The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

2010 D-Day Ceremony
in La Vacquerie, Basse-Normandie, France.

Approximatly 1700 soldiers from the 1st US Div. and 2400 from the 29th were killed or wounded in that area. A ceremony at the village of " La Vacquerie has held today in remembrance of the 10 GI's Killed-in-Action during the period 12/6/44 [June 12, 1944] to 14/7/44 [July 14, 1944]. These are pictures taken on June 5, 2010 in honor of the men that librated the town of La Vacquerie.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Big Red One stormed ashore at Omaha Beach. Soon after H-Hour, the Division's 16th Infantry Regiment was fighting for its life on a strip of beach near Coleville-sur-Mer that had been marked the "Easy Red" on battle maps. As the assault progressed, the beach became so congested with destroyed equipment, the dead and the wounded, that there was little room to land reinforcements. Col. George Taylor, commander of the 16th Infantry Regt., told his men, "Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead and those who are going to die! Now, let's get the hell out of here!" Slowly, spurred by the individual heroism of many individuals, the move inland got underway.

A German blockhouse above the beach became a command post named "Danger Forward."

After the beachhead was secured, the Division moved through the Normandy Hedgerows. The Division liberated Liege, Belgium, and pushed to the German border, crossing through the fortified Siegfried line. The 1st Inf. Div. attacked the first major German city, Aachen, and after many days of bitter house-to house fighting, the German commander surrendered the city on Oct. 21, 1944.

The Division continued its push into Germany, crossing the Rhine River. On Dec. 16, 24 enemy divisions, 10 of which were armored, launched a massive counterattack in the Ardennes sector, resulting in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Big Red One held the critical shoulder of the "Bulge" at Bullingen, destroying hundreds of German tanks in the process. On Jan. 15, 1945, the First Infantry attacked and penetrated the Siegfried line for the second time and occupied the Remagen bridgehead. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, the Division marched 150 miles to the east of Siegen. On April 8, the Division crossed the Weser River into Czechoslovakia. The war was over May 8, 1945.

At the end of World War II, the Division had suffered 21,023 casualties and 43,743 men had served in its ranks. Its soldiers had won a total of 20,752 medals and awards, including 16 Congressional Medals of Honor. Over 100,000 prisoners had been taken. Following the war, the First Division remained in Germany as occupation troops, until 1955, when the Division moved to Fort Riley, Kan.

Jack Port 4th US Inf. Div. landed on D-DAY Utah in the company of Tony Gibbins, 48 Royal Marine Commando. They landed on D-Day on Sword beach.

Plaque hanging on the wall of the church of La Vacquerie in remembrance of the 10 US soldiers who lost their life in La Vacquerie.

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