A US soldier who died in France during World War One has received a military burial in northern France after his body was discovered in 2022.
#Cérémonie #Aisne #Hommage| Le 7 juin 2023, Thomas Campeaux, préfet de l'Aisne, a participé à la cérémonie d'inhumation d'un soldat américain de la première guerre mondiale au cimetière Oise-Aisne de Seringes-et-Nesles. pic.twitter.com/Kmg9Edbj3o— Préfet de l'Aisne (@Prefet02) June 7, 2023
French, American and German soldiers attended the ceremony at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in the Aisne department in northern France on June 7.
The cemetery is the resting place of over 6,000 US soldiers who died in the region in 1918 and is the second biggest in France for US soldiers who died during WW1.
Ce soldat a été retrouvé le 8 février 2022 dans le cimetière communal de Villers-sur-Fère avec un casque américain modèle 1917, des poignées de brancardier de la première guerre mondiale et des munitions encore dans leur étui. pic.twitter.com/KQcy05SaO9— Préfet de l'Aisne (@Prefet02) June 7, 2023
The unknown soldier’s remains were discovered in a cemetery in Villers-sur-Fère, about 80kms north of Paris. His I.D. tag was illegible, but the insignia and uniform remains identified him as American.
The Aisne prefecture said on Twitter that combined work with French, US and British representatives showed that he died from war wounds.
Après un an de travail avec les représentants français, américains et britanniques, il a été prouvé que ce soldat a péri suite à des blessures de guerre et qu'il était éligible à des funérailles militaires de son pays d'origine.— Préfet de l'Aisne (@Prefet02) June 7, 2023
Intense fighting between German soldiers and troops from the 42nd US infantry division, called the ‘Rainbow Division,’ took place in July 1918.
Malgré la présence de sa plaque d'identité, cette dernière était en trop mauvaise état pour permettre une identification. En revanche, les archives ont permis d'établir qu'il appartenait à la 42ème division d'infanterie, connue sous le nom "Division Rainbow". pic.twitter.com/9FaDMK4iHn— Préfet de l'Aisne (@Prefet02) June 7, 2023
The US mobilised over four million men to fight in WW1 and by the end of the war, around 120,000 had died, 230,000 were injured, and almost 5,000 were reported missing, said French General Éric Bellot des Minières, inspector general of the French army. He was present at the ceremony along with James McConville, the current chief of staff of the US army.
Hubert ‘Bert’ Caloud, ex-marine and responsible for the military cemetery, said the remains of other US soldiers had been found, but they were identified and so their families chose where to bury them, most of the time in the US.
“After such a long time, he is finally suitably buried. He was alone for 105 years and now he is with his brothers-in-arms,” said Mr Caloud.