August 24, 1944 – James E. Reid is the first to be killed

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Good Giants Blog


On the night of August 23-24, 19445, as you prepared to enter combat, you suddenly realized that this was no training exercise: an enemy patrol might be lurking behind the next culvert or house, or the deafening roar of a firearm might be the next and last sound that you heard. The accidental clanking of your rifle against your steel helmet might be heard by every German in the area and would surely bring down a rain of fire.

James E. Reid is buried at the Florence-American Cemetery in Florence, Itally

Company I, under its commander, Lieutenant Jesse Jarman, on the left, with its command post at Cascina, reported enemy activity around an are designated Outpost 4. In the firing that followed, Platoon Sergeant James E. Reid of Company I, with whom you had played cards and passed idle hours only days before as you crossed the Atlantic, was wounded and later died, thus becoming the first fatality of the 3rd Battalion, the first battle casualty of the 92nd Division, and the first Negro in the European Theater of war to die in infantry combat. Just like that, someone I had know was gone.

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