Le Journal du Mémorial

"Ne demandons pas à Dieu pourquoi de tels hommes devaient mourir à la guerre... Laissez-nous plutôt remercier Dieu que de tels hommes aient vécus..."
Général George S. Patton

John Luke Hastings 
Born December, 14 1917 at Scottsboro, Alabama, USA
Residence : Aspel, Jackson, Alabama, USA
Died June, 6 1944 at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France
Buried in Normandy American Cimetery of Colleville-sur-Mer
 (Plot J, Row 1, Grave 13)
Religion : Protestant
Civilian occupation: Farmer

Awards :Silver Star (posthumously) and Purple Heart

Service# : 34197116
Rank : PFC (Private First Class)
Status : KIA (Killed In Action)

Father : Thomas Bailey Hastings (1889 – 1963)
Mother : Maggie Lucinda Knight (1892 – 1980)
Brothers and sister:
    Thomas Lawrence Hastings (1912 – 1975)
    Chester Pierston Hastings (1914 – 1988)
    Raymond Roy Hastings (1920 – 1974) (Service#34584087) enlisted 12/6/42
    Pauline Hastings (1924 – 1973)

1st Div. Inf.
The Big Red One
He was Private First Class in the company G, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment (RCT), from the 1st Infantry Division
(The Big Red one)
(Co. G, 2nd Bn, 16th RCT, 1st Div. Inf).

Enlisted January, 30 1942 at Fort McPherson Atlanta, Georgia
Arrival in England : May 42
Camp : Walditch, Dorset (from April 1st to April 24th 1944)

Campaigns :
   - Invasion of North Africa (Tunisia) : Operation Torch
   - Battles in Sicily : Wounded in action (Operation Husky)
   - Operation Overlord, landing in Normandy (Operation Neptune)

Killed in action, June, 6 1944, on Omaha Beach, during the initial assault waves of landing.
Arrival time : H+30
Sector : Easy Red
Coming from : USS Henrico by LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle and Personal)
He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously, for :
"Gallantry in action in Normandy"

Personal effects found on body and sent to his family:
  - 1 Notebook
  - 1 Cigaret lighter
  - 1 Bible
  - 1 Knife (souvenir)
  - 1 Knife
  - 7,46$ (in English money)

His parents receive the news of his death by mail July 6, 1944.

For the "little" story:
  - "Adopted" since 2007
  - His brother, Raymond R. Hastings fought in Pacific area, in New Guinea
  - His cousin, James R. Knight, enlisted August, 17 1942, was incorpored in the same
    regiment that John Luke and killed the same day in same place.. He had 23 years old.
  - His ancestor, Sir William Hastings, first Baron of Hastings (1431 - 1483), was the first to
    beheaded at the Tower of London
  - The cemetery area is a perpetual concession made ​​by France to USA. It overlooks Omaha

War Memorial
Scottsboro, Alabama, USA
War Memorial
Scottsboro, Alabama, USA
Newspaper article on death
of John Luke and his cousin
Individual Deceased
Personnel File
Personal objects
Silver Star nomination
Battle casualty report
Letter to family
Letter to family

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France American Cemetery

American Cemetery
Plot J, Row n°1
Grave of
John Luke Hastings  
Omaha Beach
Grave of
John Luke Hastings
June 2012 
Grave of
John Luke Hastings
June 2012 
Grave of
John Luke Hastings
June 2012 
Grave of
John Luke Hastings
June 2012 
Omaha Beach
June 2012 
Omaha Beach
June 2012 
Sanded letters
(from ABMC)
Webcam Live Last visit
  September 26, 2015

Omaha Beach
June 6, 1944 

Informations requests:
  I searched everywhere in USA, to the service history of the 1st Infantry Division, also, at
  Scottsboro, at Aspel (where he lived), in different departments of defense and I even wrote
  to the White House, who answered to me by giving some government addresses.
  I wrote, also, to the Human Resources of the U.S. forces, in Alexandria, VA, who sent me his
  personal file of death. Many military informations were destroyed by fire in 1973 that ravaged
  the "National Personnel Record Center" in St. Louis, Missouri and destroyed 80% of cases of
  soldiers from 1912 to 1959.
  Recently (2012), I found the distant descendants of John Luke, who, kindly, sent me his
  picture and different informations and will try to find others.
  The civil information are also almost impossible to find

Eric Triau