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Record 459/959
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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 1944
Abstract Letter from Kay Blodgett, concerning the death of George R. Dempsey, 13th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, to his wife Catherine. Kay had also lost her husband.

Mrs. Kay Blodgett
Box 995
Denton, Texas

My dear Cathy,

I've been trying to write to you for days, but it's so hard to find words that would adequately express what I feel.

Loving a soldier, as we did, who faced death a thousand times, you must have tried, as I did, to prepare yourself, mentally and spiritually, for the worst, and yet, hope being so deeply rooted in the human heart and mind -- I know well how great the shock has been, and is. There is no true compensation for our loss, Cathy, but perhaps we may find a little in the memory of the years we shared with George and Harold -- and the knowledge that both gave their lives bravely and heroically so that you and I --and future generations may live honorably and not in servitude and slavery. It's up to us -- for whom they've fought - to justify their sacrifice -- and meet and face our own private hell with the courage they'd expect of us.

How sorry I am that fate couldn't have spared them they had already given so much. But with strong footsteps, hand over hand, they fought right up to the stars. Oh, my dear, there's so much glory in such a going -- there's no room for too great grief.

I shall often ask that the Lord may hold your hand and bless you -- so that your heart may heal none too slowly.


P.S. I'm inclosing a copy of a letter from Ben Crosby-- written to Capt. McWatters. I know you'll be interested.

Copy of Col. Crosby's letter
July 8, 1944

Dear Mac,

I have some bad news for you. George and "Pappy" both have been killed. They poth were killed in the same way and didn't suffer, died instantly. Each was killed by HE [High Explosive] Tree burst (Cathy, Art Ralph wrote Mortar Shell) and both had serious head wounds. George was in his vehicle and "Pappy standing by a house.
Event World War II
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID RG73.14.2
Object Name Letter
People Dempsey, George R.
Dempsey, Catherine A. Schwalm
Subjects World War II
Tanks (Military science)
European Theater of Operations
Military art & science
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009