Villeneuve-Loubet mass grave is a grave site near the village of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice, in southern France. On October 18, 2006 the bodies of 14 German soldiers killed during World War II were exhumed at the site. The bodies were discovered by a local medical student, Jean-Loup Gassend, and were then exhumed by a team of local volunteers under the supervision of Mr Julien Hauser, representative of the Volksbund (German War Graves Commission) in France.
The soldiers in the grave had been killed in battle against soldiers of the Second Regiment of the famous First Special Service Force, also known as the Devil's Brigade, on August 26, 1944, shortly after the Allies landed in southern France on August 15, 1944.
The bodies of the dead Germans were buried by local civilians in a specially dug trench after the battle, and forgotten about. Jean-Loup Gassend managed to relocate the grave by interviewing some of the surviving locals. The bodies were rediscovered under about one meter of earth, amongst helmets and military equipment. Battle wounds caused by bullets or schrapnel fragments were found on several bodies. Seven dog tags, including one that was pierced by a bullet, were also discovered and led to the identification of four of the bodies. Of these four, the oldest soldier was aged 34, and the youngest, Hubert Pilch, was killed the day before his 18th birthday.
The exhumation team carefully analysed the objects found in the grave, and found some interesting conclusions about the events surrounding the burial. For example only one of the fourteen bodies was still wearing his shoes, meaning that all the other pairs of shoes had been taken off the bodies by local civilians before the bodies were buried. Also, the only two canteens that were found had been pierced by shell fragments, rendering them useless, and it can be suspected that all the other canteens that should have been on the bodies were taken by the civilians.
All the bodies were reburied in the German military cemetery in Berneuil, France, on June 23, 2007, in the presence of 60 German famillies, as well as many French and German officials.