Memorial to the 75 American soldiers who fell in the fighting to liberate Plabennec and Plouvien on August 8 and 9, 1944.
Bivouac at Lormeau
The 44th BI of the CCA set up its bivouac, late afternoon on August 7, at Lormeau. The men were tired, and their staff and probably the divisional staff were unaware that they were within range of the heavy German batteries that had remained silent until now.
Bob NeII digs an individual trench and after a delightful night of restorative sleep, he rises at the warm, sunny dawn of August 8.
The day promises to be beautiful. He's preparing his breakfast, an egg picked up along the way, a cup of coffee, when a hurricane of steel crashes down around him.
Vehicles on fire
A half-track catches fire, all the soldiers can think of is getting to safety. They throw themselves into their trenches and, witness the destruction of many vehicles while, brave GI's snatch tanks from the inferno.
The wounded scream, call out to the medics. "It's - a hurricane you can't forget", concludes Bob Neff in the letter he'll send to his mother.
Gouesnou bell tower
To pound the 44th at Lormeau, the Germanshad excellent observatories: the Gouesnou bell tower and the côte 92 to the southwest of the commune. They would carefully note the coordinates of the Americans, oblivious to the danger.
The hellfire of artilleryand mortar, "terrific" in Bob Neff's term, will last from 10:30 a.m., to 2 p.m., with sporadic firing again until 8 p.m.. 30% of the vehicles will be destroyed or damaged, and the maintenance battalion section will do wonders evacuating under the buses the wrecks of vehicles still salvageable. -
In this way, the 44th will regain most of its potential in a few days' time.
140 men out of action
Human losses, killed and wounded, will amount to 140 men, one-sixth of the battalion's strength! At around 8 p.m., the still battered 44th left Lormeau for Moguérou and Plouvien to join the rest of the 6th US Army
fighting the 266th German Army
and prevent it from reaching Brest.
Major General Robert Walker Grow.
Commander-in-Chief of the 6th US Armored Division Under the orders of General Georges S. Patton, General Robert W. Grow, commanded the 6th US Armored Division which, after the fighting in Normandy headed for Brittany to liberate Brest. Arriving in Plouvien on Monday August 7, CC-A and CC-B elements were slowed in their advance on Brest. Various bivouacs were set up in the region, including one at Lormeau-Penhoat for CC-A elements lagging behind. On Tuesday August 8, the bivouac was shelled by the German artillery killing 43 of their number.
Grow addressing Patton near Brest "We are an island of resistance in the enemy's sea".
Grow talking to Patton near Brest "We are an Island of resistance in a sea of enemy
Major General Robert Walker Grozv
Commander in Chief of the U.S. 6th Armored Division
Under General Patton's command, General Robert W. Grow commanded the U.S 6th Armored Division in the Battle of Normandy before turning to Brittany to liberate Brest. As he approached Plouvien on Mon-day, August 7th, progress of elements of Combat Command-A and Combat Command-B were delayed on their way to Brest. They had to make camp in various places in the area. One of the elements of the CC-A stopped in Lormeau-Penhoat. On Tuesday, August 8th, their camp was bombarded by the German rtillery, killing 43 among them.
Philippe Boudot photo credit