Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France

The history of the Lorraine American Cemetery, according to the official booklet about the cemetery and memorial, began with actions of the U.S. Third and Seventh Armies in NE France against Nazi Germany in late 1944. Thousands of men were lost during the Battle of the Bulge, along with the assault on the Siegfied Line.

“Most of those interred here gave their lives during the advance to the Rhine and the advance across Germany in the spring of 1945.”

A temporary American military cemetery was established in March 1945, about 1/2 mile south of the present cemetery.


The remains of Lt. Daniel W. Wilson, who was KIA in February of 1945, were finally located in Austria in late 1945. His parents were notified in January, 1946.


The next summer, an American Graves Registration team handled declarations from officials in the town where he was buried. His remains were disinterred and someone decided he would be temporarily buried in the cemetery above. His casualty records include checking all the facts, especially since the enemy had removed his ID tags, and noting the name of the chaplain who held the burial service.

A document from his 293 or casualty file shows that X-7341, BTB (believed to be) Lt. Daniel Wilson, was reburied at a new temporary American cemetery near St. Avold, France, September 9, 1946, at 1500 hours, in temporary plot KKKK, Row 3, Grave 64.

Permanent Burial

After his mother made the decision not to have his remains sent home to Iowa, Lt. Daniel S. Wilson, previously known as X-7341, was buried on December 21, 1948, for the third and final time at the new and permanent Lorraine American Cemetery–Plot D, Row 5, Grave 7.

Sisters Darlene and Doris at the grave of their younger brother, Danny Wilson. The Superintendent of Lorraine American Cemetery, Walter Gebhardt, in the foreground. October 1997.

General George C. Marshall wrote, in the June 1957 issue of The National Geographic Magazine, that “15,000,000 American men and women had answered the call to arms; of these, 360,810 died overseas. Most of them were buried near where they fell, in temporary graves on alien soil.” He said that more than half were “brought back to their homeland at the request of relatives.”

The remaining war casualties were left in the care of the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The permanent site of Lorraine covers more than 113 acres on the west edge of the Saar mining region. The cemetery and memorial had not yet been dedicated when Gen. Marshall wrote the 1957 article. The American cemetery in Europe with the largest number of graves, over 10,000, was finally dedicated in 1960.

October 1997



  1. This is especially poignant for me since we were able to visit Danny’s grave in 2019 on our way to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also interesting, that when I asked where he grave was, she asked which Daniel Wilson. The one from Iowa got us to the right place.

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