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S/Sgt Gerald E Melssen

S/Sgt Gerald E Melssen

Company D - 134th Infantry Regiment

S/Sgt Melssen joined the 134th Infantry Regiment on July 17, 1944. He was killed in action on August 11, 1944 during the battle at Mortain, France while serving as a squad leader with Company D. Initially buried near Mortain, his remains were returned home in 1949 and he now rests between his parents in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Dubuque, IA.

S/Sgt Melssen's wedding, Gainesville, TX, March 8, 1944. On the right is his brother

Near his parent's home in Dubuque, IA 1942 or 1943



S-Sgt. Gerald E. Melssen Killed in France

The body of S-Sgt. Gerald E. Melssen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Melssen, of 1389 Elm street, who was killed in action Aug. 11, 1944, at Mortain, France, will arrive Monday night in Dubuque.  It will be taken to the Didesch funeral home, where friends may call after 2 p.m. Tuesday and from where the funeral will be held at 9 a.m. Wedneday to St. Mary's church. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary cemetery.  Military services will be conducted by members of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreigh Wars.

Enlisted early

S-Sgt. Melssen was among the first group of Dubuquers to enlist in the army the day after Pearl Harbor, Dec. 8, 1941, and participated in action on D day on the Normandy coast. He served with the army in its sweep across France, and during that campaign was awarded the Purple Heart and a presidential citation. He also angaged in the battles of St. Lo and Cherbourg.

He was born April 21, 1922, in Dickeyville, Wis., and came with his parents when a year old to Dubuque.

Before entering service he attented three terms at the citizens military camp at Ft. Des Moines, Ia., serving as a cadet sergeant. After enlisting in the
army he received basic training at Camp Wolters, Tex., and served one year with the western defense command on the Pacific coast. Before going overseas in May 1944, he was stationed for a time at Gainsville, Tex.

Senior High Grad

He attented St. Mary's school, Loras academy and Senior High school, graduating from the latter. He was a member of St. Mary's church, the Holy Name society and a member of the Carpenters union, local 678.

He was married March 8, 1944 to Lorraine Kluck.  Surviving besides his parents are two sisters, Mrs. Louis (Marie) Schriver, of Brainerd, Minn., and Mrs. Leo (Helen) Welu, of Dubuque; three brothers, Ray and Elmer Melssen, both of Dubuque, and Joseph Melssen, serving with the navy in San Diego, Calif., and a number of nieces, nephews, uncles and aunts.

[The Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, April 3, 1949, page 28]

Thanks to Jan Melssen from the Netherlands for this information and the photographs. He is S/Sgt Gerald Melssen's cousin.

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