WORLD WAR II
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Record 469/959
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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 1943
Abstract Letter written by George R. Dempsey to his wife Catherine and left with his personal effects in Northern Ireland. It was found after his death, as he intended.

Bally Killner (10 miles S.East of Downpatrick on Dundrum Bay.)
Oct. 6, 1942

We've got orders to lock up our footlockers & get ready to move in a few days. I don't know if you'll ever see this or not. The footlocker will be stored at Crossgow, N. Ireland, for the duration while the 1st Armored Division fights. We think we're going to the desert. Anyhow, by the time you get this you'll have read, years before, what happened to us. My chances of living through this are practically nil. However, I want you to know that I'm not afraid of anything; I'll get the usual shakes that everyone endures but its a far better way to die than in an auto accident, drunk, on the Neenah road - as might have happened any number of times.
More than anything, I desperately want to live through, get back, and live our life together. But it may not be planned that way for us. We've had the best of luck & the finest treatment ever experienced from doting parents. And we can always know that our love was as deep as any experienced by anyone.
That brings up one more thing - your marrying again. PLEASE do. Its the only way you'll ever get over your grief. Any man in the world would thank God eternally if you gave him half as the attention you've given me. I know he'll never completely own you; so will he know it. But that's beside the point. He'll understand, whoever he is.
There's never been anyone but you for me, darling. never will there be.
Wherever I am, I'm waiting for you. And from the bottom of my soul I'm loving you.

I'll see you soon honey,
Your husband forever
George.

This hasn't been the way I wanted to express it but words always were inadequate with us weren't they?
Now I need a drink.
Event World War II
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID RG73.6
Object Name Letter
People Dempsey, George R.
Subjects World War II
Letters
Telegrams
Casualties
Tanks (Military science)
European Theater of Operations
North African Campaign
Heroes
Love letters
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009