In 1955 an ordinance stated, “That the square located where South Maple Street, Vinton
Street and South Willow Street intersects, be officially designated and known…as ‘Arthur M. St. Pierre Square’.” This was approved on 20 March 1956 and signed by Josaphat T. Benoit, Mayor. The plaque reads: S/SGT ARTHUR M. ST. PIERRE. 8th US ARMY AIR FORCE. BORN MARCH 6, 1920. DIED AUGUST 20, 1944 IN GERMANY.
Arthur Michael St. Pierre was born on March 6, 1920 to Arthur & Mary (Healy) St. Pierre. He grew up on Alpheus Street in Manchester, attending local schools–Bakersville Grammar and Manchester Central High School. Following graduation he worked at the Manchester Die Company.
Arthur M. St. Pierre enlisted 19 Jan 1942 in Manchester NH for military service, receiving basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. According to a knowledgeable source “he was assigned to the Army Flexible Gunnery school in Jacksonville FL, graduating in 1942.” From there he went to Orlando Florida and Harrington KS. He was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 856th Bomb Squadron, 492nd Bomber Group, that was sent to England to participate in D-Day, and was to become known as “The Hard Luck Outfit.”
On 20 June 1944 Arthur M. St. Pierre was aboard a Liberator, [my original post stated a “Fortress”– see comments below this story] on a bombing mission, the target being oil at Politz, Germany. The bomber was shot down out of formation by enemy fire, and struck water in the vicinity of the Isle of Regan or the town of Stralsund. A once restricted document to Air Force Command, dated June 30, 1944 stated: “crashed (downed) : A fortress, near Kubitzer Fodden West of Ruegen June 20, 1944.” Five men were able to parachute out (they were later captured). S/Sgt. Miles Toepper and S/Sgt. Jack S. Reed attempted to give first aid to St. Pierre and Sgt. Douglas E. Pierce.
The report goes on to state that S/Sgt Arthur M. St. Pierre was reported dead, near Thiessow near the Kubitzer Bodden, was recovered dead on June 23, 1944 by the German soldiers who fond his body in the plane’s wreckage, and buried him 2.5 km southwest of Thiessow on Reugen, on the beach the same day.
One source stated that his body was returned to the family in 1949. I did not find any documents (such as a death certificate) stating this, but I did see that on 29 August 1949 his father Arthur requested a flat granite military marker which was placed in St. Joseph Cemetery, and that his son’s name is inscribed on the family gravestone.
NOTE: I would be deeply grateful if any relatives who have more information and/or a photograph of Arthur M. St. Pierre would contact me through this blog. [I was recently contacted by Rick Centore, whose father, Nello Centore, was also one of the crew members, and a friend of Arthur St. Pierre.]
[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.” All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]
==========PARTIAL GENEALOGY of Arthur Michael St. Pierre==========
Joseph St. Pierre was b abt — in Vermont and d –. He married — to Judith Tetreault. She b. — in Canada and d. —
Children of Joseph & Judith (Tetreault) St. Pierre:
1. +Arthur D. St. Pierre b abt 1876 in Canada
2. Annie Josephine St. Pierre, b abt 1882 in Manchester NH; m. 25 March 1908 in Manchester NH to George Allen Dow, son of John & Ella (Morrill) Dow
3. Louis St. Pierre, b abt 1883; d. 13 Oct 1888, age 5 in Manchester NH of diphtheria
4. Victorine St. Pierre b abt 1884 and died 16 October 1888 in Manchester NHof diphtheria
Arthur D. St. Pierre, son of Joseph & Judith (Tetreault) St. Pierre was b. abt 1876 in Canada/VT/NH, and died 7 jUNE 1950; buried in lot AC-86 St. Joseph Cemetery Manchester NH; He married 8 November 1915 in Manchester NH to Mary Agnes Healy/Haley, daughter of Michael & Kate Healy. She was b July 1882 in Manchester NH and d. 29 May 1942. Resided 45 and later 53 Alpheus Street Manchester NH. His occupation was carpenter and building contractor.
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough Co. > Manchester > 53 Alpheus Street
Arthur St. Pierre M 62 b NH
Mary A. St. Pierre F 56 NH
Edward St. Pierre son M 21 NH
Arthur St. Pierre son 20 NH
Mary St. Pierre dau F 18 NH
Catherine St. Pierre dau 15 NH
HOOKSETT — Albert A. Levesque , 81, died Jan. 29, 2004, at his son’s home after a brief illness. Born in Manchester Jan. 18, 1923, he was the son of Amedee and Rosalie (Vanasse) Levesque . He was educated in the Manchester parochial school system, attending St. Anthony School. He had been a master plumber for the Armand E. Lemire Plumbing and Heating Co. and later for the Bellemore Heating Co. Mr. Levesque was a member of the Hooksett American Legion. He lived all of his life in the Manchester and Hooksett areas. He was a communicant of Blessed Sacrament Church. Mr. Levesque was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, participating in the Leyte Gulf Invasion, and was awarded the Purple Heart. The family includes two sons, James A. Levesque of Hooksett and Arthur M. Levesque of Manchester; six grandchildren; three sisters, Alice Tetu of Manchester, Gloria Porter of Belmont and Lillian Scarlett of Florida; and many nieces and nephews. His wife, Mary A. (St. Pierre) Levesque , died in 1995. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Blessed Sacrament Church. Burial will be in the new St. Joseph Cemetery, Bedford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the 554th Engineering Shore and Boat Regiment, care of Sam Puntureri, 1926 Sunflower Circle, Sebring, Fla. 33872.
Children of Arthur & Mary (Healy) St. Pierre:
1. Edward St. Pierre, b. 6 June 1918 Manchester NH, d. 1 February 1972
[St. Joseph Cemetery: StPierre, Edward, 53, d.2/1/1972 2 390-d]
2. +Arthur Michael St. Pierre, born March 6, 1920; died August 20, 1944 in Germany (subject of this story); On 12 June 1943 at the Grenier Field Chapel, Manchester NH he married Yvette Mandy Hebert, age 20, daughter of Arthur & Bertha (Provost) Hebert. In 1946, Mandy remarried on 27 April in Manchester NH to Roland Joseph Gagnon, son of Alcide & Cilanide (Trembley) Gagnon.
3. Mary Agnes St. Pierre, b. 18 Sep 1921, d. 7 Sep 1995, age 73; married 12 June 1943 in Manchester NH to Albert Armand Levesque, son of Amede & Rosalie (Vanasse) Levesque. He was b. 18 January 1923 and d. 29 January 2004. Both are buried at St. Joseph Cemetery.
4. Catherine Julia St. Pierre, b May 1924, died April 1981; married 12 July 1947 in Manchester NH to John William Wentworth, son of Floyd & Bessie (Hartwell) Wentworth. He was born abt 1927 in Indianapolis, Indiana