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Remembering World War II
Name: Lawrence James Elmer Campbell Rank: Private Service Number: 31402037 Service: Company A, 275th Infantry Regiment, 70th Infantry Division, US Army Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: January 29, 1919 Place of Birth: Rollo Bay, Kings County, Prince Edward Island Date of Enlistment: September 5, 1944 Place of Enlistment: Portland, Cumberland County, Maine Address at Enlistment: Cumberland County, Maine Age at Enlistment: 25 Complexion: Medium Eye color: Blue Hair color: Brown Marital Status: Married Occupation: Longshoreman / stevedore Date of Death: February 19, 1945 Age at Death: 26 Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery, South Portland, Cumberland County, Maine Lawrence James Elmer Campbell was the son Joseph Edmund Campbell (1872-1958) and Mary Elizabeth (Williams) Campbell (1892-1949), and the husband of Mary A. (Glynn) Campbell (1922-1982). Lawrence had five siblings - Eileen Campbell Dubail (1915-2011), John Joseph Campbell (1921-1977), Joseph Edward Campbell (1924-1999), Francis Eugene Campbell (1927-1967), and Richard Clarence Campbell (1931-2021). His father was born at Cape Jack in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. His mother was born in Baltic, Kings County, Prince Edward Island. Two of Lawrence’s brothers served during WWII. Francis served with the Maritime Service (Merchant Marine/Merchant Navy), and Joseph served with the Seabees of the US Navy, including being stationed in the Marianas in the Pacific Theatre. In 1940 Lawrence was working as a back stayer in a shoe factory. He married Mary Glynn on April 28, 1941, in Portland, Maine. They had a son, William Edward Campbell born in 1942. After enlisting in September of 1944, Lawrence was assigned to the 275th Infantry Regiment of the 70th Infantry Division, US Army. He served in Company A. One month later, in October 1944, plans for the 275th Infantry were already in the works, before they had even completed their training. During an October 1944 visit to the European Theater of Operations, US Army Chief of Staff, General George Marshall, agreed to send Supreme Commander, General Dwight Eisenhower, as many additional regiments of infantry as he could before he launched the final push into Germany. Neither anticipated a particularly active combat role for the regiments; rather, they were to be committed to relatively inactive sectors replacing exhausted combat weary regiments, so they could be temporarily withdrawn to rest and refit. There were, however, no infantry regiments ready (trained) for deployment, and Marshall decided to withdraw 9 regiments from training. The 275th Infantry shipped to Southern France, arriving, as luck would have it, on December 16, 1944 - the day the Germans launched their Ardennes offensive. Two weeks later, on December 31st, to relieve pressure of the faltering Bulge battle, Adolph Hitler launched a second attack-Nordwind-in the Alsace region of France, where two divisions slammed into 275th Infantry's "inactive sector" in the Vosges Mountains. Lawrence went overseas in late January 1945. Despite German force superiority, bitter weather, training, personnel and equipment shortfalls, and a contentious relationship between the regiment and the division it was attached to, 275th Infantry adapted, fought courageously, and denied access to the Alsace Plain in its sector by the attacking Germans. Private Lawrence James Elmer Campbell was killed in action in Alsace, France on February 19, 1945. His family chose to repatriate his remains rather than having him interred in an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery overseas, and he is interred at the Calvary Cemetery in South Portland, Cumberland County, Maine.
Lawrence James Elmer Campbell
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Sources: findagrave – Lawrence J Campbell Into the Fire: 275th Infantry Regiment in World War II, Tim Desiderio, Trafford, 2004 Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine, Page 1, Tuesday, March 06, 1945