History Cemetery Henri-Chapelle

The site was liberated on 12 September 1944 by troops of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division. A temporary cemetery for the US 1st Army was established on 28 September 1944 two or three hundred yards to the north of the present site which was selected because of its more attractive setting. The care for the fallen soldiers at the cemetery at Henri-Chapelle was mainly carried out by the very experienced and skilled 607th Grave Registration Unit under Captain Pearson.

When the cemetery of Henri-Chapelle was closed in the first months of 1945, there were more then 17.000 American soldiers buried. Most of these (wo)men gave their lives during of the Battle of the Bulge, the horrible battle in the Hürtgenforest and during the advance into, and cross Germany during the fall and winter of 1944 and the spring of 1945. Others were lost in air operations over the region.

American Military Cemetery Henri-Chapelle (around 1945)

At the end of World War II, the cemetery of Henri-Chapelle counted a total of 17.323 American, 191 Allied graves and more than 10.000 German graves. Untill the reburials began Henri-Chapelle was the largest American cemetery in Europe.

It was from the temporary cemetery at Henri-Chapelle that the first shipment of remains of American War Dead were returned to the U.S. for permanent burial. The repatriation program began on July 27, 1947 at a special ceremony at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery when the disinterment began. The first shipment of 5,600 American Dead from Henri-Chapelle left Antwerp, Belgium the first week of October 1947. An impressive ceremony was held with over 30,000 reverent Belgium citizens attending and representatives of the Belgium government and senior Americans presiding.

The cemetery and memorial were completed in 1960 ... Architects for the cemetery and memorial were Holabird, Root and Burgee of Chicago, Illinois. The landscape architect was Franz Lipp of Chicago. The official ceremony was held on July 9. 1960. East of the colonnade a terrace affords a prospect over the burial area. Immediately in front is the bronze statue of the Archangel bestowing the laurel branch upon the heroic Dead for whom he makes special commendation to the Almighty. This was designed by Donal Hord of San Diego, California, and cast by Battaglia of Milan, Italy.The graves area is divided into 8 plots, lettered "A" to "H"; these are separated by the broad axial mall and by longitudinal grass paths.

American Military Cemetery Henri-Chapelle (Spring 2005)

Today 7.992 American soldiers rest at the American Military Cemetery of Henri-Chapelle. These soldiers come from 49 States, and from the District of Columbia, Panama and England.

Among the graves are 32 instances in which 2 brothers rest side by side, in one instance 3 brothers (The Tester brothers) rest side by side and in 4 instances two brothers are buried at the cemetery, but due to circumstances they were not buried side by side ... Also there are 89 headstones marking the tombs of 94 Unknowns. One grave contains the remains of 6 soldiers whose remains couldn't be seperated, nor identified ...