What is this building and where is it?

Taken in Europe in 1944-45 by a U.S. Army Air Force soldier 9th Air Force, 397th Bombardier Group, 599th Bomb Squadron.

Could be in France north of Paris, Germany near Drucken or Monchen-Gladbach, Brussels Belgium, or Venlo Netherlands.

I have two additional photos with a man standing on the stairs in a helmet and uniform, but I couldn't figure out how to add those to this post. In those two photos more detail of the doors and building is visible.

He was stationed at St. Quentin, France and at the end of the war in Venlo, Netherlands.

I have searched all the towns he mentioned in his diary and have not found anything that looks like this building. I think it is a church, but it could be something else.

Note: If anyone can tell me how to add more photos, that would be great.

Domed building with features that look like a church in the countryside

  • 1
    Hi DebH, welcome to the site. Can you edit your post and try again to add your pictures? There are some restrictions on what brand new users can do (by having more than 10 reputation you are no longer covered by those), although I think that should not include images, so I'm not sure why it didn't work. Maybe they were too large (size restrictions) or of the wrong file format?
    – gerrit
    May 20, 2020 at 8:54
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    As a side note - once you are satisfied with the answer, please do not forget to upvote and mark it as the right solution (checkmark on the left which will turn green)
    – WoJ
    May 21, 2020 at 12:28

1 Answer 1


That's the Chapelle royale de Dreux, also known as St-Louis de Dreux. Dreux is a town about 70 km west of Paris. This chapel is historically important, since the last King of France, Louis-Philippe (reign: 1830-1848), is buried there; the Chapel is the traditional burial place of members of the House of Orléans.

As @Andrew already mentioned in his valuable comment (thanks a lot!), the former Dreux/Vernouillet airfield (now Vernouillet Airport) is located just some kilometers southwest of Dreux. The 397th Bombardment Group including the 599th Bombardment Squadron was stationed there in September / October 1944.

See also the American Air Museum in Britain on Dreux Airfield and the Historical Report of the 397th Bombardment Group from B26.com.

Some modern pics of the Chapelle royale de Dreux:

Chapelle royale, Dreux. Pic by Nicolas Vigier / CC BY; Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Source: Wikimedia Commos, pic by Nicolas Vigier / CC BY

See also this pic from Google Maps:

Chapelle royale, Dreux. Source: Google Maps.

Google Maps with both locations (Airport and Chapelle Royale - thx at @BobJarvis-ReinstateMonica for the idea!):

Google Maps Airport -> Chapelle Royale

  • 6
    What a beautiful church.
    – JonH
    May 20, 2020 at 15:31
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    The question notes he was with 599th BS - per Wikipedia, they were based at Dreux/Vernouillet airfield (A41) from mid September to early October 1944. So it seems very likely that we also have an approximate date for the photo to go with the ID. May 20, 2020 at 16:34
  • 3
    Nice bit of detective work.
    – T.J.L.
    May 21, 2020 at 13:46
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    @BobJarvis-ReinstateMonica it's even closer than I realised! Just an hour's walk from the airfield to the church. May 21, 2020 at 17:48

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