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Tech/4 Stanley J. Compton

Company Cook, Rifleman

H Company, 324th Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Division

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Stanley Joseph Compton was born the son of a WWI veteran in November of 1918. Spending his early years in rural Paige County, Virginia, Compton and his family eventually moved to the outskirts of Baltimore. After graduating high school he worked with a notable local farmer as a laborer. Even though he was in his early 20s, farm work classified him as an essential laborer and as such was able to avoid military service for several years. In July of 1944, however, he received his draft notice and before long went overseas as a replacement for the newly embattled 44th Infantry Division in the Sarreguemines.

Joining H Company of the 324th IR, Compton acted as a cook for the company but due to the continuous nature of their assault and position on the frontline, he more often than not doubled as a rifleman in the field. The 44th was a key division in the southern American forces. Despite only arriving in Europe towards the end of 1944, the division was a brute force and key piece in the assault on southern Germany, technically becoming the first division to cross the Rhine, at Worms, spearheading the charge into notable German strongholds in the south. Compton was pretty much thrown into the fray and left to learn on his own. The second battalion of the 324th was the first to make contact with German forces across the border (of the entire army) and quickly became a crack unit amongst the division. After a mid-spring R&R, the division re-upped its attacks to the Danube and into the Austrian Inn River Valley where it ended the war.

 

While the division went home late in 1945, Compton had been a replacement and was forced to stay a few extra months to help with occupation. Eventually, he made it home to once again become a farmer for over 20 years and later in life served as Director of Public Works in Frederick, Maryland.

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The 44th at war's end.
The 44th at war's end.

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