However, many other bloody conflicts were fought around precisely the same time up until the eventual surrender of the Third Reich on March 8, 1945.
One of these was in Parry woods, near Lunéville, in north-eastern France, where approximately 400 US soldiers lost their lives.
They’d have been forgotten if it had not been for Philippe Sugg and Gerard Louis. Both buddies were crisscrossing the woods because they were 10, unearthing some 25,000 artifacts in the two most devastating wars of the 20th century, along with 43 bodies.
This weekend, the US gave them a rare civil honor due to their research work, at a service attended by some 30 American households that had traveled there to honor their relatives’ forfeit.
“It is a forgotten conflict,” Sugg said. “Lorraine’s struggle lasted six months, in Normandy, it had been two weeks. Along with the conditions were far harder. In Normandy, it had been sunny, there was sand, rain, and it continued from August 28 to March 16, 1945.”
Clayton Hellums was among those US soldiers that perished in the French woods.
His remains were discovered in 2003. However, it took another three decades for him to be suitably identified.
“I found Clayton Hellums. He had been identified, he moved home, and what’s moving is that with this rock, their titles are composed for eternity,” Louis told Euronews.
From the spring of 1943, then located in Indiana, he met Martha, his upcoming fiancée.
In Christmas, they have engaged, and in January 1944, he embarked for England to prepare D-Day. He had been sure he would not return from this war.
Just 66 years following his death he was buried in the USA with military honors.
Harriet Wright, Clayton’s niece, was one of those who’d made the trip for the service.
“A girl called and told me that a gentleman in France had discovered a plaque with composed: corporal Clayton Hellums along with a sequential number on it, and Martha inscribed on the interior. We knew that it was accurate because Martha was his fiancée when he abandoned, which was outside of these documents,” she clarified.