I just received an e-letter from Norwich from the alumni office, something that they’ve recently started doing. While looking through the obituary list, I came across one name – Arthur Harrington – that I recognized.
Some of you might remember that I did my final thesis on Norwich alumni who fought at Normandy, France during D-Day. Of the 43 people that I was able to find, I was only able to speak with one, Arthur Harrington, who landed on Omaha Beach on D+0 H + 6.
He was assigned to the 5th Special Engineering Brigade, where he was tasked with linking up communications between the 1st Infantry Division and the 29th Infantry division. He landed on Easy One, under enemy fire.
D-Day was the only time that Harrington took fire. He spent the rest of the war on the beaches, tasked to another special communications group that helped coordinate communications between the various branches (Army, Army Air Corp, Navy and Coast Guard), while helping set up a port at Normandy to supply the soldiers fighting further inland.
Prior to the invasion, he was involved with the planning of Overlord by analyzing reconnaissance photographs to help place equipment. Just before that, he was stationed in Iceland.
When I spoke with him a little under a year ago, he was happy to speak with me about my work, and about his role in the invasion. He told me then that he would not likely live to see the school again, and sent me a package of some papers relating to D-Day for the library’s special collections. I mailed him a copy of my final paper, and never heard back from him again. I gathered that he was fairly active where he lived in North Carolina. He was 89 years old.
His official obituary can be found here.