‘Devil Dog Field’ honors troops who fought in Europe 100 years ago
U.S. Marine Forces Europe and Africa’s parade ground is now known as “Devil Dog Field” in honor of the troops who fought 100 years ago in the Battle of Belleau Wood and on battlefields across Europe.
Maj. Gen. Russell A. Sanborn, the commander of Marines in Europe, dedicated a memorial Thursday at the field marking the occasion at the command’s Panzer Kaserne headquarters near Stuttgart, Germany.
The Marine nickname of “devil dog” traces back to the Battle of Belleau Wood in France, where Marines and Army troops fought a bloody battle against German forces during World War I. The battle played a key role in stopping the German advance toward Paris and was a turning point in the war.
The Devil Dog Field memorial is made of two stones from Belleau Wood and was donated by a French farmer. A bronze plaque and a bronzed WWI U.S. doughboy helmet is attached to the rocks. The monument rests on an oval pad of cobblestones in the shape of the 4th Marine Brigade’s shoulder patch, which was worn when the brigade entered Germany in 1918.
Funds for the memorial were raised by private donations and an online GoFundMe campaign launched by a retired Marine in the Stuttgart area.
“This stone, which symbolically witnessed the battle, will be a daily reminder to today’s Marines and visitors to the Headquarters, of the sacrifice and bravery of the Marines, Sailors and Soldiers who fought in that Wood in 1918,” wrote Andy Gillan, who led the GoFundMe effort.