Henri Chapelle US cemetery

Henri Chapelle, the biggest US cemetery in Belgium, was founded in 1944.
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 607th Grave Registration Unit under Captain Pearson.

Henri Chapelle, january 2015

In the First weeks of january 1945, over 17.000 US soldiers burried. Most of the diseased gave their live during the battle in the Hurtgenwald (Aachen area), battle of the bulge and during the advance to Germany during fall and winter of 1944 and spring of 1945.
Form the beginning, the cemetery was a mixed cemetery. Not only US soldiers, but als other allied soldiers and German soldiers as well, were burried on Henri Chapelle.
During the battle of the bulge, the temporary cemetery was bombed by German planes. After that, the 607th GRU decided to do their work in the small woods, around their post, a house called “Vogelsang”, wich lies next to the cemetery.
At the end of the second World war, the cemetery counted 17.323 US soldiers, 191 allied graves and over 10.000 German graves.
At that time it was the largest American cemetery of Europe.
In july 1947, the repatriation program began. All the temporary graves were reopend.
In the First week of October, 5600 American soldiers left the Belgium soil, to return to the United States. 30.000 Belgium citizins attended the ceremony, accompanied by represenatives of the Belgium and American government.
In 1960 the cemetery was completed. Architects for the cemetery and memorial were Holabird, Root and Burgee of Chicago, Illinois. The landscape architect was Franz Lipp of Chicago.
On july 9th 1960 the official ceremony was held.
In front of the cemetery you will find the bronze statue of the Archangel, the Angel of Peace,  bestowing the laurel branch upon the heroic Dead for whom he makes special commendation to the Almighty. The statue was designedby Donald Hord (San Diego, California) and unveiled in 1956 and
Henri Chapelle is devided into 8 plots, A to H.
Among the graves are 32 instances in wich 2 brothers rest side by side, in one instance 3 brothers (The Tester Brothers) rest side by side.  89 headstones are marking the tombs of 94 unknown soldiers. One grave includes the remains of 6 soldiers, whose remains couldn’t be seperated or identified.

Memorial day may 2012 with 551st PIB family

The memorial:
On the left side of the memorial you will find the chapel. When you pass the bronze doors, you will enter the chapel. The altar is made out of blue and French vert d’Issorie marble and bears the inscription of St John X,28: I give unto them ethernal life and they shall never perish.
The flags represent the Air Force, Armor, Christian Chapel, Jewish Chapel, Engineers, Field Artillery, Infantry and Navy Infantry Battalion.

On the other side you will find the office of the staff and the museum room. Inside you will find 2 maps, related to the D-Day landings, the invasion of France and te rest of Western Europe.
In the office you will find a staff member, wich can provide information  on specifik burial and memoralization location in any of the commision’s cemeteries, accomodations in the vicinity, best means, and routes of travel history and other items that may be of interest.

We made a video with a drone last april 2017.

Extra information:
– 7,992 soldiers burried
– Missing In Action:  450
– 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.
Rue du Mémorial Américain 159, 4852 Plombières, België
Telefoon:+32 87 68 71 73

–  In Honored Glory

Henri Chapelle, may 1946