John Robert “Bob” Slaughter
D-Day Veteran, Omaha Beach June 6, 1944, Company D, 116th Infantry, 29th Division.
Author, John Robert (“Bob”) Slaughter; Omaha Beach and Beyond: The Long March of Sergeant Bob Slaughter.
Born: Bristol, Tennessee – 03 February 1925.
Died: Roanoke, Virginia – 29 May 2012.
SERVICE RECORD: Joined the Virginia Army National Guard, Company D, 116th Infantry, 29th Division, at Roanoke, Virginia. On February 3, 1941, Virginia National Guard was inducted into Federal Service. Trained at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland; Camp A. P. Hill, Virginia; North and South Carolina Army Maneuvers; Camp Blanding, Florida; Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.
OVERSEAS: 29th Division was sent overseas via RMS Queen Mary, September 29, 1942, destination, Greenock, Scotland. En route collided with British escort cruiser, HMS Curacoa, killing 332 British sailors.
29th RANGERS: November 1942, spent 11 months with the elite 29th Ranger Battalion. Rangers disbanded in October 1943, sending Slaughter back to D Company, 116th. The 116th was camped in coastal Southern England undergoing very intense amphibious assault training. Promoted to sergeant machine gun squad leader.
STAGING AREA: May 1944, the Regiment motored to Blandford, England, and was immediately incarcerated behind barbed wire in the staging area waiting for orders to board ship for Normandy, France.
D-DAY: June 6th, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry, boarded HMS Empire Javelin, an LSI (L) [landing ship infantry, (long)]. Twelve miles offshore from France the Battalion transferred to small 30-man LCA landing craft. This unit landed in the assault wave at the extreme western flank of Omaha Beach. The Battalion suffered 40% casualties that first day. Promoted to staff sergeant, machine gun section leader.
WOUNDS: Despite two separate wounds in Normandy (July 5, 1944 at Couvains, and August 7, 1944, at Vire, France), Staff Sergeant Slaughter and his unit met the Russians at the Elbe River in Germany on May 6, 1945, successfully ending the war.
DISCHARGE: Separated from service at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, on July 13, 1945.