T Sgt. Robert Jerome Cavanaugh

September 16, 1916–April 1, 1944

Service #: 37195553
Enlistment Date: May 1942
Enlistment Place: Des Moines, Iowa
Component: 337th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division
Residence: Cascade, Jones, Iowa
Education: 4 years high school
Occupation: Employed with the highway commission
Marital Status: Married

Cascade Man Killed, Italy

Robert Cavanaugh Born In Cascade

CASCADE—Word was received here announcing the death of Sgt. Robert Cavanaugh, who was killed in action April 1 in the Italian campaign. Word was received by his sister, Mrs. John C. O'Brien. Robert Cavanaugh was born in Cascade, the son of the late John and Eva Cavanaugh on Sept. 16, 1916. He graduated from St. Martin's high school in 1934. Following graduation he was employed with the highway commission out of Maquaketa and continued in that employment until the time of his enlistment in May, 1942.

He entered the service at Des Moines, going from there to Camp Shelby, Miss., where he received his basic training. He left a port of embarkation for overseas soon after Christmas, 1943, arriving in North Africa some weeks later. On March 17 he was promoted technical sergeant.

He was married to Miss Ruth Mandersheid on Dec. 14, at Trenton, N. J. She is now living with her parents in Bellevue.

Surviving besides his wife are the following sisters, Miss Carie Cavanaugh, Mrs. J. C. O'Brien, Cascade; Mrs. Henry Degman, Worthington; Mrs. Charles Cleys, Victor; Sister Mary Johannes, B.V.M., St. Patrick's convent, Iowa City; and Fred Cavanaugh, Delhi.

Source: Monticello Express, Monticello, Iowa, May 4, 1944

Sgt. Robert Cavanaugh Instantly Killed By Shell

On Observation Trip With Others When Shell Hit

July 21st, 1944.

My Dear Mrs. Cavanaugh:

In reply to your letter concerning your husband, T-Sgt. Robert Cavanaugh, your husband with another Platoon Sgt. was selected by the company commander to accompany myself to a front line unit to act as observers for a week. At the time our unit had not been placed Into the line, and it was hoped that we three observers would be able to gain important experience and information of actual battle conditions that would be of value to the rest of tbe troop. We were sent to the West flank of the 5th Army front which was located In the vicinity of Minturno, Italy The line was stalmated and the only enemy activity was frequent artillery barrages. It was during one of these barrages that your husband was killed. He was standing in the doorway of a building when a shell hit near by. He died Instantly without any | pain. I know this to be true as I was the first man to him. Words cannot convey to you tbe shock to me when I realized Sgt. Cavanaugh had joined his maker, for Bob was without a doubt one of the finest non-commissioned officer and gentleman In our company. He was a boy well liked by both officers and men.

He did receive a Catholic burial and was buried In an Army cemetery. The location of the cemetery would be of no value to you as the War Department plans to consolidate all cemeteries into one National Army Cemetery for all casualties of the Italian Theater. When this has been accomplished you will be notified of its exact location. I join with the officers and men in extending to you our deepest sympathy —Sincerely, Charles J. Kaness, Est Lt. Inf.

A son was born to Mr and Mrs. Robert Cavanaugh on August 1st. He will be named Robert Jerome "Jr."

Source: Cascade Pioneer, Cascade, Iowa, August 10, 1944
Note: He is buried at Plot E Row 9 Grave 26, Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.