On 24 September, 1944 Operation Market Garden was capturing attention, as the Allies attempted to capture the “bridge too far” at Arnhem. Also that day, my grandfather, Paul Farnum, died at the 32nd Evac. Hospital of wounds received 21 September in the fighting for Luneville. He was buried at U.S. Military Cemetary, Andilly France, about 15 miles northwest of Nancy, Plot G, row 12, grave 296.
In 1948 he made his final voyage, arriving home to Millington, MI on 28 December accompanied by a military escort.
In honor of Memorial Day, I kicked off a series of posts following my grandfather, Paul Farnum, and his experiences in combat in northwestern Europe in 1944. The entire series may be read here. This was my way of sending a posthumous thank you for his contribution, however humble, to victory in Europe. And I wanted to be sure my daughters and my sons would be able to remember their great-grandfather in the context of events when the time comes for them to study the history of the Second World War. Although I was familiar with the grand scale of the campaigns in Northwestern Europe 1944-1945, reviewing the the events of June-September 1944 at the level of Paul’s Regiment (the 313th) gave me a new perspective on events. Stephen Ambrose (Citizen Soldiers) and particularly Ernie Pyle (Brave Men) helped me gain a greater appreciation for the men of Paul’s generation who were called upon to fight.
To the past, present, and future members of our armed forces: “Thanks!”