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Captain John J. Keller was killed on 7 June 1944 and buried in Normandy 9 June 1944 at the 82nd Cemetery Plot A-06-266.  The 82nd Cemetery was re-designated as the Blosville Cemetery 15 June 1944.  Captain Keller was re-buried in Plot Number B-04-067 just a few hundred yards away from his first burial at the 82nd Cemetery.  Captain Keller was buried 5 July 1944. 

Captain Keller was the Company Commander of Hq Co 2nd Bn of the 507th Prcht Inf.  On 22 March 1944 the 507th Prcht Inf had a practice jump.  The 507th Prcht Inf jumped over Welds Farm in England.  On that jump Captain Keller and 6 enlisted men from Hq Co 2nd Bn were hurt on the jump.  Captain Keller was transported to the 30th General Hospital.

While still in the Hospital at the 30th General Hospital Captain Keller was relieved of Command and sent to Hq & Hq Co of the 507th Prcht on 29 March 1944.  That was an unusual move when a Battalion Company Commander is relieved of his Command that close to an Invasion.

Captain Keller came back to the Regiment 3 April 1944 and joined Hq & Hq Co.  On 7 April he was given his new assignment.  Captain Keller was listed as the Prison Officer and Utility Officer.  The prison Officer oversaw offenses’ such as A.W.O.L. (Absent with out Leave) and Articles of War such as Dereliction of Duty, Drunk and Disorderly. 

The Utility Officer designation really meant he did not have a job.  Captain Keller was S.D. (Special Detachment) with Regimental S-4 Section as the Mess Officer.  Keller was parked there until another job opened up.  When Captain Keller was relieved as the Company Commander by Lieutenant Colonel Timmes Hq Co 2nd Bn Commander.

As mentioned earlier this was a very unusually decision.  The Company Commander of Co C of the 507th Prcht Inf was Captain James F. Riecken.  Captain Riecken went into the 30th General Hospital and the X. O. (Executive Officer) temporarily took command of Co C.  When it became apparent that Captain Riecken, was unable to function as Company Commander on 6 May 1944 Captain Sanford came in as a replacement.

The difference between Captain Riecken and Captain Keller was Captain Riecken, was still carried on the Morning Reports as a Captain Commander, but in the Hospital.  Keller while still in the Hospital was not only relieved as Company Commander, but sent to a different Company.   

Captain Riecken even came back to the Company 28 May 1944 but was not able to go into Normandy due to his health issues.  In fact in the middle of June 1944 he was S. D. to Service Company.  Captain Riechen led Company C in battle January 1945 in the Ardennes. 

Captain Keller was relieved of Duty as the Commander not for health reasons as he was assigned to S-4 Section in Hq & Hq Co and jumped into Normandy.  To be relieved in such an abrupt way shows a difference of opinion between Lieutenant Colonel Timmes and Captain Keller on the practice jump 22 March 1944.  Captain Keller had been the Hq Co 2nd Bn Commander in the States as well. 

When the 507th Prcht Inf went into the Sausage (a euphemism for the size and shape of the Airfield there were behind barbed wire leading up to the Jump) Captain Keller ended up in plane # 43-15126 part of Serial 26 Chalk #2 based in Fulbeck.  The First Battalion and Hq & Hq Co flew from this field.

Captain Keller the Hq & Hq Co Mess Officer was the last man out.  The soldiers in front of him were Technical Sergeant (Mess Sergeant) Fred L. Ratliff and Cook Private First Class Alvin W. Smith.  18 Men jumped from this plane and Captain Keller was the only one killed in Normandy.  A video was discovered that shows Captain Keller and other soldiers from their plane loading their gear.  There are also 2 still photos showing Captain Keller Photo 1 and Photo 2.

On 7 June 1944 Captain Keller was riding down a road on a German bicycle when an 88 came down on top of him killing him instantly.  His body was moved to the 82nd Cemetery where he was buried on 9 June 1944

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