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Tour Itinerary

Day 1: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

Viewing of Beyond All Boundaries
A 4D experience of the war that changed the world.

Welcome Dinner
Get to know the group while dining in the unique Museum environment.

Beyond All Boundaries

Day 2: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

D-Day: Decision to Go
A custom tour of the Museum's exhibit focuses on the planning, preparations, and execution necessary for D-Day.

From the Schoolyard to the Battlefield
View and analyze high school yearbooks from the war years showing student leadership on the Home Front through the Victory Corps, scrap drives, JROTC programs, etc.

Home Front Exhibits
View propaganda posters, images of industry, and artifacts from Higgins Industries. Including a LCVP and LCP(L).

Meet the Author and Dinner Discussion
A top WWII author will discuss the steps to researching and writing.

The National WWII Museum Exhibits

Day 3: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

Behind the Lines Tour
A trip to the Museum's collections vault containing artifacts, vehicles, and equipment not currently on display to the public. Climb inside the Museum’s Sherman Tank!

Road to Berlin
Tour the Museum's newest exhibits focusing on the war in Europe.

The French Quarter
Students will enjoy a walking tour and dinner in New Orleans’s oldest and most vibrant neighborhood

Behind the Lines Tour

Day 4: New Orleans/Normandy

Departure to Paris
An afternoon flight to Charles de Gaulle Airport.


Day 5: Paris Tour

Bus Tour of Paris
See the Arc de Triomphe, Trocadero, Eiffel Tour, Champs-Elysees, and Notre Dame before lunching at a sidewalk cafe.

Depart for Bayeux

Day 6: Normandy Tour

Chateau Periers
Explore the story of French civilians faced with German occupation and an Allied invasion at the former home of Marie-Louise Osmont.

Pegasus Bridge
Site of the first Allied victory of D-Day. Glider troops of the British 6th Airborne Division captured this bridge in the early hours of June 6, 1944.

Grand Bunker Museum
A German bunker converted into a museum. Experience the tight spaces inside the bunker and explore the range-finding technology on the top floor.

Arromanches 360
A film shown on a 360-degree screen with quotations in English, French, and German. The film covers D-Day and the next 100 days.

The site of a German gun battery that still has the coastal guns in place. Explore the potential of these guns and view the damage done by Allied bombers.


Day 7: Normandy Tour

The first town to be liberated by American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. Students will hear eyewitness accounts of the battle.

La Fiere Bridge
A strategic bridge located on the western flank of the invasion. American forces fought to hold and preserve this bridge for three days after the initial landings.

Chateau de Bernaville
The German Command Center for the entire Utah Beach area during World War II, the chateau was once inhabited by General Wilhelm Falley&emdash;the highest ranking German officer killed in Normandy. The National WWII Museum has exclusive access to this site.

Hedgerows and Brecourt Manor
See the infamous hedgerows that halted progress inland from the beach and tour Brecourt Manor, featured in Band of Brothers. This tour is led by a member of the family who call the historic manor home.

Utah Beach Museum
A special VIP tour of the modern museum located at the site of the landings by the US 4th Infantry Division.


Day 8: Normandy Tour

Chateau du Baffy
Spend the day at a chateau with British students who are in Normandy on their way to tour WWI sites in eastern France.


Day 9: Normandy Tour

A 100foot cliff overlooking the English Channel. This cliff was climbed by the US 2nd Ranger Battalion on D-Day.

Omaha Beach
The site of the landings of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions. German forces held well entrenched positions on the high ground overlooking the beach. Courage, perseverance, and leadership helped overcome the defenders and secure the beach.

La Cambe German Cemetery The remains of more than 21,000 German soldiers are interred in this cemetery that is administered by the German War Graves Commission.

Cultural Tour of Bayeux A town that dates back to the Roman Empire. Attractions include the Bayeux Cathedral and the nearly 1,000-year-old Bayeux tapestry chronicling the Norman Conquest of England.


Day 10: Normandy Tour

Abbeye Ardennes
A countryside abbey that was held by German forces. The abbey was the site of systematic executions of Canadian soldiers by German forces.

Memorial de Mont Ormel
A museum situated on the site of heavy fighting from August 18 - 22, 1944, as Allied forces attempted to encircle and capture the remaining German forces in the Falaise Gap.

Memorial de Caen Centre of History and Peace
An institution dedicated to peace and reconciliation which tells of the conflicts of the 20th century. Visit portions of the Memorial dedicated to World War II in a custom tour.

Dinner with Memorial de Caen Staff
Meet several members of the Memorial staff and local veterans of the French Resistance.


Day 11: Normandy Tour

Normandy American Cemetery
Overlooking Omaha Beach, the cemetery contains the graves of 9,387 American servicemen and women along with another 1,557 names on the Wall of the Missing.

Bus Transportation to Paris


Day 12: Travel

Departure from Charles de Gaulle Airport


What you will learn

Objectives & Academic Benefits

  • Complete a rigorous online course to earn three college credit hours
  • Identify and make connections to leadership traits integral to the Battle of Normandy that are relevant to college and career paths
  • Learn and develop leadership skills
  • Develop research skills through both primary and secondary source research
  • Write clear and concise content for a specific audience of peers and museum professionals
  • Improve presentation and debate skills by presenting to peers and museum professionals
  • Identify the major components of the Battle of Normandy (Beach Landings, Airborne Operations, Logistics, Fighting in Hedgerows, Breakout)
  • Learn through the personal stories of those who were there

Normandy Tour

Normandy is an incredibly scenic region of pastoral France and a region of great historical importance for over 1,000 years, where ancient hedgerows and farm fields became hallowed ground for the American experience in World War II. Students will have the unique opportunity to learn in these fields and beaches with experienced Museum staff as mentors. The assigned site scenarios allow students to debate the leadership decisions in the locations affected by the battles.

Students will explore the pages of history and the beaches of Normandy as they receive extraordinary lessons in leadership. The transformation that these students will face during the journey is remarkable. Most may have read about the invasion and researched the battles, but standing on Omaha Beach bluffs, pondering the choices that had to be made to overcome staggering obstacles, truly brings classroom lessons to life. This powerful experience will inspire students to recognize leadership in whatever field of study they pursue.

Normandy Academy

Study Abroad with The National WWII Museum and Receive College Credit from Nicholls State University

Normandy Academy starts in the exhibits, archives and warehouses of The National WWII Museum in New Orleans and ends in the historic American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, Normandy. Upon completion of this program, your student will leave with a deeper understanding of WWII history and knowledge of the skills exhibited by some of our nation's greatest leaders as they made decisions that would alter the future of the world. Students who participate in Normandy Academy are eligible to receive three credit hours from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Pre-Tour Preparation

Pre-Tour Preparation : Spring 2015

In preparation for the trip to Normandy, students will delve into a reading list of essential books on D-Day and into the Museum's world-class collections of digitized, online WWII archives and oral histories. Normandy Academy is more than just a student trip to France. The online course will provide the knowledge needed for an in-depth tour of Normandy and will include detailed discussions among students, professors and Museum staff. The collections of The National WWII Museum will supplement the reading material and discussions. Students will ultimately study, analyze and debate the decisions made by officers and soldiers in planning and carrying out the battle. With the knowledge and insight gained from these explorations, students develop arguments — pro and con — for a variety of decisions made across the Normandy battlefield from generals to privates.

History as Experienced by Those Who Were There

The Oral Histories of The National WWII Museum play a crucial role in the program. Segments of three oral histories emphasize examples of leadership in extraordinary situations. These testimonials begin with Don Malarkey who, under the leadership of Lt. Dick Winters, participated in one of the most successful combat missions of D-Day at Brecourt Manor, and end with the story of a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. All oral histories will be available online.

Mr. Don Malarkey

Mr. Don Malarkey, Sgt. Company E; 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment; 101st Airborne Division

Mr. Malarkey was a paratrooper with "Easy Company" of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. Malarkey was present at the assault on Brecourt Manor, which is one of the best examples of a small unit working cohesively during the Battle of Normandy.

Listen to Oral History
Mr. Leonard Lomell

Mr. Leonard Lomell, Sgt. Company D; 2nd Ranger Battalion

Mr. Lomell was a member of the US 2nd Ranger Battalion. Tasked with climbing the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, Mr. Lomell discusses his training in England and his performance in Normandy, which included destroying German coastal artillery guns that threatened the success of the landings. On D-Day, Lomell and Sgt. Jack Kuhn took the initiative to locate the guns further inland and destroy them.

Listen to Oral History
Mr. Walter Ehlers

Mr. Walter Ehlers, Sgt. 16th Infantry Regiment; 1st Infantry Division

Mr. Ehlers landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 as a Staff Sergeant in the 1st Infantry Division. Mr. Ehlers continued fighting in the days after D-Day and received the Medal of Honor for his actions on June 9-10 when he repeatedly led his men forward to take out German machine gun positions. He continued to fight throughout Normandy and received his Medal of Honor in Paris in December 1944.

Listen to Oral History
Mr. Marvin Perrett

Mr. Marvin Perrett, Coxswain USS Bayfield (APA-33), LCVP 33-21

Mr. Perrett landed troops on Utah Beach while piloting LCVP 33-21 on D-Day. Marvin then went on to land troops at Southern France, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Museum's "Higgins Boat" is numbered in honor of Mr. Perrett and LCVP 33-21.

Listen to Oral History