Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial
On August 15, 1944, the American army stormed the beaches of Provence and drove north to support the troops that had landed in Normandy two months earlier. Although Nazi resistance was minimal, hundreds of soldiers died in this effort. Four days after the landings, the first American soldiers were laid to rest in Draguignan.
The American Cemetery is a quiet, well-maintained area just outside the city center of Draguignan. A huge bronze relief map portraying the landings and the 7th Army's advance up the Rhone River Valley stands in front of an inspiring Memorial Chapel. But it is the graves of 861 Americans that command our attention.
To walk among, and touch, the simple white crosses and Stars of David can be a moving experience. Who were these young Americans who died so far from home? Joe from Pennsylvania. Ralph of Tennessee. Oather of California. Harry from North Carolina. Darwin of New York, and Jesus of Texas. Warren from Connecticut. Tommie of Mississippi. And Julian, Arthur, Jasper, Ory, Adolph, Harold, and Nestor. France honors their names and their sacrifice.
Population in the year 2007: 37,117
Elevation: 200 meters
Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur