The Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in France covers 28 acres of rolling farm country near the eastern edge of Brittany and contains the remains of 4,410 of our war dead, most of whom lost their lives in the Normandy and Brittany Campaigns of 1944. Along the retaining wall of the memorial terrace are inscribed the names of 498 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
The gray granite memorial, containing the chapel as well as two large operations maps with narratives and flags of our military services, overlooks the burial area. Stained glass and sculpture embellish the structure. The lookout platform of the tower, reached by 98 steps, affords a view of the stately pattern of the headstones, as well as of the peaceful surrounding countryside stretching northward to the sea and Mont St. Michel, France. The cemetery is located on the site of the temporary American St. James Cemetery, established on August 4, 1944 by the U.S. Third Army. It marks the point where the American forces made their breakthrough from the hedgerow country of Normandy into the plains of Brittany during the offensive around Avranches, France.
The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except December 25 and January 1. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the visitor building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.
Brittany American Cemetery lies one and a half miles southeast of the village of St. James (Manche), France, 12 miles south of Avranches, and 14 miles north of Fougères. It may be reached by car from Paris in about three and a half hours via toll highway A-13 to Caen. Then travel on the A-84 in the direction of Rennes. Take exit 32 for St. James. By train from Paris, take the TGV to Rennes from either the CDG2 station at Charles de Gaulle Airport (just less than three hours) or the Paris Montparnasse station (two hours), and then a local train from Rennes to Pontorson (45 minutes). Taxis are available at Pontorson station and hotels are available in St. James, Avranches, Pontorson and Mont St. Michel.