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A Bad Roll of the Dice

On January 20, 2008 I interviewed two men from Headquarters Company 2nd Battalion in the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division. There names were Reggie Davies and Joseph Burkhard.

They were both very interesting, talking about their time in Normandy. Mr. Davies was in the Machinegun Platoon and Mr. Burkhard was part of the Mortar Platoon. During the conversations with both men they told very similar stories about 4 men who were killed in Normandy in Hq Co 2nd Bn around St. Martin de Varreville.

4 men from the Mortar Platoon went missing on 7 June 1944. They were not in combat at that time and were getting ready to move to a new location. The 4 men were Staff Sergeant Emile W. Tanguay, Private First Class Sewell W. Crouch, Private First Class John F. Reidy and Private Joseph A. Fenimore.

A short time later they were located in a former Germany dugout. They had been playing Craps at the time that an 88 shell went right into the dugout killing all 4 instantly.

Mr. Burkhard said this “we were always told not to bunch up all through training but we all grew tired of hearing it. After the 4 bodies were found together after being hit by an 88 shell we had no trouble following that command”.

Once again I haven’t written about this incident because even though I had no doubt what Mr. Burkhard and Mr. Davies had said I always like to back it up with documentation. I was looking through Morning Reports last night when I saw 4 men being killed on 7 June in Hq Co 2nd Bn. I then looked at the Medical Reports for the 4 men as well and was able to then tell the story. Attached is the Morning Report and the 4 Medical Records.

The rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say.

Brian N. Siddall
October 7, 2017


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