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Normandy 44


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Andrew Jackson Speese III (1912-1944)

Andrew J. Speese III (1912-1944)
Andrew J. Speese III

Andrew Jackson Speese III was born on August 10, 1912 at 5.30 PM, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is baptized on September 11, 1942 in the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul, at Germantown.

His father, Donald V. Speese, was born in 1888 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. In 1912, he lived at 434 Harvey Street, in Philadelphia.

His mother, Sarah Catherine Carlin, was also born in 1888. Widow since 1926, she lived in 1944 at 217 South Victoria Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ.

He is the oldest of the four children. He has a sister, Mary, and two brothers, John and Donald.

Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin & Marshall College

He is raised in Glenside, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia. He attends Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster.

He is an associate in the brokerage firm of E. W. Clarke and Co., in Philadelphia.

Andrew J. Speese III (1912-1944)
Andrew J. Speese III
(computer colourized picture)

He gets married on May 24, 1940 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, with Ann Margaret Byrne, who lived at Wayside Farm, Whitehorse Road, in Phoenixville. The wedding is celebrated in Saint Ann's Church. His wife, Ann M. Byrne, died from a lung cancer in 1997.

Harry Byrne, one of his wife's five brothers, comes to France in 1999 to visit his daughter Barbara, living in Paris.

Andrew J. Speese III (1912-1944)
Andrew J. Speese III

He has two children, Andrew and Ann. After the birth of his son, he takes his family to Houston, Texas, where he is an expeditor for M. H. McCloskey Construction Company.

His son Andrew J. Speese IV, "Sandy", comes to Périers for his first time on April 6, 1996 and gets to his father's grave. He comes again for a week in February 1998. He serves as Police Officer in Hawaii, and is an helicopter pilot in the US Army of Reserve.

His daughter Ann was conceived during his last furlough before boarding towards England. She was born after her father's death.

Andrew J. Speese III (1912-1944)
Andrew J. Speese III

Here are some details from his military life :

Working in shipbuilding industry, his occupation is considered vital. So does he have a deferrement from the draft. As the war progressed, his deferrement was withdrawn. He then enlisted, knowing he would be drafted anyway. He is drafted on October 16, 1943, in Houston Texas, under the regimental number SN 38 544 452. He departs from the United States on April 6, 1944.

He belongs to Company K, of 357th Infantry Regiment. He is ranked Private, however he writes in his last letter that he his a sergeant. This was not unusual in action to temporary balance the lack of non commissioned officers with privates but forceful men.

He is killed on July 6, 1944 in Plessis-Lastelle (Beaucoudray).

Andrew J. Speese III (1912-1944)

Here are some of the details we know :
  • Information from the Hospital Admission Card : not taken to hospital before his death.
  • Killed in action, death not self-inflicted, from penetrating wound to head, and arm torn out by shrapnel.
  • He is temporary buried at the cemetery "les Forges" at Blosville, where his grave is visited by Louise Michel.
  • Later on, he is buried at the American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer (Grave F-21-36).
  • Purple Heart posthumously awarded on September 23, 1944.
His former friend, Edmond P. Reiley, shares his memories
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Discover his last letter, sent to his wife, and other moving memories sent by Speese's family

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