Re: Austin Ray Gregory of Kentucky
Greetings from Fort Worth, TX, Nancy !!!
This is a tough assignment, especially for an outsider without personal contacts with any of Austin's companions.
However, I will provide you with some insight as I see it.
From his serial number, 3567354, I know that while he was born in KY, he entered the service from West Virginia.(The 5 in the second position is unique for that state alone, just as 8 in that position is unique for my entry state, Texas.)
I reviewed the ARMY GROUND FORCES INSTALLATIONS list, and there was no FORT THOMAS, ever.
There was a "sounds like sorta" entry , FORT EUSTIS, Lee Hall, Virginia, which would be approximate to WV. This was an Antiaircraft Training Center, with some 850 officers and 17,000 enlisted personnel.
Next, we know that he died in North Africa, which brings us to OPERATION TORCH, a joint operation of the British and the Americans to run Rommel and his Africa Corps out of Africa.
The British were to seize Algiers, the Eastern GIs to take Oran and General Patton's Western group to take French Morocco.
The invasion began with amphibious landings on 8 Nov 42. Thanks to sympathetic French , the British went ashore unopposed. Not so on the American line, where the Vichy troops fought and resisted forcefully.
Resistance was overcome quickly, and the French surrendered Oran 10 Nov 42 and Morocco 11 Nov 42.
The next phase was the TUNISIA CAMPAIGN,
17 Nov 42 to 13 May 43, when the last of the Germans and Italians surrendered.
We have a chronology of events in Africa as follows:
Algeria-French Morocco Campaign, 8 Nov 42 /
11 Nov 42;
Tunisia Campaign, 17 Nov 42 / 13 May 43.
None of these fit the death date, 9-9-43, which suggests that a typo may be involved. Could it have been 9-9-42? If so, then he died following the invasion either of Oran or Morocco on 9-8-42.
(There is a great photo of the landing in WORLD WAR II A VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA, PRC Publishing Ltd., London, NZ), publisher.
I will try to come up with the military units involved in the African campaigns, and will post you later on the results.
Meantime, that is all I have for you (more than I thought I could come up with really).
With best regards, Louie Franklin Turner.