Previous Next World War II Exhibit Page Home Search
Record 454/959
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
Enlarge Image
Admin/Biog History George R. Dempsey was born in Oshkosh, WI on February 22, 1918, the son of Edward J. and Sadie Dempsey. He graduated from St. Peter's High School in 1935 and Notre Dame University in 1939. He took post graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 1940 and began working for Pusey & Jones shipbuilders in Wilmington, Delaware. He was drafted in January 1941 and began training as a tanker at Fort Benning, GA. He was assigned to officer training school at Fort Knox, KY and became a 2nd lieutenant in January 1942, assigned to the 1st Armored Division. He returned to Oshkosh and married Catherine A. Schwalm on January 10, 1942. He left for overseas duty in May of 1942 and trained in Northern Ireland with British forces. They left for the North African Campaign in November 1942 and entered combat in Tunisia on January 21, 1943. He was quickly promoted to 1st lieutenant and command of a tank company. He received the surrender of a German Panzer (tank) Division and received the Silver Star and was promoted to Captain. His division fought in the Italian Campaign in November 1943 and fought at Casino and Anzio. While engaged north of Rome, he was wounded on June 4, 1944 and awarded the Purple Heart. At his own request, he was discharged from the hospital on June 24, and returned to the fighting on June 26. He was killed in action on June 28, 1944 near Siena, Italy.
Classification Archives
Collection George R. Dempsey
Dates of Accumulation 1942
Abstract Letter to George R. Dempsey, 13th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, from his father, Edward Dempsey in Oshkosh, WI.

[Circa 1942]
Dear George,

Of course your going disturbs mother and it is more disturbing to Cathy, but I know that both of them will be very brave about [it]. I am glad that you got married. For both of you it was the right thing. You have had a big honeymoon that nothing can now take away from either of you.
I know that you have no illusions as to what you are facing, neither have I. However, neither of us would hear of it otherwise under the circumstances. I think we both saw the inevitable outcome from the beginning. I am sure that you will conduct yourself with credit in every situation that war confronts you. Periodically, everything in the whole world that is worth while depends upon the fighting spirit of our combat forces. About all we can do is equip them and pray for them. We may fail in both efforts, but I don't think so. You know well it is not in the Dempsey tradition to write sentimental letters. Every Dempsey I have known would starve if he had to make a living as a hired mourner at funerals and wakes.
You know that I love you, that I am proud of you and that I'll give you the benefit of a sinner's prayer wherever you are.

Event World War II
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID RG73.11
Object Name Letter
People Dempsey, George R.
Dempsey, Edward J.
Subjects World War II
Tanks (Military science)
European Theater of Operations
North African Campaign
Title Letter
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ For access to this image, contact

NOTICE: This material may be freely used by non-commercial entities for educational and/or research purposes as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without the permission of The Oshkosh Public Museum. 2005 Oshkosh Public Museum, All Rights Reserved   
Last modified on: December 12, 2009