Eugene Letourneau1

M, b. 18 March 1924, d. 14 April 1994
FatherAlbert Letourneau1 b. 1895
MotherEmelda Blanchette1 b. 2 Feb 1902, d. 20 Mar 1973
ChartsNoel Blanchet
Louis Hebert
Eugene Letourneau
     Eugene Letourneau was born on 18 March 1924 at Berlin, New Hampshire, USA.1,2

Eugene Letourneau began military service on 6 March 1943 at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, USA, Service Number 11084538. During WW II, Gene served in the 36th Infantry Division in Northern Africa and the European theater in Italy and France. Gene earned a Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), the Presidential Unit citation, Good Conduct medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal.3,4,5 His Regiment, 141st Infantry was awared the Presidential Unit Citation( also known as Distinguished unit citation) for 3rd Battalion( company I is part of 3rd Bn) 141st Infantry for service, GO 16-44 for their heroism during the landing at Salerno, Italy, on 9 September 1943. The first World War II amphibious assault in Europe by any American division was by the 36th Division near Salerno (Paestum area), Italy. Chaos on the beach led to terrible casualties to the 141st. Coordination with naval gunfire was poor, allowing German artillery and tanks to dominate the battlefield for the first hours. By September 18, the Germans had abandoned their positions and the 141st was put in reserve.6 He was assigned to the 36th Infantry Division, 141st Infantry Regiment, Company I on 27 September 1943 at Italy shortly after the battle for Salerno.7 He sent a letter on 7 December 1943 that he was hospitalized with severe frost bite on his feet and legs on 7 December 1943 and was at General Hospital, Africa.8 On 15 December 1943 Eugene Letourneau's miltary unit the 141st fought to clear the Mignano Gap. The Regiment assaulted San Pietro on December 15th . The old Italian village was located on the slopes of a mountain, and, after three attempts at assault, the 141st finally took the village when the 142d outflanked the position. Soon they followed the First Special Service Force up Hill 730 after the capture of that position. The Germans called the 141st "wild men from Texas, skilled in fieldcraft and fighting" at San Pietro, Italy.9 Between January 1944 and February 1944 Eugene Letourneau's miltary unit faught at Rapido River, Monte Cassino, Italy. The central thrust by U.S. 36th Division commenced three hours after sunset on January 20. The lack of time to prepare meant that the approach to the river was still hazardous due to uncleared mines and booby traps, and the highly technical business of an opposed river crossing lacked the necessary planning and rehearsal. Although a battalion of the 143rd Regiment was able to get across the Rapido on the south side of San Angelo and two companies of the 141st Regiment on the north side, they were isolated for most of the time, and at no time was Allied armour able to get across the river, leaving them highly vulnerable to counterattacking tanks and self-propelled guns of General Eberhard Rodt's 15th Panzer Grenadier Division. The southern group was forced back across the river by mid-morning of January 21. Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Keyes, commanding II Corps, pressed Maj. Gen. Fred Walker of 36th Division to renew the attack immediately. Once again the two regiments attacked but with no more success against the well dug-in 15th Panzer Grenadier Division: 143rd Regiment got the equivalent of two battalions across, but once again there was no armoured support, and they were devastated when daylight came the next day. The 141st Regiment also crossed in two battalion strength, and despite the lack of armoured support managed to advance 1 km (0.62 mi). However, with the coming of daylight, they too were cut down, and by the evening of January 22 the regiment had virtually ceased to exist; only 40 men made it back to the Allied lines. The assault had been a costly failure, with 36th Division losing 2,100[14] men killed, wounded and missing in 48 hours.9,10
Between May 1944 and June 1944 Eugene Letourneau's miltary unit 141st reinforced the Fifth Army by landing at Anzio on May 22, 1944. After moving into the line, the 141st, reinforced as a regimental combat team, began a full scale assault at Velletri on June 1, 1944. By midnight it was a mop-up operation, but the town - in a shambles - will live as another hard fought battle in the Regiment's memory. And the capture of Velletri caused the German line south of Rome to crumble. The Germans began to retreat, turning into a rout by June 4th and the Regiment marched in triumph through Rome on the 5th. The Regiment had been in combat for a total of 137 days, with 3,000 casualties in killed, wounded and missing at Anzio and Velletri, Italy.9 Eugene Letourneau's regiment was awared the Meritorious Unit Commendation between 15 August 1944 and 1 November 1944. This award sleve patch was present in Gene Letourneau's personal items and militiary awards.11 He was awared the World War II Victory medal with campaign star in December 1945.

Eugene Letourneau married Doris Garneau, daughter of S. Louis Garneau and Minnie Schambier, on 14 September 1946 at Angel Gardian, Berlin, New Hampshire, USA.1,12,13

Eugene Letourneau died on 14 April 1994 at Somersworth, New Hampshire, USA, at age 70.1 He was buried at St Anne's cemetery, Berlin, New Hampshire, USA.1


Doris Garneau b. 22 Jul 1923, d. 28 Oct 2002

Eugene Letourneau married Doris Garneau, daughter of S. Louis Garneau and Minnie Schambier, on 14 September 1946 at Angel Gardian, Berlin, New Hampshire, USA.1,12,13
Last Edited14 Sep 2015


  1. [S1] Author personal knowledge.
  2. [S86] Eugene Letourneau entry, City Of Berlin Annual Report (18 March 1924).
  3. [S134] "Coos County NH Archives Military Records."
  4. [S459] "Wikipedia", Eugene Letourneau is wearing a Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), a service recognition decoration awarded to soldiers who personally fought in active ground combat.
  5. [S462] Wikipedia, online, Combat Infrantryman
    Victory Medal…
    European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal…
    36h Infantry Division Shoulder Patch…
  6. [S467] Lisa Sharik, "Greetings & Question (UNCLASSIFIED)," e-mail to Paul Gilbert, 4 Dec 2012.
  7. [S468] "File Card."
  8. [S691] The Berlin Reporter, 23 Dec 1943, 1 and 2, The Berlin Reporter, Berlin NH Public Library, read August 2015, Paul Gilbert.
  9. [S468] "File Card",…
  10. [S661], online
  11. [S469] Interview, Paul Letourneau, 25 Nov 2012, Patch found with Eugene Letourneu's military artifacts. Dates from his file card for when he was in the 141st may be incorrect according to Lisa Sharik Deputy DirectorTexas Military Forces Museum.……
  12. [S135] Eugene Letourneau and Doris Garneau marriage, Angle Gardian Parish Marriages, 14 April 1944.
  13. [S197] Letourneau_Garneau_Marriage_Lic: Marriage License, Marriage License, Eugene Letourneau and Doris Garneau.