For August Swenson 7th Armored Division 774 Tank Battalion

During World War II, the 774th Tank Battalion, a component of the 7th Armored Division, played a pivotal role in several significant campaigns. Among its ranks was August Swenson, whose service exemplified the unit’s dedication. In 1944, they landed on Utah Beach during the Normandy Campaign, providing crucial armored support as the Allies advanced inland. The battalion continued to distinguish itself in the Northern France Campaign, liberating towns and engaging in battles. The unit’s mettle was truly tested during the Ardennes Campaign, most notably in the Battle of the Bulge, where they valiantly defended against the German offensive. They also contributed to the Central Europe Campaign, aiding in the final push against Nazi Germany. Throughout these endeavors, August Swenson and his fellow battalion members faced the rigors of armored warfare, earning recognition for their bravery and pivotal role in securing victory in Europe.

Join the Swenson Family as they retrace the steps of their patriarch, August Swenson.

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Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1 | Sept. 25 | Travel

Guests who are not already in Paris, would board their overnight flight to CDG airport in Paris. We will meet at a designated location and depart Paris between 8 - 9 a.m. on Day 2.

Days 2-6 | Sept. 26-30 | Normandy

  • We will designate a meetup location where SAHT staff and guests board the motorcoach and depart Paris between 8 - 9 a.m. for Normandy, stopping a Monet's Gardens at Giverny.
  • Once we arrive in Normandy, we will spend days 2 – 6 in Normandy (five nights) visiting the important D-Day sites.
    • Mère-Église, the village that was famously liberated by the 82nd Airborne Division before dawn on June 6th.
    • La Fière, the bridge where a dangerous German armored counterattack was stopped in a climactic battle in the afternoon on D-Day.
    • Brécourt Manor, where Lt. Dick Winters, with members of Easy Company, silenced German artillery firing on American troops landing on Utah Beach.
    • Utah Beach, where the 4th Infantry Division landed, and the museum that tells the story.
    • Ste-Marie du Mont, where paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division assembled after landing during the pre-dawn darkness of D-Day.
    • Carentan, where we will follow the footsteps of those paratroopers as they struggled to liberate the town and secure the American beachhead in northern France.
    • Pointe-du-Hoc, the famous location where U.S. Army Rangers scaled the cliffs on D-Day, neutralized the German coast artillery battery located there and established a roadblock that protected the left flank of the American force that landed on Omaha Beach.
    • Omaha Beach, where the U.S. Army V Corps landed, faced the strongest German resistance of the day, and suffered the greatest losses. We will walk out onto the beach at the Dog Green Sector, and we will visit the German defensive fortifications at WN.65 and WN.72. The Battle of Omaha Beach was really five separate actions, and by the end of the day, we will have an expanded knowledge of all of them as well as an enhanced appreciation for the men of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions who endured hell on earth to establish the beachhead.
    • We will pay our respects at the Normandy American Cemetery, where 9,388 Americans are buried in a 172-acre site situated on top of the bluff overlooking the Easy Red sector of Omaha Beach.
    • Longues-sur-Mer, one of the most powerful German coast artillery batteries in the Normandy invasion area and one of the best examples of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall remaining in the region today.
    • Drive by GOLD Beach, JUNO Beach, and SWORD Beach to Pegasus Bridge, where the first shots of the invasion were fired just after midnight on June 6th.
      St. Lo, the 29th’s battlefields along the Elle River and atop Purple Heart Hill. Our day will finish at the Major Howie Monument on the edge of St. Lo.
    • One of the days in Normandy will be devoted to a day trip to visit Mont Saint Michel.

Day 7 | Oct. 1 | Reims

This morning, we depart Normandy and head east toward the Marne River. On the way, we will stop in La Roche Guyon to visit the chateau from which Field Marshal Erwin Rommel commanded Army Group B in northern France during the first six weeks after D-Day. From there, the group will proceed to Reims, and, upon arrival there, we will tour Musée de la Reddition, the museum that preserves the famous map room where General Alfred Jodl signed a preliminary instrument of surrender on May 7, 1945.

Days 8-9 | Oct. 2-3 | Battle of the Bulge

  • From Reims, we will continue to the East toward Luxembourg and Belgium for a two-day overview of the Battle of the Bulge.
  • We will begin the overview with a visit to the Luxembourg American Cemetery, where 5,076 women and men are buried, including General George S. Patton. We then move north for a visit to the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch – one of the finest military museums in Europe. From there, we cross the border into Belgium and go to the infamous city of Bastogne. At Bastogne, we will visit World War II foxholes that were occupied by members of Easy Company/506th Parachute Infantry in the Bois Jacques during the six-day siege of the city around Christmas 1944. We will spend the afternoon visiting other sites relating to the Battle of the Bulge and the 101st Airborne Museum before we make our way to the town of Houffalize, where we will spend the night.
  • The next day, we go to St. Vith to learn about the battle that destroyed the town. Then we will visit Hollerath, Lanzerath, and Honsfeld – villages associated with the first day of the Battle of the Bulge. Afterwards, we continue to the Malmedy Massacre site at the Baugnez Crossroads to pay our respects at the memorial where Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers murdered 84 U.S. Army soldiers from Kampfgruppe Peiper on the second day of the Ardennes Offensive.
  • We will then reposition to the German city of Aachen, where we will spend the night and prepare for our overview of the battle of the Hürtgen Forest.

Days 10-11 | Oct. 4-5 | Hurtgen Forest

  • We will begin our overview of the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest at the town of Vossenack and then continue from there to the Kall Trail near Kommerscheidt and then to Hill 400 at Bergstein.
  • The following day we will visit two sites related to the October 1944 Battle of Aachen before proceeding to the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. The day will conclude with a stop at the Margraten American Cemetery in the Netherlands before we return to the hotel in Aachen.

Day 12 | Oct. 6 | Frankfurt Area

The day begins with a morning stop at the ruins of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen on the Rhine River. We will then continue to our hotel in Frankfurt for a final group dinner.

Day 13 | Oct. 7 | Home

Morning transfers to the Frankfurt airport (FRA) are provided for those requiring them.

Tour Dates

  • September 25 - October 6, 2024
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Based on 10-14 guests:

  • If paying by credit card
    • $6,650 per person
    • $985 single occupancy supplement
  • If paying by check:
    • $6,450 per person
    • $955 single occupancy supplement

Based on 15+ guests:

  • If paying by credit card
    • $5,150 per person
    • $985 single occupancy supplement
  • If paying by check:
    • $4,990 per person
    • $955 single occupancy supplement
Book This Tour