PRIVATE WILLIAM C. CATTELL JR. was born in New Jersey in 1913, the youngest of three sons born to William and Mary Cattell, in New Jersey. He grew up in Wenonah NJ, where in 1930 his father, a civil engineer, was working as the county engineer for Gloucester County NJ. The Cattell family lived at 200 West Mantua Avenue, and in 139 included older brother Albert R., and a paternal Aunt Belle Cattell. Another older brother Joseph, had already moved on.
By the 1940s, William Cattell Jr. married. He and his wife Lillian had taken up residence in Brooklawn NJ, before moving back to 210 Chestnut Street in Wenonah NJ. He was inducted into the Army shortly after the draft was re-instituted, in February of 1941. He was assigned to the 310th Field Artillery Battalion, 79th Infantry Division. The Army had reactivated the division at Camp Pickett, Virginia on June 15, 1942 as the 79th Division and redesignated it there as the 79th Infantry Division on August 1, 1942.
The division moved to Camp Blanding, Florida on September 1, 1942 (visit the Camp Blanding Museum); moved to Tennessee Maneuvers Area on March 3, 1943 where the division participated in the Second Army No. 1 Tennessee Maneuvers; transferred to Camp Forrest, Tennessee on July19, 1943 and moved to Camp Young, California on August 17, 1943 for the Desert Training Center No. 3 California Maneuvers (Camp Laguna, Arizona). The division arrived at Camp Phillips, Kansas on December 4, 1943. The division relocated and staged at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts on March 31, 1944.
The division departed the Boston Port of Embarkation on April 7, 1944; arrived in England April 16, 1944. After arriving in England, the division crossed the English Channel and landed across Utah Beach, France. On June 14, 1944, the division attacked toward Cherbourg with the 313th and 315th Infantry on June 19, 1944, and reached the outer fortifications of the fortress-city the following day. The division began its main assault June 22, 1944 as the 313th Infantry drove against the strongpoint at La Mare á Canards. The 314th Infantry captured Fort du Roule on June 26, 1944.
The division left Cherbourg and moved south to hold defensive lines along the Ollonde River until July 2, 1944. The division then pushed down the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula in driving rain and took La Haye-du-Puits after repelling German counterattacks on July 8, 1944. It crossed the Ay River behind the 8th Infantry Division on July 26, 1944 and took Lassey the next day, capturing Laval on August 6, 1944. It sped past Le Mans on August 8, 1944. Private Cattell died on August 8, 1944 from causes not relating to enemy action.
William C. Cattell Jr. was survived by his wife Lillian Y. Cattell, his father William C. Cattell Sr. of Wenonah NJ, and his brothers, LTJG Albert R, and Joseph Cattell. His death was reported in the August 29, 1944 edition of the camden Courier-Post. Funeral services were held for him at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Westville NJ.
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