Francis J. BonitatibusUnit: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div, Company A Rank: PrivateBorn: 5/21/1916
Awards and Citations: Purple Heart
Enlisted: March 11, 1942
Deceased: 06/15/1944 KIA (Killed in action)
Location: Carentan, Normandy, France
Hometown: Washington County, New York
Army Serial Number: 32226302
Burial: Union Cemetery
Fort Edward, New York, United States
GPS (lat/lon): 43°17’17.2″N 73°35’09.3″W
Location grave Private Francis J Bonitatibus:
This is where Francis J Bonitatibus lived in 1920 as an 3-year old boy with his family:
Where was Private Francis J Bonitatibus killed in action?
Phase: Normandy Campaign – France
The Allied operations in France were planned and executed in three phases. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower wanted to establish a beachhead on the continent, build up the forces and then break through into the Brittany-Normandy area. The final step was to be a pursuit on a broad front. The major emphasis was placed on the left flank, while the right joined Allied forces moving northward from southern France. The 2d Armored Division, the first armored division to land on the continent, was to have a major role in executing all parts of this plan. The combat commands were structured so that maximum firepower could be brought quickly ashore. Genneral Maurice Rose’s Combat Command A had the 66th Armored Regiment as the basis of its command. In addition Rose had the 82d Reconnaissance Battalion, two battalions of the 41st Armored Infantry, the 14th and 92d Armored Artillery Battalions, battalion headquarters and Company A of the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, Company A of the Maintenance Battalion, Company A, 48th Medical Battalion, and a detachment of the Supply Battalion.
The Allies began to build up supplies and troops for the breakout and for carrying the fight to the Nazis. The division’s tank and infantry regiments and reconnaissance battalions sent patrols to make contact via) the enemy and if possible to capture some prisoners.
On June 12, after being ashore for five days, V Corps reported that even though they had encountered no tanks, the reconnaissance battalion of the German I 7th SS Panzer Division was fighting on their front. Almost simultaneously with the initial landings, the 2nd Armored was called on to assist some of the landing forces. V Corps called for two armored infantry companies to be sent to the 29th Infantry Division to secure the bridgehead near Auxilie sur Mer.
The Germans attacked the 101st Airborne, which had few, if any, heavy weapons to stop a tank attack. General Bradley ordered the 2d Armored Division to send a task force of one tank battalion and one infantry battalion to secure the bridgehead at Isigny. Protected by fire from three American battleships, the USS Texas, Arkansas and Nevada, patrols began scouting the route. Before the troops could be committed to action, their mission was changed and they were sent to support the 101st Airborne.
The attack of the 2d Armored Division was in the bocage, or hedgerow, country. It was the only type of action for which the division had not trained at Fort Benning, during the maneuvers or in North Africa and Sicily. The countryside was dotted with small fields surrounded by thick hedgerows, sunken roads and many intersections. It was premium defensive country, placing an added burden on the attacker. The 17th Engineers Tandozers were being used to penetrate the hedgerows. Colonel Rose sent his reconnaissance forces to scout the route to Carentan. They encountered elements of the German 12th SS Panzer Division and a few Tiger tanks. General Collier and the lead elements of Combat Command A raced into Carentan, joined with the 101st Airborne Division and assaulted the German 17th SS Panzer Division.
(Source 2nd Armored Unit Division History, Hell on Wheels 1977.)
From England, Tidworth Barracks, coming across the channel in LST’s (Landing Ship Tank) the trip was unforgettable in the vast numbers of ships of all types which composed the invasion armada and the large number of plnes flying overhead. Landing at Omaha “Red” Beach, in the vicinity of Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, the first of the Bn. to reach France was Company ”A” on 9 june, followed by Co (Company) ”D” the next day, and Hq Co, Co, ”C”.
On 13 June Co. ”A” and a detachment of Co. ”E” supported the attack of Combat Command ”A” near Carentan. A flamethrower party was furnished 3/41, and the tank dozer was used considerable in making paths through hedgerows for tank advance. The entire company was employed in mine sweeping operations and in holding defensive positions. Enemy Artillery fire killed Pvt John Hoffman, and Francis Bonitatibus, Company ”A”, and Pvt Raymond V. Larking Co. ”E” on 15 June, the first casualties of the Bn on the continent. The force returned to the vicinity of La Mine 17 June after the very successful operation which had prevented our beach-head from being cut in half.
(source: 17th Armored Engineer Battalion Unit History)
Location where Private Francis J Bonitatibus was killed in action:
Temporary grave at La Cambe at Normandy, France
Detail of Deathlist Washinton County
Specific detailed information about Private Francis J Bonitatibus, his “Headstone card”:
Newsarticle The Post-Star (Glens Falls, Warren, New York, United States of America) · 14 Jul 1944
Mass Will Be Celebrated Saturday for Pfc. Bonitatibus
A Requiem Ma. will be celebrated Saturday at 8 A. M. in St. Mary’s Church by the Rev. Father Arthur S. Kiffin. pastor, for Pfc. Francis J. Bonitatibus, 28, son of Marco Bonitatibus, 41 Derby Street, and the late Mrs. Mane Bonitatibus, who was killed in action in France on June 15. Private Bonitatibus. who had been in the armed forces of the nation since March. 1942, was with the first American forces to land in North Africa. He participated in three major battles there without receiving a scratch. and then took part in the Sicilian campaign in which he was wounded. He was later placed back on duty and sent to England, and then to France with the in-vasion forces in which he made the supreme sacrifice. The late soldier attended Hudson Falls High School and left in his Senior year to be employed by the Union Bag and Paper Corporation. He received his basic training at Fort Bragg, N. C. The last his family heard from him was on June 1, when a letter indicated that he was well. Be-sides his father, he is sulvived by five sisters. Mrs. John Marine. For: Edward; Mrs. Anne Ingke, New York; Mrs. Cyrille Bombafd, Hud-son Falls: Mrs. George Cowles. New York. and Mary Ellen Boni-tatibus, Hudson Falls, and a broth-er. Thomas Bonitatibus, Hudson Falls.
Newsarticle The Post-Star, 06 Oct 1948, Wed, Page 3
The Post-Star (Glens Falls, Warren, New York, United States of America) · 25 Oct 1948
MILITARY RITES HELD IN CHURCH
Military funeral services were conducted Saturday morning in St. Mary’s Church for Pfc. Francis J. Egnitaatibus, son of Marco Bonitati-bus, and the late Mrs. Marie Boni-. tatibus, 41 Derby Street, who was killed, in action June ’15, 1944, on the battlefields of France. A solemn high requiem Mass was celebrated by the Rev. Father Francis R. Bell, assistant pastor. The Very Rev. Arthur S. Kiffin, pastor, was deacon, and the Reif. I Father E. J. E. Surprenant, pastor 1 of St. Paul’s Church, was sub-deacon. Bearers, all members of Hudson Falls Post, 574, American Legion, 1 were Hall G. Niemer, J. William Werner, Oswald Carpenter, Ray Heil, Wilfred Philion and Harry Leavy. Interment was in Union Cemetery. 1 The firing squad and color guard was comprised of Edward King, Rodney Beak, Wilfred Roy, Larry Thompson, Garland Huntington, Leon LaPenn, Berry Winegar, Oli-ver Deloco and James Kelly. John Winegard was bugler. Three volleys of shots were fired at the grave and taps were sounded by the bugler. The American flag which draped the casket was pre-sented to the father by Com-e mander Harold Herzog. During the funeral hour busi-ness places in the village remained e closed and American flags were flown at half-staff.
Residence: Washington County, New York
Weight: 179 lbs.
Civilian Occupation: Cranemen, derrickmen, hoistmen, and shovelmen
Marital Status: Widower or widow, without dependents
Education: 3 Years of High School
Citizenship: U.S. Citizen
Enlistment date: March 11, 1942
Enlistment location: Enlistment for duration of War plus six months
Enlistment Term: Enlistment for duration of War plus six months
|CENSUS 1920 Household family||Role||Gender||Age||Birthplace|
|Mary J Bonitatibus||Wife||F||43||Italy|
|Anna Bonitatibus||Daughter||F||17||New York|
|Bridget Bonitatibus||Daughter||F||14||New York|
|Jenny Bonitatibus||Daughter||F||17||New York|
|Sebastian Bonitatibus||Son||M||6||New York|
|Francis Bonitatibus||Son||M||3||New York|
Research © by: Martijn Brandjes
Text © by: Martijn Brandjes
Photos © by: Find a Grave, FamilySearch.org