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County Leg wants to recognize descendants of soldiers on 75th anniversary of D-Day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 May 2019 at 8:38 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: The family of John E. Butts of Medina gave his dog tag and also his diary to the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library on Memorial Day in 2015. The dog tag was covered in blood, and that blood corroded the metal, causing it to split. The village named a park for Butts and the American Legion post also bears his name. He died in World War II in Normandy. Butts had already been wounded when he led a charge to distract the enemy. He was fatally wounded, but his battalion was able to advance.

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature next week will recognize the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, and wants to acknowledge veterans and descendants of Orleans County men who were present for the invasion on June 6, 1944.

The Legislature meets at 4:30 p.m. on May 22 at the top floor of the County Clerks’ Building next to the County Courthouse.

Orleans County Historian Matthew Ballard and Nadine Hanlon, clerk of the Legislature, are compiling a least of local soldiers who fought at D-Day.

The list so far includes:

• PFC Clifford Williams – Killed on July 24, 1944 at Saint-Lô

• Pvt. John E. Rosenbeck – Killed on July 16 or 18, 1944 at Saint-Lô

• Pvt. James Campas – Killed on June 6, 1944 (listed as Erie County but born in Medina)

• Sgt. George Quinn

• Lt. William Barnum – Killed on July 14, 1944 at Saint-Lô (buried in Netherlands)

• Lt. John Butts – Killed on June 23, 1944 in Normandy (originally buried in Normandy, now at St. Mary’s in Medina)​, Medal of Honor recipient

Survivors:

• Kenneth Owen of Shelby – 82nd Airborne

• Donald Stirk of Albion – Combat Engineer, wounded

• Lt. Elwin Smith of Barre – Pilot who flew paratroopers in for initial invasion

• William Lattin – Glider Pilot, flying in bazooka team for engagement

Family of other local soldiers who were part of D-Day are encouraged to send service information and a photo to either Matt.Ballard@orleanscountyny.gov or Nadine.Hanlon@orleanscountyny.gov. Those who plan on attending the Legislature meeting on May 22 are encouraged to let Hanlon know. She can be reached by email or at (585) 589-7053.


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