Private First Class Edsil Ray Tharp

US Army - WW II

 


Service number: 35781577

K Co. - 394th Infantry Regiment - 99th Infantry Division

Born: 13 December 1918 - Braxton, West Virginia, USA

Date of death: 13 March 1945 - age 26

Status: KIA - Kripp (Remagen) Germany

 

 

Buried: Plot D, Row 8, Grave 9 - Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery


Awards: Purple Heart


BIOGRAPHY

Edsil was the 8th of 8 children of George Nestor and Lura Ann Tharp, Braxton. 5 brothers and 2 sisters. He worked as a farmer in Holly, Braxton, West-Virginia. 

 

  1. William Arnold
  2. Hezzie Lewis
  3. Robert Clay
  4. Charles Raymond
  5. Claude Delmer
  6. Bessie Lou
  7. Lloyd
  8. Edsil

 

He married Opal Virginia Braley on March 15, 1941 in Sutton, West Virginia. 

Opal Virginia Tharp died March 9, 2000.

 

Edsil and Opal had 2 children:

- Carmen Tharp

- Edsil Tharp II

 

(Photo courtesy of Mike Tharp)

Edsil enlisted in Huntington on August 2, 1944, at the age of 25, combat infantryman. (although he never got the "Combat Infantery Badge"

 

At the time of enlistment:

Height: 6' (1,82 m)

Weight: 159 lbs (72 kg)

Complexion: Ruddy

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Brown

The 99th Infantry Division, also known as the "Battle Babies" crossed the Bridge at Remagen on the 10th - 12th March 1945, Edsil died March 13 from a shell fragment wound in his right thigh.  At that moment he was in Kripp, a suburb from Remagen, 2 km south from the bridge.

 

Identified by his pay book, Social Security Card, Infantry Card and buried 3 days later, March 18, 1945 at 10.00h in Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery. Temporary burial in Plot C4, Row 6, Grave 114.

Inventory of his effects:

- 1 billfold

- pictures

- 2 knives

- 1 fountain pen

- 1 rifle medal

A letter was send to his wife April 17, 1947 asking for permanent burial in Henri-Chapelle, she agreed with a burial oversees.

 

Disinterrement November 13, 1947, Private Tharp was buried in uniform, T-1577 on his jacket.  His remains were placed in a casket November 18, 1947.  Date of permanent burial was August 3, 1948 and the flag was sent to his wife Opal August 6, 1948.