121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division
Plot F, Row 15, Grave 26
Lt. Col. Percy O. “Dell” Forgy grew up in Arkansas. His two brothers, Henry and Steele, served as medics in France during World War I and regaled him with stories from the front as he was too young to serve. After finishing college, Forgy operated a large farm west of Nashville and married Pauline E. Smith, a schoolteacher, in May 1933. They had a son, Jack, in April 1934.
Being a reserve officer in the U.S. Army, Forgy was called to service soon after the United States entered the war. Before leaving to join the 121stInfantry Regiment, Forgy planted over a thousand peach trees to return to after the war. He trained in Alaska and then in Maryland where he commanded an infantry battalion that trained replacements for overseas assignments. In December of 1943, Forgy was sent to England with his unit, enduring another six months of training in preparation for Normandy. They landed in Normandy on July 4, 1944.
On July 16, 1944, Forgy assumed command of the 2ndBattalion, 121stInfantry Regiment, 8thInfantry Division, which was then engaged in fierce combat in the hedgerow country of Normandy. The regiment was having a difficult time. When Forgy took over the 2ndBattalion, he was the third commander in three weeks.
On July 26, the 2ndBattalion mounted a major attack to drive the enemy from the last of the hedgerows between Periers and Lessay, near St. Lô. They made slow and steady progress in the morning, crossing the Seves River by noon. Thirty minutes later, Forgy made a call to his company commanders. In doing so, he pushed back his helmet so that he could use the phone and was struck by a shell fragment between the receiver and his helmet, severely wounding him. He refused treatment until his men were evacuated and cared for, but before the medics could return, Forgy died from his wounds. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Percy O. Forgy is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot F, Row 15, Grave 26.