O'MALLEY Richard J


"The Iron Major" 

omalley richard5
AGE31 ans
DATE OF BIRTH12 June 1912 to Kingston, PENNSYLVANIE

Maried to Vera Mae Evans
Daughter: Patricia

Parent: Michael O'Malley Aloyisius & Sarah Mc Andrew
Sibling: Thomas Richard, Sarah O'Malley

FONCTIONBattalion Commander
ETUDE before ENLISTEMENTGraduate from Harvard UniversityPA
DATE of ENLISTEMENTSeptember 1940
BATTALION2nd Battalion
REGIMENT12nd Infantry Regiment
DIVISION4th Infantry Division
DATE OF DEATH16 Juillet 1944omalley richard tombe1


Map American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer

Silver Star
Bronze Star
3X  Purple Heart
3 X
ENGLISH DECORATIONCroix militaire (Royaume-Uni)
us armydiv 412ri

Richard was a very successful athlete, excelling in both football and baseball in high school.

He would continue this career in his college of choice, the Pennsylvania Military College (PMC).

After graduation in 1938, he attended Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business.

However the war interrupted these plans, and he entered military service in September of 1940

Richard was a very successful athlete, excelling in both football and baseball in high school. He would continue this career in his college of choice, the Pennsylvania Military College (PMC). After graduation in 1938, he attended Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business. However the war interrupted these plans, and he entered military service in September of 1940

The 4th Infantry division was created during WWI. It will be reactivated on June 1, 1940 at Fort Benning, Georgia under the orders of Major General Walter E. Prosser and leave to Louisiana then Florida for amphibious training.

On January 18, 1944 it embarks from New York harbor towards Great Britain with a view to the landing in Normandy.

The Ivy Division comes ahore at 0640hrs on June 6, 1944 Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt leading the way with his 18 000 men.

Richard O’Malley landed on Utah Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944 on D-day, under heavy enemy fire and was promoted to Major shortly thereafter. Six days later, he assumed command of the 2nd Battalion on June 12, 1944.

The 4th Infantry Division will land in three successive waves on Utah Beach.

The 12th Infantry Regiment will be part of the third wave landing at midday on Utah Beach.

Its D-Day's mission was to make contact with the 82nd Airborne Division in Sainte Mère Eglise.

In the evening of June 6, the 12th Infantry Regiment enters Turqueville.

They make contact with the 82nd Airborne Division in Ste Mère Eglise on June 7.

On June 9, the 12th IR moves to Montebourg, but the next day face a counter-attack and withdraw East of St Floxel.

Until June 15, the division fights against elements from the 709 and 243 Infanterie Divisionen on the way to Montebourg.

He led the battalion to its greatest battlefield successes in the liberation of Montebourg and the capture of the key port of Cherbourg on June 26, 1944. These successes were the major objectives of the allies.

For his fearless leadership and deep concern for his men, Major O’Malley was considered the best combat leader in the Army by his mentor, Assistant Division Commander Brigadier General Teddy Roosevelt, Jr., received the Medal of Honor for his inspiring leadership in the successful landings at Utah Beach.

On June 18, the division participates in the offensive on Cherbourg with the whole VII Corps

They will go all the way through Montebourg, Ruffosse, le Theil, Digosville, Tourlaville, Cherbourg.

Until June 30, the division liberated the Cherbourg area taking more than 900 prisoners but losing more than 5 452 men, killed, wounded or missing.

From July 6 to July 7, offensive towards Périers. The 8th and 12th Infantry Regiment will support the 83rd Infantry Division which came to relieve them but will suffer heavy losses (600 men on July 7).

On July 16, during the progression to Périers, passing through the city of Sainteny, Major O'Malley is killed by German sniper.

Repositioned to the Carentan area, Major O’Malley’s Battalion was engaged in fierce fighting against elite enemy forces entrenched in the hedgerows of the Normandy countryside. Although wounded twice, Major O’Malley continued to lead his beloved battalion from his frontline position in the lead company in the attack. Again, his aggressive and fearless leadership endeared him to his men who called him "The Iron Major".

VIDEOVideo of the ceremony at his grave with Pat and Jack in Colleville, June 10, 2014

Richard O'Malley Cadet
Richard et son équipe
Richard & Vera Mae
Vera & Patricia
Telegram from death

Monument for the tribute to Major Robert O'Malley

Tombe de Nicholas POLACHEK

The grave of PVT Nicholas Polachek, flowers by a school of Brussels.

Tombe de Nicholas POLACHEK

Thank you to the children and Julie

Clyde R. Stodghill, Cuyahoga Falls, OHIO
Company G, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment

On the fairly quiet Sunday morning of July 16, 1944, Major Richard J. O’Malley, commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infan¬try Regiment was killed by an enemy rifleman. Major O’Malley’s worth can hardly be measured. His every action had been stamped by fearless¬ness, and he was undoubtedly one of the foremost combat officers of the Regiment. His men worshipped him. He had given them the inspiration that had carried the 2nd Battalion to its great successes, and, in turn, the welfare of his men was always uppermost in his mind. General Barton paid a final tribute to this gallant leader by ordering three volleys to be fired into the enemy lines by the massed artillery and mortars of the 4th Infantry Division—the only such occasion of the entire war. (Credited to the History of the 12th Infantry Regiment.)

The word that Major O’Malley had been killed was passed from man to man in disbelieving whispers, as if by repeating the words quietly they might turn into just another false rumor. The “Iron Major” dead—could it be true? Although death was all around us, it had seemed that the ma¬jor was somehow immune, a man apart from the norm. To know that he had died left each of us more vulnerable. Words could not make it real to some of us—we had to see for ourselves. A friend and I were drawn to the place where he had fallen in Company E’s sector as surely as metal shavings are drawn by a magnetic force. Neither of us cared that we had left our position without authority.

A medical jeep with racks for holding a litter had come up to the front. It was the first and only time I saw that happen. The United States Army was slow in removing the dead from a battlefield, but the corpse of a major could not be left lying on the ground for all to see.

Major O’Malley’s body rested on a litter covered by an olive drab blanket. We arrived as the litter was placed on the racks of the jeep. The medics returned to a group of officers standing silently ten feet away. It was then that the only unexplainable incident of a long lifetime occurred. Although no one was close by and the wind was not blowing, the side of the blanket fluttered upward, remaining that way for a few seconds without support.

My friend said, “Look! The major’s trying to get up.” Knowing the kind of man Major O’Malley had been, his words seemed perfectly nat¬ural at the time, so I nodded in agreement. The only logical explanation that comes to mind is that the exhaust from the jeep’s motor, which was running, had been responsible.

During my later years as a newspaperman, I came in contact with many men of stature: leading politicians, industrialists, entertainers, fa¬mous athletes, and coaches. Major O’Malley stands alone among them as a figure bigger than life, a man who towered above the pack.

Richard J. O’Malley was a ruggedly handsome man with a voice that could crack timber, a man whose every movement was brisk, decisive and authoritative. He was not the sort of leader who had a word of encour-agement or kindly comment for everyone, nor did he lead by fear. It was his presence alone that inspired, and unlike many battalion commanders, he was always present or somewhere close by. He did not lead from a command post in the rear; he led from the Line of Departure. Many were the times when he could be heard calling, “Up and at ‘em, 2nd Battalion, follow me!” We did so with apprehension, but without hesitation.

While we didn’t fear Major O’Malley as a bully, we did fear commit¬ting an act that would arouse his anger, or above all, his contempt. Prov¬ing unworthy of his respect was unthinkable. To an eighteen-year old rifleman he was an awesome figure, a giant of a man. He was, as stated in the regimental history, a man worthy of worship.

O’Malley was a captain when he assumed command of the 2nd Bat¬talion on the day in June when Lieutenant Colonel Dominick Montelba¬no was killed near Montebourg. He should have led a regiment, division, or corps. Many far less capable men did so. He had been our commander for only 33 days. In Normandy, that was the equivalent of a lifetime......

From the book "WAR MEMORIES" By Robert O. Babcock Translated by Philippe Cornil

INFORMATION SOURCEPatricia O'MALLEY (Fille du Major O'Malley) - Jean-Yves TURQUETIL - Michel QUILES AFAM of D-day - Richardomalley.weebly.com
PICTURE SOURCEPatricia O'MALLEY (Fille du Major O'Malley) - Michel QUILES AFAM of D-day - Richardomalley.weebly.com - Dday-overlord.com
PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud