Albert T. Dawson

NAME: Albert T. Dawson

ASN: 35571441

PLACE OF BIRTH: ???, Missouri

DATE OF BIRTH: ?? ??? 1919

DATES OF SERVICE: 28 Nov 1942 - 15 Aug 1944

UNIT ASSIGNED: B CO 509th PIB

CAMPAIGNS: Anzio, Rome-Arno, Southern France

AWARDS: Parachutist Badge with combat jump star, Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, EAME Campaign Medal with arrowhead device and two bronze campaign star

SUMMARY OF SERVICE:

1919 - Born to Floyd V. and Levina (Lovena) Mae Dawson in Missouri

Completed High School

1930 - Living in Gary, Lake County, Indiana - US Census

1939 - Living at 1543 Clark Road, Gary, Lake County, Indiana. Working as attendant at Hal's Service Station

1940 - Living at 1543 Clark Road, Gary, Lake County, Indiana. Working as a Tile Setter - US Census

1941 - Living at 1543 South Clark Road, Lake County, Indiana. Working as employee of Carnegie - Illinois Steel Corp.

07 Jun 1941 - Married Mary Shumylo in Lake County, Indiana

28 Nov 1942 - Enlisted at Indianapolis, Indiana - NARA Enlistment Records

Field Title Value Meaning
ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 35571441 35571441
NAME DAWSON#ALBERT#T######### DAWSON#ALBERT#T#########
RESIDENCE: STATE 51 INDIANA
RESIDENCE: COUNTY 089 LAKE
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT 5140 INDIANAPOLIS INDIANA
DATE OF ENLISTMENT DAY 28 28
DATE OF ENLISTMENT MONTH 11 11
DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR 42 42
GRADE: ALPHA DESIGNATION PVT# Private
GRADE: CODE 8 Private
BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION BI# Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
BRANCH: CODE 00 Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
FIELD USE AS DESIRED # #
TERM OF ENLISTMENT 5 Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
LONGEVITY ### ###
SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL 0 Civil Life
NATIVITY 75 MISSOURI
YEAR OF BIRTH 19 19
RACE AND CITIZENSHIP 1 White, citizen
EDUCATION 4 4 years of high school
CIVILIAN OCCUPATION 691 Semiskilled furnacemen, smelters, and pourers
MARITAL STATUS 2 Married
COMPONENT OF THE ARMY 7 Selectees (Enlisted Men)
CARD NUMBER # #
BOX NUMBER 0960 0960
FILM REEL NUMBER 5.22# 5.22#

T/5 Albert T. Dawson 35571441 B CO 509th PIB 10-Apr-44 GO 5 Award of Combat Infantryman Badge

Pfc. Albert T. Dawson 35571441 B CO 509th PIB 17-Apr-44 SO 26 Temporary Promotion to T/5

15 Aug 1944 - T/5 Albert T. Dawson ASN: 35571441 B Co 509th PIB Hometown: Gary, IN, 24 Jul 1944 Listed on jump manifest for Operation DRAGOON (RUGBY) The Airborne Invasion of Southern France, Bn Plane 21, B Co Plane 1 Seat 6

T5 Albert T. Dawson 35571441 B CO 509th PIB IN 15-Aug-44 MIA or Buried at Sea Rhone Am Cem, Draguignan, France Southern France, MIA, Bronze Star, Purple Heart 387 Stand in the Door Charles H. Doyle

1945 - Wife Mary lived at 2619 West 10th Ave, Gary, Indiana, Worked. No children with Albert.

Family members please contact the 509th Parachute Infantry Association at the email listed at the bottom of the page.

This monument is on display in the town square of San Tropez, France to honor the memory of the 17 men who jumped into the sea and are missing in action

This Purple Heart Medal was found by employees at USG-Otsego Paper, Inc. in Otsego, MI. They use recycled cardboard bales in their papermaking process. During a shift on 06 November 2018 employees were cleaning out debris that collects in the pulper tub when the medal fell out onto the floor. Through persistant searching on the internet, Julie contacted the 509th Parachute Infantry Association. Further research determined no living family members exist and the medal was passed on to the 509th PIA for safe keeping and to share with furture generations of 509th Infantry Soldiers and Veterans.


The team at USG-Otsego Paper. Without their efforts this medal would have been lost. Thank you.



Born in Missouri in 1919, Albert moved with his family to Indianapolis, Indiana where he grew up during the depression era. After high school, he went to work struggling to make a living working as a service station attendant then as a tile setter. In 1941 he landed a job working for Carnegie – Illinois Steel Corporation with better pay and benefits. On June 7th 1941, he married the love of his life, Mary Shumylo, life was looking up for him and many other Americans.

With the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941. The course of American history and its citizens changed forever. While America had begun to make preparations for the war that would inevitably involve America, it was still woefully unprepared. With the U.S. Fleet crippled in the Pacific, America was vulnerable and the situation looked grim. The U.S. Army was the 26th largest army in the world and would need to rapidly build its fighting force of men and material. Millions volunteered or were drafted, Albert enlisted November 28th 1942. Soon afterward he volunteered to become a paratrooper and went through the Parachute School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon completion of training he likely received a pass and went home for a few days to see his wife Mary, friends and family not knowing it would be his last time.

As a replacement, he was shipped overseas to Camp Kunkle, Oujda, North Africa and continued to train hard at the Infantry Replacement Training Center. With the recent airborne invasion of Italy on September 14th 1943, the 509th Parachute Infantry was in need of replacements. T5 Albert T. Dawson and many others were shipped out to Italy to join the 509th Parachute Infantry. On January 22nd 1944, he participated Operation SHINGLE the amphibious invasion of Anzio, Italy where he would see his first combat. After 69 days of combat the 509th Parachute Infantry was pulled off the line on March 30th 1944 and sent to Naples, Italy then later to Rome, Italy for rest, recreation and to prepare for the next operation.

While America was learning the news of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France on June 6th 1944, the men and women of many Allied units in Italy were preparing for another major invasion. On August 15th 1944, Operation DRAGOON the combined airborne and amphibious invasion of Southern France commenced. Leading the invasion was the 509th Parachute Infantry. In the lead aircraft of a 45 ship formation, the B Company Commander, Captain Ralph ‘Bing’ Miller stood in the door with sixteen other paratroopers standing behind ready to follow at his command. The pilot turned the red light on indicating they were approaching the drop zone. Captain Miller looking outside saw only the dark moonless night, anti-aircraft tracers and a blanket of fog below. The pilots, unable to see any ground references, decided to circle back out and approach the coast again. The pilots did the best they could considering the circumstances finally estimating they were over land, the pilots turned on the green light. Captain Miller seeing the green light and only fog below shouted “FOLLOW ME” and jumped. The sixteen men followed. Tragically, as they descended under canopy through the fog they soon found themselves over the sea just off the coast of San Tropez. All seventeen men landed in the water each carrying over 100 pounds of combat equipment struggled then drowned. T5 Albert T. Dawson was one of the seventeen men. The U.S. Navy searched but none of the men were ever found. Telegrams were sent by the War Department to the next of kin notifying them that their loved ones were missing in action.

The other 44 planes also jumped with all of their paratroopers landing on the beach or further inland. The 509th Parachute Infantry with the help of the French Resistance successfully liberated San Tropez, France and achieved all of its objectives. The 509th Parachute Infantry would continue to advance east liberating villages and cities from the Germans along the French Rivera, later fight in the Battle of the Bulge and finally helping to achieve victory in Europe on May 8th 1945.

In the years following World War II the War Department reviewed all missing in action and killed in action records and followed up with next of kin providing them with an update. T5 Albert T. Dawson was formally reported as killed in action and his wife Mary was presented his Purple Heart Medal. Albert and Mary had no children together. Eventually Mary remarried to another WWII Veteran and had a family. When Mary and her 2nd husband passed away the Purple Heart Medal became lost and accidentally discarded. Thanks to your thoughtful actions the Purple Heart Medal of T5 Albert T. Dawson is able to help continue to tell his story of service and sacrifice.

The Veterans of the 509th Parachute Infantry and the French people did not forget these men. A monument with the names of the seventeen men inscribed sits in the courtyard next to the town square in San Tropez, France. Every year, there are ceremonies in August to commemorate the liberation. Flowers are placed around the monument to honor and remember the men who will remain forever young.

These were ordinary young Americans who answered the call to serve in defense of America and faced extraordinary challenges to liberate oppressed people around the world. They are an example to us all of what we can achieve when we work together to make America and the world a better place.

To the employees of USG-Otsego Paper, Inc. thank you!

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