BLEASDELL kenneth e
AGE23 yo
DATE OF BIRTH25 november 1921 IOWA
FAMILYMaried: Eileen LUKE
Son: Kenneth Arthur BLEASDELL LUKE
Sibling: Floyd, Leroy, Jutta & Rosie
RANKPrivate First Class
DATE of ENLISTEMENT23 september 1942
COMPANYCompagnie L
BATTALION3rd Bataillon
REGIMENT175th Infantry Regiment
DIVISION29th Infantry Division
DATE OF DEATH7 june 1944BLEASDELL kenneth e tombe

Map Normandy American Cemetery

Purple HeartPhoto FDLM
Photo FDLM div 29 175ri

Since a few years, now, I sponsor the grave of two American soldiersfallenduring World War II : Private First Class Kenneth E. Bleasdell and Major Joseph E. Funk.

In this article, I’mgoing to tell the story of PFC Kenneth E Bleasdellbecause, after 5 years of investigation, I finallyfoundthissoldier’sfamily. And itwasn’teasy !

Indeed, I wasinvestigating in the United States, sendingletterseverywhere, looking on Internet but I couldn’tfindhisfamily…Aftersearching for severalyears, I gave up because I couldn’tfindabsolutelyanything. But what I didn’t know, isthathisfamilylived in England…

But good news arrived last June. Afterposting a picture of Kenneth’sflowery grave on the blog’s Facebook page, a womancontacted me, sayingthathewashistwo sons’ grandfather. Big surprise for me. Afterseveral discussions, I couldlearnthissoldier’s story, get to know hisfamily and getsomepictures.

Kenneth Earl Bleasdellwas a young American born in Iowa, on November 25, 1921. He came from a large family, with 2 brothers and 2 sisters : Floyd, Leroy, Jutta and Rosie.

He enlistedwith the U.S. Army on September 23, 1942. As a youngPrivate First Class, hewas part of the 175th InfantryRegiment, 29th Division, 3rdBattalion, Company L.

January 1943 : Kenneth arrived in Europe. Beforebeing sent to the battlefront, his division stationed in Cornwall, England, for severalmonths. Many trainings and a few short leaveswere on the agenda. That’swhenhe met a youngwomannamed Eileen Luke, whowouldbecomehiswife.

June 7, 1944 (D-Day +1) : PFC Bleasdellwas sent to the Normandybeaches. Unfortunately, this landing costhimhis life. He wasdecoratedwith the PurpleHeart.

AfterKenneth’sdeath, Eileen gave birth to their son, Kenneth Arthur Bleasdell Luke, in October of the sameyear. So, I had the opportunity of chattingwithKenneth’sson’s ex-wife. Together, theyhadtwo sons, Robert and Gareth.

Besideslearning a lot about Private Kenneth Earl Bleasdell, I learned about hisfamily’s story. Histwobrothersunfortunatelydiedalsoduring World War II. 

Brother of Kenneth


bleasdell kenneth frere floyd

DATE OF BIRTH3 june 1919
DATE of ENLISTEMENT23 april 1941
DATE OF DEATH2 march 1945
Purple Heart + 2 OLCph olc
Silver StarPhoto FDLM

Brother of Kenneth


bleasdell kenneth frere leroy

DATE of ENLISTEMENT18 november 1942
UNITUSS Swordfish (USS-193)


1st War World

Enabled July 1917 (Garde Nationale de Virginia, du Maryland,de Pennsylvanie, et du District de Columbia).
Overseas July 1918.
Main operations Meuse-Argonne
Losses Total - 5,570 (KIA - 787; WIA - 4,783)
Commander Gén. Charles W. Barber (28 july 1917)
Gén. Charles G. Morton (25 august1917)
Gén. William C. Rafferty (24 september1917)
Gén. Charles G. Morton (6 december1917)
Gén. William C. Rafferty (11 december1917)
Gén. Charles G. Morton (26 december1917)
Gén. William C. Rafferty (23 march1918)
Gén. Charles G. Morton (26 march1918 à la désactivation)
Back in the USA May 1919.
Désactivée May 1919.

2nd War World

Enabled 3 february 1941
Overseas 5 october 1942
Campaigns Normandie, Nord de la France, Région du Rhin, Europe Central
Days in combat 242
Quotes 4
Decorations Croix de guerre française 39/45 avec palme(pour son action le 6 june 1944)
2 Medal of Honor (médailles d'honneur) : HALLMAN Sherwood H & PEREGORY Frank D
44 Distinguished Service Cross
1 Distinguished Service Medal
854 Silver Stars
17 Legion of Merit
24 Soldier Medals
6 308 Bronze Stars
Commander Gén. Milton A. Reckord (february 1941-january 1942)
Gén. Leonard T. Gerow (february 1942-july 1943)
Gén. Charles H. Gerhardt (july 1943 à la désactivation)
Back in the USA 4 January 1946
Disabled 17 January 1946

The Division's organization

HHB, 29th Infantry Division  
115th Infantry Regiment 115 ri
116th Infantry Regiment Photo D&M
175th Infantry Regiment Photo
HHC, 29th Division Artillery  
110th Field Artillery Battalion  
111th Field Artillery Battalion  
224th Field Artillery Battalion  
227th Field Artillery Battalion  
29th Signal Company  
729th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company  
29th Quartermaster Company  
29th Reconnaissance Troop  
121st Engineer Combat Battalion  
104th Medical Battalion 104 medical battalion
29th Counter Intelligence Corps Detachment  
29th Military Police Platoon  
29thh Infantry Division Band  
Headquarters, Special Troops, 29th Infantry Division  

Combat Chronicle

The 29th Infantry Division trained in Scotland and England for the crosschannel invasion, October 1942-June 1944. Teamed with the 1st Division, a regiment of the 29th Division (116th Infantry) was in the first assault wave to hit the beaches at Normandy on D-day, 6 June 1944. Landing on Omaha Beach on the same day in the face of intense enemy fire, the Division soon secured the bluff tops and occupied Isigny, 9 June.

The Division cut across the Elle River and advanced slowly toward St. Lo, fighting bitterly in the Normandy hedge rows. After taking St. Lo, 18 July 1944, the Division joined in the battle for Vire, capturing that strongly held city, 7 August.

Turning west, the 29th took part in the assault on Brest, 25 August-18 September 1944. After a short rest, the Division moved to defensive positions along the Teveren-Geilenkirchen line in Germany and maintained those positions through October. (In mid-October the 116th Infantry took part in the fighting at the Aachen Gap.)

On 16 November the Division began its drive to the Roer, blasting its way through Siersdorf, Setterich, Durboslar, and Bettendorf, and reaching the Roer by the end of the month. Heavy fighting reduced Julich Sportplatz and the Hasenfeld Gut, 8 December.

From 8 December 1944 to 23 February 1945, the Division held defensive positions along the Roer and prepared for the offensive. The attack jumped off across the Roer, 23 February, and carried the Division through Julich, Broich, Immerath, and Titz, to Munchen-Gladbach, 1 March 1945.

The Division was out of combat in March. In early April the 116th Infantry helped mop up in the Ruhr area. On 19 April 1945 the Division pushed to the Elbe and held defensive positions until 4 May. Meanwhile, the 175th Infantry cleared the Klotze Forest.

After VE-day, the Division was on military government duty in the Bremen enclave.

(The following division information is reproduced from the book, The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950.)


INFORMATION SOURCES"Bella Donna company"
PICTURE SOURCE"Bella Donna company"
PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud