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Death of a School Teacher

Jerome Neumann was a School Teacher in New York City before the start of WWII.  He became Corporal Jerome P. Neumann Army Serial Number 12057953 assistant Squad Leader in the 507th Parachute Infantry Company H 3rd Platoon 2nd Squad.

Sergeant George M. Forte was Corporal Neumann's Squad Leader and they Jumped from Plane #42-32806.  They were dropped far west of Drop Zone T, landed near Lastelle, France, east of La Hays du Puits.

I spoke with Mortar Sergeant Robert L. Bearden who was in Sergeant Forte's 3rd Platoon.  Both Sergeant Bearden and Sergeant Forte were in the same Barracks in Stalag 3C as POWs.  While in Stalag 3C Sergeant Bearden stated that one night Sergeant Forte revealed what had happened to Corporal Neumann.

Sergeant Forte told of what had occurred after the Jump. Forte broke his leg and used his rifle as a splint and found only Corporal Neumann.  As the sun was starting to rise they knew that the Germans were everywhere.  Corporal Neumann asked Sergeant Forte shouldn't they hide in a hedgerow.  Forte said, no hiding is not what Paratroopers do.  Forte and Neumann were captured a short while later by 6th German Fallschmiger 1st Battalion, Commanded by Hauptmann Emil Preikschat

The Germans checked the Dog Tags for both men and they saw that it said H for Hebrew.  They took Corporal Neumann a short distance away and put him on his knees and shot him in the back of the head.  The Germans left him by the side of the road.  This happened just outside of the town of Lastelle, France.  That night the town's people took Jerome P. Neumann body and buried him in the Lastelle, France Cemetery with no name so the German's would not locate his body.

A large number of the 6th German Fallschmiger 1st Battalion Company 1-4 died over the next few days fighting the 101st Airborne Division.  In February 1945 the Graves Registration located and removed Corporal Neumann to the Marigny #1 Cemetery. 

Jerome Neumann's father Meyer wrote letters to the Government after his death.  They are included in the IDPF from the Army.  In the IDPF it matches up with what Sergeant Forte had told Sergeant Bearden in the POW camp.  

Reaching out to the family member of Jerome Neumann is the ultimate goal but so far no luck.  

Documentation for this article comes from the 507th Yearbook, the Individual Deceased Personnel File, NARA, Google Maps, the Army Signal Corps, The Lions of Carentan Book with the photo of Emil Preikschat and from the unpublished book Rations Strength of 7 Armee by Richrad Anderson.


Brian Siddall
September 16, 2020


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