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Remembering World War II
Name: Grant Harding Conroy Rank: Staff Sergeant Service Number: 11053594 Service: Company K, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, US Army Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: February 8, 1922 Place of Birth: Brookline, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts Date of Enlistment: June 16, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Weston, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 20 Height: 5 feet, 11 inches Occupation: Machinist Marital Status: Single Date of Death: January 18, 1945 Age: 22 Cemetery: Mountain View Cemetery, Altadena, Los Angeles County, California Grant Harding Conroy was the son of Emmett Gordon Conroy (1887- 1959) and Ethel Frances (Howse) Conroy (1882-1966). His father was born in Biddeford, York County, Maine. His mother was born in Bridgetown, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia. He had an older brother Lincoln Gordon Conroy (1914-1978). Grant was born in Brookline in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. In 1930, the family lived on Viaduct Street in Sharon, Norfolk Co. By 1940, the family was on Orchard Avenue in Weston in Norfolk Co. Grant’s brother Lincoln was worked as a Ship Fitter at the California Shipbuilding Corporation in 1940 in Los Angeles and also served in the US Navy (dates unknown). After enlistment in June of 1942, Grant was assigned to Company K of the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, US Army. During World War II, the regiment ‘lit the torch’ in North Africa in 1942 and landed as part of Operation Torch and was part of “Operation Husky,” the Allied invasion of Sicily. On June 6, 1944, the 16th Infantry was one of the regiments ordered to take Omaha Beach during “Operation Overlord”, D-Day. Of the five D-Day landing beaches, Omaha Beach was the deadliest—survivors dubbed it “Bloody Omaha.” Hundreds of the regiment’s young infantrymen were mowed down, but by noon, the 16th had established a beachhead and seized the town of Colleville-sur-Mer. At the end of 1944, after sustaining very heavy casualties from enemy artillery fire and the cold dreary weather in the Stolberg Corridor, the entire 1st Infantry Division was sent to a rest camp on December 12, 1944. The stay was short, because Hitler launched Operation Wacht am Rhein later referred to as Operation, four days later and the Battle of the Bulge was on. The division was sent to bolster the northern shoulder of the bulge near Camp Elsenborn. The 16th Infantry was ordered to positions near Robertville and Waywertz, Belgium. For the next month, the men of the 16th Infantry held defensive positions there, conducted heavy patrolling toward the German positions near Faymonville, and engaged in a number of firefights with troops of the 1st SS Panzer and 3rd Fallshirmjaeger Divisions. All of this was conducted in heavy snows during one of the coldest European winters on record. On January 15, 1945, the Big Red One (1st Division) launched its part of the Allied counteroffensive to reduce the Bulge. Staff Sergeant Grant Harding Conroy was killed in action on January 18, 1945 at the age of 22 during the Battle of the Bulge. He was initially interred in Europe, and is now buried in Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum in Altadena, Los Angeles County, California. He is also remembered on the First Division Memorial, in Bütgenbach-Büllingen, Belgium; a tall grey granite obelisk commemorating by name all of the First Infantry Division soldiers killed while fighting in the area. The memorial commemorates the 458 Big Red One soldiers killed between December 16 and February 7, 1944.
Grant Harding Conroy
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