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John Richard Garrabrant

8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

Captain, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:




Grave Location:

Plot E, Row 17, Grave 8

Capt. John Richard “Dick” Garrabrant arrived in England in January 1944 with the rest of the 4thInfantry Division to begin D-Day preparations. At 28 years old, he had four years of ROTC at North Carolina State, and then four more years of training at various U.S. Army bases. On D-Day, he and 3,000 other members of the 8thInfantry Regiment landed on Utah Beach, one mile south of their target.

Capt. John R. Garrabrant (center) interrogating a German prisoner after landing on Utah Beach.

On June 10, the battalion commander assigned Garrabrant to take over Company ‘C’. Its officers had been killed or wounded as the American forces advanced deeper into the French countryside. He picked a four-man patrol to scout the area ahead of the company. He led three men into the woods, where the thick, shadowy growth provided limited visibility. Garrabrant was 25 feet ahead of the next man in his patrol when a machine gunner in the hedgerow opened fire and hit him in the gut.

Capt. Robert C. Crisson briefs Company C of the 8th Infantry Regiment prior to receiving an assignment for D-Day. England, 29 May 1944.

Six weeks after the D-Day Invasion, Garrabrant’s family in Wilmington, N.C. received a telegram from the War Department that he had died in the invasion. Garrabrant was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his valor in combat.

Garrabrant's children in Wilmington, N.C. A photo of Garrabrant sits on the table.

Awards: Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart

Distinguished Service Cross

John Richard Garrabrant is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot E, Row 17, Grave 8.