Hamel, Louis R. (6th Grp)

Louis R. Hamel

Biography:  Louis Reginald Hamel was born on August 7, 1921, in Lowell, Massachusets. He was the son of Wilfred J. Hamel and Marie Regina Michelin. He completed 2 years of high school and his draft card, dated February 16, 1942, shows he was employed at the New Marbel Mill in Lowell.

Service Time:  Louis entered the Army on September 29, 1942, at Ft. Devins, MA. At some point, he was assigned to the 6th Tank Destroyer Group. He is listed on 6th TD Group payroll roster of 7-28-43.

The 6th had been activated at Camp Hood, Texas, on September 1st, so he could have easily been one of the original members of the unit. The unit moved to Camp Young, CA on January 8, 1943, and participated in Maneuvers at the DTC (Desert Training Center) which covered 18,000 square miles of the Mojave Desert in California, Arizona and Nevada. They then moved to Camp Maxey, TX on July 31st, as part of the Third Army.

The unit was prepared for overseas shipment at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, beginning on January 16, 1944, and shipped from the New York Port of Embarkation on the 29th, aboard the RMS Aquitania. They arrived in England on February 5th, and after assisting to prepare troops for the initial D-Day landings, they finally shipped to France, landing on July 25th. They initially acted as part of Task Force “A” of the VIII Corps of the Third Army, and took part in actions across the Brittany region of France on their way to the town of Brest.

Beginning on September 5th, the unit supported XIII Corps of the Ninth Army, as their Anti-Tank section. They moved into Belgium on October 24th, and then into Holland on November 6th. The 6th then moved into Germany on March 16, 1945, and took part in fast moving operations from the Rhine to the Elbe. The 6th received credit for campaigns in Normady, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe.

Louis returned to Lowell in late 1945 and in 1946, he married the former Olga S. Rutyna, daughter of Albert and Helena Rutyna. The new couple made their home in Lowell. The 1950 U.S. Census indicates he was working as a Filling Hand at a Silk Mill and that he and Olga had two daughters, Diane M. and Olga M. A 1964 Lowell City Directory shows he was employed as a Laborer for the cities Department of Public Works.

Louis passed away on November 24, 1969, and was buried in the Saint Patrick Cememtery, Lowell, MA.