US 5th Engineers Special Brigade Memorial
Omaha Beach, Colleville-sur-Mer
Location and info
US 5th Engineers Special Brigade 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, past the Big Red '1' memorial obelisk, and you'll see the memorial.
"From their final resting place above the cliff they perpetually watch over the sacred ground of Omaha Beach."
Located on the top of one of two gun casemates at the German strongpoint Widerstandsnest 62 (Wn62) - one of the bloodiest D-Day battle locations on Omaha Beach.
The memorial has a number of plaques combat engineers who landed on the eastern end of the beach at Easy Red, Fox Green, and Fox Red sectors, clearing the many beach obstacles positioned here to allow the infantry and supporting armour to land.
The plaques read:
CROIX de GUERRE - Presented to the 5th ENGINEER SPECIAL BRIGADE 25 MAY 1945 FOR EXCEPTIONAL SERVICES OF WAR RENDERED IN THE COURSES OF THE OPERATIONS OF LIBERATION OF FRANCE.
IN MEMORY - TO OUR 80 BRAVE COMRADES IN ARMS OF THE 299TH COMBAT ENGINEERS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES ON THE BEACHES OF FRANCE AND ON THE CONTINENT OF EUROPE IN WORLD WAR 2. LEST WE FORGET - FIFTH ENGINEER SPECIAL BRIGADE
146TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION - At H+03 minutes on 6 June 1944 our demolition engineers, plus
attached soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division and navy men from 13 Naval Combat Demolition Units, carried explosives ashore from 15 LCM landing craft to destroy the anti-boat obstacles on Omaha Beach. The main elements of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions then landed and overran the German defenders. For their valiant efforts, the 146th Engineers and the Naval Combat Demolition Units were awarded Presidential Unit Citations. THIS PLAQUE IS IN REMEMBRANCE OF OUR 35 MEN WHO DIED HERE.
THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE 6TH NAVAL BEACH BATTALION DEDICATED THIS PLAQUE TO OUR FALLEN COMRADES WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN DEFENSE OF GOOD OVER EVIL.
THEY ARE THE SILENT SENTINELS WHO FROM THEIR FINAL RESTING PLACE ABOVE THE CLIFF THEY
PERPETUALLY WATCH OVER THE SACRED GROUND OF OMAHA BEACH - JUNE 6, 2001