PVT Paul E. Donley
Anti-Tank Company, 23rd Infantry Regiment,
2nd Infantry Division
KIA 8/16/44, LeCoudrey, France
-- Dolores "Kay" Donley --
PVT Paul E. Donley was born is Tuscola, IL on Oct. 17, 1921, to Oral and George Donley.
He was the second oldest in a family of 5 brothers and sisters. His Mother died
when he was 4 years old. His 1st stepmother died when he was about 8 years old. He
would have a 3rd stepmother when he was killed. Life wasn't easy for the family. Like
many in those days, he had to quit school and work at an early age. He worked a lot of
different jobs before he was drafted. He worked as a farmhand, at a broomcorn factory,
and on the pipeline when he was drafted.
I've been told that he was a hard worker, a good friend, and had a funny sense of humor.
He liked to take things apart to see how they worked, but always seemed to have parts
left over. He loved cars. He kept them spotless and drove them very fast.
He married Leone F. Hudson of Camargo, IL on November 1, 1941. He was the father of
Dolores "Kay" Donley, born January 25, 1943 and Paul E. Donley, Jr., born March 27, 1944.
He went into the service just after his 22nd birthday in October, 1943. He was killed
on August 16, 1944 in LeCoudrey, France, near Tinchebray. The story that I have been
told is that there hadn't been any fighting in his area for a couple of days. He had
gone to town and met his younger brother who was a Ranger. He was coming back into camp
late and was killed by an unseasoned sentinel at the guard post. He was killed by a shot
to the head. We will probably never know the whole story because his records were burned
in the fire of 1973 at the St. Louis National Archives. He may have forgotten the password,
the password may have changed while he was away from camp, or the guard just may not have
heard him, as he was very soft spoken.
He was buried in a temporary military cemetery at Marigny, France until he was returned
to Tuscola, IL on September 15, 1948.