The Luxembourg American Cemetery was established as a temporary cemetery for the casualties from the Battle of the Bulge. As fans of Band of Brothers, The Brainy One and I were keen to pay our respects to the five men of Easy buried here.
The Walls of the Missing list the 371 names of service members still missing in action. A bronze rosette next to their name indicates that the service member has been recovered and is no longer missing. To date, 22 service members have been recovered.
Second Lieutenant Nancy Leo is the only woman buried in the cemetery. She was a combat nurse serving with the 216th General Hospital. Her sister, Angela, was also serving overseas as an Army Nurse. The sisters made arrangements to finally meet up in Paris in July, 1945. As Nancy travelled to Paris, she was involved in a serious car accident and died on her way to hospital, never seeing her sister again.
Private William McGee served as a combat medic. He voluntarily walked into a minefield to assist two wounded soldiers. After carrying one soldier to safety, he returned to rescue the second soldier and was seriously injured by a mine. Despite his grave injuries, Private McGee ordered the rest of the soldiers to stay out of the minefield and not risk their lives to rescue him. Private McGee is one of two Medal of Honor recipients buried in the cemetery.
General George Patton, commander of the US Third Army after the allied invasion of Europe on D Day, was involved in a car accident in Germany on 9 December, 1945. He broke 2 vertebrae in his neck, paralysing him from the shoulders down. He was sent to a military hospital at Heidleberg, Germany but died on 21 December. He was buried in Luxembourg on Christmas Eve.
Initially lying alongside his men (and Nancy), due to the overwhelming number of visitors paying homage (an estimated 200,000 in 1946 alone), Patton’s grave was moved to a more prominent location in 1947, where he remains to this day. I personally think he should have remained with his troops.