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Many cousins in the extended family took part in the D-Day invasion of France in June 1944.
Courtesy National Archives.


D-Day Campaign Memorial
Remembering 24 Known Cousins Who Participated


Many cousins in the extended Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor clan took part in the D-Day campaign invasion of France in June 1944. One was a nurse in the Women's Auxiliary Air Corps. One was captured and held as a POW. Several were wounded, with one dying of his injuries. One was shot down and killed four days later.We seek on this page to identify their names and honor their memory so they will never be forgotten.


Stewart Edward Ambler - family of Nellie (Knight) Ambler of Burrton, KS - was assigned to a parachute unit. On D-Day, was "one of the first of the Americans to land in Normandy...," said the Modesto (CA) Bee, "and for 10 days was in almost constant action until wounded." He received a bullet wound of the thorax. He was hospitalized in June 1944 and remained for about five months at Hammond General Hospital.

Lorraine (McKnight) Barrows - family of Frank Trevor McKnight of Fayette County, PA - joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Corps (WAAC) and shipped overseas to England. Her first assignment was in a telephone switchboard operation in six underground floors of the Selfridges department store in London, working with a team of operators for Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's London headquarters. She was part of the D-Day invasion and among 36 women who landed on Utah Beach. After arriving in Normandy, France, she and her fellow WAACs slept in tents for three weeks.

James Howard Crabtree - family of Mary Agnes (Younkin) Crabtree - a seaman first class in the Navy. He was quoted in an article in the November 1942 Reader's Digest, "Convoy to Murmansk," authored by Edwin Miller. During the D-Day operation in June 1944, now in the Atlantic, he is believed to have helped sink a ship there intentionally to obscure the invading troops coming ashore. 

Stephen Augustus Duffy - family of John Miner of Mauch Chunk, PA - private first class with the 489th Anti-Aircraft Artillery, and took part in military operations in Normandy and Northern France.

George DeLong - family of Mary Jane (Pring) McCollough of Shawnee, OK - landed in France on D-day plus eight. Was one of the first Americans to enter Cherbourg where more than 6,000 Germans were held as prisoners of war.

Blair Eugene King - family of Bertha (Ream) Conn of Confluence, PA - served with the 325th Glider Infantry as part of the 82nd Airborne Division, and took part in the D-Day invasion.

Howard Philip Lepley - family of Elizabeth (Sturtz) Comp of Buffalo Mills, PA - crew member of the B-24 bomber "Little Sheppard,"of the 714th Bomber Squadron, 448th Bomber Group, shot down over Evreux, France on June 10, 1944, just four days after D-Day. Howard and four other crewmen were killed in the action. His body was recovered and buried in Europe.

Albert Edward Marshall Jr. - family of Arvilla (Minard) Marshall - participant. 

Paul Silas Mayle - family of Sarepta (Kennedy) Mayle -  took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy and later the Battle of the Bulge.

Charles William McClain - family of Margaret (Hoye) McClain of Smithfield, PA - "was wounded shortly after the first outfit of paratroopers landed in Normandy," said a newspaper. "Returning to England, young McClain recovered in a base hospital and returned to duty. Several weeks later he was fatally wounded in the leg." He succumbed to his wounds on Oct. 6, 1944, in Holland. His remains were not returned home for five years.

Glenn Ellsworth McKnight - family of William Stewart McKnight of Dawson, PA - was part of the Army's assault at Omaha Beach, and later saw action at the Battle of the Bulge. Was wounded and received the Purple Heart medal.

William Lawson Miller - family of George W. Ingles Ogle - joining the U.S. Navy in 1943, participated in the invasion of Normandy.

Thomas Minerd - family of Thomas Minerd of Smithfield, PA - 79th Infantry Division of Patch's 7th Army, a unit commended "for making the fastest progress (1800 yards in 72 hours) of any infantry division in warfare," said a newspaper. "Also awarded a citation for their skill near Strasbourg, the unit was the first to cross the Seine River and the Belgium border. First stationed in England, he participated in the D-Day invasion and fought in the battle for Cherbourg. Moving on across France, he fought in several battles under General Patton."

William Byron Minerd - family of Thomas Minerd of Smithfield, PA - was shipped overseas in February 1942 and "spent seven months at secret bases," said a newspaper. "He later spent 19 months in Belgium Congo, Africa, after which he was sent to England until D-Day, when he participated in the invasion."

Lloyd Harvey Mort - family of Levi Rose - as a member of the 1st Infantry Division, saw action in the North Africa, Sicily and Normandy campaigns, and was injured or wounded, receiving a Purple Heart.

Clayton Nagle - family of Margaret (Halfpenny) Nagle of Berwick, PA -  was a tank commander and, on D-Day, "drove a tank onto Utah Beach from a landing ship that didn't quite reach the shore," said the Bloomsburg (PA) Press Enterprise. "He kept going, even though the water in his tank rose to his neck before it started going down." Purple Heart recipient.

Donald Leroy Plants - family of Ollie Margaret (Miner) Plants of Ashtabula, OH - was an "amphibious engineer" involved in the landing at Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge, and was captured as a prisoner of war. Guest speaker at our 1998 national family reunion.

Charles E. Shipley - family of Mary Todd (Jennings) Shipley of Ohiopyle, PA - was a member of the 4th Signal Company, 4th Infantry Division and took part in the invasion at Normandy and in liberating Paris, for which he earned a French Jubilee of Liberty Medal.

William P. Straitiff - family of Lucinda Jane "Jennie" (Miner) Turner Stevenson Paolone - paratrooper with the A Company of the 506 PIR, 101st Airborne Division, with a jump into France during the D-Day invasion. The Uniontown (PA) Morning Herald said that he "was the only serviceman from Fairchance during World War II to serve with the paratroopers."

Stroop, Warren Wilkie - family of William McKnight - took part in the Normandy invasion, with his unit moving through France, Belgium and Germany. Was wounded by shrapnel twice in battle in Aachen, Germany.

Wayne M. Sutter - family of Luther Minerd Sr. - with the U.S. Navy, served in World War II in the Normandy Landing and campaigns in Sicily and Italy. In 1946, he was stationed on the U.S.S. Albemarle at Bikini atoll with an atomic bomb patrol.

Minor Fay White - family of Charles Minor White of Wichita, KS - "served as engineer-pilot of the C-47 veteran, 'Nina Mae,' which was the lead plane on a number of important missions for paratroop-drops in the European theater," including at Normandy, France on D-Day in June 1944, said the Wichita Eagle. Took part part in the invasions of Sicily and Italy. Killed in a crash of a C-124 airplane during the Korean War.

Orville O. Willis - family of Charles Addison Dillow of Clinton, IL - joined the U.S. Army and was deployed to England in January 1943. Took part in the 1944 Normandy campaign and was commended by his commanding officer for "his driving in difficult weather and over shell-pocked highways in the blackout," said the Clinton Daily Journal and Public. Then in early 1945, was with a military police guard in Belgium, driving German POWs from the front lines to the stockades.

Lee W. Ziegler - family of Clarence Warren "Bobby" Lytle - took part in the invasion of Normandy and additional maneuvers in northern France and the Rhineland. 


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