Family of a Canadian soldier who died in World War II feat may finally get the closure that they have prayed for more than six decades. The remains of soldier buried in a German War Cemetery may be the remains of that Canadian soldier.
Private Lawrence S. Gordon enlisted in the Canadian forces during the World War II along with millions of Americans and Brits. He was assigned to France as one of the contingents of the US Troops.
On August 13, 1944 , Gordon was killed in the Battle of Normandy. He was killed while manning the turret of a machine-gun armored car. However, his dog-tag was missing making the ID of his body difficult. His body was only identified due to the bloodstained wallet found on one of his pockets that contained documents regarding his person. Another soldier was also killed with him.
The bloodstained wallet was returned to his family in Canada as one of Gordon’s effects retrieved from his body. A letter explained the circumstances of his death along with the returned wallet. However, the letter also explained that Gordon’s body could not be found. For six decades, the family were baffled as to what truly happened to Gordon. And without a body to mourn on, it was difficult for the family to find closure.
The family did their best to find answers. After many years of investigating and looking over war records, they may be closer to finally solving the mystery of their lost relative.
The family believes that Gordon may have chanced upon a German soldier’s military jacket having lost his own. Many effects including jackets were collected from Nazi soldiers who became prisoners of war.
During the chaos a day after the invasion of Normandy, supplies were low and the Allies just have to make do with what were readily available. Jackets were the last of the priority in the lists of logistics to provide to Allied fighters. Topping the lists of needs provided for the soldiers were food, medical services, guns and ammunition with many soldiers killed and wounded during the daily exchange of fire.
While the jacket may have offered Gordon warmth and protection, the borrowed garment may have also been the reason for the mistaken-identity. His comrades may have thought he was a Nazi soldier and buried his body along Nazi soldiers in a German war cemetery in France. As his remains were laid to rest in a German War Cemetery unidentified, Gordon’s family are left to wonder what ever happened to him.
Around 12,000 remains of “Nazi soldiers”, many of which are unidentified, are buried at Heines Sur Mer in Normandy. The Canadian family hopes that among the bodies is that of the long lost Lawrence S. Gordon.
First week of September this year, the family exhumed the body they believed to belong to Gordon. With them during the exhumation was Jed Henry. Henry’s grandfather served the US Army with Private Gordon.
The body will then undergo DNA testing to confirm or refute the family’s belief. The results of the tests are expected to be released this December 2013. If the test results are positive, the remains of Lawrence S. Gordon will be returned to Canada.