|Sgt. Robert Putnam, 35th Infantry Division.|
Robert Putnam never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 19, 1917 in Pennsylvania. I was not able to find any information about his parents or siblings. By 1940 Robert was living in Michigan, had completed four years of high school, was working as a salesman, and was married to his wife Virginia. He enlisted in the US Army on October 11, 1940.
He rose to the rank of first sergeant in the Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division. The 35th ID arrived in Normandy a month after D-Day. After breaking out of the Cotentin Peninsula in early August, Sgt. Putnam's unit was part of the effort to dislodge German troops near Mortain on August 7, 1944. The next day German SS Panzers broke into the rear areas of the American position and attacked the 2nd Battalion HQ. Sgt. Putnam was likely wounded in this engagement and he died of his wounds before the day ended.
His remains were returned to be buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska. His wife remarried after his death and died in 1972.
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