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Remembering World War II
Charles Ross Barry
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Name: Charles Ross Barry Rank: Staff Sergeant Service Number: 31307245 Service: E Company, 116th Infantry Regiment 29th Infantry Division, US Army Awards: Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster Date of Birth: August 27, 1924 Place of Birth: Halifax, NS Date of Enlistment: March 30, 1943 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 18 Height: 5 feet, 10½ inches Complexion: Fair / Light Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Hazel Marital Status: Single Occupation: Checker Next of Kin: Daniel Barry (Father) Date of Death: December 6, 1944 Age: 20 Cemetery: Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial Grave: Section K, Plot 20, Grave 11 Charles Ross Barry was the son of Daniel Allen Barry (1896-1951) and Ann (MacIntyre) Barry (1900-1960). His father was born in Halifax, NS; his mother was born in Port Hawkesbury, in Cape Breton. Charles had a sister Dolores (born in 1929). Charles and his family moved to the US in February 1925, travelling by train via New Brunswick to Maine. They lived at 480 Shawmut Ave in Boston in the 1930’s just North of Lower Roxbury in Boston (in the South of Washington / Shawmut neighborhood). He registered for the US Draft December 15, 1942 and it records he was born in Sydney, NS, other records indicate Halifax, NS. He was working for the Samuel Zoll Company in Boston, Mass. when he registered for the draft. When he enlisted in March of 1943, Charles was living at 17 Logan St in Roxbury, Suffolk Co, Mass. The 116th Infantry Regiment trained at Camp Croft near Spartanburg, Spartanburg Co., South Carolina - an Infantry Replacement Training Center. He was assigned to Company D, 37th Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Croft, South Carolina. It is while there, that Charles completed his Petition for Naturalization on June 19, 1943, 30 miles away in Greenville, SC, to become a US citizen. The 29th Infantry Division trained in Scotland and England for the cross-channel invasion from October 1942 until June 1944. Teamed with the 1st Division, a regiment of the 29th, (Charles’ 116th Infantry Regt.) was in the first assault wave to hit the beaches at Normandy on D-day, June 6, 1944. Landing on Omaha Beach on the same day in the face of intense enemy fire, the Division soon secured the bluff tops and occupied Isigny June 9. The Division cut across the Elle River and advanced slowly toward St. Lo, fighting bitterly in the Normandy hedge rows. After taking St. Lo, July 18, 1944, the Division joined in the battle for Vire, capturing that strongly held city on August 7. Turning west, the 29th took part in the assault on Brest, August 25 – September 18, 1944. After a short rest, the Division moved to defensive positions along the Teveren-Geilenkirchen line in Germany and maintained those positions through October. (In mid-October the 116th Infantry took part in the fighting at the Aachen Gap.) The Battle of Aachen was from Oct 7-21, 1944. On November 16, the Division began its drive to the Roer, blasting its way through Siersdorf, Setterich, Durboslar, and Bettendorf, and reaching the Roer by the end of the month. Heavy fighting reduced Julich Sportplatz and the Hasenfeld Gut, December 8. From 8 December 8, 1944, to February 23, 1945, the Division held defensive positions along the Roer and prepared for the offensive across the Roer. Staff Sergeant Charles Ross Barry was killed in action near Koslar-Jülich, Germany December 6, 1944, likely in the heavy fighting in Julich Sportplatz and the Hasenfeld Gut. Charles is interred at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands. The cemetery's tall memorial tower can be seen before reaching the site, which covers 65.5 acres. From the cemetery entrance visitors are led to the Court of Honor with its pool reflecting the tower. At the base of the tower facing the reflecting pool is a statue representing women who have suffered loss. Since 1945, the cemetery has had a special relationship with the Dutch people. Many bring flowers, some adopt the graves of those who are buried here. This is their gesture of lasting thanks to the Americans who fought to liberate the Netherlands. Two other known Nova Scotians also died in WWII serving with the 116th Infantry Regiment. Private 1st Class Merrill Bernard Conrad of Halifax, NS, was killed in action June 17, 1944; and Corporal Winburne Mitchell Phinney of South Farmington in Annapolis Co., NS, was also killed in action serving with the 116th on October 7, 1944.