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David Joseph Marquard
Rank: First Lieutenant
David Joseph Marquard



2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment

Normandy, France

June 22, 1944

Survived the war?
4th Infantry Division

4th Infantry Division

Death of a brother

July 27, 1944

Dear Dick and Sis:

This letter was held up until you had heard of the sad news of Dave. Your typed letter of June 23rd forwarded from the 91st, I received some time ago, with the heading, "Day before Edwin Jr's birth and two days before Dick's Birthday, but you didn’t know it was one day after Dave's death.

It was the second of July when a friend of mine came to my tent to inform me that three officers wished to see me. I crawled out of my tent and stood up to see a Major and two lieutenants coming across the area towards me. 'I recognised Lt. Johnson at once, my heart was glad en I thought Dave would be here too.
But when Lt. Johnson came up to me he said, "Cleo, I have bad news for you, David was killed in action on the 22nd of July".

I just stood dumb struck end said, "Oh". The Major was crying while Lt. Johnson gave me the news.

The next day Captain Kulp and Lt. Johnson returned to five me more details, which I cannot put down here. Dave was killed instantaneously and did not suffer. They said he had a very contented expression on his face.

Lt. Johnson said he slept with Dave in a fox hole the night before it happened. He said Date's death was felt more than anyone's to date in the battalion as he was so well liked. Captain Kulp said he was at Mass and Communion with Dave on the twenty first.

On the fourth of July I located Dave’s grave. Standing by my pup tent and looking over four hedge rows I can see the crosses of the cemetery from here. I often make a visit to his grave as its only five minutes walk across the two fields to the cemetery. Standing at the foot of his grave with one of his dog tags nailed to the white cross, it is difficult to realise that Dave in lying there. One conciliation is that the war is over for him and he is not going thru the hell at the front.

The other day while at the cemetery I saw about fifty soldiers beautifying the graves and putting up a white flag pole. The French people from the Catholic Church nearby were planting flowers on each grave.

Have Vin take fifty dollars from my account for masses for Dave.

I feel much lonelier here now with Dave gone. He was our favourite brother and everyone that knew him loved him. No doubt I shall miss him more when I get back to Cleveland. Tell Ginny I am very sorry.

Don't worry about me. I am safe here and in good health. Wishing you and family my love, I remain,


P.S. Let me know the date you receive this letter. Please write often.

This letter was sent home by Cleo Marquard, David's brother.

Lt. Colonel Carlton O. McNeely's letter

My dear Francis,
It had been my greatest desire to write David's family in regards to his death, however, at the time we were fighting for Cherbourg, we wanto to do no had there was a lack of time for those things David dies as he lived with complete disregard for his own personal safety, and with the one idea in mind, to advance the American arms.

From the first day we get foot on French soil, and he crossed the beach with me, it would be impossible to place into words the great work that he performed. As you know, David came to my battalion upon his graduation from OCS and was with it until his death. Prior to the time, we sailed from this country, he became a member of my staff as the Intelligence Officer and there could have been none better. He never had to be told what to do, he always knew and by the time I would ask it would have been done.

David was beloved by all the officers and men. All had the greatest respect for his ability and knowledge. He was not only an understanding officer, but one of the finest gentlemen, it has been my pleasure to ever know. I don't mind admitting to you, and not because you are his brother, that he was one of my favorite's but he never knew it. We had been fighting very hard all during 20 and 21 June against the outer defenses of Cherbourg. After driving the Germans, we had halted for the night. Barely the morning 22 June, David came to my slit trench and told me that a German patrol was coming down the road to our rear.

He asked to take patrol of our men to see if he could destroy or capture the enemy, preferably capture as there was certain information in regards to the German defenses that we badly needed. I told him to go ahead, but to destroy the enemy in case the risk was too great in attempting to bring them in. Moving to intercept the enemy, David's patrol was fired upon by a German machine-gun and from the burst of fire, David and one of his men were killed.

I sincerely hope it will be some comfort to you and your family to see his body before it was taken to the military cemetery for burial. David is buried at the Blackhawk Cemetery, and American military cemetery, southeast of St. Mere Eglise, Normandy. You may already know, he received a military funeral, conducted by the chaplain. He is buried along with so many other fine officers and men of the 8th infantry.

I will not attempt to write to you of the loss we all suffered when David was killed. It is not within my ability fo express my feelings in words, however, it was as if I also had lost a brother. It is of little help at a time like this, but you all can be so proud of David. No one could have done more towards furthering the success of our attack, and he died as he lived, with his face towards the enemy.

The following month I was wounded and as the result of the wound, lost my right leg at the knee. It has been a long, hard road but at the present, I have started making real progress towards recovery. Please give my best wishes to all your family, and if there are any questions you desire to ask, don't hestitate to write me. I have tried to express to you my feelings towards David, and my opinion of him as an officer, but it sound so weak. Someday, I hope that I will have the opportunity of talking to you.

Sincerely yours,
Lt. Colonel Carlton McNeely

8th Infantry Regiment

The 8th Infantry Regiment assaulted Utah Beach on June 6, 1944. It was the first of the 4th Infantry Division's infantry regiments to land on Utah Beach. Four companies from the 8th Infantry Regiment, hit the beach precisely at 0630. 

Brigadier General Roosevelt went in with Company B on the right and began coordinating the advance of its two assault battalions: Lt. Col. Conrad C. Simmons’s led 1st Battalion and Lt. Col. Carlton O. MacNeely’s led 2d Battalion. Within a few minutes on the beach, the two battalion commanders began telling Roosevelt that the actual beach terrain bore little resemblance to the sand tables and maps they had been pouring over for months. While the battalion leaders got their troops productively engaged in battle and moving forward, the brigadier had time to survey the battle area. The veteran of previous assaults realized they were in the wrong place.

In World War II, the 8th Infantry Regiment was cited twice in the order of the day by the Belgian Army - the first for action in the Belgian Campaign, and later for action in the Ardennes. The Belgian Government subsequently awarded the regiment the Belgian Fourragere. The battalion was inactivated on 25 February 1946 at Camp Butner, North Carolina.

Veteran's personal medals
Purple Heart
Purple Heart
Croix de Guerre (with plam)
Croix de Guerre (with plam)
Veteran's personal file
8th Infantry Regiment (Fighting Eagles) Distinctive unit insignia
8th Infantry Regiment (Fighting Eagles) Distinctive unit insignia

Motto: " Steadfast and Loyal"

Presidential Unit Citation
Presidential Citation for the beaches of Normandy
Beaches of Normandy

    Personal photographs

    Click on a picture for enlargement

    • June 22, 1944
    • Saint Mary Cemetery Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
    • 35565886

    Remember each and every sacrifice, made for your freedom!

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