Ogelsby, Charles W. (614th)

Charles W. Ogelsby

Biography:  Charles Warwick Ogelsby was born on August 31, 1907, in Chelsea, New Jersey and grew up in Germantown, PA. He was the son of William Porter Ogelsby and Mary Edwards Warwick and graduated from local schools. We believe he continued his education at a college or university and probably took part in an ROTC program. He would have later gone into the Officer Reserves.

Census records indicate that in 1930, he was working as a stockbroker in Philadelphia and by the 1940s, he is listed as a salesman for a soap factory. On June 10, 1939, Charles married the former Elizabeth Dean Fuller at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, PA. Elizabeth was from Woodbury, New Jersey and was the daughter of Walter D. Fuller and Sara E. Kane. The new couple would have two daughters, one born prior to the war and the other while Charles was off training.

Service Time:  We know very little of Charles’ early military service but in 1939, he was a Lieutenant serving in the Cavalry. His various assignments would lead him to the rank of Captain and a Headquarters Staff position with the 614th Tank Destroyer Battalion. We are not sure when he joined the unit but we do know that he was with them while they were stationed overseas in 1944. During their training in the U.S., the 614th had been stationed at Camp Hood, Texas where they trained in all aspects of tank destroyer skills. They took part in the Louisiana Maneuvers and then returned to Camp Hood where they continued to act as school troops for the OCS classes.

Finally, in August of 1944, they moved to Camp Shanks, New Jersey, where they prepared for overseas shipment. The unit shipped out from the New York port on August 27, 1944, and arrived in England on September 7th. A month later, on October 8th, they landed at the Utah beachhead and were initially deployed to Metz, France, later supporting operations against the Siegfried Line in November and December.

On December 7th, the 614th was attached to the 103rd Infantry Division, a pairing that would last until the end of the war. They were shifted to the Hagenau Forest area for a short period and then continued to support operations against Siegfried Line fortifications until late March, 1945.

The 614th performed occupation duties in early April and then joined the race to Innsbruck, Austria, and Brenner Pass. The unit received credit for the campaigns of Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.

After the war, Charles left active duty but continued to serve in the Army Reserves. At the time of his retirement, he held the rank of Lt. Colonel. In the late 40s and early 50s, the census lists him working as a field representative for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce. We know at some later date, he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Charles and Elizabeth  would have two additional children, both boys and reside in Bryn Mawr, PA. Charles was also a Freemason.

Charles passed away on November 6, 1961, and was buried in the Philadelphia Memorial Park in Frazer, PA. I was to thank the Ogelsby family for providing the photo of Charles. Thank you also to Find A Grave contributor, Carol S. Reynolds, for use of the grave marker photo.