Joe Bundy was born on March 3, 1918 in Kentucky. His parents John and Mary Augusta were also both born in Kentucky. His father worked as a sawmill sawyer. Joe had four older brothers, two older sisters, two younger sisters and one younger brother Ed, who also served in the war. His father died in 1929.
By 1940 Joe had already already enlisted in the army. He would eventually volunteer for paratrooper training. He became a staff sergeant in Company H, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.
Younger brother Ed enlisted in the army in September 1941 as soon as he was 18 years old. He would also become a staff sergeant. He served in Company B, 1st Battalion, 422nd Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division.
Sgt. Bundy jumped into Normandy with his unit in the early hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944. Encountering heavy clouds, the 508th PIR troops were mostly scattered miles away from their drop zones. Despite being short on weapons, the 82nd Airborne kept the Germans from closing in on Utah Beach.
Sgt. Bundy was killed on June 9, 1944 when the 508th PIR was holding off the Germans to allow the 90th ID, arriving from Utah Beach, to pass through to press the attack.
Sgt. Ed Bundy was still in America when he heard about his brother Joe's death. His unit would not be in a combat zone until December 1944. As a green unit, the 106th ID was assigned a quiet area in the Ardennes Forest. After five days on the line, it was overrun by lead German units in the Battle of the Bulge. More than 6,000 men were captured, including Ed Bundy. He died at Stalag 4B while a prisoner of war on March 1, 1945.
Joe Bundy's grave is at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colle-sur-Mer, France. Brother Ed is buried in the same cemetery.
Thank you Joe and Ed for your sacrifice.
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 WW2 fallen here on Fold3. Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.