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John Amos Ward



John and Dorothy Ward. Image courtesy of their granddaughter, Tara Vaughn Garza. Click to enlarge.

Home of Record: Newhall
Date of Birth: June 22, 1918
Birthplace: Fillmore, Calif.
Family: Married, 4 children

Service: Army of the United States
Rank: Private
ID No: 39587129
Specialty:
Length of Service: 8 months
Unit: Company B, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division
Start Tour: May 27, 1944

Incident Date: February 1, 1945
Casualty Date: KIA February 1, 1945
Age at Loss: 26
Location: France
Remains: Buried in an American Military Cemetery in France; repatriated in 1949; final resting place Valhalla Cemetery, North Hollywood


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Narrative: PVT John Amos Ward fought with the 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. The 28th had been trained for the invasion of Normandy and landed there on July 22, 1944, six weeks after D-Day. It was sent to the front and fought with distinction in the Normandy campaign and represented the United States during ceremonies marking the liberation of Paris. In September 1944 it became the first Allied division to cross Germany's Siegfried line. In December the 28th was sent to the front at the Ardennes, with the 110th assigned to defend the center section of the 25-mile front line when the Germans attacked. After three weeks of heavy fighting and heavy losses in this "Battle of the Bulge" (Dec. 16, 1944-Jan. 2, 1945), the 110th held the Germans back from Neufchâteau, France. "Five enemy divisions drove through the 110th's sector, but the units of the regiment held so firmly at all costs that the Germans' plan was disrupted and their schedule thrown off balance," the commanding officer, COL Daniel B. Strickler, later said of the 110th's participation in the Bulge. On Jan. 2, 1945, the 110th took up a new defensive line along the Meuse River. In mid-January it received 2,500 reinforcements and traveled by boxcars 250 miles south to the Vosges Mountains in central Alsace where the Germans were holding the so-called Colmar Pocket — the last major French area in German hands. It was probably here that PVT John Amos Ward was killed in action on February 1, 1945. After his initial burial in a French American Military Cemetery, his remains were returned to the United States in 1949 and he was laid to rest at Valhalla Cemetery in North Hollywood.

Notes: John A. Ward's ancestry can be traced to Tataviam Indians living at Chaguayabit village (Castaic Junction) prior to European contact in 1769 [See Genealogy]. Ward was living at 412 Pine Street, Newhall, when he married Dorothy Marie Wilson of Castaic on Sept. 18, 1939.



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Headquarters 110th Infantry
APO 28 U.S. Army
9 March 1945

Mrs. Dorothy M. Ward,
259 West 7th Street,
Escondido, California

Dear Mrs. Ward:

By this time I feel sure you have been officially notified by the War Department that your husband, Private John A. Ward, 39 587 129, Company B, 110th Infantry Regiment, was killed in action while serving with the 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, in France on 1 February 1945.

John served with great distinction and was a credit to his family, his nation and to the United States Army.

He was given a full military funeral by the Catholic Chaplain, and was laid to rest by his comrades in an American Military Cemetery in France.

I extend to you my sincerest sympathy and condolence in your grief and your great loss. You have lost a fine husband. The Regiment has lost a fine soldier.

Sincerely yours,
/s/
Daniel B. Strickler,
Colonel, 110th Infantry,
Commanding



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Headquarters
San Francisco Port of Embarkation

Fort Mason, California
30 December 1948
In Reply Refer to: TCSFP-293-GRS (WARD, John A.)

Mrs. Dorothy M. Ward
Post Office Box 392
Valley Center, California

Dear Mrs. Ward:

Your attention is invited to the inclosed copy of telegram concerning disposition of remains of the late Private John A. Ward, which was sent to you from this office on 18 December 1948.

In order that we may complete the Program for the disposition of remains of World War II Dead being returned from overseas with the least possible delay, we should appreciate your answering the telegram or this letter at your earliest convenience.

The inclosed self-addressed envelope which requires no postage is for your use in submitting reply.

Very truly yours,
/s/
Frank Cusmiskey
Lt. Colonel, AGD
Asst. Adjutant General



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United States of America
Certification of Military Service

This certifies that: John A. Ward 39587139
was a member of the Army of the United States
from May 27, 1944
to February 1, 1945

Service was terminated by: Death

Last Grade, Rank or Rating: Private

Active Service Dates: Same as Above

Date of Birth: 6-22-1918
Place of Birth: Fillmore, CA

Given at St. Louis, Missiouri, on October 17, 2014

National Personnel Records Center
(Miltary Personnel Records)
National Archives and Records Administration



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[National Personnel Records Center]
[9700 Page Boulevard in St. Louis, Mo.]

RE: Veteran's Name: WARD, John Amos
Request Number: 2-11995971365

Dear Recipient:

The military record needed to answer your inquiry was located in the area that suffered the most damage in the fire that occurred at this Center on July 12, 1973. Fortunately, a portion of the record was among those recovered; however, it was damaged in the fire. The veteran's service record does not contain a copy of a DD 214, Report of Separation, or its equivalent. The enclosed NA Form 13038, Certification of Military Service, is furnished in lieu. This will verify the military service of the person named thereon and it may be used for any official purpose.

If you have questions or comments regarding this response, you may contact us at 314-801-0800 or by mail at the address shown in the letterhead above. If you contact us, please reference the Request Number listed above. If you are a veteran, or a deceased veteran's next of kin, please consider submitting your future requests online by visiting us at http://vetrecs.archives.gov.

Sincerely,
/s/
James Kritselis
Archives Technician (AFN-MC2A)

Note: On July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at the National Personnel Records Center destroyed approximately 16 million to 18 million Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), including 80 percent of Army records for personnel discharged from Nov. 1, 1912, to Jan. 1, 1960; and 75 percent Air Force records for personnel discharged from Sept. 25, 1947, to Jan. 1, 1964.

Documents courtesy of John Amos Ward's granddaughter, Tara Vaughn Garza.

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