Dedication of the Nangis, France Monument to
U. S. 7th Armored Division Dead
John L. Wood and William P. O' Rourke
August 26, 2010
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Old and New Plaques on the Monument
Concerned citizens of Nangis, the Souvenir Franšais Committee, erected a monument to two unknown American soldiers who were killed in the liberation of the city. Unaware of the monument, veteran Paul Crawford (Company A, 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion), wrote a letter 12 Nov 2001 to 7th Armored Division Association Historian Wesley Johnston, telling of the death of the Company Sergeant, S/Sgt. John L. Wood and a 23 AIB medic whose name Paul Crawford did not know. S/Sgt. Wood's death date was already posted on the 23 AIB web page. So in 2009, Daniel Blandin of Nangis found it and realized that this was one of the men killed at Nangis. He contacted Wesley Johnston, who by that time had obtained the Morning Reports of the 23 AIB Medical Detachment and was immediately able to identify Pvt. William P. O' Rourke as the medic killed with S/Sgt. Wood. The Souvenir Franšais Committee then resolved to replace the original plaque with a new plaque with the names of those two men. The 64th anniversary of the liberation of Nangis and of the death of the two men, August 26, 2010, was set for the dedication ceremonies. Paul Crawford very much wished to attend with his three sons, but his health prohibited him from making the trip. Thanks very much to all those who made this monument and plaque possible and took part in the ceremonies.
Photographs of the Ceremonies
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Text Copyright © 2011 by Wesley Johnston
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