PRIVATE FIRST CLASS EDWARD EARLE DEVOE was born in St. Loius, Missouri om July 17, 1919 to Edward Vincent Devoe and his wife Leta Devoe. By April of 1930 the family, which included older sister Helen Julia Devoe, had moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents appear to have separated during the 1930s. Edward E. Devoe was working on a farm in Ambler, Pennsylvania in October of 1940 when he registered for the draft. He enlisted at some point thereafter, and was assigned to the 550th Airborne Infantry Battalion.
The 550th Airborne Infantry Battalion was an independent airborne forces formation of battalion-size of the United States Army formed during World War II on 1 July 1941 at Fort Kobbe, Panama Canal Zone. The 550th was originally formed as an air landing unit rather than a parachute or glider battalion. The battalion's mission was to land if required in Central, Latin, and South American countries as well as areas in the Caribbean, notably Martinique. The unit would be preceded by the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion.
As the threats to the Caribbean and Latin American regions subsided in 1943, the 550th was redesignated the 550th Glider Infantry Battalion and undertook glider training in Sicily. The unit was assigned, along with other Allied airborne units, to the 1st Airborne Task Force and participated in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France, on August 15, 1944 where the 550th captured the town of Le Muy.
The 550th Airborne was sent to Aldbourne, England in November 1944 after the 1st Airborne Task Force was disbanded. During the Battle of the Bulge in late December 1944 the 550th was attached to the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, part of the 17th Airborne Division. In February 1945 the 550th was consolidated into the 3rd Battalion of the 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment.
Private First Class Devoe, awardee of the Bronze Star Medal, died of wounds received in action during the Battle of the Bulge, on January 5, 1945. On the morning of January 4th, the men of the 550th Infantry Airborne Battalion entered into the fighting of the Battle of the Bulge, as they made their way to the small town of Renuamont, located about 10 miles west of Bastogne. That evening a vicious German counter-attack would lead to the destruction or capture of most of B and C Companies. Click here for an interview with Gene Tennison of A Company. So many casualties were sustained that in February 1945 the 550th Airborne Battalion was consolidated into the 3rd Battalion of the 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment.
Private First Class Devoe was survived by his father, of Philadelphia, and his sister, Mrs. Helen Julia Morgan, of 356 Nicholson Road in Audubon NJ. Edward Earle Deove had entered the service from Ambler, Montgomery County PA.
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