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


• 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 or 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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