This monument was added in 2017 to the Bathelémont monument where these soldiers were buried, and in addition to its vocation as a tribute, the Réchicourt-la-Petite monument precisely marks the place where these three soldiers died. It can be reached from this car park by taking a 1.1 km operating road, not recommended for light vehicles.
The American First Division landed in France in June 1917. After several months of training, she arrived in late October 1917 in the Lunéville area.
The first American cannon shot was fired east of Bathelémont on the morning of October 23. On the night of November 2 to 3, the Germans launched an offensive on the hill of Haut des Ruelles where the 2nd Battalion of the 16th US Infantry Regiment was stationed. This attack caused the death of the first three American soldiers: James B. Gresham, Merle D. Hay and Thomas F. Enright. They are buried in Bathelémont on November 4.
Lorraine shows its gratitude by erecting in Bathelémont, a few days before the armistice, a monument designed by Louis Majorelle, inaugurated on 3 November 1918. In October 1940, the Germans dynamited the monument. It was replaced by a granite stele in 1955.
It is to mark and preserve again the memory of the place of the death of these three soldiers, that the commune of Réchicourt, with the support of the association "1917 the first three Americans", wishes to implant on this hill a stele in sandstone of the Vosges. This project is supported by the French Souvenir and has received the "Centenary" label as well as the American label (World War One Centennial Commission).
colline du Haut-des-Ruelles
54370 RECHICOURT LA PETITE
Close to Lunéville