A World War II historic guide to discover the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy

Travel Normandy guide François Gauthron offers tours of the Normandy landing beaches, World War II battlefield. Come and discover the most famous part of Normandy where took place the Landing and the battle of Normandy in June 1944 to liberate France and Europe. You will be escorted by a qualified bilingual guide who will show you round the major sites of the beaches. Visit the highlights of World War II sites in Normandy with an expert license guide, first the most important sites of the landing beaches.

Normandy Travel

Travel in Normandy with Francois Gauthron

American Cemetery

Walking tour in the Cemetery


The letters marks the Plots and the numbers the sites to visit. From number 5th the sites are burial site, to find them easily in the Cemetery they are followed with the row and grave number.

1 The Garden of the Missing

Its semi-circular wall contains the name of 1.557 MIAs, they come from 49 of the 50 States. The tragic night of December 24th is engraved on that wall. German U-Boats were trying to prevent Allied reinforcements from reaching «The Battle of the Bulge». The 66th Infantry Division was not going to the Bulge, but Saint-Nazaire. At 6.00 pm on Christmas Eve, a torpedo exploded into the starboard aft hold of the transport ship «Leopoldville», packed with 2,235 G.I.'s from the Division. The ship remained afloat for 2-1/2 hours before sinking into the English Channel 5-1/2 miles north Cherbourg. Because of the holiday celebrations, rescue was slow in coming to the ship. When rescue ships arrived while the ship was taking on sea water, many different scenarios developed around victims and survivors. Approximately 516 G.I.'s were missing and presumably went down with the ship, and another 248 died from injuries, drowning, or hypothermia from the 48° sea water. The huge loss of lives proved embarrassing to the governments of France, England, Belgium, and the U.S.A. Wartime security kept the tragedy details buried for fifty years. Many families of the 764 victims and the 1,471 survivors still do not know details about the Christmas death of their sons.

2 The Memorial

The Memorial is centered by a 22 foot bronze statue, on both sides two enamel maps, representing the Battle of Normandy in South loggia till August 1st and the Battle of Europe in North loggia, notice the shingles on the ground, reminding the beach. The four scenes on the urns in the north loggia are the same in the south one. The Statues and the urns were made by De Lue.

3 The orientation table at the overlook

This small jut of land affords a great view of «red and fox green». From here you realize how are troops were exposed to the German storm firing. Without any protection, they were like sitting ducks. Now you understand how the loss is estimated to be almost 3.000 men during this operation. The path below can conduct you down the beach, but I would suggest you to use it to go to the Mulberry A table Memorial and then walk to WN 62.

4 Mulberry «A» Memorial

This table shows the Artificial Harbor in some details.

5 The first Americans KIA in the European theatre of WWII

They were from the 1st Ranger Bn. Involved in Dieppe Raid on the 19th of August 1942. Edward V. Loustalot buried in Ardenne Cemetery and Howard M. Henry buried here. Plot B, Row 18, Grave 5. The third one was taken back home.

6 The only crew (B17) buried side by side from the 615 Bomb. Sq. 401 Bomb; Gr (H)

Plot B, Row 9 , Grave 29 to 32 William M. Rumsey Jr, Frank A. Rothwell, Robert D. Kaercher, William W. Carter and Michael R. Walsh Row 10, grave 13. Lyle P. Wheaton grave 28 was killed on August 1st. His crew members are random burials.

7 General Nelson Walker

KIA on Jul 10th 1944 Plot B Row 23 Grave 47.

Quentin Roosevelt grave.

8 Mary H Bankston

Women's Army Corps, Died 8-Jul-45, Plot D Row 20, Grave 46.

9 Theodore J. Roosevelt

Theodore J. Roosevelt, President Theodore son's and President Franklin D. Roosevelt nephew's. Born: 9/13/1887. Medal of Honor. Dead from heart attack at Méautis on July 12th during the night. Plot D, Row 28, grave 45.

10 Quentin Roosevelt

Quentin Roosevelt, President Theodore son's and President Franklin D. Roosevelt nephew's. Theodore's youngest brother. Born 11/19/1897.Dead in a Nieuport 28 fighter, was shot down behind German lines by Sgt. Thom, a German ace with 24 victories on Jul 14th 1918 WWI. Plot D, Row 28, grave 46.

11 Gafford W. Sanders

Gafford W. Sanders was KIA in Anzio where he was initially buried. His family made a special request to have their two sons buried together on Omaha. He was then re-buried in 1995. Plot D, Row 25, grave 46.

12 The Niland Brothers

The Niland Brothers were four American brothers serving in WWII. Of the four, two survived the war, but for a time it was believed that only one, Frederick Niland, had survived. He was sent back to the States to complete his service, and only later was learned that his brother Edward, presumed dead, was actually captive in a Japanese POW camp in Burma. Steven Spielberg's movie «Saving Private Ryan» was inspired by their story although it is very different. The brothers are:

  • Sergeant Frederick Niland, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st US airborne,
  • Technical Sergeant Robert Niland, Company D, 505 PIR, 82 US Airborne (KIA June 6, 1944 in Normandy),
  • Lieutenant Preston Niland, 22nd IRegiment, 4th Infantry (KIA June 7, 1944),
  • Technical Sergeant Edward Niland, pilot USAAF.
13 Dolores M. Browne

Women's Army Corps. Died 13-Jul-45. Plot F, Row 13, Grave 19. She was in the same jeep with Mary H. Bankston and Mary J. Barlow. The two Mary's died instantly in the accident and Dolores died from her wounds 5 days later.

14 General Lesley J. Mc Nair

Died 25-Jul-44. Plot F, Row 28, Grave 42. KIA by friendly bombing during «Operation Cobra» Operation during a top secret reconnaissance mission.

15 Jimmie W. Monteith, Jr

Medal of Honor. Died 6-jun-44. Plot I, Row 20, Grave 12.

16 Frank D. Peregory

Medal of Honor. Died 14-Jun-44. Plot G, Row 21, Grave 7.

17 Elisabeth Richardson

Civilian, American red cross, plot A, Row 21, Grave 5 and William R. Miller Liaison Squadron, Plot A, Row 20, Grave 22 were killed in the same plane crash near Rouen city.

18 Mary J. Barlow

Women's Army Corps, Died 8-Jul-45, Plot A Row 19, Grave 30.

19 The Time Capsule

The Time Capsule in which have been sealed news reports of the 6 June. The engraving says: To opened June 6. 2044.

Black American soldiers Burials

As far as I know, there are 109 Afro-Americans buried in this Cemetery, I only identified 3 of them belong to the 320th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Balloon BN.:

  • Corporal Brooks Stith, Died 6-Jun-44, Plot I, Row 3, Grave 35
  • Corporal Henry J. Harris, Died 6-jun-44, Plot I, Row 16, Grave 21
  • Private First Class James M. McLean, Died 16-Jul-44, Plot E, Row 5, Grave 6