area. French freedom fighters played a vital roll in the days and hours prior to the D-Day landing by disrupting communications lines and rail ways.

10:00-10:10 PM
Artillery and Tank Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - England
+

Join us for our Big Guns solute. Cover your ears and feel the power of our tanks and armor as they fire a solute to open the event.

10:00-2:00 PM
Higgins Boat Rides FREE
Location: Conneaut Public Docks
+

Developed by Andrew Higgins, the Higgins Boat single handedly chained the course of the war by eliminating the grid lock by allowing commanders to land troops and supplies easily on beachheads. According to Eisenhower, "Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us." So notable was the Higgins boat that even Hitler referring to Andrew Higgins as the "New Noah." By the end of the War, Higgins industries would produce some 20,094 Higgins boats for the Allies. Join us at the Conneaut Public Docks, just a short walk from the park, for a free ride in a real historical Higgins Boat.

10:00-7:00 PM
D-Day Museum Open House
Location: Old Hungarian Church
+

D-Day Ohio has our very own D-Day Museum right here in Conneaut. Our museum feature displays and focus on Ohio's contributions to the war efforts and veterans. Stop by our open house and view our current collection of displays and view plans for the completed museum.

10:00-10:30 AM
German Equipment Demonstration
Location: German Camp -
+

Join us for another presentation by the German forces showcasing various equipment used during the war.

10:30-11:00 AM
Invasion Assault Team Demonstration
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

In the early hours of June 6th, 1944 Allied men were tasked with invading a heavily fortified beach head.  In the days and weeks ahead, at time, against all odds, team work was often the key to success and staying alive. Join us as our troops practice teamwork drills and sills they will need to utilize in the long months ahead.

10:30-11:00 AM
A Veterans Legacy - Special Guest Program
Location: Allied Camp - Veterans Hospitality Tent
+

Be sure to set aside time to visit the Veterans Hospitality Tent to meet and greet some of the members of the "greatest generation" in person. Hear our special guest speakers share their thoughts and experiences in their own moving words.

10:30-11:00 AM
Rationing in WWII America
Location: Allied Camp - Homefront
+

All hands on deck. Homefront America did their part to support the war effort. Supplies were needed to tend to the troops which meant making sacrifices at home. Come to the Cook Family camp all the way from Wyoming to learn about rationing and restriction in America during WWII.

10:30-11:00 AM
The Triumphant Downfall: The Tank Destroyers
Location: Utah Beach - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come listen to our Allied tank commanders talk about the pivotal roles they played in the landing and push to free France and Europe.

11:00-11:30 AM
German Weapons Demonstration
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France
+

Cover your ears and find some cover! Join us for a "Q and A" presentation and live-fire (blanks) demonstration of some of the most common infantry weapons wielded by the German forces during the Normandy Invasion and throughout WWII. This demonstration will include the K-98 Mauser, MG-42 machine gun, MP-40 sub-machine gun, and the P-08 or P-38 pistol.

11:00-11:10 AM
Artillery and Tank Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - England
+

Join us for our Big Guns solute. Cover your ears and feel the power of our tanks and armor as they fire a solute to open the event.

11:00-11:30 AM
Camp Show
Location:Point Du Hoc (Bluff) - England
+

During the war, keeping moral of the troops up was key. Men and women, many away from home for the first time, needed a break from the horrors and a reminder of what they were fighting for. Thanks to organizations like the USO, many entertainers traveled overseas to entertain our troops; providing them a much needed 'shot in the arm'! Often performing in less-then-glamorous conditions, sometimes on a hood of a jeep or from a back of a truck, these performers were a vital part of keeping our men and women going.

11:30-12:15 PM
Mortar Firing Demonstration
Location:Juno and Sword Beaches - Occupied France
+

Mortar, the self propelled grenade. Motor teams consisted of a 3 men team. the US M2 60 mm mortar was developed as a lighter weight alternative to the 81mm M1 mortar. Designed in the 1920's to be a light infantry support weapon, the looming threat of a European conflict help spur the US to place it's first of many orders of 1,500 M2's in January of 1940. With an average range of over 2 football fields, come see how these vital tools were used and watch as our professionals demonstrate a short firing of a WWII mortar on the beach.  

11:30-12:15 PM
The 13th Kavallerie and Bereiterinne In Normandy
Location:Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come and learn about the 13th Kavallerie and Bereiterinne and their action in Normandy.

11:30-12:15 PM
Army Air Corps Briefing
Location:Caen Allied Camp - Air Corps Section
+

Join us for the Army Air Corps briefing as they review plans for the upcoming invasion.

11:30-12:15 PM
Evolution of the M4 Sherman
Utah Beach - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come listen to our Allied tank commanders talk about the pivotal roles they played in the landing and push to free France and all of Europe.

12:00-12:30 PM
Raising of the Garrison Colors
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

Allied troops assemble on the Allied parade grounds for the Raising of the Garrison Colors flag raising.

12:00-12:10 PM
Artillery and Tank Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - England
+

Join us for our Big Guns solute. Cover your ears and feel the power of our tanks and armor as they fire a solute to open the event.

12:30-1:00 PM
Bayonet Drill Demonstration
Location: Allied Camp - England
+

Fix Bayonet's! Watch as our men train and learn the life saving skills of hand to hand combat.

12:30-1:00 PM
U.S. Armor on D-Day
Location: Utah Beach - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come listen to our Allied tank commanders talk about the pivotal roles they played in the landing and push to free France and all of Europe.

1:00-1:30 PM
Invasion Assault Team Training: Dressed to Kill
Location: PIR Headquarters - England
+

In the early hours of June 6th, 1944 Allied men were tasked with invading a heavily fortified beach head.  In the days and weeks ahead, at time, against all odds, team work was often the key to success and staying alive. Join us as our troops practice teamwork drills and showcase equipment and clothing used by the boat teams landing on the beaches.

1:00-1:30 PM
German Landmines of WWII and Demo - 2nd SS
Location: Juno and Sword Beaches - Occupied France
+

During the War, millions of land and sea mines were deployed and utilized. Join Logan Stephen on the beach to learn about these deadly weapons and how they were used and dealt with.

1:00-1:30 PM
Victory Gardening American Homefront
Location: Allied Camp (Homefront) - England
+

Join the Master Gardeners at their booth as they discuss the use of Victory Gardens across America during WWII to aid the war efforts.

1:30-2:00 PM
Veteran Personal Histories
Location: Veteran Tent - England
+

Join us once again as our WWII veterans grace us with their moving heart-felt stories of their triumphs, hardships and service during WWII. Come early, as this is a must-see event with limited space. This year we hope to have over 100 WWII veterans in attendance at D-Day Conneaut!

1:30-2:00 PM
German Field Equipment and Uniform Briefing - 38th Pionier
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France
+

Ever wonder what “all that stuff” was, that you saw the German soldiers wearing or carrying in all of those war movies? Join us as we demonstrate the different uniforms and field equipment issued to the German infantryman during the war. This presentation will also give attendees an interactive and hands-on look into some of the history, evolution, and utility of what the German soldier would take with him into battle.

1:30-2:00 PM
U.S.O. and Canteen Show
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

The United Service Organizations was chartered. Their job was to give our Armed services and their families a much needed break from the toils of war. Come and sit a spell and enjoy the taste of an old-time USO show.

1:30-2:00 PM
FeldLazarette Grossdeutschland (German Field Hospital)
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France
+

Come watch as elements of the German Army Medical Corp and German Red Cross tend to wounded and prepare for the inevitable cross-channel invasion. Come and learn about the differences and and similarities between Allied and German medical units and their ability to care for the wounded.

1:30-2:00 PM
Operation Jedburgh Training
Location: Foucarville - France
+

Operation Jedburgh, a clandestine operation, dropped highly trained teams behind enemy lines in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. "Jeds" they were called, were 3 men teams who's job it was to conduct sabotage and disrupt German activities. Consisting of a commander, executive officer and a radio operator, these teams also helped lead the local resistance and were vital to Allied success. Come watch as new recruits train in guerrilla warfare tactics and learn about their missions ahead and how they will aid in the upcoming invasion.

1:30-2:00 PM
Every Tank a Tiger
Location: Utah Beach - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come listen to our Allied tank commanders talk about the pivotal roles they played in the landing and push to free France and all of Europe.

2:00-2:30 PM
Artillery and Tank Parade and Firing.
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - France
+

If you were wondering why that big boom just got louder it's because on top of our hourly artillery firing, we are going to be introducing our Tanks for the 3:00 battle and firing them.

2:00-2:30 PM
The U.S.O. in WWII - Class/Lecture Series
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

Join Jenelle Gilreath as she performs and discusses the USO in WWII.

2:00-2:30 PM
Heer Drill and Parade Formation
Location: German Camp - Occupied France
+

Watch as the German toops form up in parade formation.

2:00-2:30 PM
Neuropsychiatric Casualties in the ETO
Location: Allied Camp near HQ - England
+

Come hear the specialists discuss the neurological and psychiatric effects experienced by those fighting to free Europe.

3:00-3:45 PM
British Beach landings and Armor in the Normandy Invasion
Location: Beach - Occupied France
+

Join us for our Armor/Tank battle on the beach. Though only 2 or 3 DD Tanks made it ashore in the first few wave on Omaha beach, other beaches were much more successful in landing their Armor which proved vital in their defeat of the German forces. Come witness our mock battle and learn about some of the machines that went head-to-head.

3:30-3:50 PM
Maquis Attack
Location: Occupied France - Foucarville Area
+

Witness French freedom fighters as they attempt to sabotage the German troops stationed in their area. French freedom fighters played a vital roll in the days and hours prior to the D-Day landing by disrupting communications lines and rail ways.

3:30-4:30 PM
Allied vs. Axis Soccer Match
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

"Football", soccer as we call it, was extremely popular throughout Europe during WWII. Join us for our annual Allied vs. Axis Soccer match. Come see who will win this epic battle.

4:00-4:10 PM
Artillery and Tank Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - England
+

If you were wondering what the heck that noise was... make your way to the bluff or beach and watch, hear, and feel the power of WWII era artillery and tanks as they give us a taste of their power. This is a site, and sensation, you won't easily forget.

4:30-4:45 PM
Retreat Ceremony
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

Come and be surprised as our troops make another presentation in formation.

4:30-4:45 PM
Evening Gun
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

To round out the events of the day, join us for one last chance today to watch, hear, and feel the power of some WWII era artillery.

4:30-4:45 PM
Camp Show
Location: Foucarville - Occupied France
+

During the war, keeping moral of the troops up was key. Men and women, many away from home for the first time, needed a break from the horrors and a reminder of what they were fighting for. Thanks to organizations like the USO, many entertainers traveled overseas to entertain our troops; providing them a much needed 'shot in the arm'! Often performing in less-then-glamorous conditions, sometimes on a hood of a jeep or from a back of a truck, these performers were a vital part of keeping our men and women going. Join us as we wait the arrival of the Airborne troops on their way to liberate Foucarville.

4:30-5:00 PM
American Radio Programs in WWII
Location: Allied Camp (Homefront) - England
+

Join Cat Monroe to learn more about the use of radio programs to entertain and educate Americans during WWII.

5:00-5:05 PM
National Anthem
Location: Entire Park
+

Join us for a prebattle solute by singing the national anthem.

5:05 PM
Camps Close to Public
Location: All Camps
+

During the Foucarville battle, all camps will be closed to the public.

5:05-5:45 PM
Foucarville Battle
Location: Mid-Park - Between England and Occupied France
+

Through the night all over the northern coast of France, groups of Airborne soldiers link up and proceed upon their objectives—to cut off major intersections and hold cross roads leading from the beaches so that the landing troops could mobilize inland. Some soldiers don't locate their companies until next day as, during the drop, they are scattered across the drop zone and into adjacent areas.

The Airborne portion of the campaign also spread confusion to mislead the German command. The widespread attack, and the use of paradummies (Ruperts) made the initial Allied attack from the air seemed larger and made the Germans think they were being attacked across a wide front. German Command had difficulty mobilizing successful counter attacks because of this mistaken understanding of the breath of the attack.

One of the first engagements with the enemy during the invasion occurred at Fourcarville, a small village a little more than a mile NW of the WXYZ barracks near St. Marin-de-Varreville. The WXYZ Barracks were a key target because they housed the soldiers that manned the costal artillery along the Normandy beaches. Nearby Foucarville is seated at a crossroads that leads from the barracks and other inland points to Utah Beach.

Much of the action at Foucarville occurred at the base of a heavily fortified rise of ground just to the NW of the village. This enemy stronghold became the focal point of much of the fighting as at least 3 planes dropped paratroopers over the German positions at Foucarville.

Several men from Able and Baker companies were taken prisoner. At 0200 on June 6, 1944, Captain Cleveland Fitzgerald (Baker Company) and Lieutenant Harold Hoggard of the 101st Airborne, 502 parachute infantry regiment (under Colonel Cassidy) led a group of 9 men to attack the positions at Foucarville. Because of misdrops and the wide dispersal of personnel during the drop, only a small handful of men could be rallied at that early hour.

Proceeding with what men could be assembled, this party fired on a German sentry posted in the courtyard of a headquarters in the town. Captain Fitzgerald was wounded and, believing the wound fatal, he directed the small party to retire leaving him behind. Later that morning, Lieutenant Swanson(Able Company) led a second attack on the town with a party of approximately 50 men, and set up road blocks in accordance with 1st Battalion’s mission.

The fortified roadblocks, protected by machine guns, bazookas and mines, were to prevent the Germans from moving in and out of the area toward Utah Beach. Throughout the day, soldiers at the roadblocks were under enemy fire from snipers in the town and machine gun positions that the Germans had placed on a platform in a large tree. Yet, as the soldiers of the 101st increase the pressure on the enemy, the Germans gravitate to the fortified hilltop.

Through the day, the captive paratroopers on the fortified hill had been thinking of ways to get free. Ultimately, they decided to try to bluff their German captors. The fortified positions had been scheduled for assault at 2130 by the 1st Battalion and the prisoners had expected to hear heavy fire. However, this had not occurred. The prisoners began checking their watches, whispering to each other, and acting agitated. Eventually curiosity got the better of the Germans who interrogated the prisoners and found that they were anxious because the 377 Parachute Field Artillery was scheduled to begin bombardment of the position at 2230. The position was to be totally destroyed.

Uneasiness about the oncoming bombardment spread to the German garrison and, as the time approached 2200, the Americans were amazed to see white flag raised over position. 87 enemy soldiers surrender, but a die hard group refused to surrender and bolted to the rear of the position. They were caught in the cross fire of the advancing paratroopers, former prisoners, and the advance units of the 4th Infantry Division. About 50 Germans were killed.

5:30-6:00 PM
The Fallen of D-Day Memorial Service
Location: 6th Beach Battalion Bunker - England
+

Watch as these men commemorate the fallen of D-Day in their special memorial service and tribute to those that gave their lives for freedom.

6:00-7:00 PM
Don DiSantis Band (Big Band)
Location: Conneaut Arts Center
+

Join folks at the Conneaut Arts Center for an evening of Big Band sounds from the 40's to honor our veterans: D-Day Weekend Concert… free outdoor concert. Don DiSantis Band, plays Big Band sound and a patriotic tribute to our American Veterans.
Conneaut Arts Center 1025 Buffalo St. Conneaut, Ohio 44030 440-593-5888 www.conneautartcenter.org

7:00-8:30 PM
Allied Baseball Game
Location: Malek Park, Parrish Rd. Ball Field
+

Join us as our Allied troops participate in a "friendly" game of Baseball. US troops brought American baseball with them when they were stationed in England. Baseball was a keen way to burn off some steam and distract solders from the pending invasion.

Saturday

8:00-8:30 PM
German Formation
Location: Sword Beach - Occupied France
+

Join us for the morning German Formation

9:00-5:00 PM
Camps open to public
Location: Entire Park
+

Join us for the Satursday opening of D-Day Conneaut.

9:00-9:30 AM
Allied Camp Flag Raising
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

Join us for the raising of the Allied Flag and the start of the Saturday events.

9:00-9:15 AM
Artillery and Tank Parade and Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - France
+

Listen and watch as our artillery and tanks fire every hour to solute our veterans.

9:15-9:30 AM
Provisional Ranger Battalion Briefing
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

Prior to the invasion of the beaches of Normandy, extensive reconnaissance was done of the terrain. Detailed "sand table" miniature models (sand tables) were produced with as much detail as possible for the troops. Come and experience the Rangers as they receive last minute briefing about what they may expect in the hours and days that follow.

9:30-10:00 AM
Maquis Attack
Location: La Fiere Bridge - Occupied France
+

Witness French freedom fighters as they attempt to sabotage the German troops stationed in their area. French freedom fighters played a vital roll in the days and hours prior to the D-Day landing by disrupting communications lines and rail ways.

9:30 AM-12:30 PM
Higgins Boat Rides FREE
Location: Conneaut Port Authority - Public Docs
+

Developed by Andrew Higgins, the Higgins Boat single handedly chained the course of the war by eliminating the grid lock by allowing commanders to land troops and supplies easily on beachheads. According to Eisenhower, "Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us." So notable was the Higgins boat that even Hitler referring to Andrew Higgins as the "New Noah." By the end of the War, Higgins industries would produce some 20,094 Higgins boats for the Allies. Join us at the Conneaut Public Docks, just a short walk from the park, for a free ride in a real historical Higgins Boat.

9:30-10:00 AM
Mortar Firing Demonstration
Location: Juno and Sward Beaches - Occupied France
+

Allied troops spent months in England training for every aspect of the invasion. Watch our platoon demonstration of proper practices and explains what was required for accurate mortar firing.

9:30-10:00 AM
Camp Show
Location: La Fiere Bridge/German Camp - Occupied France
+

During the war, keeping moral of the troops up was key. Men and women, many away from home for the first time, needed a break from the horrors and a reminder of what they were fighting for. Thanks to organizations like the USO, many entertainers traveled overseas to entertain our troops; providing them a much needed 'shot in the arm'! Often performing in less-then-glamorous conditions, sometimes on a hood of a jeep or from a back of a truck, these performers were a vital part of keeping our men and women going. Join us as we wait the arrival of the Airborne troops on their way to liberate Foucarville.

10:00-7:00 PM
D-Day Museum Open House
Location: Old Hungarian Church
+

D-Day Ohio is diligently working on our very own D-Day Museum right here in Conneaut. Our museum will feature displays and focus on Ohio's contributions to the war efforts and veterans. Stop by our open house and view our current collection of displays and view plans for the completed museum.

10:00-10:10 AM
Artillery and Tank Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - Occupied France
+

Because one big gun is just not enough. Come watch, hear, and feel the power of WWII era artillery and tanks as they give us a taste of their power. This is a site, and sensation, you won't easily forget.

10:00-10:50 AM
Battle for La Fiere Bridge
Location: Lower Park Bridge - Valley Floor - Occupied France
+

Join us for our annual "Bridge Battle", featuring French Resistance, Allied Airborne, and German soldiers. The Battle for La Fiere Stone Bridge
Early on June 6, 1944, members of the French Resistance in Normandy are carrying out plans to disrupt German communications and movement prior to the Allied invasion. A team of Resistance fighters are busy cutting communication wires near a German outpost Cauquigny, a small inland village linked to St. Mere Eglise by the La Fiere Bridge and causeway. At the same time, a team of Resistance members are desperately searching for the aircrew of a downed C-47 that had dropped Airborne troops earlier that morning.

A member of the crew emerges from the woods and begins to make his way up a creek bed, trying to stay out of slight of German sentinels guarding the causeway leading between Cauquigny and St. Mere Eglise. As the French Resistance spots him, the German guards also notice the airman and begin to fire upon him. French partisans return fire from the woods and provide the airman covering fire to escape from the Germans.

The Germans, having lost their quarry, reinforce their position on the causeway. Fragmented and confused reports throughout the night and early morning indicate the region is under a broad attack. The guards and reinforcements are nervous but confident they can hold their position.

Soon, a party of Allied Airborne solders approach under the cover of the predawn and make their way toward the causeway and bridge. Their objective is to take the bridge and advance up the causeway to link up with General Gavin’s force after it has crossed the Mederet. The small company of Airborne attack the 50-man garrison at the bridge. Although the Airborne company forces the Germans off the bridge, it doesn’t have sufficient numbers to advance up the causeway and anxiously awaits reinforcements so that it can accomplish its objective.

Please plan on arriving a few minutes early to get a good viewing spot. Note: To ensure the safety of spectators and participants access to certain viewing areas will be limited once the show begins.

10:30-11:00 AM
The Triumphant Downfall: The Tank Destroyers
Location: Utah Beach - Armor ARea
+

Come listen to our Allied tank commanders talk about the pivotal roles they played in the landing and push to free France and Europe.

11:00-11:10 AM
Artillery and Tank Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach) - Occupied France
+

If you are still wondering what the heck that noise is at the top of each hour... make your way to the bluff or beach and watch, hear, and feel the power of WWII era artillery and tanks as they give us a taste of their power. This is a site, and sensation, you won't easily forget.

11:00-11:30 AM
FeldLazarette Grossdeutschland (German Field Hospital)
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come watch as elements of the German Army Medical Corp and German Red Cross tend to wounded and prepare for the inevitable cross-channel invasion. Come and learn about the differences and and similarities between Allied and German medical units and their ability to care for the wounded.

11:00-11:30 AM
Army Air Corps Briefing
Location: Allied Camp/ Army Air Corps Section - England
+

The key to protecting the largest amphibious landing ever attempted was to control the air. Sit in and listen as the Army Air Corps goes over final preparations for the D-Day Invasion.

11:00-11:30 AM
Neuropsychiatric Casualties in the ETO
Location: Allied Camp near HQ - England
+

Come hear the specialists discuss the neurological and psychiatric effects experienced by those fighting to free Europe.

11:30-12:30 AM
Allied Parade and March Past Salute Legion of Honor Ceremony
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

Join us and our Allied Troops and invited guests and dignitaries as we pay respect and bestow honors on some of our WWII veterans. Along with our formation pass in salute, the French Legion of Honor (The highest civilian award by the French government) will be presented to multiple recipients.

11:30-12:30 AM
The Evolution of the M4 Sherman Tank
Location: Utah Beach/Armor Area - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come listen to our Allied tank commanders talk about the pivotal roles they played in the landing and push to free France and all of Europe.

12:30-1:00 PM
Maquis Attack
Location: Occupied France - Near La Fiere Bridge
+

Witness French freedom fighters as they attempt to sabotage the German troops stationed in their area. French freedom fighters played a vital roll in the days and hours prior to the D-Day landing by disrupting communications lines and rail ways.

12:30-1:00 PM
U.S. Armor on D-Day
Location: Utah Beach/Armor Area - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come listen to our Allied tank commanders talk about the pivotal roles they played in the landing and push to free France and all of Europe.

12:45-2:15 PM
Veteran Personal Histories
Location: Veterans' Hospitality Tent - England
+

WWII veterans return this year to recount their experiences and personal stories of their wartime service. We expect nearly 100 WWII vets this year! Come and see this incredible moving experience. Guaranteed to be something you'll never forget.

1:00-1:30 PM
German Weapons Demonstration - 100th Jäger
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France
+

Cover your ears and find some cover! Join us for a "Q and A" presentation and live-fire (blanks) demonstration of some of the most common infantry weapons wielded by the German forces during the Normandy Invasion and throughout WWII. This demonstration will include the K-98 Mauser, MG-42 machine gun, MP-40 sub-machine gun, and the P-08 or P-38 pistol.

1:00-1:30 PM
Tour of the Atlantic Wall Fortifications
Location: Tour begins at Lower Pavilion - Occupied France
+

Late in 1943, in response to the build up of Allied troops in Great Brittan, Hitler issued Directive 51 which called for the strengthening of the defenses on the "Atlantic Wall". Come take a tour of our section of the wall and inspect the German fortifications.

1:00-1:30 PM
Invasion Assault Team Demonstrations
Location: Allied Parade Ground - England
+

Practice, practice, practice. Watch as the Allied Assault Temas demonstrate their skills that will be put to the test very shortly with the invasion of France.

1:15-1:45 PM
Operation Jedburgh Training
Location: Foucarville - France
+

Operation Jedburgh, a clandestine operation, dropped highly trained teams behind enemy lines in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. "Jeds" they were called, were 3 men teams who's job it was to conduct sabotage and disrupt German activities. Consisting of a commander, executive officer and a radio operator, these teams also helped lead the local resistance and were vital to Allied success. Come watch as new recruits train in guerrilla warfare tactics and learn about their missions ahead and how they will aid in the upcoming invasion.

1:30-2:00 PM
German Field Equipment and Uniform Briefing - 38th Pionier
Location: German Camp near La Fiere Bridge - Occupied France
+

Ever wonder what “all that stuff” was, that you saw the German soldiers wearing or carrying in all of those war movies? Join us as we demonstrate the different uniforms and field equipment issued to the German infantryman during the war. This presentation will also give attendees an interactive and hands-on look into some of the history, evolution, and utility of what the German soldier would take with him into battle.

1:30-2:00 PM
Medics on D-Day
Location: Allied Camp - Main Stage - England
+

"Bloody Omaha" it was called. Location of some of the fiercest battles of D-Day. Come learn about those who's who took on this impossible job and cared for the wounded and dying on Omaha and all the other beaches of D-Day.

1:30-2:00 PM
The 13th Kavallerie and Bereiterinne In Normandy
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France
+

Come learn about the 13th Kavallerie and Bereiterinne and their contributions in the Normandy invasion.

1:30-2:00 PM
Every Tank a Tiger
Location: Utah Beach (Armor area) - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come listen to our Allied tank commanders talk about the pivotal roles they played in the landing and push to free France and all of Europe.

2:00-2:10 PM
Artillery and Tank Firing
Location: Vierville-sur-Mer (Beach)
+

If you are still wondering what the heck that noise is at the top of each hour... make your way to the bluff or beach and watch, hear, and feel the power of WWII era artillery and tanks as they give us a taste of their power. This is a site, and sensation, you won't easily forget.

2:30-2:45 PM
Normandy Troop Embarkation Formation for Beach Landing
Location: Bluff Overlooking Beach
+

If you are still wondering what the heck that noise is at the top of each hour... make your way to the bluff or beach and watch, hear, and feel the power of WWII era artillery and tanks as they give us a taste of their power. This is a site, and sensation, you won't easily forget.

2:45-3:00 PM
Normandy Beach Landing Narration Begins
Location: Bluff Overlooking Beach
+

A historical narrated account of the preparations for the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 and description of what will take place during our recreation of the landings.

3:00-3:45 PM
Seaborne Normandy Beach Landing Battle Begins
Location: Bluff and Beaches
+

Codenamed Operation Neptune, the largest seaborne invasion in history commenced at 0630 on June 6, 1944.

After months of planning and training, allied infantry and armored divisions began landing along a 50 mile stretch of the Normandy coast in 5 distinct sectors. From west to east, they were: Utah, Omaha, Gold Juno and Sword. (In the D-Day Conneaut historically inspired recreation, our beaches are in reverse order with Sword represented on the west and Utah to the east.)

Nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participated in the invasion and almost 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day. By the end of June, the Allies had landed some 875,000 men.

The landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and the airborne assault by 24,000 US, British and Canadian paratroopers the night before.

Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous.

Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs while at Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns had to be cleared through house-to-house fighting.

Members of the 8th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division were the first to land on Utah Beach, arriving at 06:30. Their landing craft were pushed to the south by strong currents, and they found themselves about 2,000 yards from their intended landing zone, to a point that was more lightly defended. Officers in the first wave had subsequent waves redirected to this spot because of the light resistance. The initial assault battalions were quickly followed by engineer and demolition teams to remove beach obstacles and clear the area directly behind the beach of obstacles and mines.

Gaps were blown in the sea wall to allow quicker access for troops and tanks. Combat teams began to exit the beach at around 09:00. The 4th Infantry Division landed 21,000 troops at the cost of only 197 casualties.

The capture of Pointe du Hoc, a prominent headland situated between Utah and Omaha, was assigned to two hundred men of 2nd Ranger Battalion. Their task was to scale the 30 yard cliffs and destroy the coastal gun battery located at the top. While under fire from above, the men scaled the cliff, only to discover that the guns had already been withdrawn. The Rangers located the weapons, unguarded but ready to use, in an orchard some 600 yd south of the point, and disabled them with explosives.

Omaha Beach, the most heavily defended beach, was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division and 29th Infantry Division. Strong currents forced many landing craft east of their intended position or caused them to be delayed. Many of the landing craft ran aground on sandbars and the men had to wade 50 to 100 yards in water up to their necks while under fire to get to the beach. Problems clearing the beach of obstructions led to the beachmaster calling a halt to further landings of vehicles at 08:30.

A group of destroyers provided fire support so landings could resume. Exit from the beach was possible only via five heavily defended gullies, and by late morning barely 600 men had reached the higher ground. By noon, as the artillery fire took its toll and the Germans started to run out of ammunition, the Americans were able to clear some lanes on the beaches. They also started clearing the gullies of enemy defenses so that vehicles could move off the beach.

At Gold Beach, high winds made conditions difficult for the landing craft, and the failure of aerial attacks to destroy embrasures and artillery meant that the British soldiers had to land under enfilading fire. An 88mm gun from a casmate emplacement was disabled around 0730 but a second gun continued to take its toll until 1600 when it was destroyed by a tank.

Once upon the beach, infantry began clearing the heavily fortified houses along the shore and advanced on targets further inland. Allied casualties at Gold Beach are estimated at 1,000.

On Juno Beach, rough weather forced the first waves of 3rd Canadian Division soldiers to be delayed until 07:35 and the men arrived ahead of their supporting armor. Several assault companies of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada took heavy casualties in the opening minutes of the first wave. Exits from the beach were created, but not without difficulty. However, strength of numbers, as well as coordinated fire support from artillery and armored squadrons, cleared most of the coastal defenses within two hours of landing.

The subsequent push inland achieved mixed results because of delays and heavy resistance. When all operations were ordered to halt at 21:00, The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada had reached its D-Day objective and the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division had succeeded in pushing farther inland than any other landing force on D-Day. By nightfall, the contiguous Juno and Gold beachheads covered an area 12 miles wide and 7 miles deep. Casualties at Juno were 961 men.

On Sword Beach, units of the British 2nd Army were began landing at 07:25 am. Resistance on the beach was weak; however, the beach was heavily mined and peppered with obstacles, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous and the windy conditions caused the tide came in more quickly than expected. Yet, within 45 minutes, the fighting had been pushed inland. On the east flank Commando units linked up with British paratroopers by 13:00.

The only significant German counter-attacks on D-Day came at Sword Beach. Starting around 16:00, the 21st Panzer Division made two attacks against the British forces and were not fully neutralized until late evening. By the end of 6 June, the German 716th Infantry Division had been almost entirely destroyed, many having fought to the death.

Estimates of Allied casualties on Sword Beach are as high as 1,000. Though the Allied invasion plans had called for the capture of several towns, with all the beaches (other than Utah) linked with a front line 6 to 10 miles from the beaches these objectives were not achieved.

The five bridgeheads were not connected until 12 June and Caen, a major objective, would not be completely captured until July 21, 1944. Successful Allied deception campaigns, incomplete German fortifications, Allied air superiority and disruptions to the French transportation infrastructure all helped ensure victory in the Normandy campaign. German casualties on D-Day were around 1,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.

4:15-5:00 PM
U.S.O. Canteen Show
Location: Allied Parade Ground Stage - England
+

Now liberated by our brave troops, join us at the band stand for one last musical and variety USO show. No need to fight for the first bus. Relax a few while the crowd eases and enjoy the sounds of the time or take one last look through the camp and speak with a reenactor. They always enjoy the conversation.

4:15-4:45 PM
FeldLazarette Grossdeutschland (German Field Hospital)
Location: Caen (Upper Pavilion) - Occupied France/Germany
+

Come watch as elements of the German Army Medical Corp and German Red Cross tend to wounded and prepare for the inevitable cross-channel invasion. Come and learn about the differences and and similarities between Allied and German medical units and their ability to care for the wounded.

5:00 PM
Camps Closes to Public
Location: Entire Park
+

All good things must come to an end. All D-Day encampments and displays will close to the public at 5:00 PM.

8:00 PM-12:00 AM
U.S.O.-Style Dance
Location: Conneaut Human Resources Center (327 Mill Street)
+

Started in 1941, with a challenge by President Roosevelt for US Service Organizations including the Salvation Army, YMCA, YWCA, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board to provide a means of  emotional support for troops at home and abroad. USO shows typically included comedians, actress and actors and numerous famous musicians of the day.

Come join us in our final event of D-Day Conneaut -- our USO Salute and dance complete with the fabulous live "Big Band" Madison Jazz Project. You never know who you'll see. Space is limited. 1940s dress is strongly encouraged. Reenactors are free and there is a small admission fee for the public.