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MUSÉE DES ÉPAVES SOUS-MARINES DU DÉBARQUEMENT, COMMES, CALVADOS, BASSE-NORMANDIE, FRANCE



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KEY: Location markers are coloured from Green meaning exact to Red meaning gone or unknown (details here)


Number of Photos:
6
Sample Photo

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Location Category ID:
6055
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Latitude, Longitude: 49.33413125 , -0.75660825
Location Accuracy: 10
Tanks Previously Here:


For many years Monsieur Jacques Lemonchois has made a business from salvage work off the Normandie beaches. He has recovered a number of military vehicles that were lost during the Normandy Invasion in June 1944. These are on display in an ‘Underwater Wrecks of the Landings’ Museum, displaying numerous military items recovered from the sea. All the items are intended to be displayed as they were recovered, so the vehicles are very rusted and encrusted with barnacles. The Museum is located near Commes in Calvados, between Port-en-Bessin and Escures, on the road to Bayeux. It officially opened in 1991.
As well as those vehicles displayed in the Museum, M. Lemonchois was also responsible for recovering from the sea the M7 Priest 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriages belonging to the Saumur Armour Museum (#118) and the 68th Artillery Regiment at Valbonne (#46). He has salvage rights to half of the sea-bed off the coast of Normandie, the other half belongs to M. Jean Demota who recovered the Sherman DD Tank displayed at Courseulles-sur-Mer (q.v.), Calvados. Since the first edition a second M7 Priest listed has been moved from this museum, and is now on display at Ouistreham (q.v., source: T. Royall).
Inside the museum there are displays of artefacts related to the recovered vehicles. One display is labelled as “M4 DD of 741st Tank Battalion: Once the two tons of mud inside were removed, the items and weapons of the crew appeared to be in perfect condition”.

As well as the vehicles listed here, the museum displays a Sherman turret; it has a label that states “DD M-4 TANK TURRET, 741 ST TANK BATTALION, Torn off a tank deeply embedded in sand”.
All of the vehicles are displayed outside, each mounted on rocks and in fenced enclosures.

Musée Des Épaves Sous-Marines Du Débarquement



Location ID:
6055
Latitude, Longitude:49.33413125, -0.75660825
Location Accuracy:10



1) M5A1 Stuart Light Tank American


Number of Photos:
4
Sample Photo from Tank with UniqueID 771

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Unique ID: 771
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2) M4 Sherman Dozer American


Number of Photos:
3
Sample Photo from Tank with UniqueID 988

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Unique ID: 988
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This is a 1943 production M4 fitted with an M1 dozer blade. The dozer blade is badly damaged.


3) M4A1 Sherman Duplex Drive Amphibious Tank American / British


Number of Photos:
4
Sample Photo from Tank with UniqueID 986

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Unique ID: 986
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This M4A1 DD has a sign nearby that states “‘DD’ TANK SUNK 4 MILES FROM OMAHA BY 27 METERS, ON MORNING OF JUNE 6 Th AT 6.30 AM, 32 AMPHIBIOUS ‘DD’ TANKS (741 Th TANK BATTALION) ARE LAUNCHED 4 MILES FROM OMAHA BEACH. 27 OF THEM SINK, UNABLE TO FIGHT AGAINST THE HEAVY SEAS. 2 REACH THE BEACHES DUE TO THE SKILL OF THEIR DRIVERS. 3 OTHERS ARE BEACHED BY THEIR L.C.T. WHOSE RAMP WAS JAMMED.”
It was recovered from offshore in July 1980. It is missing its flotation screen and half its right-hand track.


4) M4A1 Sherman Duplex Drive Amphibious Tank American / British


Number of Photos:
4
Sample Photo from Tank with UniqueID 987

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Unique ID: 987
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This M4A1 DD is missing half of its left-hand track. It is unusual in having large driver’s and co-driver’s hatches as usually seen on the M4A1 (76)W.


5) M7 Priest Howitzer Motor Carriage American


Number of Photos:
4
Sample Photo from Tank with UniqueID 989

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Unique ID: 989
Serial Number: “2537”.
Registration:
Name:
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The left-hand superstructure of this M7 is badly damaged. It has a label nearby that states “M7 PRIEST HOWITZER FROM 58Th ARMORED FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION, RECOVERED FROM AN L.C.T. WRECKED 3 MILES FROM OMAHA BEACH AND CARRYING 2 JEEPS, 3 HALF-TRACKS AND 4 M7. IN IT, PERFECTLY KEPT DOCUMENTS ENABLED TO IDENTIFY ITS PILOT: JOHN H. GLASS AND RECONSTITUTE ITS INCREDIBLE STORY FROM THE NORTH AFRICA TO THE NORMANDY LANDINGS.
Corporal John Glass revisited it at a memorial ceremony held in 1985.