Army Memorabilia

Kelly, James F.

Rank: Private
Serial Number: 36381846
Military Branch: 334th Infantry Reg., 84th Division
Origin: Illinois
Date of Death: 1944-12-29
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery
Featured: No

James Kelly was born February 21, 1919. His father was Patrick Kelly, who was born in Carlow County, Ireland February 29, 1881, and probably emigrated to the US as a youngster. James had 2 brothers Joseph and Lawrence. The 1940 census shows just the 3 brothers living at 4912 Hermitage Avenue, Chicago. James enlisted in the Army October 5, 1942 in Chicago. The IDPF file accompanies this group and indicates that his father, Patrick Kelly, died January 8, 1943. His oldest brother, Joseph, was the nearest NOK at the time of James' death. He had a younger brother, Lawrence, who was a Corporal (ASN 16076783) in the Air Transport Command. James Kelly was first buried in the Fosse, Belgium cemetery during the war. He was disinterred on July 22, 1948 and moved to the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery (near the village of Henri-Chapelle in Belgium).

The group consists of Private Kelly's officially engraved posthumous slot brooch Purple Heart with presentation box and lapel pin and ribbon bar. An extensive Individual Deceased Personnel File is included.

The 84th Infantry Division was activated on 15 October 1942. It embarked on 20 September 1944 and arrived in the United Kingdom on 1 October, for additional training. The division landed on Omaha Beach 1–4 November 1944, and moved to the vicinity of Gulpen, the Netherlands 5–12 November. The division entered combat, 18 November, with an attack on Geilenkirchen, Germany, as part of the larger offensive in the Roer Valley north of Aachen. Taking Geilenkirchen, as part of Operation Clipper on 19 November, the division pushed forward to take Beeck (Geilenkirchen) and Lindern in the face of heavy enemy resistance, 29 November. After a short rest, the division returned to the fight, taking Wurm and Würm (Geilenkirchen), Mullendorf, 18 December, before moving to Belgium to help stem the German winter offensive-the Battle of the Bulge.

Battling in snow, sleet, and rain, the division threw off German attacks, recaptured Verdenne, 24–28 December, took Beffe and Devantave 4–6 January 1945. It was in Verdenne, Belgium, that Private Kelly was killed with massive shrapnel wounds.

SOLD to a collector 04-2021 

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