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4 July 1944-1 May 1945 | European Theatre
After training in Ireland the 8th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, 4 July 1944, and entered combat on the 7th. Fighting through the hedgerows, it crossed the Ay River, 26 July, pushed through Rennes, 8 August, and attacked Brest in September. The Crozon Peninsula was cleared, 19 September, and the Division drove across France to Luxembourg, moved to the Hurtgen Forest, 20 November, cleared Hurtgen on the 28th and Brandenburg, 3 December, and pushed on to the Roer. That river was crossed on 23 February 1945, Duren taken on the 25th and the Erft Canal crossed on the 28th. The 8th reached the Rhine near Rodenkirchen, 7 March, and maintained positions along the river near Koln. On 6 April the Division attacked northwest to aid in the destruction of enemy forces in the Ruhr Pocket, and by the 17th had completed its mission. After security duty, the Division, under operational control of the British Second Army, drove across the Elbe, 1 May, and penetrated to Schwerin when the war in Europe ended.
Wobbelin Sub Concentration Camp
May 1945 | Germany
In the Spring the 8th broke out onto the fields of Germany taking part in the Central Europe Campaign moving up to, and crossing the Rhine River in March. Here the 8th swung around to the south of the Ruhr Pocket helping surround and capturing an estimated 350,00 German troops in the area . At the start of May it crossed the Elbe River and liberated the Wobbelin sub-concentration camp, which was part of the main Neuengamme Concentration Camp. This subcamp held an estimated 5,000 prisoners and had been established in February 1945 to house those evacuated from other camps about to be over-run.  At war's end it assumed occupation duties in the area around Schwerin, Germany before retruning back to the States.
Sept 1944-Feb 1945 | Aachen, Germany
The Battle of Hürtgen Forest was fought in an area of heavy forestation, of some 50 square miles in an area that begins about 5 miles south and east of Aachen, Germany and falls into a triangle outlined by Aachen, Düren and Monschau.
Although the battle did not officially end until February of 1945, the major part of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest was fought during the 3 wet, cold, miserable months of mid-September through mid-December 1944. The battle claimed 24,000 Americans; killed, missing, captured and wounded, plus another 9,000 who succumbed to trench foot, respiratory diseases and combat fatigue.
The Battle of Hürtgen Forest was overshadowed by the American victory in the Battle of the Bulge, and as a result, few books and articles have been written about it. 8th Infantry Involvement: "The Pathfinder Division" or "The Golden Arrow Division"
Major General Donald A. Stroh, until November 27, 1944.
Brigadier General William G. Weaver from
Novermber 19 - 22 December 22, 1944
13th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Regiment, 121st Infantry regiment and supporting units. During the battle the 2nd Ranger Battalion was attached.
November 19 - December 8, 1944
WeisseWehe Valley, Germeter, Hürtgen,
Kleinhau, Tiefenbach, Brandenburg-Bergstein
344th ID, 89th ID and 272nd VGD.
John W. Minick, S/SGT, 121st IR, Medal of
Honor, between Hürtgen and Germeter on
November 21, 1944 (Posthumously).
5200 battle and non-battle casualties.
06 June 1944 | Utah Beach, Normandy
U.S. Soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move out over the seawall on "Utah" Beach, after coming ashore. Other troops are resting behind the concrete wall.
Photo dated 9 June 1944, but probably taken on "D-Day", 6 June 1944.
Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Online Image: 127KB; 740 x 600
Reproductions may be available through the National Archives
24 July 1944 | France
Donald G. Cary was wounded in combat on 11 July 1944 in France. He received the Purple Heart. A copy of The General Order, or verification, is included in the gallery on this page. He actually received two Purple Hearts, however, the verification was lost during the years by him, and his records were all lost in the fire at the Records Building in 1979. He was awarded a Bronze Star on 12 Sept 1945 for "heroic achievement on 07 March 1945 in Serth, Germany. Sadly, He did not receive the actual medals until 1992, shortly before his death. Thanks to the relentless efforts of the DAV representative at the VA Hospital in Salem, VA, who tirelessly pursued the difficult task of having the medals sent to my Dad. He also was instrumental in having the small service connected disability benefit Dad had been receiving since his service ended in 1946, increased.
Dad (Donald George Cary)is listed on the Wall of Honor at: www.thepurpleheart.com
Donald G Cary
1920's | Slaterville Spings NY
Donald G Grummons was turned over to the NY Department of Welfare with some of his siblings by his birth mother, said she could not take of all the kids she had. Donald was adopted by Mr & Mrs Ira Cary of Slaterville Springs NY, was then known as Donald G Cary. I am Leonard M Cary Sr. son Of Donald G Cary. I met his birth mother when I was 15 years old, she was living with one of my dads sisters in Bingamton NY. We did not stay long and while we were there his Birth mother never acknowledged or spoke to either one of us. So apparently she did not care so I was born with the last name of CARY and claim no part of Grummons. Also none of his military records show Grummons on them.
My dad did reconnect with all but one of his siblings of which I also got to know and they were good people for yanks. Oh our mother was from Roanoke Va, I was born and raised in Roanoke so I consider myself Southern with a bit of northern blood.
There is a marker in the area of Slaterville Springs Ny with the names of all from that area that served in WWII with my dads name Donald George Cary, I have visted this place as a teen.
Cary vs Grummons
True it is that my dad was adopted by Ira Martin and Carrie Jane Hovey Cary at age 8. They had had him as a foster child from age 2. I listed Harry Truman Grummons and Jennie Foster Grummons as his BIRTH parents, for historical value. I created this Memorial as a factual resource so that Daddy's service would not be forgotten. It is not about the name, it is about the man. This page is for Donald George Cary, my Dad, and my Hero, in appreciation of his service to this country.
Donna Cary Gibson