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Name: Clyde Arnold Larkin Rank: Private First Class Service Number: 31068719 Service: 550th Airborne Infantry Battalion, US Army Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: October 16, 1920 Place of Birth: Lockeport, Shelburne County, NS Date of Enlistment: February 24, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Fort Devens, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Malden, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 21 Height: 5 feet, 8 inches Complexion: Ruddy Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Blue Occupation: Laborer Marital Status: Single Next of Kin: Leta M Martin, (Mother) Date of Death: January 12, 1945 Age: 24 Cemetery: Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupré, Belgium Grave: Plot C, Row 32, Grave 11 Clyde Arnold Larkin was the son of William Albert Larkin (1886–1983) and Leta Mae (Devine) Larkin (1890–1978). Both of Clyde’s parents were born in Upper Wood's Harbour in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. Clyde’s family was living in Lockeport when he was born, and in 1921 and moved to the United States later in the 1920’s. Clyde’s siblings were Ernest William Larkin (1918–1993), Lester Norton Larkin (1919–2007), Kenneth B. Larkin (b. 1922), Myrtle Alice Larkin (1923–2016), Ethel Pauline Larkin (1925–2006), Alfred J. Larkin (1927–2008), Gerald Larkin (1929–2015), and Nancy Mae Larkin (1934–2018). His brother Ernest served as a Chief Carpenter’s Mate with the US Navy, Lester served as an Ensign in the Merchant Marine, and Kenneth served as a Corporal in the US Army in Italy during WWII. In Massachusetts, the family lived at Lombard Court in Malden in 1930, and Hudson Terrace in Malden, in 1940. Clyde was working as a laborer. Clyde registered for the US Draft 6 January 6, 1942, and enlisted the next month in February 1942. His wartime service would find him assigned to the 550th Airborne Infantry Battalion of the US Army. The 550th Airborne Infantry Battalion was an independent airborne forces formation of battalion-size of the United States Army formed during World War II on July 1, 1941 at Fort Kobbe in the Panama Canal Zone. The 550th was originally formed as an air landing unit rather than a parachute or glider battalion. The battalion's mission was to land if required in Central, Latin, and South American countries as well as areas in the Caribbean, notably Martinique. The unit would be preceded by the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion. As the threats to the Caribbean and Latin American regions subsided in 1943, the 550th was redesignated the 550th Glider Infantry Battalion and undertook glider training in Sicily. Clyde went overseas in March of 1942, and he served in Italy, France and Belgium. The unit was assigned, along with other Allied airborne units, to the 1st Airborne Task Force and participated in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France, on August 15, 1944 where the 550th captured the town of Le Muy. The 550th Airborne was sent to Aldbourne, in Wiltshire, England in November 1944 after the 1st Airborne Task Force was disbanded. During the Battle of the Bulge in late December 1944 the 550th was attached to the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, part of the 17th Airborne Division. On January 4-6, 1945, the 550th Glider infantry Battalion was in bitter fighting with the enemy some 30 miles South West of Bastogne near the little village of Bertrix Renaumont in France. In 3 days, the 550th lost 38 officers and men. Private First Class Clyde Arnold Larkin died of wounds on January 12, 1945. Despite Allied heavy Allied losses in the Battle of the Bulge, the enemy suffered even greater and through January, American troops, often wading through deep snow drifts, attacked the sides of the shrinking bulge until they had restored the front and set the stage for the final drive to victory. Clyde and was initially interred at the Grand Failly Cemetery in Longuyon, France (designated as temporary cemetery 3530 by the US Army Grave Registration Service) in Plot I, Row 10, Grave 50, and reinterred with cemetery consolidation at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupré, Belgium.
Clyde Arnold Larkin
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