During World War II the town of Harrison, in Hudson County, NJ, lost 64 young men in the conflict. Here is a photo of John J. Doran before signing up for service, while he was in the Civilian Conservation Corp in Montana. He looks so handsome, strong, carefree, and happy. And this is just the way he would want us to remember him. He’s hoisting that huge log like it was a matchstick! Later he signed up for service for the duration of the war. Sadly he was one included in that list of 64 men killed, and his mother, Mary Mahoney Doran, joined the ranks of Gold Star Mothers.
A little known source of genealogy information are the books sometimes published by the towns and cities after the war called the “Big One” ended. In Harrison the town council and long-time mayor, Frank E. Rodgers, with the assistance of other town groups, prepared such a book. There is a photo of each of the men lost, and a short biography. Below, copied from the book, is what was written of our beloved family member.
Source: In Memoriam, Harrison, New Jersey, 1947.
“Private First Class Doran was a member of the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, one of the divisions selected to spearhead the D Day assault on Normandy, June 6, 1944. Wounded in that action on June 9, he returned to duty to engage in the assault upon St. Lo and Brest. He was killed in the storming of the gates of Brest, August 30, 1944. Holder of the Purple Heart, he was posthumously awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster.
Enlisting on May 16, 1942, he was in training for four months in this country before embarking with his unit for England on September 26, 1942. Here his division staged a series of interminable maneuvers in preparation for the D Day invasion.
Private Doran was born in Kearny, March 6, 1923. He was educated at Harrison schools and was last employed in Newark at the Clark Thread Company.
He was the son of the late Mr. Bernard Doran. He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Mary Doran; two sisters, Misses Margaret and Elizabeth; and five brothers, Bernard, Jr., James, Peter, William, and Joseph Doran.”
Also, in the back of the booklet the names of all the men and women that served from Harrison are included. If anyone wants more information please leave a comment, and I’ll try to help.