Normandy American Cemetery - History and Facts | History Hit

Normandy American Cemetery

Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War Two graveyard with a visitor centre.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Normandy American Cemetery

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is the burial site of 9,387 US military personnel who fought and died in World War Two. Most of the graves at the Normandy American Cemetery belong to participants in the Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944, also known as D-Day.

Normandy American Cemetery history

The Normandy Landings were a coordinated effort by the Allied forces to recapture European land taken by the Germans. Codenamed “Operation Overlord”, the Normandy Landings were a pivotal point in World War Two, representing a significant victory for the Allies. However, this victory came at a high cost of life, a fact commemorated at Normandy American Cemetery.

Taking Omaha Beach proved to be particularly costly for the Americans. There were 2,400 casualties from that operation alone on the 6 June.

Normandy American Cemetery today

Normandy American Cemetery has a visitor centre, several memorials including ‘Tablets of the Missing’, inscribed 1,557 names, and orientation tables showing the battles which took place in the area.

The visitor centre is itself a useful historical guide, offering an insight into the Normandy Landings and the soldiers who took part in the attack. Guides are on hand to answer questions.

There is also a chapel on site made out of French limestone and its alter of black and gold Pyrenean “Grand Antique” marble. The chapel contains the following words:

“I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH”

Getting to Normandy American Cemetery

Normandy American Cemetery sits on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, east of St. Laurent-sur-Mer and northwest of Bayeux in Colleville-sur-Mer.

If visiting by car, travel via the A-13 towards Caen. Continue on N-13 to Bayeux and Formigny. Continue on D-517 towards St. Laurent-sur-Mer and D-514 to Colleville-sur-Mer. Signs mark the entrance to the cemetery.

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.

.