The Major of Saint-Lo

Today, our Virtual Travel video focuses on the story of Major Thomas Dry Howie – the Major of Saint-Lô. This native South Carolinian stormed the beaches of Normandy, and continued to inspire his men, and the world, after his death.

Thomas Howie was born in Abbeville, SC in 1908, descended from the French Huguenot community who established themselves in South Carolina before the Revolution. They named the town Abbeville, in honor of their French town they left behind.

Over 150 years later, one of their descendants would return to Normandy to liberate France in World War II, and is buried on French soil in the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Thomas Howie is one of South Carolina’s heroes – and today, we wanted to share his story. We’ll also show you the moving memorial in his honor that is located in Abbeville.

Click below to join Khal, and let’s explore . . .

Here is a link to the famous photograph of Major Howie’s flag-draped body in Saint-Lo, published with the following caption:

“25 Jul 1944, St. Lo, France — Under Old Glory, the body of a U.S. major identified only as “Major Aowie” rests atop the ruins of St. Croix Church in St. Lo, France. The major was killed leading an assault on the town… His last wish being his desire to lead his men into the German stronghold. His troops, fulfilling his wish placed his body among the ruins as they fought to drive the enemy from the area.”

For those of you who are fascinated by the poignant history and sacred spaces of this beautiful part of France . . .

We invite you to take a look at our 2021 small group adventure, Exploring Normandy and Paris.