Tuesday, July 3, 2018

WW2 Fallen - Leland Laye, 82nd Airborne Division and his only brother Harlan

Pfc. Leland Laye served with the 82nd Airborne in Sicily.
His brother Harlan was a private in the 87th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge.
For Independence Day, let us remember these words from the third verse of America the Beautiful, written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1911:

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!

Leland Laye never had a chance to reach 100 years old on July 4, 2018. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on July 4, 1918 in New York. His parents Percival and Glennie were also both born in New York. They were both Seneca Indians. His father worked as a farmer. Leland had one older brother named Harlan. Their mother died in 1920. The two brothers were raised on their maternal grandfather's farm, cared for by their mother's sister. Their father remarried and had four more children. It appears he died in 1939. By 1940 Leland had completed one year of high school and was living with his grandfather while working as a laborer. His older brother was also still living at home after completing four years of high school.

Leland was drafted into the army on March 7, 1942. He volunteered for the paratroopers and became a private first class in Company H, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

The 505th made the jump into Sicily on July 10, 1943. Leland was killed the next day when his unit was engaged in heavy fighting near Ponte Dirillo, Sicily.

By the time Leland was killed, Harlan was also in the service, having been inducted through the National Guard in February 1943. Harlan had completed four years of college and was an engineer. Despite his college training, he served as a private in the 347th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division. The 87th ID first saw combat on December 28, 1944 when it was sent to join the Battle of the Bulge. Pvt. Laye was killed in action three days later, after his unit captured the village of Remagne.

The Laye brothers are buried at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Cemetery in Irving, New York.

Thank you Leland and Harlan for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for the Laye brothers.

Last year on this date I profiled US Naval Academy graduate Ray Penrod, USS Meredith. You can read about Ray here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100

WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

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