Memorial to the Rainbow Division
The Rainbow Division memorial is a bronze statue, 3 metres high, and is the work of James Butler, a British artist and member of the Royal Academy in London. It represents an American soldier carrying the body of his dead comrade. It stands on the site of the Croix Rouge farm, where the battle of 25th and 26th July 1918 was fought. It pays tribute to the US 42nd Division, in particular to the 167th Infantry Regiment of Alabama.
The Rainbow Division was so named because it comprised soldiers from different American states who were brought together like a rainbow. The attack by the American soldiers was carried out in the open, sweeping the enemy aside to gain possession of their fortified positions. Despite heavy losses, the attacking forces courageously repelled fierce counter-attacks. While enemy resistance collapsed, the entire 42nd Division fell into line and pursued the retreating German forces for 18 kilometres, beyond the river Ourcq.
“…the 167th Alabama assisted by the left flank of the 168th Iowa had stormed and captured the Croix Rouge Farm in a manner which for its gallantry I do not believe has been surpassed in military history. It was one of the few occasions on which the bayonet was decisively used.” (from Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences).
The 42nd Division played a large part in liberating the Château-Thierry pocket. During the Great War, the 42nd Division lost 14,583 soldiers.