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Emory George “Bill” Gardner (Service #13136882) was born on January 11, 1925 in Bedford County, Pennsylvania to Russell David Gardner and Ida Edith (Diehl) Gardner. He had one sister, Dorothy (Gardner) Sturtz. The Gardner family lived in Bedford, Pennsylvania at 407 South Bedford Street. He never married. He registered for the Selective Service in Bedford County on June 27, 1942. At the time, he was employed by the Keystone School Incorporation. On November 19, 1942, he enlisted into the Army in Cumberland, Maryland. At the time of his his death, he was a member of Co G, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Div. as a Private First Class. Bill was killed in action on 4 July during the fight for Hill 95, which was near La Haye du Puits, and was part of the St Lo hedgerows fighting-he was 19 years old. This area was the site of extremely heavy fighting from 4 to 6 July. Bill’s effects found on him at the time of his death included a lighter, a horse shoe as a souvenir, a religious statue in his case, some cards, money, his wallet, a sweater, a toilet kit, a good conduct ribbon, a rosary, a European–African–Middle Eastern (EAME) ribbon and a money belt. He was originally buried on July 24, 1944 in Blosville, France at the United States Military Cemetery. He was disinterred on December 9, 1947 and buried in a proper casket at the Normandy American Cemetery on January 27, 1948. He was posthumously awarded with a Purple Heart.

[courtesy of Kevin Gardner]

Emory Gardner
Dies In France

   Bedford Paratrooper Was Killed in
France on July 4th

   Pvt. Emory George Gardner, 20, son of Russell and Ida (Diehl) Gardner of South Bedford St., was killed in action in France on July 4, according to a telegram received from the War Department last week. The young man, known to a large circle of acquaintances as "Bill," was a member of the paratroopers.
   The deceased enlisted in Cumberland, Md., on Nov. 18, 1942, and he took his basic training at Camp Lee, Va., and Camp Toccoa, Ga. Later he volunteered for the paratroopers and was sent to Ft. Benning, Ga., for his training, while there he suffered a broken leg and was unable to go overseas with the company to which he was attached.
   Later he recovered sufficiently to resume training and was then sent overseas with another company. He left the States last Jan. 1 and was stationed for a time in North Ireland and then England.
   In a letter received by his parents several weeks ago, the paratrooper said he had suffered a broken nose but did not state in what manner.
   Emory G. Gardner was born in Bedford on Jan. 11, 1925. He attended Bedford High School prior to enlisting. In addition to his parents he leaves a sister, Miss Dorothy Gardner, who is in training at the Allegany Hospital, Cumberland, Md.; his paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George Gardner of Bedford, and his maternal grandfather, Emory Diehl, who resides with the Gardner family.

[Everett Press, Everett, PA, 11 Aug 1944, Fri, Page 2]


Grave marker for Pfc Emory G. Gardner at G, Row 8, Grave 15, Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France/

Pfc Gardner was killed in action on 4 July 1945 and was awarded the Purple Heart


On 10 February 1950, Emory's parents, Russell and Ida, applied for the Pennsylvania Veterans Bonus award in the name of their son.  As he had been lost in action, they were automatically awarded the full $500 bonus.