02 August 2010

A Reason to Celebrate

From The Norwalk Hour of Norwalk, CT, on this day in 1945:

PFC LEONARD PALMER WAS ON QUEEN MARY
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The verteran 87th Chemical Mortar Division, made up mostly of New England and Pennsylvania soldiers, was the first fighting unit off the Queen Mary today.

Sgt. James O'Brien, of Waterbury, Conn., said that the men in the battalion were ready on their arrival to celebrate doubly--for their return to America and for V-E Day.

"On V-E Day," he said, "we were guarding 30,000 Kraut prisoners and we were too busy to celebrate."

He said that the battalion shot 187,000 rounds of mortar high explosives and phosphorous in its campaign that started at Cherbourg on D-Day.

With O'Brien were two Connecticut buddies. Sgt. Neville Wold, of Meriden, and PFC Leonard Palmer of Norwalk. The three men wear five battle stars each. Their unit will be redeployed to the Pacific theatre.

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