Aisne-Marne American Cemetery

Overview

With headstones lying in a sweeping curve, the 42.5-acre Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in France, sits at the foot of Belleau Wood. The cemetery contains the graves of 2,289 war dead, most of whom fought in the vicinity and in the Marne Valley in the summer of 1918. The memorial chapel sits on a hillside, decorated with sculptured and stained-glass details of wartime personnel, equipment and insignia. Inscribed on its interior wall are 1,060 names of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. In 1940 during World War II the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery chapel was damaged due to heavy fighting in the vicinity. All damage was repaired except for one shell hole in the chapel, left as a reminder of what took place.

Belleau Wood adjoins the cemetery and contains many vestiges of World War I. A monument at the flagpole commemorates the valor of the U.S. Marines who captured much of this ground in 1918.

Dedicated
1937
Location
France
Burials
2,289
Missing in Action
1,060
Acres
42.50

Cemetery Information

Visiting Hours

The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except December 25 and January 1. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the visitor building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.

Contact Us

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery
Cimetière Américain
02400
Belleau
France
tel Phone: +33 (0)3 23 70 70 90

History

When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, the Allies and Germans all doubted the fighting capability of the Americans. German offensives on the Western Front in spring 1918 sought to win the war before American units became operational.

May 27, 1918: German forces broke through French lines at the “Chemin des Dames.” Within three days they reached Belleau Wood and the Marne River in Château-Thierry. Without reserves, France called on the American Expeditionary Forces.

May 30: U.S. 3rd Division arrived in Château-Thierry, blocking German forces on the north bank of the Marne throughout June.

Early June: U.S. 2nd Division, including its 4th Marine Brigade, replaced French units in the Belleau area.

June 6: Marines led the 2nd Division into Belleau Wood to clear out German units. The battle lasted 20 days and became an enduring symbol for the Marine Corps. American forces proved themselves, stirring Allied hopes to win the war.

July 15: German forces tried again to pierce Allied lines by crossing the Marne River east of Château-Thierry. The 3rd Division blocked them, and was nicknamed “Rock of the Marne” by the French Army.

July 18: The Allies began the Aisne-Marne Offensive. By August 6, the German salient was eliminated and Allied forces reached the banks of the Vesle River. Ten American Divisions (310,000 men) participated in this offensive.

General John J. Pershing led the American Expeditionary Forces to successes in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns and to the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

News and Events

During Memorial Day weekend 2019, ABMC sites throughout the world will pay tribute to the men and women honored overseas.
The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) has released its World War I Battlefield Companion in digital format.
President George H.W. Bush, who died on November 30, 2018, paid his respects at multiple ABMC cemeteries during the course of his lifetime.
German U-boats had been enjoying great success at sea when the United States entered World War I. Every vessel Germany sunk meant the loss...

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery

Aisne-Marne American Cemetary

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