American Soldiers Buried Overseas: WWII

CambridgeDid you ever wonder whether all soldiers’ bodies were returned to the U.S.? In many cases, soldiers who died in battle, through disease or accident during wartime were buried at various cemeteries throughout Europe and the Philippines. The American Battle Monuments Commission offers vast information about these cemeteries. The list below offers all the overseas military cemeteries where World War II soldiers are interred (We have another list for World War I cemeteries):

Belgium

  • Ardennes American cemetery and Memorial: This cemetery is located in Neupre, Belgium. This 90-acre cemetery contains the graves of 5,329 U.S. military dead, many of whom died in the 1944 Ardennes winter offensive (Battle of the Bulge). Along the outside of the memorial, 462 names are inscribed on the granite Tablets of the Missing. The headstones are aligned in straight rows that form a Greek cross on the lawns and are framed by tree masses.
  • Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial: The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium covers 57 acres and contains 7,992 U.S. military dead, most of whom lost their lives during the advance of the U.S. armed forces into Germany. Their headstones are arranged in arcs sweeping across a broad green lawn that slopes gently downhill. A highway passes through the reservation. West of the highway an overlook affords an excellent view of the rolling Belgian countryside, once a battlefield.

France

  • Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial: Brittany American Cemetery lies 1½ miles southeast of the village of St. James (Manche), France. It covers 28 acres of rolling farm country near the eastern edge of Brittany and contains the remains of 4,410 U.S. war dead, most of whom lost their lives in the Normandy and Brittany campaigns of 1944. Along the retaining wall of the memorial terrace are inscribed the names of 498 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
  • Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial: This cemetery is located four miles south of Epinal, Vosges in France. Its 48.6 acres holds 5,255 U.S. military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the campaigns across northeastern France to the Rhine and beyond into Germany. On the walls of the Court of Honor, which surround the memorial, are inscribed the names of 424 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
  • Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial: This cemetery is located 3/4 mile north of St. Avoid, Moselle, France, and it covers 113.5 acres and contains the largest number of graves of U.S. military dead of World War II in Europe, a total of 10,489. Most of the dead buried here were killed while driving the German forces from the fortress city of Metz toward the Siegfried Line and the Rhine River. Initially, there were over 16,000 Americans interred in the St. Avold region, mostly from the U.S. Seventh Army’s Infantry and Armored Divisions and its Cavalry Groups. On each side of the memorial, and parallel to its front, stretch the Tablets of the Missing on which are inscribed 444 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
  • Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial: The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 and the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its ½ mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
  • Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial: The site of the Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial in France was selected because of its historic location along the route of the U.S. Seventh Army’s drive up the Rhone Valley. On 12.5 acres at the foot of a hill clad with the characteristic cypresses, olive trees, and oleanders of southern France rest 861 U.S. military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the liberation of southern France in August 1944. On the retaining wall of the terrace, 294 names of the missing are inscribed. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
  • Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial: Originally a World War I cemetery, the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial just outside Paris, France now shelters the remains of U.S. dead of both wars. The 7.5-acre cemetery contains the remains of 1,541 Americans who died in World War I and 24 Unknown dead of World War II. Bronze tablets on the walls of the chapel record the names of 974 World War I missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

Italy

  • Florence American Cemetery and Memorial: The Florence American Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy covers 70 acres, chiefly on the west side of the Greve “torrente.” Between the two entrance buildings, a bridge leads to the burial area where the headstones of 4,402 U.S. military dead are arrayed in symmetrical curved rows upon the hillside. They represent 39 percent of the U.S. Fifth Army burials originally made between Rome and the Alps. Most died in the fighting that occurred after the capture of Rome in June 1944. Included among them are casualties of the heavy fighting in the Apennines shortly before the war’s end. The memorial has two open atria, or courts, joined by the Tablets of the Missing upon which are inscribed 1,409 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
  • Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial: The World War II Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy covers 77 acres, and contains an immense field of headstones of 7,861 of American military war dead. The majority of these men died in the liberation of Sicily (July 10 to August 17, 1943); in the landings in the Salerno Area (September 9, 1943) and the heavy fighting northward; in the landings at Anzio Beach and expansion of the beachhead (January 22, 1944 to May 1944); and in air and naval support in the regions. On the white marble walls of the chapel are engraved the names of 3,095 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

Luxembourg

  • Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial: The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, 50.5 acres in extent, is situated in a beautiful wooded area. The cemetery was established on December 29, 1944 by the 609th Quartermaster Company of the U.S. Third Army while Allied Forces were stemming the enemy’s desperate Ardennes Offensive, one of the critical battles of World War II. The city of Luxembourg served as headquarters for General George S. Patton’s U.S. Third Army. General Patton is buried here. 5,076 U.S. military dead are buried here, and 371 names of the missing are inscribed on pylons that flank the chapel. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

Netherlands

  • Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial: The World War II Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands. The cemetery site has a rich historical background, lying near the famous Cologne-Boulogne highway built by the Romans and used by Caesar during his campaign in that area. In May 1940, Hitler’s legions advanced over the route of the old Roman highway, overwhelming the Low Countries. The site covers 65.5 acres. Stretching along the sides of the court are Tablets of the Missing on which are recorded 1,722 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Beyond the tower is a burial area divided into 16 plots, where rest 8,301 U.S. military dead.

Great Britain

  • Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial: The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial site in England (pictured above), 30.5 acres in total, was donated by the University of Cambridge. The cemetery contains the remains of 3,812 U.S. military dead; 5,127 names are recorded on the Tablets of the Missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Most died in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of northwest Europe.

Philippines

  • Manila American Cemetery and Memorial: The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines occupies 152 acres on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. It contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II, a total of 17,202, most of whom lost their lives in operations in New Guinea and the Philippines. On rectangular Trani limestone piers within the hemicycles are inscribed the Tablets of the Missing containing 36,285 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

Tunisia

  • North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial: At the 27-acre North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial in Tunisia rest 2,841 U.S. military dead. Along the southeast edge of the burial area, bordering the tree-lined terrace leading to the memorial is the Wall of the Missing. On this wall 3,724 names are engraved. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Most honored here lost their lives in World War II in military activities ranging from North Africa to the Persian Gulf.

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