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Neighbors of DuPage

Rare D-Day Document conserved by First Division Museum

Jun 29, 2016 12:19PM ● By Neighbors Magazines
A rare and historic World War II document will now be available for inspection by military researchers and the general public at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park. The artifact, Field Order #35, is the top-secret plan for the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division to land on “Omaha Beach” at Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. The newly conserved document received the highest security classification.

“D-Day was a pivotal moment in American history and we are honored to not only have this priceless document but to make it accessible forever,” said Paul Herbert, executive director of the First Division Museum.

The restoration of Field Order #35 was recently completed by Chicago’s Graphic Conservation Company.

“Once every few years, a document comes into our lab for conservation that’s an important piece of our nation’s history,” said Russ Maki, president of Graphic Conservation. “This one certainly fits into that category.”

The artifact resides in the collection of the McCormick Research Center of the First Division Museum and is available for viewing.

Field Order #35 once belonged to Major General Stanhope B. Mason, who as a Colonel was the 1st Infantry Division’s chief of staff during the Normandy invasion. He used it for planning the Division’s landing at Omaha Beach. The First Division Museum received the document in 1994, when Mason’s son donated his late father’s military artifacts.