DE VAY Cyril K

devay cyril
AGE33 ans
DATE OF BIRTH13 Juin 1911
FAMILYMarié à: Grace
Fils: David S. De Vay
Parents: Lester & Cécilia Kron Vay
BATTALION1st Battalion
REGIMENT508th Parachute Infantry Regiment
DIVISION82nd Airborne Division
DATE OF DEATH6 August 1944devay cyril tombe
PLACE OF DEATHLangeais (37)

Map  Normandy American Cemetery

Presidential Unit Citation
Photo FDLM
president unit citation
Photo FDLM div 82 508pir508pir

Son of Lester and Cécilia Kron Vay, he was born in Illinois in 1911. Years later, after his father died, his mother with her four children settled in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Cyril enlists in the US Army in 1942 at Livingston Grant Parish Camp, Louisiana, then joins Airborne troops and the 508th P.I.R which was activated on October 20, 1942.


He is among the 2300 selected men to join this unit. He begins his training at Camp Blanding, Florida.

fort benning
 In February 1943, departure to Fort Benning and its "frying pan". There, Cyril and his comrades will qualify as paratroopers and be awarded the "wings", he got his on February 26, 1943.

Late in March, the regiment move to Camp Mackall, North Carolina for a new intensive physical training, then each is trained in his own specialty. May 1943, the regiment leave for Cheraw, South Carolina to carry on maneuvers as ground troops against the 101st Airborne Division. It returned at Camp Mackall in June and in July 1943, comes the time for a combined unit training period then a resting period.

camp mackall

Early September the regiment leaves to Lebanon, Tennessee to participate in Second Army maneuvers.

In October the regiment makes a night jump, then go back to Camp Mackall in early November where the companies are reorganized. The men are given a one-week pass. For many this is the last trip home before the departure to Europe.

During this period the time is used to prepare for overseas shipment..


On December 20, 1943 the regiment arrives at Camp Shanks, near New-York where it pre-embarks.

On December 27, the men embark aboard the USAT James Parker.

In the morning of December 28 the ship leaves New-York.

On January 14, the regiment is attached to the 82nd Airborne Division.

Overseas indoctrination begins in Port Stewart. They will be taught to know the equipment used by the Germans and paratroopers from the 505th will come give them some pieces of advice and talk about experiences acquired in Italy.

On March 10, the regiment is shipped to Scotland. A train then carries the men to Nottingham, England.

The last weeks are made of night jumps, marches, tactical drills.

On May 28, they are carried to Folkingham.

Paying close attention to sand tables, pack and equipment preparation …, on June 4 everybody is ready. But due to bad weather the big departure is delayed. On June 5, the men climb aboard C-47s.

The 313th Transport Carrier Group, 52th Transport Carrier Wing, 9th Transport Carrier Command, 9th USA Air Force is responsible for dropping the battalion over Normandy.

Carte DZ

The 508th is supposed to land on DZ «N» north of Picauville.

Unfortunately the dropping dropping is scattered, the men land east of the DZ and over the Merderet River, some way farther.

Cyril is made prisoner on June 6, his name is written in the POW list as receiving penetrating wounds in the right shoulder.

He is transfered and interned in Stalag 221 in ST Jacques-de-la-Lande near Rennes.

kowalski camp221

Facing the American pogression, German troops lock 40 prisoners, including Cyril, in freight cars.

kowalski convoicattaque LANGEAIS

In that train, there were between 1200 and 1600 prisoners, civilians as well as militaries.

On August, 2nd, the train leaves Rennes. Throughout its drive, this convoy of deported will face many events, but in late afternoon of August, 6th the convoy stops at the railway station in Langeais following the railways' destruction due to an ammunition train being machine-gunned.

By the end of this day, six P-38s Lightning fly over and machine-gun the convoy. Several prisoners take advantage from the confusion to escape, the Red Cross will care for the true and pseudo wounded. 18 dead body will be collected, and among them was Cyril K. De Vay.

40 soldiers, among whom 9 Americans, died in this train:

John Edward Wonning Walter D. Solomon
anhorn reubenReuben Anhorn Barney Arnold
campbell mattMatt Donald Campbell devay cyrilCyril De Vay
Robert Francis Kiley John D. Taylor
kowalski alexandreAlexander Kowalski Sidney Magaziner
Gordon Norwood 

There were British soldiers, Canadians as well as soldiers from the French Colonies.

PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud