Did you know that the remains of a long-lost World War II soldier recently returned home?

Staff Sergeant Leroy C. Cloud
(Photo: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)

Staff Sergeant Leroy C. Cloud from Thrall, Texas, served as a member of the four-man crew of an M5A1 Stuart light tank during World War II. Their tank was involved in heavy combat near Saint-Germain-d’Elle, a few miles east of Saint-Lô in Normandy, on July 26, 1944, when a German Panzerschreck anti-tank rocket set it on fire. Two of the crew managed to escape, but Cloud and Corporal Robert A. Bartlett died inside. Artillery fire prevented the survivors to recover the bodies of the dead.

An M5A1 Stuart light tank, the type Cloud and Bartlett served and died in
(Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

The American Graves Registration Command found two bodies in a Stuart tank in the area a few days later, but they could not be identified, and the remains were laid to rest in the Normandy American Cemetery. The names of Cloud and Bartlett were recorded on the Walls of the Missing.

The new rosette added to the Walls of the Missing at Normandy American Cemetery
(Photo: American Battle Monuments Commission)

One of the two bodies was exhumed for identification in 2018. As announced by the Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency, circumstantial, anthropomorphic, dental and genetic evidence identified the remains as those of Staff Sergeant Cloud. His name on the Walls of Missing received a rosette to mark that he had been identified; his body was transported back to the United States and buried in a cemetery near his hometown on April 7, 2024. According to the American Battle Monuments Commission (Read our earlier article), he is the twenty-first missing soldier in the Normandy American Cemetery whose remains have been recovered.

Staff Sergeant Cloud with his comrades
(Photo: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)

Save 10% with our V-E Day promotion

A priest shows students a newspaper announcing Germany's surrender at a Catholic school in Chicago (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)

On May 8, we will celebrate the 79th anniversary of V-E Day, standing for Victory in Europe Day, marking the date of the formal unconditional surrender of the German armed forces in World War II. On this occasion, we are offering all our tours with a 10% discount if you book and pay in full until May 8, 2024. Note that this offer applies only in case of new bookings, and it cannot be combined with other special promotions. If you have any questions related to this or other tours, please contact our travel consultants at info@beachesofnormandy.com or by calling our toll-free number: +1 855-473-1999.

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