Edmund William Duckworth was born April 1, 1921 in Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
His parents were Leon S. Duckworth and Irene Parent. His father was the superintendent of the Lancaster Water Plant and a veteran of WWI. Both parents were very active in the American Legion, Edmund had one brother, James, who served in the Army Air Force during WWII.
Edmund graduated from Mannheim Township High School and went to Elizabethtown College for one year before enlisting in the Army on February 4, 1941. After basic training he was stationed at Camp Croft, SC and later attended Officers Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA.
Edmund was assigned to Company E (a rifle company), 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He saw heavy action in North Africa and Sicily. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in Tunisia. Four months later he was awarded a bronze oak leaf cluster for his Silver Star (basically a second Silver Star) for gallantry during the invasion of Sicily.
The many casualties in North Africa and Sicily had decimated the ranks of the 16th Infantry Regiment . They were sent to England in November 1943 to incorporate new recruits and begin training for the anticipated invasion of Normandy. While in Dorsetshire Edmund met Audrey Travers and married her on June 1, 1944, five days before the invasion.
Early in the day of June 6, 1944 First Lieutenant Edmund W. Duckworth was Killed in Action on Omaha Beach. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. He was initially buried at St. Laurent Cemetery #2 then moved to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
His son Patrick was born after Edmund’s death. In 1946 Edmund's father petitioned President Truman to allow Edmund’s widow and son to come to the US to live with the family. They arrived later that year.
Awards - Lancaster New Era, 25 Feb 1944, p 6
Obituary - Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, 17 Jun 1944, p 1
Father's letter - Lancaster New-Era, 19 Jan 1946, pp 1,5
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories?