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Crossroad Killing

The 508th Parachute Infantry landed in and around Drop Zone N.  At the end of the first day of fighting a large number of men ended up at Hill 30 east of the Drop Zone with their backs against the Merderet River.

On the second day of action 7 June 1944 4 men from Company H 508th Parachute Infantry attached to 82nd Airborne Division were killed.  They were on patrol at the roadblock at the bottom of Hill 30.  The men killed were (Linked by name shows their Army Records);

39245541 Williams, Earl D. Staff Sergeant Platoon Sergeant 82nd Cemetery Buried 6/9/1944 A-04-156 Reburied A-08-156 7/5/1944 Blosville

39195388 Benson, Robert W. Private First Class Machine Gunner 82nd Cemetery Buried 6/9/1944 A-04-159 Reburied A-08-159 7/5/1944 Blosville

19177338 Deem, Harry B. Private First Class Asst Mach Gunner 82nd Cemetery Buried 6/9/1944 A-04-164 Reburied A-08-164 7/5/1944 Blosville

32488854 Lott, Thomas L. Private Ammo Bearer 82nd Cemetery Buried 6/9/1944 A-04-157 Reburied A-08-157 7/5/1944 Blosville

This information came from Sergeant Ralph J. Busson ASN 35028939 from Company H 508th Parachute Infantry.  Busson contributed to the book (page 14) The Devils Have Landed. 

Sergeant Busson said they were manning a Road Block at the base of Hill 30 as mentioned above.  A firefight broke out and Williams, Benson, Deem and Lott were killed.  The survivors retreated to the Hill 30 bringing the 4 men back to the top of Hill 30.

All 4 men were buried 9 June 1944 at the 82nd Airborne Division Cemetery and moved to the main part of the Blosville Cemetery 5 July 1944. 

It's amazing how much documentation exists for a firefight on just the second day in Normandy.    

Brian N. Siddall
November 15, 2023


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