Thursday, June 6, 2019

D-Day Plus 75 Years

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day

The closest relative I have found involved in the D-Day invasion was Arnold Burton Kruvant, a second cousin of my paternal grandfather. The details of his death were, I believe, first described in a book on his battalion published in 2016. While apparently several surviving members of his battalion witnessed his death, they decided not to share the details with his family, due to its gruesome nature.

First Lt. Arnold Kruvant of New Jersey was a Camp Claiborne original. He transferred to the 37th Parachute Artillery Battalion and became the S-3, jumping into Normandy even though he had never had jump training. Kruvant carried in with him the funds for the battalion, $500 in U.S. currency. He is listed as KIA and MIA on June 6. He was twenty-six years old.

Kruvant’s widow was well known and well liked by the men of the 321st. They decided at the time that she would not be told of her husband’s gruesome death. Several 321st officers recalled that Kruvant was bayoneted to death while hung up in his parachute harness, dangling from a tree just off the ground. Why his body was never positively identified remains a mystery to this day. (Source: Screaming Eagle Gliders: The 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division in World War II, G. J. Dettore, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, pp 83-85. Image: East Orange High School Yearbook, 1936, p. 44. Retrieved from June 5, 2019.)


Note: A week and a half ago I neglected to make my annual Memorial Day post. On future Memorial Days, I believe I will honor Arnold Kruvant's service in addition to that of my great uncle, Mandell Newmark. (Mandell and Arnold were second cousins.)

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