KOWALSKI Alexander William

Photo FDLM
ARMY SERIAL NUMBER11008430
AGE26 yo
DATE OF BIRTH1918
STATEMASSACHUSETTS
FAMILYSingle
RANKSergent-major
FONCTION 
JOB before ENLISTEMENT Photo FDLM
DATE of ENLISTEMENT8 Novembre 1940
BATTALION7th Field Artillery Battalion
REGIMENT1st Artillery Division
DIVISION1st Infantry Division
DATE OF DEATH6 august 1944kowalski alexander tombe
STATUSKIA
PLACE OF DEATHLangeais (37)
CEMETERYNORMANDY AMERICAN CEMETERY de Colleville

Plan du Normandy American Cemetery

GRAVE
PlotRowGrave
B215
DECORATION
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Legion of Merit
Photo FDLM
Photo FDLM div 1 7 field artillery battalion
STORY

Alexander lives in Franklin County, Massachusetts.

His parents, Polish emigrants, die at a young age; Vincent the elder brother will take care of Alexander.

In 1937, Alexander Graduated from Greenfield High School. He enlists in 1940 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He joins the 1st Infantry Division which was reactivated in 1939 at Fort Benning. The training process will lead him to Fort Deven, Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester, Vermont, Fort Benning, Virginia Beach.

On August, 8th 1942, it is the great departure for Europe aboard the Queen Mary, towards Scotland. After another training period in England including, among other things, new amphibious exercises, on November, 8th 1942 Alexander lands in North Africa as part of the division in Operation "Torch", then in Tunisia Campaign. On July, 10th 1943 during Operation Husky, Alexander lands on enemy territory for the second time. The fightings in Sicily forge the men a solid experience.

In October 1943, Alexander and his division get back in England.

New training sessions will make up the troopers' daily lives, they train in Slapton Sands, in particular. During this period he was awarded the Legion of Merit for maintaining and developing his platoon.

For D-Day, the 7th Field Artillery becomes a part of 16th Regimental Combat Team.

In May, pre-boarding maneuvers start; during the last week of May, the men join the selected harbors for boarding.

On June, 3rd, all of the troops scheduled to land on Omaha Beach are aboard the ships..

On June,6th , scheduled to land on Easy Red at H+105 to support the 16th RCT, the battalion will suffer many casualties, particularly six 105mm howitzers lost during the crossing when DUKWS sank. Alexander finds chaos on the beach.

On June, 12th , the 7th Field Artillery Battalion is in Caumont.

On June 18th, Alexander and five of his platoon fellows push towards the 1st battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment so as to set observation posts. On their way they got surprised and made prisoners by German soldiers, Alexander is wounded in this action. He is transfered and interned in Stalag 221 in ST Jacques-de-la-Lande near Rennes.

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

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 Alexander William KOWALSKI.

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

18 dead body will be collected, and among them was Alexander William KOWALSKI.

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.


INFORMATION SOURCEBruno CADEVILLE
PICTURE SOURCEBruno CADEVILLE - Frédéric LAVERNHE
PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud