Pvt. Jack R. Billings


Jack Ramon Billings was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada on July 7, 1925. He was the third and last born child of William and Ariel Watson Billings. On November 20, 1928, Jack moved with his parents, his sister Ariel Eileen and his brother George William (Bill) to Detroit, Michigan. When he was 16, Jack went to work for the Don Cartage company, where he drove semi-trucks. Jack turned 18 in July 1943 and was drafted into the U.S. Army. His brother was also in the service and was already sent overseas to India.

Jack R. Billings during his youth

He was sent overseas in December 1943 and was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He went in with first wave on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, and was killed in action on the beach. Although it is still unknown what exactly happened to him that day, several wartime buddies who were there with him say Jack never made it off the boat. He was only 18 years of age.

Jack is buried in Plot B, Row 17, Grave 29 at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, France. He was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge for exemplary conduct in action against the enemy on D-Day, and the Purple Heart because he was also killed on the 6th of June.

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