Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Belated Memorial Day Thoughts

On my bookcase there is picture of a young soldier. It was probably his basic training graduation picture. The last in a string of 4 children, he was probably a happy surprise for his parents. The baby of the family. At the time of the photo he was still a teenager. He was sent to England and trained in the operation of a secret weapon - the double drive tank - as a member of Company B, 743rd Tank Battalion. June 6, 1944 found him in the vanguard of the assault on Omaha Beach attached to the 29th Division. He landed on the beach due to the quick thinking of their LST driver who realized the sea was too rough for the flimsy canvas hull of the DD Shermans. He may have gone on the next day to Pont du Hoc to relieve the Rangers there. This was followed by a period of rest and refit and a transfer to the 30th Division. He died on July 9 in a field in Normandy along with most of his company in an ambush by the SS Panzer Division "Das Reich".

That was my Uncle Philip. As a child I would see this picture on my grandmothers table but nobody ever talked about him. There are no other pictures of him. His is buried in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, KY.

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