Why Bedford?

Bedford_Boys

Bedford, Virginia... 
Like eleven other Virginia communities, Bedford provided a company of soldiers (Company A) to the 29th Infantry Division when the National Guard's 116th Infantry Regiment was activated on 3 February 1941. Some thirty Bedford soldiers were still in that company on D-Day; several more from Bedford were in other D-Day companies, including one who, two years earlier, had been reassigned from the 116th Infantry to the First Infantry Division. Thus he had already landed in both Northern Africa and Sicily before coming ashore on D-Day at Omaha Beach with the Big Red One. Company A of the 116th Infantry assaulted Omaha Beach as part of the First Division's Task Force O.

 

By day's end, nineteen of the company's Bedford soldiers were dead. Two more Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign, as did yet another two assigned to other 116th Infantry companies. Bedford's population in 1944 was about 3,200. Proportionally this community suffered the nation's severest D-Day losses. Recognizing Bedford as emblematic of all communities, large and small, whose citizen-soldiers served on D-Day, Congress warranted the establishment of the National D-Day Memorial here.

*Photos courtesy of the Bedford Museum

abbott leslie

Leslie C. Abott Jr.

carter wallace

Wallace R. Carter

clifton john

John D. Clifton

draper frank

Frank P. Draper Jr.

fellers taylor

    Capt. Taylor N. Fellers
gillispie nick

Nick N. Gillaspie

hoback bedford

Bedford T. Hoback

hoback ray

Raymond S. Hoback

lee clifton

Clifton G. Lee

parker earl

Earl L. Parker

gillispie nick

Jack G. Powers

hoback bedford

Weldon A. Rosazza

hoback ray

John F. Reynolds

lee clifton

John B. Schenk

gillispie nick

Ray O. Stevens

hoback bedford

John L. Wilkes

hoback ray

Gordon H. White

lee clifton

Elmere P. Wright

gillispie nick

Grant C. Yopp

 

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