Saturday, July 16, 2016

SGT Leonard Jackson Riley Jr

courtesy of Frogman
SGT Leonard Jackson Riley Jr was born 9 Nov 1921 in Campbell County, Virginia. He was the oldest of the 6 children born to Leonard Jackson and Loma Gertrude (Holt) Riley. The family supported themselves by farming near Rustburg, Virginia. The family home was vvalued at $500 in 1940. Leonard made $650 in 1939 by working in a sawmill.

Leonard enlisted in the Virginia Army National Guard prior to 1940 and was a member of B Company 116th Infantry. PVT Riley was federalized along with the rest of his unit on 3 Feb 1941. The expected service overseas may have prompted his marriage to Louise Katherine Burnett of Lynchburg, Virginia. The entire regiment went to Fort Meade, Maryland and participated in training there, in the Carolina Maneuvers and at Camp Blanding, Florida before shipping out for England in September 1942. After arriving in England Leonard would have participated in the intensive training to prepare for the planned amphibious invasion of occupied northern France. PFC Riley took part in that assault on 6 Jun 1944 survived and continued to fight with the unit. He was promoted to SGT on 9 Jul 1944. SGT Riley was killed in action on 16 Jul 1944 in the vicinity of Saint Lo, France.

SGT Riley is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

Leonard and Louise had no children and Louise re-married in 1947.

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