Turner, William Leroy “Billy”.

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Turner, William Leroy “Billy”, born 18-06-1916, in Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia, to Dennis Trippe Turner (1887–1965) and his wife Ella Louise, born Rozier Turner (1893–1979). William had two brothers and on sister, Frances Turner Thornton (1918–2009), Edward Rozier Turner (1922–1982) and Dennis Trippe Turner, (1920–1944). Dennis was a Lieutenant with the 28 Regiment of the 8th Infantry Division . Nickname “Lions of Cantigny”, under command of Major General William C. McMahon who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1917. Dennis was killed in battle also in Normandy, age 23, on 12-07-1944.  The 8th Division to the continent of Europe. On July 4, twenty-eight days after D-Day of the Allied invasion of Normandy, the Regiment began debarking at Utah Beach on the Cherbourg peninsula. On July 6 the Regiment moved to an assembly area near the town of St. Sauveur Le Vicomte, the following morning orders were received to take over a section of the line, one kilometer south of La Haye du Puits. The plan for the Division, was to attack to the south, passing through the 82nd Airborne Division , under command of Brigadier General Matthew Bunker, Ridgway “Old Iron Tits”  taking over the center of the Corps front. The main effort of the drive was to be made in this sector, where Dennis died.. Ridgway with US President Ronald Reagan at Bitburg Cemetery in West Germany, May 05-05-1985 William “Billy” graduated from Georgia Military College and later went to West Point where he graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant, on 12-06-1939. He was first in the Horse Cavalry, then moved to tanks, and eventually became a paratrooper with the 101 Airbone Division..

On D-Day+1, 07-06-1944, Lieutenant Colonel William “Billy” Turner (ASN: 0-22054) was serving as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, “Easy Company” 101st Airborne Division, under command of General Maxwell Davenport Taylor.

Death and burial ground of Turner, William, Leroy “Billy”.

On that day, Billy Turner’s unit was in action against German forces at Normandy, France. When Turner’s 1st Battalion was halted by stubborn German resistance, he immediately went forward of his column, entered one of the tanks supporting his Battalion and personally directed the tank’s fire. Lieutenant Colonel Turner’s accurate direction of the tank fire destroyed the enemy position and enabled his battalion to move forward. William saw that one of his men was wounded and raised up to call the medic. However, while directing the attack from this position, “Billy” Turner was killed by German fire, a shot in the head by a sniper. William Turner’s bravery, outstanding leadership, courageous actions and extraordinary heroism that day earned him, at the cost of his life, the U.S. Army’s second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Turner, William, Leroy “Billy” is buried at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Colleville-sur-Mer, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France. Section: Plot D Row 19 Grave 21. There is a remembrance stone for the two brothers on Sparta Cemetery, Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia, United States..


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  1. Janet glennie


    I have a trench knife with the name W L Turner on it..my father is Arthur james DePuy and he gave it to me..he was in the army signal corp in Normandy.

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