Peter J. Marco

Company A 1st Battalion 2nd Infantry

4th Infantry Division

KIA 09/20/1944

 

 

 

Peter J. Marco was born on December 12, 1910 and was drafted into the Army at New Cumberland,
Pennsylvania on June 4, 1941. He had completed four years of college, and
listed his civilian occupation as lawyer. He was single, with no dependents.
His religion was listed as Catholic.

1st Lieutenant Peter J. Marco was wounded and listed as Missing In Action in Germany,
on September 17, 1944, during 1st Battalion's attack against the town of Sellerich. On
September 20, 1944 his status was changed to Killed In Action.

First Battalion led the 22nd Infantry's attack on Sellerich on September 17, with tanks and tank destroyers
as support. Second Battalion attacked Hill 583 to the north of Sellerich, and Third Battalion was engaged
in the battle for Brandscheid, to the southwest of Sellerich. Major Robert Latimer, commanding 1st Battalion,
could not take the best approach to the town because of the continuing fight around Brandscheid, and was
therefore forced to approach Sellerich through an open draw. Though the attack would have to be pursued
through murderous fire from three sides, Latimer had been ordered by the Regimental Commander,
Colonel Charles Lanham, to advance and take the town of Sellerich no matter what the cost.

Captain Haskin, commanding Company A, had previously experienced a close call from artillery fire, and was badly shaken up.
As he led Company A through German artillery, mortar and machine gun fire, he watched his men being cut down
by the heavy fire. He became distraught and could no longer function. Major Latimer instructed 1st Lieutenant
Peter J. Marco to assume command of Company A.

Marco led Company A to the high ground just outside of Sellerich, where they attempted to dig in. They were
hit by extremely heavy fire from the enemy, making their position almost suicidal.

Marco radioed Latimer that his men could not hold. Latimer replied that reinforcements were on the way.
What he did not know was that the reinforcing unit, Company B, was itself pinned down. Company C was also
under heavy fire, and moving it up would endanger the battalion's flank. Marco was wounded at some point, and
Latimer eventually got Lanham's permission to get Company A out the trap. Runners went forward to deliver the
message, but after some time passed and no word came from them, the Battalion S-3 volunteered to go up. He was hit
five times while trying to reach the remnants of the isolated company. He did not know that the survivors of Company A
had pulled out on their own. Casualties were apparently scattered between the Schnee Eifel woods line and Hill 520.
Evacuation took several hours, and only two officers and sixty-two men reached the rear.
Marco was listed as missing in action.

 

 

 

 

Lt. Marco was born in 1910, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the son of Italian immigrants. He graduated from
Birdsboro High School in 1929 and entered the College soon after. He graduated with the class of 1932 and
immediately entered the Dickinson School of Law, from which he received his LL.B. in 1935. While at College,
he was a member of Mohler Scientific Club and Theta Chi fraternity. In June, 1936, he became the first Italian American
to be admitted to the Berks County Bar. After practicing law in the county, he was inducted into the Army on June 4, 1941
and assigned to basic training in Georgia. In October, 1941, he briefly won his release from selective service as he
was actually beyond the peacetime age for service. With the outbreak of war, however, he was soon back in uniform.
He served as a sergeant of military police in Philadelphia during mid 1942 but by December he had graduated from the
Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia and had been commissioned. In June, 1944 he was assigned to a replacement
officer unit in England and was soon serving with Company A, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the Fourth Division in the
hedgerow fighting through Normandy. On September 20, 1944, near Aachen, in Germany, Peter Marco was first reported
missing in action and was later declared to have been killed.

From the Dickinson College webpage

 

 

 

Peter J. Marco was buried in the temporary U.S. Military Cemetery,
Foy Cemetery, Bastogne, Belgium and some time later his remains
were returned to the United States where he was
reinterred in Pennsylvania on May 11, 1949.

 

Burial:
Gethsemane Cemetery
Laureldale
Berks County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: A-83-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Jeff Hall from the Find A Grave website created by: Nancy Ziemba Gleaton

 

 

Nothing Less Than Full Victory: Americans At War In Europe by Edward Miller,
Naval Institute Press , 2007 pp. 99

 

 

 

 

 

 


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