80th Anniversary of Operation Dragoon

Southern France 2024

Tentative program

August 11th: 551 Families depart USA for France
August 12th: 551 Families arrive in Nice and transfer by bus to Draguignan
August 13th: Plans to be determined

  • Option 1: trip to Cannes, which was liberated by the 551st and the 509th and St-Jeannet, where the 551st took some R&R in the fall of 1944, before being sent to Laon and the Belgian Ardennes.
  • Option 2: D-Day beaches near St-Raphaël and visit of the French Marines Forces museum, which is hosting a temporary exhibit of teh Southern France invasion in August 1944.

Group dinner at Hotel du Parc with special guests

Cannes is important because the 551st and the 509th took part to the liberation of this city. Extract of the National Archives, history of the 551st PIB August 1944 (Source: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.504565956833964)

August 14th:
08:30 am – 10:30 pm, departure and return to Hotel du Parc
11:00 am Commemorations in La Motte Le Mitan
Lunch provided by Mayor of La Motte – Wreath laying – town hall of La Motte in partnership with Mémoire de Provence
6:00 pm at the Parachute Memorial Park. (same location)
Ceremony at the Memorial of the First Airborne Task Force, followed by a military parade, and the ball at La Motte (dinner available on your own.)
Bus service return to Hotel du Parc
August 15th:
08:30 am – 10:30 pm, departure and return to Hotel du Parc
11:00 am – Valbourges Memorial Ceremony with wreath laying
12:30 Aperitif, meal, 1944 atmosphere provided by our DJ.
Exhibition of vintage military vehicles
6:10 p.m. Chateau Valbourges The 551st parachute infantry Battalion jumped on August 15, 1944 at 6:10 p.m., 80 years ago…. We thought it would be nice to commemorate this event 80 years later.
ceremony organized by: 551st Parachute Infantry Association, for the 80th anniversary of the arrival of our brave heroes of the 551st.
All to return to Hotel du Parc via bus.
Dinner in Les Arcs. (dinner available on your own.)
August 16th:
08:30 am – 10:30 pm, departure and return to Hotel du Parc
9:00 am – Rhone American Cemetery 553 Bd John Kennedy, 83300 Draguignan, France
Lunch to be organized.
Ceremony with City of Draguignan – to be scheduled.
Tentative trip to Nice.
August 17th:
08:30 am – 10:30 pm, departure and return to Hotel du Parc
11:00 am – Ceremony and wreath laying St Martin Vesubie
12:00 pm – Lunch
5:00 pm – Isola ceremony and wreath laying ceremony
(St Martin de Vésubie and Isola are in the French Alps – center of town for ceremonies)


Map of Southern France with main locations to be visited