Thomas Emmitt Swinehart

Company A 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

4th Infantry Division

KIA 06/08/1944




Thomas E. Swinehart was born in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri in December 1919.

His home of residence was listed as Kansas City, Missouri.
His religion was listed as Catholic.

Private First Class Swinehart was killed in action during 1st Battalion's attack
against the German artillery battery at Crisbecq, France, on June 8, 1944.



Let me begin by saying, "No, I do not believe in ghosts". However, I do believe in premonitions and loved ones
passing from this life to their final destination, saying goodbye to their close friends and/or family members.

I do believe when one slumbers, it's the closest to death. Your heartrate slows down; your breathing is quieted
and you dream. In my young mother's case, her brother, at age 21, came to say his goodbye from Utah beach,
Normandy, France, while she was fast asleep in June 1944, to their home in Kansas City, MO. That's a long trip!

While fast asleep, she dreamt. She dreamed she saw her brother, 'Buddy' to his close friends and family. In uniform,
he came to say 'goodbye' from the bloody beaches of Normandy, France. "I want to tell you something", was all he said.
She always wondered what that 'something' meant.

The next morning, her question was answered with a knock on the door. Men in uniform. It could only mean one thing.
"It's about Buddy, isn't it?" "Yes ma'am". The letter stated he was killed in action (KIA) on June 8,1944. He was part of
the 22nd Regiment, Famous Fourth Division, the largest Army battalion in the United States.

I do believe Buddy was telling her goodbye and that he wasn't coming back. He, in his way, was comforting her.
Brotherly love transcends, even in death.

How many times did this type of occurrence happen in homes across America in June 1944? Do all souls say goodbye
or is it a choice they make themselves before departing. I guess one day, we will know. The tear-stained letters
from mothers back home to their sons will cease. The brutality, suffering, futility and supreme sacrifice caused by this war
and many others, will be explained... in HIS time.

So, you ask, do I still NOT believe in ghosts? Well, maybe a little part of me does.

Written by: Virginia Marie Bertrand June 12, 2017


Virginia Marie Bertrand who wrote the above essay wrote:

I have attached a small essay I wrote with pictures of my uncle, aka "Buddy". He is pictured with my mom,
Cecilia Swinehart. I do know he was musical and could play the harmonica, was close to both his mom and his
sister, Cecilia (my mom). They lived in Kansas City, Missouri and I know he worked for Jenkins Music Store
and also worked as a caddie at a local golf course.


Above and right:

Thomas E. Swinehart and sister,
Cecilia M. Swinehart in Kansas City,
Missouri, 1943. Last trip home.






Thomas E. "Buddy" Swinehart
standing in front of his home in
Kansas City, Missouri

October 1943



Thomas E. "Buddy" Swinehart at Camp Roberts, California 1943



Thomas E. "Buddy" Swinehart at Camp Roberts, California 1943



Thomas E. "Buddy" Swinehart at Camp Roberts, California 1943




Thomas E. Swinehart - top row far left
Paseo High School Kansas City, Missouri 1936

From the 1936 Paseo High School yearbook




The actual Purple Heart given to the family of Thomas E. Swinehart




The inscription on the reverse of Thomas E.Swinehart's Purple Heart




Thomas E. Swinehart was buried in the temporary U.S. Military Cemetery,
Blosville Cemetery at Carentan, France in Block D Row 10 Grave 200 and was moved to the permanent
cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, most likely in 1948 when the temporary cemeteries were shut down.


Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Departement du Calvados
Basse-Normandie, France
Plot C Row 25 Grave 15



Grave marker for

Thomas E. Swinehart

Photo by

John Tomawski


Andreia Lino





Photos of Thomas E. Swinehart and Cecilia M. Swinehart and of Thomas' Purple Heart
courtesy of his niece Virginia Bertrand








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