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Remembering World War II
Name: Hector Daniel MacKay Rank: Private Service Number: 31392204 Service: 422nd Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division, US Army Date of Birth: April 3, 1909 Place of Birth: Inverness, Inverness Co., NS Date of Enlistment: December 14, 1943 Age at Enlistment: 34 Place of Enlistment: Fort Devens, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Middlesex, Massachusetts Height: 5 feet, 6½ inches Complexion: Medium Hair color: Brown Eye color: Brown Trade: Cook Marital Status: Married Next of Kin: Violet MacKay, wife Date of Death: January 26, 1945 Age: 35 Cemetery: Ardennes American Cemetery, Belgium Grave: Plot B, Row 38, Grave 45 Private Hector Daniel MacKay was the son of Peter Hector MacKay (1876-1932) and Catherine Isabelle “Kitty Belle” MacKay (1886-) of Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada. Hector had four sisters, Danina Evangeline MacKay (born 1906), Laura Ann MacKay (1910-1989), Hannah Margaret ‘Peg’ MacKay (born 1912), and Mary Florence MacKay (born 1908); and a brother John Daniel ‘Jack’ MacKay (1917-1987). Hector’s mother moved to New England in the 1919, first with her youngest son John to Westborough, Massachusetts. She was employed as a registered nurse. The other children immigrated as well early in the 1920’s. Hector moved to the US in September 1921. He lived in Concord, NH and Marlborough, Mass. By 1930, 21-year-old Hector was living in a dormitory and working as an attendant at the Westborough State Hospital in Westborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts, just 10 miles southwest of Marlborough. Hector married Violet Diana Guerard (1912-2004) of Worcester, Mass., on October 2, 1937, at Arlington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. In the 1940 census, 31-year-old Hector is living with his wife, Violet 28, and son Daniel 1, at 70 Broad Street in Marlborough, Middlesex County, Mass. He works as a chef. Violet is working as a stitcher in a shoe factory. Hector’s brother, John Daniel MacKay, also served in the US Armed Forces. He enlisted January 27, 1941, and was discharged December 9, 1941. When he registered for the US Draft he was living in Morristown, New Jersey and living with his mother, who was a Registered Nurse. Hector was inducted December 14, 1943, at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. He completed two years of high school and was married. His civil occupation was cook. In May of 1944, Hector travelled to Canada on a short furlough, purpose unknown, and returned to his training unit - Company B, 17th Battalion, 5th Regiment at IRTC Fort McLellan in Anniston, Alabama. Also in May, he filed his naturalization papers to become a US citizen in Anniston while at training at Fort McClennan. He listed his wife, Violet, and four children as dependents. He was then assigned to the 422nd Infantry Regiment of the 106th Division. The 422nd Infantry went into combat in the Schneifel Area of Germany on December 10, 1944. Schneifel is just inside Germany, 14 miles east of St. Vith, Belgium. On December 18, orders by radio from Division Headquarters directed the 422nd, in conjunction with the 423rd, to attack and destroy enemy forces at Schonberg, and continue along the Schonberg- St. Vith Road, and clear the enemy from that road, which was originally a principal Allied supply route. In the afternoon of December 19, having had no resupply of food or ammunition, or evacuation of casualties for the past four days, Colonel Descheneaux decided to surrender that part of the Regiment. Parts of the 1st Bn, Co "G", Co "H", and men from other units found their way to the Regimental Motor Park, and held out until December 21. Co "L" escaped almost intact through the German encirclement, and moved west, but ran into enemy positions on the night of December 20, and were captured after sustaining many casualties. Most of the regiment was marched about 50 km to Gerolstein and from there was marched or moved by box car further into Germany. A large part of the officers and men went to Bad Orb. Others were scattered throughout German POW Camps. Private Hector Daniel MacKay died January 26, 1945 while a prisoner of war under German control at Stalag IV B, five miles northeast of Muhlberg, Elbe-Elster, Brandenburg, Germany. Muhlberg is on the Elbe River 83 miles due south of Berlin. Stalag IV B was the largest POW camp on German soil during the Second World War and was opened in September 1939. From 1939 to 1944, captured soldiers from 33 nations passed through the camp. Stalag IV B was liberated by the Red Army on April 23, 1945. 3,000 internees perished in the camp due to sickness and life circumstances. The people who died in Stalag IV B were buried in a cemetery in nearby Neuburxdorf. Private Hector Daniel Mackay was interred at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. Hector’s widow Violet, and four children were living at 101 Spring Street in Marlborough, Mass. at the time of his death.
Hector Daniel MacKay
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