Thomas Wallace Kelly JrUnit: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div, Company Headquarters Rank: CaptainBorn: 10/30/1920
Awards and Citations: Purple Heart
Location: Pont-Hebert, Departement de la Manche, Basse-Normandie, France
Hometown: Missouri, Pemiscot County
Army Serial Number: O-431192
Burial: Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Colleville-sur-Mer, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
Burial stone: New Lorimier Cemetery
Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA
Plot Normandy: C row 17 grave 28
Location grave Captain Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial :
Where was Captain Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr killed in action:
During phase: Phase I – The “Break-Through”
Combat Command ”A” was to be the divisional’s big stick in the coming operation, so had an Engineer Company assigned to each of its columns. Co. ”A” on the right and Co. ”C” on the left. Co. ”B” was with the Combat Command ”B” and Co. ”D” with the 82nd Rcn Bn. After a long march from the La Mine area, the companies proceeded in column to Pont Herbert and vicinity 25 July, where after a terrific bombardment of the enemy lines a little south, the Infantry Divisions pushed off and were shortly afterwards followed by our armoured columns. Bomb craters were everywhere, and Engineer platoons and bull dozers kept forward fixing roads or making by-passes through the hedgerow; also sweeping for mines. Proceeding through Saint- Gilles and Canisy, the right column of CC. ”A” was pulling into bivouac near Le Mesnil Herman 27 July.
“The BSO (Battalion Signals Officer), Captain Thomas W. Kelly, Jr. and two men from Headquarters Company were killed together by enemy bombing near Pont Herbert, France, 28 July 1944”
(Source: 17th Armored Engineer Battalion Unit History)
The Unit history clearly tells us what happend to Captain Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr.
Our research revealed that the other two man, stated in the 17th Engineers Unit History, who were killed are Private Eldon W. Akins and Staffsergeant Roy Basham.
Location where Captain Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr was killed in action:
Official casualty list
Captain Kelly is mentioned in the unit History, as a Lieutenant during the The North African Campaign
At Fedala, 16 Miles north of Casablanca, the platoons to land where those of Lieuts Mc Adams and Kelly of Cc,. “B” and Lt. Rawls of Co. “C”’, They remained at Fedala only a short time, however, and went back aboard ship and landed finally at Casablanca.
Headstone Application Card
The location of the house in the year where Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr lived with his adoption mother, as a 19 year old “student”:
Adress: 303, 12 East, Rolla, Missouri, United States
US Sensus 1940
|Thos W Kelly||Adopted son||M||19||Sikeston|
|Name||Thos W Kelly|
|Event Place||Ward 1, Rolla, Rolla Township, Phelps, Missouri, United States|
|Relationship to Head of Household (Original)||Adopted Son|
|Relationship to Head of Household||Adopted son|
|Birth Year (Estimated)||1921|
|Last Place of Residence||Commerce, Scott, Missouri|
The adoption mother of Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr
United States Census, 1940
|Event Place:||Ward 1, Rolla, Rolla Township, Phelps, Missouri, United States|
|Relationship to Head of Household (Original):||Head|
|Relationship to Head of Household:||Head|
|Birth Year (Estimated):||1871|
|Last Place of Residence:||Commerce, Scott, Missouri|
Captain Kelly was a Missouri Student. He was born in Sikeston, MO in 1921. Both of this parents died; he was then raised by Olivia Osburn, a foster parent, of Commerce, MO. After having graduated from Commerce, MO Grade Schoo, Benton, MO High School and Rolla, MO School of Mines (later known as University of Missouri–Rolla) with a degree in Engineering, where earned a scholaship to University of Arizona, Kelly accepted employment as an Engineer with the St. Jospeh Lead Company.
Shortly following, there was the suprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, causing the United States to Join World War II. Kelly entered the U.S. Army and received orders to Europe. Prior to Kelly’s death, his uncle, Judge Earl Peters of Scott County, bequeathed Kelly $10,000 in government bonds, and in Kelly’s last will and testament Kelly requested that the interest from the bonds be given as a scholarship each year to a graduate of his Alma Mater Benton High Schoo for a student planning to attend the Missouri School of Mines. Benton High School closed at the end of the 1956-57 school year. Between 1954-57 Kelly High School was built to consolidte area schools during a Missouri reorganization directive. The new school was named Thomas W. Kelly High School to honor Captain Kelly.
The “Thomas W Kelly Highschool “in Benton, Missouri
Research © by: Martijn Brandjes
Text © by: Martijn Brandjes
Photos © by: Findagrave.com, familysearch.org