Corporal Johnnie M. Rivas , Comanche
US Army, World War II
Company B, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment
82nd Airborne Division (the All-American Division)
Killed in Action on June 6, 1944
was from the Chickasha, Oklahoma area and was the first known Comanche to
be killed in action while serving in the United States Armed Forces. He
entered the US Army on October 1, 1942 and was an Infantryman.
In the pre-dawn hours of June 6, 1944 (D-Day), during Operation
Neptune, CPL Rivas and his unit parachuted behind enemy lines between the
Douve and Merderet Rivers in Normandy, France. He was killed during heavy
fighting near the cities of Cherbourg and Carentan, France.
A War Department telegram to his family initially reported him missing in action but was later
A soldier from his unit told family members
"He took a direct hit from a German T-88
artillery gun." CPL Rivas received the Purple Heart; Good Conduct
Medal; European-Africa-Middle Eastern Medal; World War II Victory Medal,
Parachutists Wings and Honorable Service Lapel Button.
Comanche Nation Veterans
This stone is located in Lawson, Oklahoma and is part of
a memorial garden that belongs to the Comanche Nation
NOTE: References to Rivas with rank of Corporal
are as yet not officially documented. He was reportedly promoted
CPL JOHNNIE M. RIVAS
US ARMY, WORLD WAR II
82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION
KILLED IN ACTION
ON JUNE 6, 1944
CPL RIVAS IS THE FIRST
KNOWN COMANCHE KILLED
WHILE SERVING IN THE
ARMED FORCES OF THE
UNITED STATES. HE WAS AN
INFANTRYMAN ASSIGNED TO
THE 508TH PARACHUTE
CPL RIVAS PARACHUTED
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
DURING THE EARLY
HOURS OF D-DAY AND
WAS KILLED NEAR THE
CITY OF ST. LO, FRANCE.
HE IS BURIED AT THE
CEMETERY NEAR ST.
FRANCE AND WILL
FOREVER BE 22 YEARS.
DOB SEPT 29, 1921