About Oise-Aisne American Cemetery
Oise-Aisne American Cemetery is a World War One cemetery and memorial containing the graves of 6,012 American soldiers who lost their lives in this conflict.
Oise-Aisne American Cemetery history
Following the Russian withdrawal from the First World War, in March 1918 Germany launched their Spring Offensive with devasting attacks in Belgium and France on their quest to take Paris. American troops were deployed to support their allies in a battle which became known as the Second Battle of the Marne.
That Spring Offensive was to be the last important German invasion of the war and the Second Battle of the Marne became the Allies’ first victorious offensive of 1918, meaning that this was an important turning point in the war.
The Oise-Aisne American Cemetery was established in August 1918. In 1923, the American Battle Monuments Commission was created to honour the legacy of those who died during America’s overseas actions. Between 1930 and 1933 grieving mothers and widows could qualify for the newly created Gold Star Program through which the government would cover the costs of individuals travelling to this cemetery or others in the region to visit the graves of their loved ones.
There are 6,012 graves at the site, 567 of which are unidentified. 241 soldiers who were missing in action are also recognised here.
The graves of Jewish soldiers are marked by stars of David and all others are represented with a Latin Cross. There is also a memorial, with a chapel and map room. The memorials were designed by Cram and Ferguson and the landscape architect was George Gibbs, Jr. The walls of the chapel bear the names of the soldiers who were missing in action. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
The chapel was completed in 1930. The map room contains an engraved and coloured wall map portraying the military operations in this region during 1918. Since 1934, the American Battle Monuments Commission has been responsible for the maintenance and daily operations of this monument and cemetery.
A graveyard for former soldiers dishonourably discharged and executed for crimes committed during World War Two called Plot E is nearby.
Oise-Aisne American Cemetery today
Set in lush green fields, the headstones are aligned in long rows and the burial area is divided into four plots by wide tree lined paths and beds of roses. The cemetery is open to the public, with a staff member on duty in the visitor building to answer questions.
Getting to Oise-Aisne American Cemetery
Oise-Aisne American Cemetery is most easily reached by car. Rail service from Paris to Fère-en-Tardenois, Chateau-Thierry, Reims, and Soissons is available. Taxis are not available at the Fère-en-Tardenois station.
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