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Eroding World War II-Era Graffiti in England Recorded

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that volunteers and researchers from the Maritime Archaeology Trust created a digital record of eroded graffiti left on a brick wall on Southampton’s Western Esplanade by American soldiers waiting to board ships bound for the invasion of Normandy, France, sometime after June 6, 1944, or D-Day. “Looking at the spacing of the inscriptions, it seems plausible that the men stood in a line and carved their names together,” said Helen Wallbridge of the Maritime Archaeology Trust. The researchers deciphered 70 soldiers’ names, and were able to identify 30 of them through genealogy resources and U.S. military records. Many of the men who left their names on the wall belonged to the 99th and 106th Infantry Divisions, and went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge on the Western Front later that December. As many as two million American soldiers passed through Southampton on the trek to mainland Europe. To read about a brutal Pacific Theater battle on the island of Peleliu, go to "Place of the Loyal Samurai."

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