Fire in the
Another little bit of
history. This time itís all about the Demo
Plt (Demolition Platoon) for the 507th
Prcht Inf Regt (507th Parachute
Infantry Regiment) and three events that
occurred. The 507th Prcht Inf
Regt in the States was part of the
Abn Brd (1st Airborne Brigade) at
When the 507th
went overseas they were attached first to
the 82nd Abn Div (82nd
Airborne Division) for Normandy then in
August 1944 became part of the 17th
Abn Div for the reminder of WWII. Mr.
Brundige was a man I spoke with many times
about his time in the 507th Demo
Even before going
overseas the 507th lost men. The
first Demo incident that Cpl (Corporal)
Oscar Brundige was there for occurred in
Alliance when a Demo soldier was killed by
an explosion during a training exercise.
Marvin M. Wright was killed June 22,
1943 at 1430. Private Wrightís body was
sent home to Texas to be buried.
Just under a year later
Mr. Brundige was there when Cpl
Mitchell Jr. was killed June 19, 1944.
Brundige and Mitchell were in foxholes side
by side and were talking when some mortar
fire came in. After it was over Brundige
asked if Mitchell was fine and got no
response. Cpl got out of his foxhole and
walked the few feet over to check on him.
Cpl Mitchell has hit by a piece of shrapnel
killing him instantly.
An interesting aside on
this time in Normandy with Mitchell was
killed on June 19, 1944 according to all of
the records and Brundige was wounded on June
17, 1944 according to the Morning Reports.
So how could Brundige
have been wounded yet two days later with
Mitchell was killed? The July 12, 1944
Morning Report shows Brundige wounded two
days before Mitchell was killed. Here is
Brundige never shows up
again coming back to Hq & Hq Co or the 2nd
Battalion from his wounds. It looks like he
must have just gone to a Battalion Aid
Station, got patched up and come back with
the same day or the next and didnít report
back in to the Company Clerk. Brundige went
on furlough July 25 with 35 other Hq & Hq
men. He didnít get his Purple Heart until
the start of September of 1944.
The third man killed
next to now Sgt (Sergeant) Brundige was 2nd
Lt (2nd Lieutenant)
Crites. 2d Lt Crites along with Sgt
Brundige and one other Demo man were
clearing debris a booby-trap was tripped
killing Crites instantly. Sgt Brundige said
he had tried to tell Crites that that area
was loaded with booby-traps.
Crites was brand spankiní new and didnít
take advantage of Sgt Brundige advice.
That cost Critesí life
as seconds later while moving a log a
bobby-trap exploded. So out the three
deaths around Brundige, two were accidents
and they happened before the 507th
was in combat and after the end of the war
What is the moral of
this story? Shut up and listen to the men
whoíve been in combat.
Brian N. Siddall
April 17, 2023