French Man Returns WWII U.S. Army Knife to D-Day Memorial

Bedford, VA - A World War II era U.S. Army knife found in France in 1945 is now part of The National D-Day Memorial Foundation's collection.

The knife was found by a 13 year old boy in a village near Chaumont after the end of the war. He kept it until he died, when he passed it down to his son.

The son read about the memorial in a BBC magazine, and felt it fitting to return the knife to the memorial in time for the 70th anniversary of the Allies landing in Normandy.

Here is the letter that arrived with the knife last week:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am very pleased to send you this US Army knife that dates back from the WW II

period for your collections.

My late father was a 13 years old boy in France at the end of the war in 1945. He

was living in a small village near the town of Chaumont in the East of France where

the US Army established a storage yard for out-of-use military vehicles.

It seems that the place attracted the boys of the surrounding area as a great

playground and although this was not allowed (I suppose the sentries were just

turning a blind eye ...) they spent a lot of time playing there.

This is where my father found this knife. He kept it all his life and it was passed on

to me after his death a few years ago.

Having read about your museum in the last edition of the BBC History Magazine

thought that it would be fitting to return this knife to the National D-Day Memorial in

time for the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy in recognition and

gratitude for the sacrifice that so many young Americans did for the liberation of my


Yours sincerely

Jean-Michel Ludot