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Marzolf Harold


Harold Marzolf Plaque


Harold Marzolf
Technician 5th Grade
Serial Number:
83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
Date of Death:
Nauvoo City Cemetery, llinois
Purple Heart

OBITUARY Last Rites for Harold Marzolf to be Friday The remains of T-5 Harold Marzolf, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Marzolf, will arrive this afternoon at 1:10 o'clock at Fort Madison and will be brought to the Sharman funeral home. The funeral services will be held at the funeral home Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock with the Rev. Charles M. Hart, pastor of Christ Lutheran church officiating. Burial will be in the city cemetery with military rites. Harold Marzolf entered the U. S. Army on January 23, 1942 at Camp Grant, Ill. He received his basic training at Camp Polk, La., and in July of the same year was sent to California for desert maneuvers, later being in camp at Indiantown Gap, Pa., and Camp Pickett, Va. On August 29, 1943, he left for overseas, being sent to England where he remained until the invasion of France. After his outfit, Co. D, 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, landed in Normandy, they took part in many battles up until the time of his death. He was killed in action in the battle of St. Lo, on July 29, 1944. He was buried in the temporary military cemetery at Marigny, France, from which the remains were returned to America for final interment. NORMANDY REMEMBERS THE SACRIFICE OF HAROLD MARZOLF "The values of courage and generosity should be kept alive..." A feeling of profound respect for an unknown dead American soldier he found lying on his neighbor's grounds has kept burning in the heart of Jacques Petit, who was just 12 years old in July, 1944 when the American Army slugged through the hedge country of Normandy and liberated the small villages and hamlets of that province. The region where his youth was staying with his grandmother is about 70 miles from the beaches where the Americans landed on June 6, 1944. Last Thursday, in the morning of July 29, 2004, Jacques Petit, accompanied by his wife Lyndal, laid a wreath handmade by Lyndal at the grave of Harold Marzolf of Nauvoo, whom Mr. Peiti has identified through his diligent research as that soldier. Harold's family gathered for the occasion, along with Raymond Siegrist representing the Nauvoo American Legion and Nauvoo Mayor Tom Wilson. It was a beautiful, balmy day. Nauvoo City Cemetery is a simple, quiet place, bordered by wildflowers and pasture land. Surrounded by his deceased family members, it is a proper resting place for a farm youth who left his beloved family to cross the sea and push Hitler's army out of Europe while riding with the Third Armored Division of the 83rd Battalion. Harold was 27 when he was shot in an ambush while on forward patrol for his Company D, which had earlier that morning taken Coquerel Bridge in the country below Montpincheon, a strategic hill the Americans wished to control. He died in a meadow at Moulin Fouloir. Jacques Petit became a civil engineer and economist when he grew up in his native Paris after the war, later emigrating to Canada. He worked there as an economist first for Quebec and then for 25 years for the federal government of Canada at Ottawa, but he often thought of the sacrifices made by those who died to free Europe from Nazi tyranny and, most especially, of the unknown dead soldier he had found. After retiring, he began his search, which began at the U.S. Center for Military History in Washington, D.C. and then took him to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Maryland. There he met the director of military archives, Dr. Nenninger, who counseled him and helped him along the way in the fascinating, but tiring two-year research that finally resulted in the identification of the soldier and his mission. Harold Marzolf died taking a part in the COBRA Operation commanded by General Omar Bradley, M. Petit learned. He has written a complete report of the events leading up to the death of the soldier and it has been published by Societe d'Archeologie and d'Histoire de la Manche. Even more remarkable, Mr. Petit helped organize a dedication ceremony of a memorial placque in honor of Harold Marzolf in the village of Moulin Fouloir which was attended by all of the French veterans of WWII, local officials and the school children of the village. A memorial service for Harold and all those who died in the battles of Normandy was held in the village church; this was followed by a dedication of the memorial garden established by the present owners of the meadow where Harold was killed. Col. Greg Kaufman who is attached to NATO attended and spoke. Mr. Petit also spoke. "It was very important that the school children should attend. It was important that the values of courage and generosity he exulted and kept alive...We don't think you should forget these things. Freedom doesn't come cheap. Without the landing of Normandy, the place would still have had Germans decades later." (From The New Nauvoo Independent, August 4, 2004, written by Jane Langford)