PVT John D. Roy
Company G, 2nd Battalion, 393 Infantry Regiment, 98th Infantry DIvision
KIA 16 March 1945
near Frorath, Germany
-- Tom Roy --
John David Roy, known as Dave, was born on 20 March, 1911 to Thomas Buchan and Jesse Schram Roy. An only child, he grew up
on Granville Avenue, in the Rogers Park area of Chicago. His father was in the hardwood lumber business and his mother was active
in various civic and social groups. His mother was Catholic and father Scotch Presbyterian and the family compromised by sending
Dave to St. Gertrudes for his primary school education and to Lane Public High School. Dave excelled in high school as a student and
an athlete accepting a Rector Scholarship to attend DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
At DePauw Dave majored in economics, played tackle on the DePauw football team which was undefeated and unscored upon his senior year
(and in those days DePauw actually played some serious opponents) and served as President of his college fraternity, Delta Tau Delta.
He also met Clare McKim, sociology major from Cincinnati, Ohio who was voted outstanding senior at DePauw.
Upon graduation from college in 1932 Dave moved back to Chicago and played what passed for professional basketball in those days. He
could not get Clare out of his heart though and he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where she was working as a librarian. He soon found work
as the manager for Gustav May Insurance Company, became active in the Toastmasters, the Community Chest and the Y.M.C.A. His active
courtship of Clare led to their marriage in Cincinnati in 1938. They bought a home in the Pleasant Ridge area and I (Tom) came along
in February, 1941 and my sister, Sally, arrived in September, 1943.
In April, 1944 Dave was inducted into the Army. His draft board was one of only sixteen in the country drafting men his age with children.
My mother pleaded with him to appeal his draft call, which he would have won, but he chose to serve his country.
I don't know where he did his basic training but he then went to Ft. Hood, Texas on assignment as a clerk. From there he went to Camp Fanin
and in November, 1944 shipped out for Europe. His parents had taken him to visit World War I sites when he was in high school and his
shipmates report that he was invaluable in helping them through a rough transatlantic crossing. Arriving in Le Havre, he immediately got in
a boxcar to the Franco-Belgian border and the Battle of the Bulge action. Once again, as had happened at his three previous training
placements, he was referred by his battalion commander for Officers Training School, only to be rejected as "too old." His last letter to
my mother is dated Christmas Eve, 1944 near Givet, France where they are undergoing intense artillery fire, though later he makes his way
to a small chapel for a Catholic service.
My dad's was the first full division to cross the Remagen Bridge on 10-11 March, 1945 and he died on 16 March from a shrapnel fragment
wound in his back near Frorath, Germany. The fatal fragment was most likely from friendly fire. He is buried at Henri-Chapelle American
My wife, Susan, and our two sons had the opportunity to visit Henri-Chapelle, on 4, July, 1988. The enormity of the American loss is
captured in the row upon row of crosses and yet a quiet solemnity and peace inhabits the cemetery and surrounding countryside. His is an
honored resting place.
In Loving Memory