Vincent D. Grady
Biography: Vincent David Grady was born on August 10, 1921, in Washington, DC. He was the son of David Patrick Grady and Pauline M. Wettig and graduated from Eastern High School in D.C.
He then worked as a machinist at the Naval Gun Factory in the Washington Naval Yard. His work at the factory was at such a high level that his employers made it clear they did not want him to volunteer for military service. We are not sure but they may have had a deferral for him as well.
In 1942, Vincent married the former Edna Elizabeth Anderson, who was also born in D.C. and was the daughter of James F. Anderson and Teresa A. Smith. The new couple made their home in the D.C. area. Vincent and Edna would have a son, Michael, born in 1943.
Service Time: Vincent didn’t enter the service until August 24, 1944, when he joined the Army at Fort Myer, Virginia. We are not sure where Vincent received his basic training but we do know that he was chosen to attended the Automotive Mechanic School at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He received an “Excellent” rating for their Enlisted Replacement Motor Course, which was nine weeks long, ending on January 6, 1945. He also qualified as a Marksman with the M-1 rifle.
Vincent’s late entry into the service meant that he was placed into the enlisted personnel replacement system and shipped overseas for assignment to a unit. At some point, he was assigned to the 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, serving as a heavy machine gunner. The unit had already seen action in Northern France and the Ardennes and we believe Vincent may have served in Headquarters Company or possibly Reconnaissance Company. Both companies utilized M20 Personnel Carriers with .50 caliber machine guns as their main armament.
In February, the unit fought through the Siegfried Line and reached the Rhine at Koblenz, Germany, on March 16th. They crossed the Rhine river on the 23rd and 24th at Oppenheim. The 773rd helped capture Darmstadt and Frankfurt before driving across Germany to Czechoslovakia, beginning on April 1st. They finally cleared the Czechoslovak-German border area southward and ended the war near Petrovice.
Vincent remained overseas and served with occupational forces but his duties changed as did the mission of the 773rd. The unit took up security duties for a variety of areas and facilities around where they were stationed. Vincent served a number of months guarding a Quartermaster Supply Depot. He finally shipped home on April 21, 1946, and arrived back in the U.S. on April 29th. He received the EAME (European, African, Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon) with credit for two campaigns, Rhineland and Central Europe. He also received the Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Ribbon and Army Occupation for Germany. He left the service at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, on May 3rd at the rank of Private First Class.
Now back home, Vincent and Edna’s marriage would end in that same year. In 1950, he married the former Helen Teresa McDermott who was born in D.C. as well and was the daughter of James McDermott and Naomi White. The new couple made their home in Kentland, Maryland and Vincent continued to work at the Naval Yard.
In 1951, the couple would welcome a son, Kenneth, and later in the 50s, Vincent started working for a private machine shop in Hyattsville, MD. He managed the shop until around 1980, when he retired and the family moved to North Beach, MD. In his spare time, Vincent enjoyed working with his hands, fixing things. One of his favorite foods was crab, which he enjoyed with a beer.
He was also a member of the local American Legion and Elks Lodge and was a proud member of the Tank Destroyer Association. Vincent passed away on May 23, 1991, and is buried in the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham, Maryland.