Kenneth L. SHEARER

 

shearer kenneth
ARMY SERIAL NUMBER35309963
AGE29 yo
DATE OF BIRTHApril 1915
STATEOHIO
FAMILYSingle
RANKCorporal
FONCTION--
JOB before ENLISTEMENTSemiskilled machine shop and related occupationsOH
DATE of ENLISTEMENT17 june 1942
COMPANYCompany I
BATTALION3rd Battalion
REGIMENT507th Infantry Regiment
DIVISION82nd Infantry Division
DATE OF DEATH9 july 1944shearer kenneth tombe
STATUSWOD 7 july then KIA
PLACE OF DEATHLa Haye du Puits
CEMETERYNORMANDY AMERICAN CEMETERY de Colleville

Plan du Normandy American Cemetery

GRAVE
PlotRowGrave
D1510
DECORATION
Purple HeartPhoto FDLM
us army div 82 507pir 507pir patch
    
STORY 

Kenneth lives in Mahoning County, Ohio with his sister at his grandparents' home until he leaves for the US Army.

He enters the infantry at first, then decides to enlist for a new weapon: the airborne. It incorporates the 507th P.I.R. which is activated since July 20, 1942.

He joined Fort Benning for a period of 4 weeks in this jump school and its famous "frying pans".

Fort benning

Fort Benning

This training is punctuated by several phases starting with a physical training, then the training phases on the jump which will end with 6 jumps of a DC3 or a C-47 and the delivery of the patent.

  In March 1943, the regiment moved to Louisiana for large maneuvers with the Third Army and then joined Camp Alliance in Nebraska for a joint training with troop carriers and make tactical jumps.

Until early September, maneuvers and presentations punctuate the activity. In the month of September, the regiment goes off to Stockdale Lake to rest. At the end of October the regiment arrives at Camp Shanks and Fort Hamilton in New York State.

uss Strathnaver

Uss Strathnaver

On December 3rd the regiment leaves the camp; December 5th is boarding the SS Strathnaver that takes him to the European continent in England. After 11 days of crossing the 507th arrives in Liverpool,

from there he takes a train to Scotland and a libertyship to Ireland.

On January 14, 1944, the 507th P.I.R. is attached to the 82nd Airborne Division.

On March 11, 1944 the regiment left Ireland for Nottingham in England where maneuvers, jumps of nights and jump of mass are planned but the meteorological conditions will disturb these plans.

On May 28, it is the routing for the third battalion to the airfield of Barkston Heath, Kenneth and his brothers in arms are quartered in secure camps to keep the secret of the operation. Men are briefed on their goals using models including sand tables. This is also the time to write to families.

Scheduled for June 5, weather conditions delay the 24-hour operation.

zone saut 82nd AD

As the day of June 5th is twilight, the equipped men begin the move to the parked C-47s. The C-47s belong to the 59th TCS of the 61st TCG belonging to the 9th US Air Force. ( story of C47)

shearer plandevol

The Kenneth C-47 is 42-23329, the device is in the 25th serial and chalk 72. Kenneth is in eighth position in the stick of 16 paratroopers present. The crossing of the Channel runs smoothly, the C-47 are in formation and follow the road leading to the objective, as they pass the last landmark named "PEORIA" announcing the crossing of the French coast the formations return to the lands and will cross the Cotentin in a bank of thick clouds. The DCA is on alert and the fire is unleashed on the planes.

The crews will have to change their flight plan and turn away from their targets resulting in unusual speeds and altitudes for drops, the 507th will be the worst dropped during the operation Neptune. It is 2:32 when the first cupolas of the 1st Battalion of the 507th open in the Norman sky, then the rest will continue until 3:12 when the entire regiment has been dropped. The sticks of the 507th will be confronted with the flooded lands of Merderet. The majority of Company I lands near the railway line. The assigned mission is to establish a defensive position west of Amfreville. The elements of the regiment will find themselves confronted with their objectives despite their dispersions, between the fights of the Fière, the defense of the orchard Timmes, Cauquigny, Chef-du-Pont .... , the 507th paratroopers will fight epic battles during these three decisive days. On the evening of June 9, the elements of the 90th Infantry make contact with the 507th. The troops now have the seat on the other side and prepare the continuation of the battle that is to say the cut of the Cotentin peninsula. On June 10, the regiment was assembled west of the Merderet, reorganized and rested.

On June 13, the regiment moved towards Picauville to prepare for future attacks.

On June 14, the third battalion led the advance of the regiment, facing a severe enemy artillery the third battalion modified its progress and turned north to protect this flank. In the evening, violent enemy attacks are repulsed with the help of the 746th Tank Battalion. The third battalion continues the attack to the west and reaches the periphery of La Bonneville around 22 hours.

On June 15, the regiment moves on Etienville and crosses the Douve in Cretteville-Baupte after suffering a counterattack of enemy tanks.

On June 16, the third battalion defended a line between Coigny and Francquetot. The area is subject to incessant fire from enemy artillery and mortars.

On 17, 18 and 19 June, the regiment continues to hold its defensive positions at Cretteville-Baupte, intensifies its patrols on the western front. The contact between the units is maintained.

From June 20 to 30, the patrols follow each other to recognize the presence of the enemy east of Vindefontaine despite the shots inflicting losses to the units. The third battalion was relieved by the 359th Infantry Regiment of the 90th Infantry Division and moved to reserve positions north of Pretot.

On July 1st and 2nd, the 3rd Battalion is in reserve of the 1st Battalion.

On 3 July, the 3rd Battalion protects the left flank of the division and the 1st battalion line in front of the Dranguerie.

On July 4, the 3rd Battalion moved and gathered north of La Poterie and launched the attack in the early evening accompanied by 508th P.I.R. By midnight, the battalion reached the hill, consolidated its positions and made contact with adjacent units.

 

1 8 juillet 82nd AD

 

On July 5th, the 3rd Battalion secures the easternmost part of La Poterie Hill and remains in contact with the 325th G.I.R.

On July 7, the battalion maintained its defensive positions, that day Kenneth was hit by one of the incessant enemy patrols trying to infiltrate the lines.

He will die on July 9 of his wounds.


INFORMATION & PICTURE SOURCEFindagrave.com - Bruno CADEVILLE - Aad.archives.gov - Dday-overlord.com
PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud
TRADUCTIONBruno CADEVILLE