14b Draguignan Cemetary

December 2nd. 2010 – Draguignan, American Cemetery

Draguignan is the largest village in the area– actually a city, if you stretch that definition a bit, and just a short walk from the center of town is an American Cemetery, resulting from the “other” invasion of France in WWII:

 

They were going to do them simultaneously with Normandy, this invasion near Cannes, but there weren’t enough landing craft.

So they hit the beaches at Normandy and then, as quickly as possible got the landing craft down to the fleet off the southern shore, and ten sent the men in.

Remember the paratroopers who were dropped behind the lines in Ste Mare Eglise the night before the famous American landing on Omaha Beach?  Well, they did the same here, only they were dropped around Le Muy, and many were killed,  just at Normandy.

You can read their names at Draguignan cemetary…

Beautifully maintained and, as with all of the American military cemeteries in Europe, sitting on land ceded to the American people by the locals grateful for what they, the Americans, did on those days, quiet and dignified and moving.

There are 800 buried here, and if you read the dates, most didn’t make it much out of August or September.

So many listed as, "Known but to God"...

One of the streets abutting the outer perimeter of the cemetery is "John F Kennedy Blvd." Pedestrians walk briskly along this street, going about their business, many probably unaware of the American soldiers lying just on the other side of the wall...

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N E X T :  Aix-en-Provence

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