Big Red One Assault Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Big Red One Assault Museum

Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France

The Big Red One Assault Museum looks at the history of the US First Infantry Division in World War II.

Image Credit: Alamy

About Big Red One Assault Museum

The Big Red One Assault Museum in Normandy is a museum dedicated to the efforts of the US First Infantry Division, nicknamed the ‘Big Red One’, particularly their part in the D-Day Landings on 6 June 1944.

Big Red One Assault Museum history

The Big Red One division were part of the infamous landing at Omaha Beach where, despite the difficulties encountered, they together with the 29th division went on to secure the areas around Saint-Laurent, Vierville and Colleville.

The museum opened in April 2004 and was the result of the passionate obsession of Pierre-Louis Gosselin. In much the same way that Michel de Trez has done at Dead Man’s Corner with his passion for the American airborne, Pierre-Louis has achieved something similar at Colleville-sur-Mer.

The Big Red One Assault Museum in Colleville-sur-Mer highlights Pierre-Louis Gosselin’s personal collection. An impressive quantity of military objects that continues to grow rich every year.

These objects, of which many owners have been referenced, echo the American landing of June 6, 1944 on Omaha Beach, located a few hundred Meters from the Big Red One Assault Museum. The US division also participated in the Battle of Normandy after D-Day – you will also find information on this conflict.

Big Red One Assault Museum today

The Big Red One Assault Museum today chronicles the assault, including a film about its events. An hour-long guided tour is available upon request in English and French.

Despite its small size the museum has on display a considerable number of artefacts, including some unusual items like the complete grouping of military equipment belonging to chaplain Captain Andrews, which he personally donated.

The displays at the museum are nicely laid out with some attractive touches, such as the design of the labels on some of the artefacts.

Pierre-Louis Gosselin’s collection also includes considerable archive documentation of the actions on Omaha Beach and beyond. Visitors can contact the museum if they would like to use the archive.

Getting to the Big Red One Assault Museum

The Big Red One Assault Museum’s address is 1459 Route d’Omaha Beach, 14710 Colleville-sur-Mer. It is located approximately 2km inland from Omaha Beach and is less than a 5 minute drive from the Normandy American Cemetery.

There is free parking behind the museum and space for coaches to pull up. Note that these spaces can get quite crowded in the summer months.

Featured In

France Historic Sites

From towering imposing castles to First World War trenches, ancient Roman ruins to historic Revolutionary sites, France is brimming with relics of its esteemed and turbulent history. Here's our pick of 10 of the very best attractions in the country.

D-Day Sites

Discover the history of D-Day - from battlefields such as Pointe Du Hoc to Sword Beach, alongside memorials and museums.