On the 27th August 1944, lthe city of Chelles is liberated by American troops of the 4th Infantry Division helped by the local French Resistance. The city celebrated this Sunday 1st September this liberation and UNIVEM was in charge of bringing vehicles used during these events. Thus, several vehicles of the association were displayed: GMC DUKW, Scout Car, Half-Track M3 and M16, two GMC CCKW, two Dodge Command Cars and several Jeeps.
From 10:00, a big parade started in the streets of the city. Not only there were our military vehicles, but also civilian vehicles from this era such as buses and cars. A first stop was made in front of the churches to take inhabitants of the city in the old buses.
The column then headed to the “rond point des Quatre Américains” (roundabout of the four Americans) for a ceremony. 75 years ago in this place, a German anti-tank gun destroyed two Sherman tanks killing four American soldiers. Jeeps and civil buses continued to the city hall for another ceremony while heavy vehicles gathered in Place Cala.
Meanwhile, Place Cala, a small camp was set up to remember how the life of a soldier was like in 1944. Jeeps and buses then joined in for a big exhibition that met a great success from the public.
In the afternoon, rides in vehicles were organised and a swing concert was performed by the “Dolly Frenchies”.
At the end of the afternoon, UNIVEM took the road back to Satory (except for Half-Track that were transported by truck). The association ends here a series of commemorations of the Liberation of Ile-de-France, that started more than a week ago in Rambouillet and carried on with Voisin-le-Bretonneux, Paris, Le Blanc-Mesnil and Aulnay-sous-Bois before ending in Chelles this Sunday. To say we had a busy week would be an understatement! It is now time to rest for the members of UNIVEM, but also for the vehicles that hadn’t been so instensively used for 75 years!