... the $267.00 book was a bargain
Two years ago, I was surfing E-bay and a commemorative book of our Twenty-second Infantry Regiment was being offered for sale. The book was one of a series of five books that had been published in 1946. One was the book for our Fourth Infantry Division Field Artillery which I had purchased when it was first published. The other four books were for the three Infantry Regiments of the division and a special book honoring our commanding officer for most of our time in combat, General Raymond Barton.
I had previously been able to purchase the books of our Eighth and Twelfth Infantry Regiments at a very nominal cost. Anticipating that the same would hold true for the Twenty-second Regiment book I entered a fair bid. How wrong I was. A bidding war ensued between two other persons wanting the book. One was a Vietnam veteran of the Twenty-second Regiment who had taken on the role of archivist of that regiment's association and the other turned out to be a medical doctor whose father had been a rifleman with E Company of our Eighth Regiment and was one of the first soldiers to set foot in Normandy on D-day.
The book finally sold to the doctor for $267.00. I was able to obtain the doctor's e-mail address and out of curiosity I asked him why he was willing to pay so much for the book. It was then that I learned that he was Dr. Joseph DeLucia Jr., who worked in the Emergency Room of Washington University Hospital in St. Louis. He told me that he was originally from Brooklyn. His father, Joseph Sr., although seriously wounded some time after D-day, had survived the war but had died a few years before I had contacted the doctor. His reason for wanting all the books in the series was that he had been devoted to his father and wanted to show his own children visible records of the sacrifices that their grandfather and all the World War II veterans had made in order to insure their liberty.
In my next e-mail to him I addressed him as Doctor and he e-mailed me to dispense with what he considered to be a pretentious title and just to address him by his first name, Joe. He then told me that his father who had not talked much about his wartime experiences had told him that he had seen his closest buddy killed by an artillery shell and he didn't know where he was buried.
All he knew was that the buddy's name was Lindsay. I referred to the Eighth Regiment Book that I had and found a Craig Lindsay listed with an asterisk beside his name indicating that he had been killed in action. He was from his father's E Company and he was from Brooklyn. (Dr. DeLucia did have this photo of his father, right, and the person who turned out to be his lost buddy, Craig Lindsay.)
To begin my search for his burial site I first logged on to the website of the American Battle Monuments Commission and determined that he was not buried in any of the American overseas cemeteries. The commission lists only those soldiers who were killed in action and were either buried overseas or who are missing in action as are twenty-three D-day casualties of my own gun battery and presumed buried at sea. To continue the search I enlisted the aid of my friend Bob McCarthy who is relentless when it comes to searching for information on the Internet. After much time and effort and false leads, he finally located Craig Lindsay's burial site in a National Cemetery on Long Island.
The above photo is a prototype of a standard military cemetery. Anyone who has ever had a comrade, relative or friend buried among these rows of crosses will carry the memory with them for life.
I e-mailed the information to Joe. In his return message he thanked me for my effort and dedication. He also informed me that it was so ironic that for more than fifty years his father had lived about two and one-half miles from his buddy's grave. He himself had driven past that cemetery every day on his way to college classes and neither one of them had known that Craig Lindsay was buried there.
May 2, 2003