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Mennaye Field

Military site : non-airfield

Detailed history

From Phil Westren, a Penzance resident:
"Mum recalled the time the American troops were based in Penzance ahead of D-Day – they used to meet her and friends from school and carry their satchels. She recalls one young soldier’s name which was something like Florence Nueberger (or similar).

The unveiling of a slate plaque at the entrance to the Mennaye Field rugby ground on Friday commemorated a little known but historic occasion 71 years ago, to the day, when General Dwight D. Eisenhower made a visit to inspect US Troops stationed in Penzance.

The wording on the plague reads 'General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe inspected the troops of the U.S. 35th Infantry Division on this Mennaye Field on 26 June 1944'.

General Eisenhower was aware of the high state of training which the Regiment had achieved and he expressed his confidence in the ability of the 134th Infantry Regiment, which formed part of the 35th Infantry Division during WW2, to do whatever job might be assigned to it.

Orders would soon arrive that the troops would be moved across the channel, and as part of the back up to the initial D-Day landings on the 6th June they landed at Omaha Beach on the 5th July. Many towns were liberated, but there were also inevitably many casualties. The Regiment would eventually return home to the United States on the "Queen Mary" after the war's end on the 5th September, 1945.

During their time in Cornwall - described as the Riviera or the California of Britain - troops had been billeted in houses, small hotels, and other buildings set aside for the purpose in the west of the country, and they made numerous friends as they had done wherever they had been.

The 1st Battalion was stationed in Penzance, the 2nd in St. Ives, Company H in Hayle. There were other bases for various units at Camborne, Clowance Estate, Land’s End, Lizard Point, Marazion, Porthleven, Praa Sands, and Redruth."

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
19 July 2019 13:53:39 U.S. Embassy-London Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, history and person associations
Sources

This entry was collected by the United States Embassy in 2019 as part of a campaign to remember the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy (D-Day). Personal stories from veterans and members of the British public were collected to celebrate the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.

This entry was shared by Phil Westren, whose mother lived in Penzance while American troops were based in the city ahead of D-Day.

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