|Pvt. Thomas Littlejohn was killed the day this photo of the 44th Armored Infantry Battalion was taken.|
Thomas Littlejohn never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on January 6, 1918 in South Carolina. His parents William and Lizzie were also both born in South Carolina. His father worked as a farmer. Thomas had four younger brothers and one younger sister. By 1940 Thomas had completed seven years of schooling and was working on the family farm.
He enlisted in the army on March 16, 1942. At 5' 8" and 115 pounds, Thomas was quite slight, but the army put him to use. He served as a private in the HQ Company, 44th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division. His younger brother Sanford was a corporal in the 6th Armored Division. The 6th Armored arrived in England in February 1944. It landed on Utah Beach on July 19, 1944. It took part in the Normandy breakout and by November it had reached the Saar. During action in August, Pvt. Littlejohn was wounded, but returned to his unit.
On December 23, the 6th Armored was ordered north to attack the Germans who surprised the Americans in the Ardennes Forest. It arrived at Mersch on Christmas Day. It was assigned to push back the Germans who had recently surrounded Bastogne.
The mission for December 31, 1944 was to take the high ground near Wardin, north of Bastogne, The enemy responded with heavy small arms and artillery fire. Pvt. Littlejohn was likely part of the successful advance by Combat Team 44 (Brown). Pvt. Littlejohn was killed during this part of the battle.
His grave is at Frederick Memorial Gardens in Gaffney, South Carolina.
Last year on this date I profiled W.O. Noble (and a little about singer Bing Crosby). You can read the story here.
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
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