Us Servicemen Killed In Sicily 1943.

Discussion in 'US Units' started by colinhotham, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. colinhotham

    colinhotham Senior Member

    Can anyone tell me why the US servicemen killed in Sicily during Operation Husky were disinterred and moved to a cemetery on the Italian mainland? Carlo D'Este in Bitter Victory states that they were originally buried in four cemeteries at Licata,Gela,Catania and Palermo. The British and Commonwealth dead were buried and remain on Sicily at Catania, Syracuse and Agira. There must have been a particular reason for the move in April 1947.

    Colin.
     
  2. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    I cannot answer this precisely, but unlike British and Commonwealth practice where bodies were rarely repatriated to the UK etc. it was very common for US bodies to be sent back to the US for reburial by relatives. This meant that by the late 1940s there were a number of cemeteries with small and declining numbers of graves. This led to a policy of concentration into a small number of larger cemeteries, which no doubt resulted in ease and economy of maintenance etc.

    To an extent the concentration policy was applied to CWGC sites too, with quite a number of WWI graves being moved into concentration cemeteries, so that smaller plots could be closed, but the difference is that these sites were always small and not the result of sending bodies home.
     
  3. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    US policy is not to bury its dead where they fell, but to concentrate them in central cemeteries all together, usually near the major battle of the campaign. So we have a smaller number of very large cemeteries. We also do not leave our dead in the country that was our enemy. So there are no US Military Cemeteries in Germany or Japan. Italy was a co-belligerent, so the American dead lie at Anzio/Nettuno, the largest battle of that campaign. The American dead from most of the Normandy campaign are all together at St. Laurent-sur-mer, at Omaha Beach. And the dead from the Bulge and the drive into Germany in 1945 are in Hamm in Luxembourg -- not Germany, so they do not lie on enemy soil. Patton was killed in Germany, and he lies at the entrance to the Hamm cemetery in Luxembourg, figuratively at the head of the men buried there, if not literally.
     

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