At Omaha Beach, Florent Plana pays tribute to the Bedford Boys. Behind the scenes of the shoot

by | 20 Jul 21 | Mythical places

Orian Ziad and Florent Plana filming in Omaha Beach

Tourist guide passionate about the Second World War, Florent Plana began a few months ago, the making of a film scheduled for release in June 2022. Known for his interviews with veterans, he has a special link with Omaha Beach, on which some scenes from the future film were shot. Before getting a preview at the Normandy Victory Museum next summer, take a look behind the scenes with us.

The shooting on Omaha Beach

At the root of the project is a personal attachment

Florent Plana’s documentary will focus mainly on the Bedford Boys, young soldiers all from the city of Bedford in Virginia, United States. His wife, Jenny Post, is from that same city. After meeting veterans who landed in the Dog Green area and their families, the subject of the documentary kind of took hold. Florent Plana has established a partnership with the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford , which gives him access to letters and objects belonging to city veterans.

“Today the Dog Green area is peaceful, there are fishermen, lots of tourists. All this is possible thanks to the men who came to die on bloody Omaha. » Florent Plana

Film shooting on omaha beach
Photo shoot - Rommel's asparagus

A documentary focused on people above all

As a tour guide, Florent Plana regularly visits Omaha Beach.

With historic help from Joey Van Meesen and support from Orian Ziad on the set, Florent Plana wanted to put into context what happened on June 6, 1944 on Dog Green.

“The idea is really to pay tribute to as many people as possible in a very human way, by highlighting letters, objects …” – Florent Plana

Next winter, he will travel to the United States again, where he will do more veteran interviews. This trip was supposed to take place last year, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. It is also for this reason that the film’s release has been postponed for a year. The title of the documentary remains secret for the moment.

76 years after D-day, filming of reenactment scenes

It was in July 2020 that the first scenes of reconstitution of Florent Plana’s documentary film were shot, a little over 76 years later, at the same place where the American soldiers landed on June 6, 1944, on Omaha Beach in Calvados. These reconstitution scenes, featuring the Bedford Boys, will be put in parallel, during the editing, with interviews of veterans carried out by Florent Plana during various trips to the United States.

July 44, Bedford mourns its fallen soldiers in the first hours of the landing

It was on Omaha Beach at 6.30 a.m. on June 6, 1944, that 34 soldiers of Company A, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, landed. Division. On this beach, which would become the deadliest in the history of the D-Day landings, the Bedford Boys arrived by the first wave of assault on the Dog Green sector (Vierville-sur-Mer, Omaha Beach). Of the 34 men from Bedford, 19 lost their lives during the first hours of the D-Day landings.

It was not until the July following the D-Day landings that the families of Bedford’s soldiers received news from the front. The telegraph operator, then installed in a small store in the city center, suddenly saw a large number of messages arriving. All bearers of bad news. It will take a whole month for all death notices to reach families. The trauma of the town of Bedford is terrible. Of the 3,000 inhabitants of the city at the time, everyone lost a member of their family or those around them. Bedford was the city that paid the heaviest price in the United States on D-Day, in proportion to its population.

DDAY Memorial Bedford Virginia USA

The DDAY Memorial in Bedford – Virginia – USA

Florent Plana and the Normandy Victory Museum, a common passion and a fruitful collaboration

The shooting of this documentary film in 2020 marks the beginning of the collaboration between Florent Plana and the Normandy Victory Museum. For the scenes shot on Omaha Beach, the museum provided the filmmaker with several Czech hedgehogs arranged on the beach for the sake of realism. For the record, the museum also provided logistical assistance to the film crew by collecting tree trunks to reconstruct the “Rommel’s Asparagus” on the beach, a coastal defense system.

The documentary film, scheduled for the month of June 2022, will be screened in preview at the Normandy Victory Museum.

Florent Plana is also collaborating with the museum this summer for one of its exhibitions. He exhibits, within the museum’s dioramas, portraits of veterans accompanied by extracts from the interviews he was able to carry out with them. A series of photographs accompanied by testimonies which brings a moving depth to the visit of the museum.

The exhibition “Portraits of Veterans” by Florent Plana can be seen throughout the year at the Normandy Victory Museum.


Florent Plana and the museum director in front of a “Czech hedgehog”

Portraits of veterans Florent Plana

“Veteran Portraits” exhibition at the Normandy Victory Museum

Read more

About the Bedford Boys

On the set of the film

On the landing at Omaha Beach

Push the door of the Normandy Victory Museum

To discover these treasures of our heritage, the exceptional lives of these famous or unknown heroes and heroines. To pass on to your children… push the door of the Normandy Victory Museum. And so you don’t have to wait, reserve your skip-the-line tickets now (undated tickets – cancellation possible at any time).

Discover other posts

An authentic Bailey bridge for the museum

Take a look at the installation of a real Bailey Bridge in the museum. This was in the autumn of 2019

The Weasel M29, a WWII all-terrain vehicle

The Normandy Victory Museum has a rather unusual US Army vehicle on permanent display. This is the Weasel, also known as the M29 Weasel Tracked Cargo Carrier. We invite you to learn more about this Swiss Army knife-like vehicle that found its place in the Battle of Normandy.

“Women in war” Thematic exhibition

In 1939, when men were mobilized, women were on all fronts. They are found in domestic tasks as usual but also in the production of weapons, mechanics, fields, in hospitals, in the resistance and in battles. This exhibition pays tribute to them and highlights their sometimes overlooked actions.

A newcomer to the “Poche de Roncey” scene (Pocket of Roncey)

Enter the scene of the Poche de Roncey and discover a newcomer who moved in with the officers of Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 6 in March 2021.

The battle of the hedges, one of the Greatest Battles in History

The summer of 1944 witnessed terrible confrontations between the American and German armies in Normandy. For 11 weeks, in the Cotentin and then in the centre and south of La Manche, the American army, led by General Eisenhower, fought hard against the Reich troops. It was the battle of the hedges.

Lee Miller, the model, the woman and the war

A muse to the greatest artists of her time, Lee Miller embodied the feminine ideal of the 1930s. During the war, she proved to be an outstanding reporter at the time of the liberation of the camps. Photographing the enemy seemed liberating for this wounded woman whose life and work would remain intimately linked.

Sophie Scholl and the “White Rose”, a female symbol of German resistance

On February 22, 1943, three German students from the University of Munich were executed. They are accused of acts of high treason and subversive propaganda for repeatedly distributing leaflets. Among them, Sophie Scholl, a young woman barely 20, became a symbol of resistance and courage against Hitler’s murderous madness.

The PTT jacket of René Duclos, resistance fighter of the Centurie-OCM network in the 1940s, enters the museum.

Another piece of history enters the museum. René Duclos’s jacket will be on display in a few weeks with its history. So that we never forget the sacrifice of these men, for our Freedom.

Behind the barrels of a cellar, three helmets found bear witness to the horror of the fighting

Discovered under a barrel, still covered in dust, these three helmets are riddled with impacts from the fighting. A camouflaged German helmet from a Heer unit, an SS helmet with remnants of camouflage and a heavily damaged American light helmet can be seen.

The A10 Airfield at Carentan, an American airfield in 1944

Did you know? The Normandy Victory Museum is located on a historically famous former American military airfield: the A10 Airfield. It is still in operation and small aircraft can still use its shortened 400 metre long runway.

Let’s discover the Resistance in the Manche through some objects of the museum.

This small wooden coffin was sent in 1944 to a shopkeeper in the Saint-Lô area, a notorious economic collaborator, along with a letter full of “recommendations” for the years to come and how to behave… It reveals a strong spirit of resistance.

June 17, 1940, in La Manche…

As the German 7th Division under Rommel advanced inexorably towards Cherbourg and the war drew closer to La Manche, a handful of die-hards clung to the defensive lines in the Cotentin region and tried to halt the enemy’s meteoric advance.

Food rationing in La Manche during the Second World War

Because of its agricultural situation and a certain self-sufficiency in food, La Manche, even if it suffers, seems to be somewhat spared from the shortage, at least as far as food is concerned.