MacGillivary, Charles Andrew, born 07-01-1917 in Charlotteburg, Canada, to Cardigan Scot Roland MacGillivary and Minnie Quinn, he attended Queens Square School in Charlottetown and joined the Merchant Marines at age 16. Shortly thereafter, MacGillivary emigrated to the United States, to live with his older brother in Boston, Massachusetts. When living with his brother, he learned about the Army and considered joining it. After hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor, he decided the right thing to do was to volunteer for the U.S. Army. In January 1942, he joined the Army as a private soldier and was assigned to the European Theatre of Operations. MacGillivary’s first wartime action came during the Battle of Normandy, landing on Omaha Beach in 1944. From Omaha Beach MacGillivary would be involved in numerous liberation conflicts throughout France, before reaching Wolfling during the Battle of the Bulge. (see Louis Merlano) (see Harry Kinnard) (see Anthony McAuliffe) . When his unit was surrounded on 01-01-1945 by the 17th German Panzer Grenadier Division, under SS Oberführer Georg Bochmann a Waffen-SS Panzer unit in Wolfling, France, MacGillivary, then 27, picked up a machine gun and knocked out four German machine gun nests, killing 36 German soldiers. He lost his left arm in this action. Interestingly the unit he fought to win his decoration, was given the title Götz von Berlichingen after a 15th century German knight who lost his right hand. MacGillivary told a Boston Globereporter in 1995: “I looked down and my left arm wasn’t there. When you get hit by a machine gun, it’s like somebody put a hot poker in you. I stuck the stump of my arm into the snow, but the warm blood melted the snow. I figured I was dying. When they rescued me, my arm had a cake of bloody ice frozen around it, sealing the wound. If it had been summer, I’d dead.” On 25-08-1945 MacGillivary personally received a Medal of Honor for his efforts from President Harry Truman
. After the war MacGillivary returned home to Boston where for a short time he worked as a special agent for Boston’s Treasury Department. He joined the United States Customs Service in 1950 starting as a warehouse officer, but soon became an agent for the United States Customs Office of Investigations, conducting special investigations. His daughter Charlene Corea remembered him as being particularly busy in the winter inspecting Christmas trees that entered the United States from Canada. He retired from the Customs Service in 1975. Sergeant Charles A. MacGillivary was enrolled as a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts the third oldest chartered military organization in the world on 06-04-1992. He was the seventh member to receive the Medal of Honor.
Death and burial ground of MacGillivary, Charles Andrew.
MacGillivary was a resident of Braintree, Massachusetts from 1957 until his death at age 83 on Saturday 24-06-2000 in the VA Hospital in Brockton, Massachusetts. Rev. Philip Salois, who had himself received a Silver Star in the Vietnam War performed the funeral. Then Governor of Massachusetts Paul Cellucci was in attendance at MacGillivary’s funeral. He is buried beside his wife, Esther, in Section 48 of Arlington National Cemetery.