Pfc. Warren E. Gay

Warren Edward Gay was born on July 21, 1914, in Natick, Massachusetts. Before joining the Army, he was a linoleum contractor for several furtinure stores in Natick and Framingham. He enlisted on February 22, 1943, was sent overseas in July, and was assigned to Company F, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.

Warren E. Gay in dress uniform

Pfc. Gay landed on Omaha Beach in the early hours of June 6, 1944. His company lost all its officers and 50% of its strenght that day. Warren waded ashore under heavy enemy fire and made it across the beach without being wounded. After crawling across an uncharted minefield, he destroyed a German machine-gun installation, and took several prinsoners. For his gallantry, Gay was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star medal. Click here to read his full award citation.

Warren then participated in the advance through France and Belgium, and was severely wounded on September 14, 1944, near the German border. In the early morning, his company’s position was shelled by artillery fire. After the barrage, the company reorganized and resumed the attack. Pfc. Gay was brought to the 51st Field Hospital, which, at that time, was located northwest of Dison, in Petit-Rechain, Belgium. There, he died of his wounds three days later at the age of 30.

He was first buried at the temporary cemetery in Fosse, Belgium, at 1700 hours, on September 18, 1944. He was later reburied in Plot G, Row, 5, Grave 21, at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery. The date on which Pfc. Gay died was just ten days after the death of his brother, Wilbert G. Gay, who served with the 168th Combat Engineer Battalion. He was driving a jeep along the front, and was hit by a German 88mm shell. The brothers Gay were survived by their mother, Florilda Gay, a sister, Mrs. Frank Hesek, and three brothers, Staff Sergeant Robert L. Gay, Francis Gay and Willis Gay.

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