Beaches of Normandy

Did Company A of the 22nd Infantry Regiment in the 4th Infantry Division land on the beaches of Normandy during World War II?

  • Kenneth,

    The 22nd Infantry Regiment entered France with the other combat elements of the 4th Infantry Division on 6 June 1944, D-Day. A Company, 1st Battalion of the 22nd would have been included in the assault landing on Utah Beach.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    A. J.

  • 22nd Infantry Regiment

    After Action Report
    4th (US) Infantry Division – Battle of Normandy – June 1944

    Headquarters, 22nd Infantry

    APO 4, U. S. Army

    21 July 1944

    The 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, landed on Utah Beach starting at H plus 75 minutes.

    The Third Battalion, 22nd Infantry, initially attached to the 8th Infantry, landed in small craft with the mission of crossing the beach seawall, turning to the northwest, and attacking and destroying the fortified positions along the coast.

    The First* and Second Battalions landed in LCI’s, crossed the beach and flooded areas with the mission of attacking to the northwest, reducing the strong points at Crisbecq and Azeville, and then securing the high ground west and southwest of Quineville. The landing was made approximately 1500 yards south of the proposed beach. By nightfall, the Regiment was short of the initial objective, but had reached the general line Utah Beach-Foucarville.

    *A WWII Battalion included a HQ Company, Rifle Companies A, B, C, and Heavy Weapons Company D, plus a Medical Detachment.

  •  

    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

     

    We were unable to locate specific records of A Company for the 22nd Infantry Regiment during World War II.  Records of lower echelon units sometimes were incorporated into the files of the battalion or regiment.

    We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917 - 1985 (Record Group 407) that includes unit records of the 22nd Infantry Regiment (4th Infantry Division) during WWII. For more information about these non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RR2R) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

     

    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

     

    Sincerely,

    Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR)

    RR2RR 23-54439-LR

  • My Moms brother, PFC Robert Lee Stafford, (22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division); was one of the injured that day I believe.  He died on June 14, 1944 from his injuries..  My sisters and I are trying to locate his grave in France.  His records show he was 1st buried temporarily at St Mere Eglise n1 Cemetery, and later buried in Enterprise, AL, but our mother said only his uniform was inside the casket.  Roberts Mother received a letter from a family in France later that said they were taking care of her son Roberts Grave.  Surely someone has his record of burial.  

  • PFC Stafford is not listed in the American Battle Monuments Commission’s register of overseas burials .

    About Search ABMC Burials and Memorializations:

    This register includes the records for those buried and memorialized at our World War I and World War II overseas military cemeteries, along with those names on the Walls of the Missing at the East Coast Memorial, West Coast Memorial, and Honolulu Memorial. Burial information can also be found for those interred at Corozal American Cemetery and Mexico City National Cemetery. This register does not include individuals who died overseas in World War I or World War II and were repatriated to the United States for burial.

    From Fold3:

    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? 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.

    SBTSProject/Alabama/Coffee

    Sources:

    https://www.1-22infantry.org/

    https://www.dday-overlord.com/en/battle-of-normandy/after-action-reports/4th-infantry/22nd-infantry

    Newspapers.com

    Ancestry.com

    Killed In Action - Normandy, France

    Ada Mae Rayborn and William David Stafford were married on the 16th day of November 1924, in Walton County, Florida. They had two children, Robert Lee Stafford, born 22 August 1925, and his younger sister Autense L. Stafford. W. D. Stafford died in 1931 and Ada Stafford returned with her two children to live with her parents in Covington County, Alabama. In the 1940 census record, Robert Lee Stafford, age 14, is living at the Alabama Boys Industrial School in Roebuck near Birmingham, Alabama. 

    Enlisting in the Army on 18 July 1942, Stafford gave his birthdate as 1923 when he was actually not quite 17 years old. He was first sent to the Armed Forces Replacement Center for training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

    Pvt. Stafford would be later be assigned to the 22nd Infantry Regiment and sent for overseas duty attached to the 4th Infantry (“Ivy”) Division. The official motto of the 22nd Infantry Regiment is “Deeds Not Words”. In 1940 the Regiment was a component of the re-mobilized 4th Infantry Division and its ranks were rebuilt. The Division became the 4th Motorized Division and conducted extensive training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the Louisiana and Carolina Maneuvers and at Camp Gordon, Georgia and Fort Dix, New Jersey.

    In 1943 the Division again became the 4th Infantry Division and moved to Camp Gordon Johnston, Carrabelle, Florida, where its units underwent amphibious landing training. The 22nd Infantry Regiment then sailed to England in January 1944 where it trained extensively for the upcoming invasion of Europe.

    PFC Robert Lee Stafford, age 18, a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, was among the first to land on Utah Beach at Normandy, France, in the first assault wave on D-Day June 6, 1944. The 1st and 2nd Battalions followed in the second wave. Company M was a heavy weapons company with the soldiers manning mortars and heavy machine guns. The 3rd Battalion landed in small craft with the mission of crossing the beach seawall, turning to the northwest, and attacking and destroying the fortified positions along the coast. By nightfall, the Regiment was short of the initial objective, but had reached the general line Utah Beach-Foucarville. 

    On the morning of 7 June, the Regiment continued the attack. The 3rd Battalion continued the attack on the beach strong points. On 8 June, the 3rd Battalion continued its mission of reducing the beach strong points until late in the afternoon at which time they reverted in place to the Regimental reserve with the mission of blocking an expected enemy attempt to break through the 1st Battalion to the beach. The 3rd Battalion secured areas already taken and consolidated their positions in the hamlets just east of the Azeville and Crisbecq gun positions. The entire 3rd Battalion of the 22nd Infantry Regiment was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for their success in the hard fighting on Utah Beach. 

    On 9 June, the decision was made to contain the enemy at Crisbecq. The Regiment was to attack in column of Battalions in order of 3rd, 2nd and then 1st; after the 3rd Battalion had seized the town of Azeville and the strong point to the northeast of Azeville.

    On 10 June, the 3rd Battalion moved toward the strong point at Azeville with the 2nd Battalion containing the enemy at Chau de Fontenay. The 1st Battalion attacked the town of Fontenay sur Mer to relieve the pressure on the 3rd Battalion, which was receiving flanking fire from that point.

    The 11th of June found the 3rd Battalion preparing to assault the Azeville strong point with the 2nd Battalion still containing the enemy at Chau de Fontenay. The 1st battalion continued the attack on Fontenay sur Mer. On the following day the 3rd Battalion attacked Azeville strong point and by nightfall had almost completed the mopping up operation.

    On 13 June, the 3rd Battalion seized the town of Azeville and moved toward the high ground west of Quineville. The 2nd Battalion made a wide flanking movement through the 12th Infantry area to attack west along the ridge toward Quineville, and met stiff resistance the entire day. The 1st Battalion moved from its position near Fontenay sur Mer to a position to the left of the 3rd Battalion in preparation for a coordinated Regimental attack on the following morning.

    The 22nd Regiment attacked with all three battalions on the morning of 14 June, seized the high ground west of Quinville, and organized the position for defense. These few words and facts, places and dates can do nothing to convey the horrors of war. It was during this battle that PFC Robert Lee Stafford was killed in action after eight days of intense fighting since landing on the beach at Normandy. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals.

    A military hero at age 18, PFC Stafford was initially buried in a temporary military cemetery near Carentan, France. His body was returned to the United States aboard the U S Army Transport James A. Robinson landing in New York in 1948 and returning through the Atlanta Distribution Center.  Funeral services with full military rites were held at the Enterprise Baptist Church on the 17th of December 1948 at 3:30 in the afternoon. Buried in the Enterprise City Cemetery, Enterprise, Alabama, PFC Robert Lee Stafford was survived by his mother, his sister Autense Stafford, four half-sisters and one half-brother.

    Robert L. Stafford's name is on the Wall of Freedom war memorial located in Enterprise, Alabama, dedicated “In honor of those who have fallen on the field of battle to protect our freedom”.

    The  Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) may have additional information about the circumstances of his death and burial. These files were NOT affected by the 1973 fire.

    You may request a copy of the IDPF from the US armies human resource says command and use the sample letter provided here and fill in as much information as possible.

    U.S. Army Human Resources Command
    ATTN: AHRC-PAO (Dept. 103)
    1600 Spearhead Division Avenue
    Fort Knox, KY 40122


    Dear Staff:

    Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby make a request for the IDPF for my below listed family member who died or was killed-in-action while serving in the military during World War II.

    Soldier’s Name:
    Branch of Military:
    Military Service Number:
    Division:
    Date of Birth:
    Date of Death:
    Burial site in U.S.A.:
    Buried:
    Relationship to deceased:

    Please be advised that I will be responsible for any costs incurred for photocopies over the allowed limit of free photocopies.

    My contact information is: Add name, address, and email.

    As an alternative, you may try this email address for your request: usarmy.knox.hrc.mxb.foia@mail.mil 

    the information below may be of assistance in requesting information regarding PFC Stafford. I believe this is his enlistment record as it has his rest state as Alabama and the same enlistment date as in the article above.

    Field Title Value Meaning
    ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 14108229 14108229
    NAME STAFFORD#ROBERT#L####### STAFFORD#ROBERT#L#######
    RESIDENCE: STATE 41 ALABAMA
    RESIDENCE: COUNTY 061 GENEVA
    PLACE OF ENLISTMENT 4130 FT MCCLELLAN ALABAMA
    DATE OF ENLISTMENT DAY 18 18
    DATE OF ENLISTMENT MONTH 07 07
    DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR 42 42
    GRADE: ALPHA DESIGNATION PVT# Private
    GRADE: CODE 8 Private
    BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION BI# Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
    BRANCH: CODE 00 Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
    FIELD USE AS DESIRED # #
    TERM OF ENLISTMENT 5 Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
    LONGEVITY ### ###
    SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL 0 Civil Life
    NATIVITY 41 ALABAMA
    YEAR OF BIRTH 23 23
    RACE AND CITIZENSHIP 1 White, citizen
    EDUCATION 0 Grammar school
    CIVILIAN OCCUPATION 003 Architects
    MARITAL STATUS 6 Single, without dependents
    COMPONENT OF THE ARMY 6 Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of the United States under Army Regulations 605-10
    CARD NUMBER # #
    BOX NUMBER 0158 0158
    FILM REEL NUMBER 2.15# 2.15#

  • Jo, I hope this is where I reply.  Thank you so much for the detailed information you have provided.  I’m truly grateful.  I now believe he was buried in Enterprise, but that his only full sibling (my mother) was not informed.  I understand my mother was listed as his next of kin.  There mother was not a nice person, and apparently never told my mother. My Mom said they received a coffin with his uniform shortly after Robert was K.I.A., and it was buried in Enterprise, AL.  So, he had 2 funerals I assume?  She said that was the worse time of her life.  I have requested the I.D.P.F. file.  Thank you again.  You’ve been very helpful.  May God Bless you, Janus