The Sky Men
At the prodding of a fellow WWII veteran's descendant, I purchased "The Sky Men" by Kirk Ross. I received it today and immediately searched for mention of my grandfather, John Deam. Although the book is primarily about F Company, and Grandfather Deam commanded E Company, his actions on the day of his death are indeed included, starting on page 155. The description of the events varies a good bit from what Dick Manning has related to me (Mr. Manning is also included in these pages of the book) but I suppose that is not really surprising.
At any rate, the really surprising thing for me was how viscerally I reacted to seeing quoted words of my grandfather's. They're from the Westover notes, which Mr. Manning has told me are not accurate, but still, we have
Within fifteen minutes, Lieutenant Deam radioed back "that he was on the phase line and the men in enemy fox holes."
"Don't worry," replied Deam, "I'll start them off myself." Lieutenant Deam called his Third Platoon commandeer, Lieutenant Manning, and told him to "get his men, fix bayonets, and go on in." As promised, Deam led the attack, but was killed almost immediately by enemy rifle fire. Lieutenant Hall, Manning's assistant was shot in the chest, and another officer, Lieutenant Fagan who had assumed command of E Company, was wounded as well.
This doesn't jive at all with what Mr. Manning has related, especially concerning the circumstances of my grandfather's death, but as I've commented before, I'm amazed that anyone could retain a coherent memory of such a time. For me, it's enough to have another confirmation that he was there, he was doing his job, he was leading his men.