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Normandy American Cemetery Welcome Screen

How to Read a Star of David

FIRST & LAST NAME: On the horizontal line is the full name of the individual. 

RANK: On the left diagonal is the individual's rank.

UNIT INFO: Also on the left diagonal following rank, is the individual's unit info.

Unit abbreviations:

  • ABN – Airborne
  • ARMD – Armored
  • BN – Battalion
  • BOMB – Bombardment
  • CAV – Cavalry
  • DIV – Division
  • FA – Field Artillery
  • FTR – Fighter
  • GP – Group *(M) designates medium bombers, (H) designates heavy bombers
  • INF – Infantry Regiment
  • PRCHT – Parachute
  • RCN – Reconnaissance
  • SQ – Squadron

STATE: On the right diagonal is listed the state from which the individual enlisted. 

Note: this may not be the state that they are from. 

DIED ON: On the right diagonal after state is listed the individual's date of death.

AWARDS: Below the Star of David are listed the awards and honors that the individual received. Some that you may encounter at the cemetery may include: 

  • The Medal of Honor is the United States' highest honor for valor in combat. It is designated by gold embossment of the headstone text with "Medal of Honor" written vertically down the center of the headstone.
  • The Distinguished Service Crossis designated by the abbreviation D.S.C. It is the second highest honor that can be awarded to a member of the U.S. Army.
  • The Navy Cross is the equivalent of the Distinguished Service Cross for the U.S. Navy. 
  • The Silver Star is the third highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces for valor in combat. It is awarded for gallantry in action. 
  • The Bronze Star is the fourth-highest military award bestowed on an individual for acts of heroism in a combat zone.
  • The Purple Heart is the U.S. military decoration that is awarded to those who are wounded or killed in action in the name of the President.
  • The Distinguished Flying Cross is a military decoration awarded for "Heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight."

The Grave Numberis listed at the base of the headstone.