Military Life

Kilgore enlisted on July 27, 1942, and his height and weight at that time were 68 inches and 154 pounds, respectively. His rank at the time of death was Private. Privates are typically only expected to obey the orders of their superior officers to the best of their ability and carry out tasks assigned to them. Kilgore was assigned to the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Records show that he left the country in January of 1944 and arrived in England January 29, 1944. From there his division made their way to Normandy, with the 12th Infantry Regiment spearheading the June 6 landing on Utah Beach commanded by Colonel Russell Reeder. Notable author J.D. Salinger also served in the 12th Infantry Regiment and was present at D-Day. 

4th Infantry Division patch 

12th Infantry Regiment patch

Standard equipment a soldier carried would include gas masks, rations, radios, a shovel, first aid equipment, an M1 helmet, and an M1 Garand rifle. 


In the ensuing battle for control of Normandy, Thomas Kilgore was killed in action. He passed away on June 20, 1944, only 14 days into the invasion. He is interred at Normandy American Cemetery in Plot F, Row 1, Grave 42.

Soldiers making their way onto Utah Beach.

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