William T. Barrett
|Location of Death||France|
Military Awards and Decorations: Gold Star Honor Roll
Unit: 47th Infantry, 1st Army
My father did not speak much of his time in World War II but when he did, the first he'd talk about was William T. Barrett, who was on the field with him during the Battle of Normandy. They had just met a few hours before on their first day in combat. William Barrett was the First Scout and my father, the Second Scout. My father recalls William saying he was not going to make it and he gave my father his parent's address with the request to contact them where he was and what had happened. Of course, my father said everything would be all right, but William Barrett's feelings sadly turned true. Right in front of my dad William Barrett died from an 88-mm shell from a tank exploding right next to him. My dad saw he was being tended to by the Medics and my dad had to press forward. He too was wounded 2 days later. Upon returning to the States my dad wrote to William's parents asking how his was doing. They wrote back he had died that day in front of my father. They had a few correspondences after that but then lost contact.
The Barrett's lived right across the street from my grandparents house on Medford Street. From my earliest memories Billy Barrett was always talked about when World War II and Normandy came up in conversations. They said "Billy was only 19 when he was killed"; he died of wounds received. William T. Barrett's name was one of the 8,139 names on the Malden World War II veterans memorial dedicated yesterday at Bell Rock Park.