Delbert K. Sandt
Service Number: 32485863
Del's family had originally lived in Reading, Pennsylvania. After their infant son Howard had passed away at the age of 5 months in January 1907, Luther and Agnes moved to 2133 N. Dover Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia.
In November 1910, Russell Calvin Sandt was born. Two years later, the Sandts would receive and early Christmas present with the birth of Luther Victor, who was born on December 20th. In December 1915, a daughter, Thelma Elaine was born in Camden, NJ. The family was living at 328 Warren Avenue in Camden. Tragically, Thelma died at only 2 months of age due to pneumonia.
By 1920 the Sandts had moved back over to Philadelphia at 2526 North Bancroft Street. Delbert's younger brother, Walter Elmer was born in December 1923. Some time before 1928, the family had moved to 2502 43rd Street in Pennsauken, NJ.
Luther had suffered for decades from Myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle) and passed away on April 4, 1928 after complications from a week-long case of Atrial Fibrillation. He was a long time tooth mold engraver for the S.S. White Dental Company. This business is still in operation to this day.
|Gladys and Del|
|Del, Shirley, Gladys|
They trained at Camp Bowie and Camp Hood (now Ft. Hood) in Texas.
|Del holding a .30 caliber|
While in basic training at Camp Hood, Del had the opportunity to send a recording of his voice on a record to a loved one. Pepsi Cola sponsored “A Recorded Message From Your Man in the Service.” They would bring a portable recording device to several training camps around the country. He sent his recorded message to Gladys. He spoke of how much he loved and missed her and that the Army was keeping him in peak condition. He asked her and the family to keep sending letters to him.
By the end of September 1943, the battalion moved to Camp Polk (now Ft. Polk) in Louisiana for about 8 weeks of maneuvers. After completion of these maneuvers, the 747th returned to Texas at Camp Swift. The weekend before Christmas 1943, Del visited the USO in Austin where he sent another recording of his voice to his daughter Shirley. He asked how the family was and if her “big tooth” was coming in. Del closed with wishing his daughter a "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” Gladys and Shirley would travel to Texas to visit Del in January 1944 when he was on furlough.
When the men weren’t training, they passed the time playing poker and spending their passes by traveling to London and other nearby areas to sample the fish n’ chips and of course, the local pubs. On April 5th, the battalion moved to an artillery range at Okehampton, where tank crews spent 2 weeks on maneuvers and live fire training. They then headed to the H.M.S. Raleigh Training facility in Torpoint.
|Sherman Tank with deep wading gear|
|Corporal Theodore J. Surowiec|
|2nd Lt. Louis E. Linsley Jr.|
The following day, they picked up a reconnaissance officer from Battery A of the 111th Field Artillery Battalion named 2nd Lieutenant Louis E. Linsley Jr. Their mission was to take the Lieutenant to forward observation points along the front were he could direct artillery fire. Linsley’s battalion lost every artillery piece they had while coming ashore on D-Day. Each howitzer was loaded onto a DUKW (duck boat) and consequently either sunk due to high seas or enemy fire while heading to the landing zone. Having no field pieces to operate, he and his battalion took up arms and joined the infantry until replacement guns could be procured by June 11-12.
|Del's Gravesite, Locustwood Cemetery|