|Troops from 358th Infantry Regiment in Normandy hedgerows around the time Sgt. Charbonneau as killed.|
Earl L. Charbonneau never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 15, 1917 in Massachusetts. His mother was born in Vermont and his father was born in New York. All four grandparents were born in Canada. His father was a tin shop sheet metal worker and later a sheet metal mechanic. Earl had one older brother and one younger sister. By 1940 Earl had completed four years of high school, was still living at home with his parents, and had also gotten a job as a sheet metal worker.
On January 16, 1941, Earl had left his sheet metal job and enlisted in the US Army from the National Guard. By 1944 he had been promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was serving in Company A, 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division (Nicknamed Tough 'Ombres).
The 90th Infantry Division arrived in England in April 1944, scheduled to take part in the Normandy invasion. The 358th Infantry Regiment landed on Utah Beach on June 8, 1944 (D+2). Sgt. Charbonneau's unit was moved to the front lines one day later where the Germans were defending positions in the Normandy hedgerows. Sgt. Charbonneau's war did not last very long. He was killed in action on June 10, 1944, just two days after arriving in France . Although he was one of the first Tough 'Ombres killed, it was just the beginning -- 3,342 would be killed by the end of the war. Total 90th ID casualties were an astonishingly high 19,200 during World War 2.
His remains were returned to be buried at Notre Dame Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts.
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