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Big Red '1' Infantry Memorial


Location and info

Big Red '1' Infantry Memorial, 14710 Colleville-sur-Mer, France

To the east of the main car park for the American Normandy Cemetery you'll find a smaller parking area. Walk towards the beach and you'll see the memorial obelisk.

"No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great, Duty First"

This obelisk stands atop the hill behind infamous WW2 German strongpoint Wn62 – one of the bloodiest battle areas on Omaha Beach – as a tribute to the attack troops of the US 1st Infantry Division who assaulted the bunker complex at 6.30am on D-Day June 6, 1944.
The ‘Big Red 1’ soldiers encountered beach obstacles and fierce enemy fire from the bluffs which stopped their advance at the water's edge. Slowly, with support from naval gunfire, the infantrymen advanced, with heavy casualties, to the top of the bluff near where the obelisk now stands by late morning. At day's end, they had earned a toehold over 1.5miles deep on the Normandy Coast.
During the next week, the First Infantry Division attacked south some 23 miles to capture the high ground around Caumont which it held until late July, when the successful breakout operation was staged.
Medals of Honor for conspicuous heroism were awarded to three men for June 6 and to two more for June 10’s actions. The names of 627 soldiers on the monument remind us of the heavy cost of that victory.
Again, the Big Red One lived up to its motto – ‘No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great, Duty First’.


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