Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Omer LeMay, 6th Marine Division

Private Omer Jospeh LeMay

Omer Joseph LeMay. could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on January 11, 1917 in Albany, New York to French speaking parents of Canadian birth. He was the fourteenth of nineteen children. His father occupation was spinning at a cotton mill. The family rented their home.

Omer joined the army in 1938 with an 8th grade education and became a corporal.  He was honorably discharged on July 22, 1941 and then joined the Marines on October 7, 1941 where he had the rank of a private.

Private LeMay's unit was A Company, 29th Marines Regiment, 6th Marine Division.

It is most probably that Private LeMay lost his life as part of the Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill. As the Marines advance to take the southern part of Okinawa, the 6th Marine Division was given the task of taking a 50 foot high mound called Sugar Loaf Hill. During 12 days of May the Marines suffered more than 1,600 dead and more than 7,400 wounded. In many companies, losses were 70% or more. Private LeMay died on June 21, 1945 when the fighting had for the most part ended. Most likely he was too badly injured and died from his wounds while in hospital.

Sugar Loaf Hill, where Private LeMay was likely mortally wounded.

His remains were returned to be buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.  Tragically, his youngest brother Ernest died five years later during the Korean War after becoming a prisoner of war. They are now buried side by side.

Thank you Omer (and Ernest) for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Omer.

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