17th Armored Engineer Battalion in World War 2

17th Engineers during World War Two

Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr » Roll of Honor

Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr

Unit: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div, Company Headquarters Rank: CaptainBorn: 10/30/1920

Awards and Citations: Purple Heart
Enlisted: Unknown
Deceased: 07/28/1944
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
GPS (lat/lon): 

Click here to read more about Captain Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr

Foto van Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr

Biografische informatie

Location grave Captain Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial :

Captain Thomas Wallace Kenny Jr

Captain Wallace Kelly Jr

Captain Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr

Gravestone Normandy CollvilleThomas W Kelly Jr front

Gravestone Normandy CollvilleThomas W Kelly Jr front

Gravestone Normandy CollvilleThomas W Kelly Jr front

Gravestone Normandy CollvilleThomas W Kelly Jr front

Gravestone Thomas W Kelly Jr front

Gravestone Thomas W Kelly Jr
New Lorimier Cemetery

Gravestone Thomas W Kelly Jr New Lorimier Cemetery

Gravestone Thomas W Kelly Jr
New Lorimier Cemetery

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

Officiall Deathlist, Oregon Permiscot County

Officiall Deathlist, Oregon Permiscot County detail


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

Enlistment details



US Sensus 1940

Olivia Osborne Head F 69 Indiana
Thos W Kelly Adopted son M 19 Sikeston

Thos W Kelly

United States Census, 1940
Name Thos W Kelly
Event Type Census
Event Date 1940
Event Place Ward 1, Rolla, Rolla Township, Phelps, Missouri, United States
Sex Male
Age 19
Marital Status Single
Race (Original) White
Race White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Adopted Son
Relationship to Head of Household Adopted son
Birthplace Sikeston
Birth Year (Estimated) 1921
Last Place of Residence Commerce, Scott, Missouri


The adoption mother of Thomas Wallace Kelly Jr

Olivia Osborne

United States Census, 1940

Name: Olivia Osborne
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Ward 1, Rolla, Rolla Township, Phelps, Missouri, United States
Sex: Female
Age: 69
Marital Status: Widowed
Race (Original): White
Race: White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Head
Relationship to Head of Household: Head
Birthplace: Indiana
Birth Year (Estimated): 1871
Last Place of Residence: Commerce, Scott, Missouri

Addational info:

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.

(Source: FindaGrave.com)

The “Thomas W Kelly Highschool “in Benton, Missouri


Research © by: Martijn Brandjes
Text © by: Martijn Brandjes
Photos © by: Findagrave.com, familysearch.org


Categorieën: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div – Company Unknown