John Lawrence MORDO


MORDO Lawrence
AGE24 yo
DATE OF BIRTHMarch 10, 1920
FONCTIONLoader in a Sherman M4
JOB before ENLISTEMENTSemiskilled welders and flame cuttersPA

April 6, 1942 

Fort George G Meade MARYLAND

COMPANYHeadquarters Company
BATTALION40th Tank Battalion
DIVISION7th Armored Division
DATE OF DEATH26 August 1944MORDO Lawrence tombe

CEMETERY TEMPORARY of Villeneuve-sur-Auvers

villen auvers cemetery

Story of Cemetery Temporary


Map Brittany American Cemetery

Purple Heartph
European African Middle Estern Campaing MedalEAMECampaign
American Campaign Medalamerican campaign medal
World War II Victory Medalvictory medal


us army div arm 7 tank destroyer 40tb

Known as Johnny to his family and friends, he was born March 10, 1920 in Mayfield, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Lawrence (Lorenzo) Mordo and Concetta Pulman Mordo, who had immigrated to the US from Italy in 1908. John was the fourth of eight children; his brothers were Dominick, Anthony Thomas, Joseph Paul, Frank Albert, and Philip, and Catherine and Carmel were his sisters. He grew up in Mayfield.

John was drafted into the US Army during WWII and entered active service on April 6, 1942, enlisting at Fort George Meade, Maryland. According to his enlistment records he stood 5'5” and weighed 147 lbs, was single without dependants, had completed four years of high school, and his civil occupation was welder/flame cutter. He was assigned to Headquarters Company, 40th Tank Battalion, US 7th Armored Division where he served as a loader in the company's Assault Gun Platoon, which was commanded by my great grandfather, Lt. Franklin Hepworth.

Following training in the US, John sailed from New York Harbor with the rest of the 7AD for Scotland aboard the Queen Mary on June 7, 1944 and spent the next two months in Great Britain preparing for the move to France. On August 9, 40th Tank Battalion's HQ/Co was loaded onto US LST 530 at Portland Harbour, England, starting at 0715 hrs and completed at 1445 hours. The 40TB joined their convoy and spent the night of August 9th about ¼ mile offshore. The convoy sailed for France at around 0700 hrs the following morning and arrived off the coast of France that evening at around 2100 hrs. At 0925 hrs August 11th the first vehicles of 40th Battalion started offloading at Utah Beach and moved to an assembly area near Visly. The 40TB saw their first combat action August 14, and fought their way rapidly across France during the next few weeks.

On August 26, 1944 John was the loader in a Sherman M4 (105mm) tank commanded by my great grandfather. That afternoon their tank was ambushed by a German 88 mm gun. John and another crewmember were seriously wounded in the attack. Pulled from the burning tank by my great grandfather, he received swift medical treatment but his wounds were too severe and he died later that day in hospital. He was 24 years old. John was first buried in a temporary cemetery at Villeneuve-sur-Auvers, then in 1948 his remains were moved to Brittany American Cemetery. His final resting place there is Plot B, Row 7, Grave 12.
PFC Mordo was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. In France, his name is memorialized on the Villeneuve-sur-Auvers American Cemetery Memorial and on the Nesle Column of War Dead at Lumigny-Nesles-Ormeaux.

John's family was completely devastated by the death of their son and brother. So strong was the grief that his sisters forbid any talk of John in their presence for the rest of their lives. His youngest brother, upon hearing of John's death, dropped out of school and lied about his age in order to join the US Navy. He would later name his oldest son after him.

Below is a link to an album on my personal page. It contains more pictures and information, and tells the story of the incident that led to John's death in much greater detail.

Please feel free to check it out to learn more.

PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud