Belgium / Monument

The Big Red One (1st U.S. Infantry Division) Obelisk




The obelisk erected in front of the Mons Memorial Museum commemorates the passage of the 1st ID "Big Red One" (a nickname inherited from the "Big Red One" of its divisional badge) and honors its men who fell between July 25 and September 6, 1944.

Five of these obelisks mark the division's route during the fight to liberate Europe. The first stands on the heights of Omaha Beach in Normandy, the last near Cheb in the Czech Republic. In Belgium, two others can be found near Henri-Chapelle and Butchenbach. The one in Mons was originally erected near Bois Bourdon, at the border crossing with France, on the road to Maubeuge. It was brought back to Mons in 1994, at the request of the regiment's veterans.

The Big Red One gained prestige during the First World War in France. By 1944, it was one of the most experienced in the US Army. It was present in North Africa (1942), fought in Tunisia, landed and fought in Sicily (1943) and was designated to land on Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. Like all American infantry divisions of the period, it fielded three infantry regiments, supported by four artillery battalions and divisional support resources comparable to the 3rd AD (reconnaissance, engineers, armor, anti-aircraft and anti-tank, and medical and logistical support). The Big Red One follows the 3rd AD as it advances towards Mons, about a day's march behind the tanks.

Avenue des Guérites 1, 7000 Mons