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Virgil J. Tangborn

Band, 90th Infantry Division

Private First Class, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

Minnesota

Died:

7/14/1944

Grave Location:

Plot E, Row 25, Grave 20

Pfc. Virgil J. Tangborn playing bugle for the 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division.


Pvt. Virgil John Tangborn was born in Schleswig, Iowa on May 23, 1920 to Swedish and Norwegian immigrants. Tangborn worked on the family farm in Minnesota until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. In his sister’s memoirs, Tangborn is described as serious but also humorous and mischievous. Not one for farm life, Tangborn escaped the farm through his books and music. He played in the Navy band and a dance band prior to the war.

Tangborn and the 90th Infantry Division Band. 1943.
90th Division troops wade ashore at Utah Beach on 7 June 1944.

While training at Camp Berkeley, Texas, Tangborn auditioned for and was selected into the 90thDivision Band for the French horn. Although he survived the landing on Utah Beach on June 8, Tangborn was killed six days later. During a fight for an ammunition dump on the Cherbourg Peninsula, while attempting to save a wounded soldier under heavy artillery fire Tangborn was shot and killed. Tangborn is one of four 90th Division GIs memorialized on a monument in Périers.

"The Four Braves" Monument commemorates the 90th ID and the liberation of Periers, France on July 27, 1944. It depicts Andrew Speese, Richard Richtman, Tullio Micaloni, and Virgil Tangborn. Tangborn, wearing the Red Cross helmet helps the wounded Speese who is kneeling in the middle.

Awards: Silver Star, Purple Heart

Virgil J. Tangborn is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot E, Row 25, Grave 20.