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Arlo R. Mathison

264th Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division

Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

Minnesota

Died:

12/25/1944

Grave Location:

Plot D, Row 21, Grave 29

Staff Sgt. Arlo R. Mathison with is his sisters, Eunice who worked for the Red Cross (left) and Elener who was an army nurse (right) in November 1944 in England.

SSgt. Arlo R. Mathison served with the 66thInfantry Division that was en route to Cherbourg by ship on Christmas Eve 1944. Upon landing, they were to travel east to provide reinforcements in the Battle of the Bulge. Mathison would not survive the channel crossing.

Aerial view of the harbor Vue du Fort du Roule at Cherbourg in 1944.

The troopship SS Leopoldvillewas an enormous passenger liner that was converted for use as a troopship. It was carrying 2,235 men of the 66thInfantry Division from Southampton to Cherbourg when it was struck by a torpedo fired by U-486. It sunk five and half miles from shore on December 25, 1944. 763 soldiers and 56 crewmembers died in the sinking. Mathison was one of the casualties; his body was recovered.

USS Leopoldville

About two weeks before his death, Mathison had been able to reunite with his two sisters in London. One was an army nurse and the other worked for the Red Cross. Both survived the war and returned to the U.S. to raise families. 

Awards: Purple Heart

Arlo R. Mathison is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot D, Row 21, Grave 29.