Colonel Charles Bowler King

Colonel Charles Bowler King arrived in the area on the 20th of June.

He was attached to the Headquarters Staff of the VIII Corps, and had entered the US army from Oklahoma.

On June 22nd he was leading a patrol along the Havre, a tidal estuary that separated the American held ground from the Germans, who were trying to find a way through the American held territory back to Cherbourg.

It should be remembered that by June 22nd the Americans had completed their objective of driving a wedge across the peninsula, separating the German forces and cutting the supply route to Cherbourg, but Port bail remained in German hands until the first days of July.

Colonel King had arrived at the waters edge to the west of the town in the afternoon, by crossing fields.

He had not used the small lane as it was easy to observe movements from across the water.

The tide was almost at its fullest when he lay behind a hedge to observe the Germanís on the far bank some hundred yards across the water.

It was obviously thought to be safe as the Americans allowed two young boys who lived nearby to go with them.

One of them who recounted the story remembers that a black soldier who accompanied Colonel King spoke French and possibly came from Louisiana, gave them chewing gum.

The Colonel was looking at a small group of Germans, thought to be Georgian, when he was struck between the eye by a single bullet, he died instantly.

He was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart, and is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery at St Laurent. Plot D Row 21 Grave 25.

A monument has been erected near the spot where he fell.

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