Fogarty, James F. (129th TDTB)

James F. Fogarty 1James F. Fogarty

Biography:  James Francis Fogarty was born on September 2, 1920, in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania. He was the son of James Martin Fogarty and Sarah Donuhue and moved with the family to Niles, Ohio, while he was still a child. He attended St. Stephen’s Grade School and later graduated from Niles McKinely High School. He worked as a bartender and for a steel manufacturer. His enlistment record lists his occupation as general office clerk.

On October 10, 1942, James married the former Gloria Scarnecchia, who had been born in Niles and was the daughter of Carmen and Mary Scarnecchia, The new couple would make their home in Niles.

Service Time:  James entered the service on April 24, 1943, and was sent to Camp Hood, Texas, where we believe he was assigned to Company B of the 129th Tank Destroyer Training Battalion. The Hood Panther from March of 1944, lists a J.F. Fogarty being promoted from Technician 5th Grade to Corporal. As the demand for TD replacements slowed, many soldiers were assigned elsewhere. James would serve in the 399th Infantry Regiment of the 100th Infantry Division, which shipped out from the New York port on October 6, 1944, arriving in Marseille, France, on the 20th.

The following information regarding the 100th Infantry Division was extracted from “World War II order Of Battle” by Shelby Stanton.

The Division first saw combat on November 1st, at St. Remy in the Vosges Mountains. They relieved the 45th Inf Div, and attacked on the 12th as the 397th and 399th crossed the Meurthe River at Baccarat to outflank Raon-l’Etape. The division defeated a German counterattack and advanced into Raon-l’Etape, which fell after the Quarry Strongpoint was captured.

The division took Moyonmoutier and St. Blaise in November but were stopped before relieving the 44th Inf Div. in the Saarebourg area. Portions held the Saverne Gap Bridgehead, while the rest of the division stopped briefly to recooperate. On December 3rd, they moved toward Bitche with fighting at Meisenthal, Mouterhouse, Lemberg and Reyersweiler by mid-month. Due to the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes and the German Norwind offensive which began in of January 1945, some loss of position was realized. They ultimately captured Bitche and reached the Rhine on the 24th. The 100th Div. would see additional fighting on its way to Stuttgart, which it reached, and was then was assigned to military government duty until the war ended.

The 399th took part in three campaigns including Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe. Both the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 399th received Presidential Unit Citations for their actions at Raon l’Etape, France and Fohlenberg, Germany, respectively. James would leave the service at the rank of Technical Sergeant. 

James returned to his work in the steel industry and helped part time at his in-law’s bar, The Belvedere. James and his wife would later purchase the business. The couple had a son Michael, born in 1943, while James was serving in the Army. They would have two more children, Jeananne born in 1947 and a son James, in 1950. In his spare time, James senior enjoyed bowling and golf. He was also a member of the Elks.

James passed away in January 27, 1975, and was buried in the Niles Union Cemetery in Niles, Ohio. I want to thank James’ son, Jim, for providing the main photo of his dad as well as the information. I also want to thank Rick Nelson and the American Legion for the use of the grave marker photo. The local American Legion Post places flags at the veterans’ graves where James is buried.

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