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Thomas Meehan III
Born (1921-07-08)July 8, 1921
Died June 6, 1944(1944-06-06) (aged 22)
Place of birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Place of death Normandy, France
Place of burial Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch War Office seal United States Army
Years of service 1941-1944
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant
Unit Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards
  • American Campaign Medal
    *Purple Heart
    *European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
    *World War II Victory Medal[1]
  • Relations -Anne (wife)
    -Barrie Meehan Meller (daughter)
    Other work Artist

    First Lieutenant Thomas Meehan III (July 8, 1921 – June 6, 1944)[2] was a commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. He was killed on "D-Day" when the aircraft he was a passenger on was shot down by ground fire.

    Meehan was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Jason O'Mara.

    Youth[edit | edit source]

    He enjoyed drawing and painting as a hobby.[2] After graduating from Germantown High School in 1939, he completed two years at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art to become a commercial artist, but the war intervened before graduation.[2] Meehan enlisted in his hometown of Philadelphia Pennsylvania on March 16, 1941.[2]

    Military service[edit | edit source]

    After serving in Company "B" (Baker) after arriving in the United Kingdom, Meehan transferred to Company "E" (Easy) to replace Captain Herbert Sobel, who had been transferred to command a parachute training school for non-combat officers.

    Before takeoff, Meehan wrote a letter and handed it out the door of the C-47 to be sent to his wife:

    Dearest Anne:

    In a few hours I'm going to take the best company of men in the world into France. We'll give the bastards hell. Strangely, I'm not particularly scared. But in my heart is a terrific longing to hold you in my arms. I love you Sweetheart – forever. Your Tom[3][4]

    Lt Meehan and the 16 members of Easy Company's HQ Section flew to Normandy aboard a C-47 Skytrain of the 439th Troop Carrier Command, one of thirty-six forming Serial 12 of Mission Albany, and was headed for Drop Zone C (1 mile West of Sainte Marie-du-Mont).

    The aircraft was hit by German anti-aircraft fire. An eyewitness in another aircraft said "the plane left the formation and slowly initiated a right turn. I followed it with my eyes and noticed its landing lights coming on, I thought it was going to be all right. Then, suddenly, it came crashing down a hedgerow and instantly exploded." The plane crashed near the village of Beuzeville-au-Plain (approximately 2 miles northeast of the town of Sainte-Mère-Église), killing the crew and the paratroopers aboard, including Company "E"'s entire company headquarters group. The wreckage of the plane wasn't confirmed found until the 1950s, so until then, he and all the men on the plane were missing in action. A memorial was later erected near the site.

    A

    D Day Memorial – Lt Meehan's Stick

    Interment[edit | edit source]

    Meehan's remains were returned to the United States in 1952[5] and are now buried at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery (Plot 84 25) at mass grave area on Circle Drive, just south of St. Louis, Missouri. He shares a grave site with the C-47 aircrew and fellow paratroopers of that flight.[6]

    On June 6, 2000, a memorial was dedicated in the Beuzeville-au-Plain church to Meehan and the other men that were killed when the plane was shot down.[7]

    Medals and Decorations[edit | edit source]

    US Army Airborne basic parachutist badge.gif Parachutist Badge
    CombatInfantry.png Combat Infantry Badge
    Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart
    World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
    Bronze star
    Bronze star
    European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 service stars
    American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
    French Liberation Medal
    Croix de guerre with palm

    References[edit | edit source]

    Bibliography[edit | edit source]

    • Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7434-6411-6. 

    External links[edit | edit source]

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