8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
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.
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.
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.
Awards: Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart
John Richard Garrabrant is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot E, Row 17, Grave 8.