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Manoir of Fact


Private John O’Neill was a member of Company B 307th Airborne Engineer (Combat) from the start in 1942.


O’Neill jumped in Sicily, Italy then Normandy June 6, 1944.  O’Neill landed in Drop Zone O with the 505th Parachute Infantry, Northwest of St. Mère-Église.


The First Battalion 505th Parachute Infantry (along with the 3rd Platoon of Company B 307th) first objective was to take the east end of la Fière Causeway southwest of St. Mère-Église.


They ran into an upsized German Platoon at the Manoir de la Fiere.  As the 82nd men spread out in front of the Manoir at la Fière German Officer stepped outside and was shot dead by Private O’Neill.  O’Neill said to Company B man Harry Northern that he wanted the Lugar that Officer had.  He told O’Neill to wait but John jumped right up and started moving towards the Manoir.  He took two steps and dropped dead, killed by a sniper who was in the house.


O’Neill was a veteran of two Campaigns yet he was only 20 years-old and sometimes kids don’t think ahead.  This was one of those times sadly.  The O’Neill family received a letter from General Gavin sent out in August.  All pertinent information is contained in his Individual Decease Personnel File (IDPF) is attached to this article including a picture of John's Headstone


This was the reason I started doing research for Company B as my Uncle from Company B was killed on the same day in Normandy and was the same age, 20.  I found a post from John’s Nephew in 2002 and reached out to him.  That is what started my research looking for clues as to what had happened to my Uncle.  21 years later and not much closer to the answer of what killed him. 

On the plus side I’ve been able to help families in finding out what happened to their loved ones so it all more than evens out in the end.


With that in mind there was another Company B O'Neill who was Killed in Normandy.  On July 3rd while defusing a Teller Mine it exploded.  They only piece of his body they found was a finger.  That was taken to the Cemetery by an Officer to verify that this was in fact the remains of Pfc Daniel J. O'Neill


Here is the IDPF for Pfc O'Neill as well as his Headstone with his parents.  If you look at pdf page 6 of the IDPF you will see that on the Disinterment Directive it states that all bone structure is missing. 

This goes along with the Missing in Action Morning Reports that shows what happened to the men who were Missing and the ones that were killed including Pvt Hause who died as a POW when shot in the head in the barracks. 


The next thing to do is to list all of the men from Company B who were wounded in Normandy.  Until then enjoy the read.  


Here is the link to the 68 men MIA Morning Reports for Company B.


Brian N. Siddall

August 16, 2023

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