A U.S. soldier’s last letter home before he died on D-Day

On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, many look back at the historic event with awe. The Normandy landings eventually led to the downfall of Hitler's regime and a victory for allied forces in World War II. Let's also not forget that more than 9,000 Allied troops were killed or injured during the battle.

Private Harry Schiraldi was a medic from New York and served with the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. He was stationed at Omaha Beach, Normandy, which was "littered with dead and wounded troops, and the tide brings in dead men," according to the National WWII Museum located in New Orleans. Here is the letter he sent to his parents.

Courtesy of The National WWII Museum
Courtesy of the National WWII Museum

Here is a transcript:

Dear Ma, Just a few lines tonight to let you know that I'm fine and hope everybody at home is in the best of health. I just finished playing baseball and took a nice shower and now I feel very nice. Hope every thing is going alright at home and don't forget if you ever need money you could cash my war bonds anything you want to. This afternoon I went to church and I received Holy Communion again today. Getting holy, ain't I? Well Ma, thats all I got to say to-night so I'll close with my love to all and hope to hear from you very soon. Take care of yourself. One of your loving sons, Harry

On the morning of the Normandy landings, Schiraldi was killed by enemy machine gun fire. This is the telegram his family received.


Courtesy of The National WWII Museum

Transcript:

THE SECRETARY OF WAR DESIRES ME TO EXPRESS HIS DEEP REGRET THAT YOUR SON PRIVATE HARRY SCHIRALDI HAS BEEN REPORTED MISSING IN ACTION SINCE SIX JUNE IN FRANCE IF FURTHER DETAILS OR OTHER INFORMATION ARE RECEIVED YOU WILL BE PROMPTLY NOTIFIED

His remains were returned to his family. He is buried at the Calvary Cemetery in New York.

Related D-Day content:

GALLERY: More images of the preparations and landing in Normandy

Swati G. Sharma is a digital editor for the World and National Security and previously worked for the Opinions section.
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