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Remembering World War II
Clayton Gordon Stoddart
Name: Clayton Gordon Stoddart (Stoddard) Rank: Staff Sergeant Service Number: 31425528 Service: 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, US Army Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: March 25, 1921 Place of Birth: Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co., NS Date of Enlistment: November 5, 1943 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Lynn, Essex Co., Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 22 Occupation: Welder / flame cutter Marital Status: Married Next of Kin: Bertha L. Stoddart (Mother) Date of Death: September 3, 1944 Age: 23 Cemetery: Brittany American Cemetery, Montjoie-Saint-Martin, France Grave: Plot H, Row 13, Grave 7 Clayton was the son of Marsdon R. Stoddart (1897–1965), and Bertha Leona (Cunningham) Stoddart (1900–1975), and the husband of Winifred Rose (Crowell) Stoddart (1925–1944). The family surname of Stoddart is sometimes recorded Stoddard, both in the family’s records and in Nova Scotia genealogy. Clayton’s father served Canada in the First World War. Clayton’s maternal great grandfather, Hezekiah Nickerson, was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Clayton had one brother, Merle Warren Stoddard (1923–2007), who served in the US Navy during WWII from November 5, 1942, until March 24, 1946. Among his assignments, he served on the USS Mizar (AF-12), a Mizar-Class US Navy stores ship, January 1944, and the USS Moosehead (IX-98), June 1944. Clayton’s brothers-in-law both served in WWII, Ronald George Crowell enlisted February 24, 1941, and served in the US Army, and his brother-law Frederick Donald Crowell enlisted February 3, 1942, and serving until Aug 15, 1945 in the US Merchant Marine (Merchant Navy). Clayton and Winifred were married in 1942 and had one daughter Kathleen Winnifred Stoddart born in mid-1943. Clayton enlisted later that year in November of 1943. He was assigned to the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. The 9th Infantry Regiment were part of the 2nd infantry Division which landed on Omaha Beach on D- Day +1 on June 7, 1944, and broke out into the hedgerow countryside of Normandy. After exploiting the Saint-Lo breakout, the US Army’s 2nd Division then advanced across the Vire to take Tinchebray on August 15, 1944. The division then raced toward Brest, the heavily defended port fortress that was a major port for German U-boats. After 39 days of fighting the Battle for Brest was won. Clayton died September 3, 1944, and was interred at the Brittany American Cemetery in France. The Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in France covers 28 acres of rolling farm country near the eastern edge of Brittany and contains the remains of 4,404 American war dead, most of whom lost their lives in the Normandy and Brittany Campaigns of 1944. The cemetery is located on the site of the temporary American St. James Cemetery, established on August 4, 1944, by the US Third Army. It marks the point where the American forces made their breakthrough from the hedgerow country of Normandy into the plains of Brittany during the offensive around Avranches, France. With Winifred’s death August 4, 1944, and Clayton’s less than a month later, their daughter was raised by Clayton’s parents – she was living with them in 1950. As per the American Battle Monuments Commission that maintains the Brittany American Cemetery, “Everyday, the cemetery’s chapel bells toll in memory of Americans who helped liberate France from Tyranny, and gave their lives for freedom”
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