WW2 U.S. Infantry Casualty of Operation Overlord: Capt. Jeremiah Aidan Sheehan (1911-1944)

Photograph of Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan with wife Helen Marie and daughter Marguerite. Photograph copyright Marguerite Sheehan Redwine, used here with her permission.

Photograph of Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan with wife Helen Marie and daughter Marguerite. Photograph copyright Marguerite Sheehan Redwine, used here with her permission.

Jeremiah Aidan Sheehan was born 8 October 1911 in Manchester NH to Irish immigrants, Daniel & Mary Agnes (Sullivan) Sheehan. He grew up in a his parents home at 430 Auburn Street, a house that overlooks the very park named after him. His father Daniel was a tinsmith. Jeremiah attended the local schools of the city, graduating from Central High School [probably], and later the University of New Hampshire in 1934, with a Bachelor of Science degree [confirmed by UNH Alumni office] as a premed major.

He had served as a 2nd Lieutenant in New Hampshire’s National Guard (Battery F, 2nd Battalion, 172nd Field Artillery), and in 1941 when he was called to active duty in the United States Army. He was assigned to the 343rd Field Artillery Battalion, 90th Division as a replacement. At some point, the 90th was sent to Fort Hood, Texas. According to his daughter Jeremie, it is here where he met (at the officer’s club) and married Miss Helen Marie Wise of Louisiana and where his first child was born.  As D-Day approached he was shipped to Europe. 

The history of this division indicates that Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan landed with his division at Utah Beach on on either D+2 or D+3. By August they had rolled with the military task force through France. The battalion history states: “6 August was spent in the same position, preparations were fired for the attack on Aron and several air missions for Lt. Hicks and Lt. Rhein, on SP guns and tanks. The following day at 0200 a preparation was fired so that the infantry could withdraw from Aron. The task force pulled back to Mayenne and headed south leaving the enemy in and around Aron to the 1st Division. Farther south the Red Battalion was having quite a scrap at Ste. Suzanne, and it was here that Captain J. A. Sheehan was killed in action by enemy artillery. Captain Sheehan was working with Captain Ingram, who, with his driver Cpl. Orville Lindstrom, was wounded at the same time.”

Despite an earlier leg wound, Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan fought on with his division,  as part of Operation Overlord.  “Operation Overlord” was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, commencing on 6 June 1944, and ending 30 August 1944.

Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan was killed in battle on 7 August 1944 in France, at the age of 33. His company history states he died at Ste.-Suzanne, another source states he died in the town of Lemans [Editors note: these two towns are about 59km apart, with Lemans being further east]. He left behind a young pregnant wife, a 10-month old daughter, several brothers and their families, aunts, uncles, cousins. He was awarded the purple heart with oak leaf cluster and the bronze start posthumously. His body lies at the Brittany American Cemetery at St. James, France, Plot K Row 14 Grave 2.

In 1953 Alderman John Mills proposed that a park be dedicated to honor two fallen heroes of World War 2 — Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan and PFC James H. Basquil–both soldiers killed in action in France, and buried there.  In October of 1991 new plaques were placed in front of the Hunt Memorial Pool on Maple Street in Manchester, with signage dedicating the entire park complex to Sheehan and Basquil. [See my article about Sheehan-Basquil Park history].sheehan-basquil closer watermark

The plaque dedicated to Sheehan reads:
343rd Field Artillery Battalion 90th Div.
BORN OCT 8, 1911
DIED AUG 9, 1944 [day incorrect, should be 7]
Killed in town of Lemans, Normandy
Buried at Brittany American Cemetery
St. James, France

[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.]


Timothy Sheehan, died before 1898 Ireland; m. Elenore “Ellen” “Helen”O’Brien. They lived in Ireland and did not immigrate to the United States [based on children’s marriage records]. His occupation: tailor.
Children of Timothy and Ellen (O’Brien) Sheehan:
1.+Daniel T. Sheehan, b. March 1865 Ireland
2. Mary Sheehan b May 1870-1871 Ireland, d. 17 Oct 1921 in Manchester NH; in 1900 single, living with her brother Daniel in Manchester NH a weaver in the mills. She is buried in section B-14 at St. Joseph Cemetery.
3. Patrick T. Sheehan, b. 1875 Ireland; d. 24 May 1917 in Manchester NH; tailor, married 28 November 1893 in NH to Honorale Sullivan
4. Hannah Agnes Sheehan, b. April 1877 in Ireland and d. 1 May 1959 in Manchester NH. She married 27 June 1905 in Manchester NH to Philip Sullivan, son of Michael & Julia (Hartnett) Sullivan. She imm 1899; weaver in the cotton mills. Their son John J. Sullivan was killed at the Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston while serving in the military.
5. James Timothy Sheehan, b 24 June 1879-80 Ireland; d. 23 May 1932 in Manchester NH; he was living at 93 Prospect Street in Manchester, a resident for 27 years. Buried St. Joseph Cemetery; m. 20 June 1910 in Manchester NH to Catherine Mary {“Kathryn” Kearney, daughter of Michael & Elizabeth (McElligott) Kearney. He was a conductor on the Manchester Street Railway. Find-A-Grave states he was born in Reenkilla, County Kerry Ireland but I do not have primary evidence of this. They also give a different date of birth as 19 June 1875.
6. Ellen A. “Helen” Sheehan, b. 1884 in Ireland, died 25 August 1948, age 65yr 5m 1d in Manchester NH, buried section B-14 in St. Joseph Cemetery; in 1940 single living in Manchester NH with her nephews.


Daniel T. “Danial” Sheehan, son of Timothy & Ellen (O’Brien) Sheehan, b. March 1865 Ireland, d. 12 Nov 1933 in Manchester NH; m. 28 June 1898 in Manchester NH to Mary Sullivan, daughter of Jeremiah & Mary (Shea) Sullivan. She b. May 1869 Ireland, d. 15 June 1921. His occupation at their marriage was tinsmith. They lived at 430 Auburn Street in Manchester NH. He is buried at St. Joseph Cemetery Manchester NH. They are buried in section B-22 in St. Joseph Cemetery.
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 430 Auburn Street
John J. Sheehan 40 Head M W single NH Lawyer
Daniel P. Sheehan 37 Foreman W.P.H Construction brother
Jeremiah A Sheehan 28 Investigator Insurance brother
Helen Sheehan 56 Aunt F W b Eire
October 30, 1944 State Times Advocate (Baton Rouge LA) Page 9
Washington October 30 (AP) — The war department has announced the names of 2113 United States soldiers killed in action in the European theater. Including from Louisiana and Mississippi were:
Louisianan–Capt. Jeremiah A. Sheehan; Mrs. Helen M. Sheehan wife, 231 Maximilian street, Baton Rouge
April 13, 1993 Boston Globe, Boston MA
John J. Sheehan of Manchester, N.H., a longtime New Hampshire lawyer and political figure, died Sunday in the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester after a brief illness. He was 93. Mr. Sheehan was US attorney in New Hampshire from 1949 to 1953 and served in several state offices and positions during his career. He was a member of the state House of Representatives from 1925 to 1928, the state Senate in 1931 and 1932, and was a Hillsborough County attorney. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1936, 1940, 1948 and 1960, and to the New Hampshire Constitutional Convention in 1930, 1938, 1941, 1948, and from 1956 to 1959…. He leaves his wife, Ellinor (Nielsen); three daughters, Karen Ann Lord of Manchester, N.H., Susan Mary Pearsall of Northfield, N.H., and Mary Ellinor of Baltimore; a stepson, John F. Cullity of Manchester; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Noted NH Trial Lawyer John J. Sheehan Dies: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice; Union Leader, The (Manchester, NH) – Tuesday, April 13, 1993
John J. Sheehan, 93, a prominent lawyer and former U.S. attorney for New Hampshire, died Sunday night. Mr. Sheehan, once known as the dean of New Hampshire trial lawyers, lived at 525 Concord St., Manchester. He died in Catholic Medical Center after a brief illness. He was a prominent Democrat who served in 1960 as campaign coordinator in the state for John F. Kennedy’s Presidential bid, according to his law partner, Bradford Cook. ”He was a great lawyer, a good teacher, a leader, and he was a very good friend to a lot of young lawyers and clients,” Cook said yesterday. Mr. Sheehan was a co-founder of the prominent Manchester law firm that today bears his name – Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green, P.A. Cook said Mr. Sheehan also served as U.S. attorney under President Harry Truman while his law partner, William Phinney, a prominent Republican, served as state attorney general under Republican Gov. Sherman Adams. Mr. Sheehan was born and raised in Manchester, where he later worked in the mills. Before attending Georgetown Law School, he was also a sports writer and editor for the former Manchester Morning Union and its Sunday edition under Col. Frank Knox. Cook said Mr. Sheehan worked his entire life. Although he was officially retired, he still retained his law office and would give out advice, Cook said. Officially, he was ”an honorable inactive counsel” of the law firm at the time of his death. Cook described Mr. Sheehan as an avid golfer who played until two or three years ago and was an active member of the Manchester Country Club. Cook said Mr. Sheehan also was a pious man and was very involved in the Roman Catholic Church his entire life. He was born in Manchester, the son of Daniel and Mary (Sullivan) Sheehan, and lived in the city all of his life. A graduate of Georgetown Law School, he was admitted to the bar in 1923. He was associated with the Doyle & Doyle law firm in Manchester and Nashua from 1923 to 1930. He then practiced law in Manchester until 1937, when a partnership was formed with William L. Phinney, which became Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green, the state’s largest law firm. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he saw combat service as captain and major on General Staff with the 8th and 9th Army Air Force in Europe as a combat intelligence officer; also as historical officer, VIII Bomber Command, 8th Army Air Force; law member of the General Court-Martial, 19th Tactical Air Command, 9th Air Force. He received battle stars for Campaign Air Offensive Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe and the Battle of the Bulge. He also received the Distinguished Unit Badge and the European-African-Middle Eastern service medal. Prior to his service in World War I, he was administrator of the Local Draft Board Area 14 of the NH Selective Service System and was awarded the Presidential Service of Appreciation. Mr. Sheehen was a 54-year member of the American Bar Association; a member and past president of the New Hampshire Bar Association; member of the American Judicature Society; the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel; Northeastern Defense Counsel Association and founder and trustee of the Association. He held membership in the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Associations and the National Historic Society. He was U.S. district attorney for New Hampshire from 1949 to 1953; a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1925 to 1928; a member of the state Senate during 1931 and 1932; and was Hillsborough County attorney from 1933 to 1937. Mr. Sheehan was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1936, 1940, 1948 and 1960; special administrator to the Committee on Rules, Democratic National Convention, 1956; a delegrate to the NH Constitutional Convention in 1930, ’38, ’41, ’48, ’56-’59; and was president pro tem of the convention in 1964. He was a communicant of St. Joseph Cathedral and a member of the parish Holy Name Society. He was a member of the Manchester Country Club since 1924 and was a charter member of New Hampshire Golfers Association; member of the board of trustees of the Carpenter Memorial Library from 1947 to 1988 and served as chairman of the board from 1965-1988; an honorary fellow of the John F. Kennedy Library; an honorary fellow of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation; a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the New Hampshire Bar Association; a member of the board of trustees of the United Society of Shakers and Trustee Emeritus of Shaker Village Inc.; and a member of Manchester Council, Knights of Columbus. The family includes his wife, Ellinor (Nielsen) Sheehan of Manchester; three daughters, Karen Ann Lord of Manchester, Susan Mary Pearsall of Northfield and Mary Ellinor Sheehan of Baltimore, Md.; a stepson, John F. Cullity of Manchester; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 237 Auburn Street
Sheehan, Daniel Head W M March 1865 35 married 1x Ire Ire Ire immigrated 1887 13yrs in US naturalized tinsmith
Sheehan, Mary wife W F May 1869 31 m1x 1ch 1 living Ire Ire Ire immigrated 1887 13 yrs in US
Sheehan, John son w M Apr 1889 1 single NH Ire Ire
Sheehan, Mary sister W F May 1870 30 single Ire Ire Ire imm 1890 10 yrs in US cotta mill weaver
Sheehan, Hannah sister W F Apr 1877 23 single Ire Ire Ire imm 1899 1yr in US cotton mill weaver
Children of Daniel T. and Mary Agnes (Sullivan) Sheehan:
1. John J. Sheehan, b 23 April 1899 Manchester NH; one of the founding partners of Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green (law practice) [see his obituary above]
2. Timothy Stephen Sheehan, b 27 December 1900 in Manchester NH; d. 15 October 1983; buried section B-14 St. Joseph Cemetery
3. Daniel Christopher Sheehan, b abt 1903 NH, d. 27 Dec 1965; m. 12 July 1945 in Manchester NH to Ann Loretta Lally, dau of Patrick & Ann (Joyce) Lally. At time of marriage his occupation was tinsmith. [Editor’s note: Her brother Francis P. Lally was killed on the USS Liscombe Bay in WW2.] Daniel Sheehan is buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, section B22
4. Rev. Hubert J. Sheehan, O.S.B., b 8 Aug 1905 in Manchester NH; died 12 January 1951. Buried at Saint Leanders Cemetery. The Rev. Hubert J. Sheehan, O.S.B., Scholarship Fund at St. Anselm College was established by Atty. John J. Sheehan and Timothy S. Sheehan of Manchester, N.H., in memory of their brother, Father Hubert, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Anselm Abbey and a respected botanist who served many years on the faculty.
5. Stillborn Girl Sheehan, b and d. 4 Nov 1907 Manchester NH
6. Stillborn Girl Sheehan, b and d. 23 June 1909 Manchester NH
7. +Jeremiah A. Sheehan, b 8 October 1911 Manchester NH

Jeremiah Aidan Sheehan, son of Daniel T. & Mary Agnes (Sullivan) Sheehan was born 8 October 1911 in Manchester NH, and died 7 August, 1944 in France. He married Helen Marie Wise, daughter of Robert S. & Marguerite (Westbrook) Wise of Baton Rouge LA. She was b. abt 1919 and d. 1 December 2002, age 83 years at Lambeth House Retirement Community, New Orleans LA. [see her biography below]. [The story above written regarding this man].
Obituary: Sheehan – Helen Marie Wise. Sheehan, a retired Registered Nurse, of New Orleans, LA, on Sunday, December 1, 2002, at 10:00 Pm, at Lambeth House. Age 83 years. Mrs. Sheehan was a native Of Pottstown, Pa., daughter of the late Robert S. Wise, Sr., and Marguerite Westbrook Wise, beloved wife of the late Captain Jeremiah Aidan Sheehan, U.S. Army. Captain Sheehan, a native of Manchester, NH, was killed in action in France during World War 2. Mrs. Sheehan was a graduate of the Baton Rouge General Hospital School of Nursing, and she was a Lieutenant in The Army Nursing Corps during World War 2. She was also a graduate of Louisiana State University. Mrs. Sheehan was director of nursing service at the Baton Rouge General Hospital for twenty years, and she retired as director of the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners in 1979. During her career as a registered nurse, she was active in local, state and national nursing organizations. She was active in the Friends Of The Cabildo as well as Rayne Memorial Prime Timers. Mrs. Sheehan was a longtime member of First Lutheran Church in Baton Rouge, LA, and Zion Lutheran Church in New Orleans. Mother of Marguerite Sheehan Redwine and Jeremie Sheehan Johnson, both of New Orleans. Grandmother of Jeremiah Sheehan Johnson of Chicago, IL, Julia Mae Johnson of Roanoke, VA, Anna Marie Redwine of Columbia, SC, and John Robert Redwine of New Orleans. Times Picayune 12-05-2002
Children of Jeremiah Aiden & Helen M. (Wise) Sheehan:
1. Marguerite Mary Sheehan who m. Robert Allen Redwine, and now resides in New Orleans LA.
2. Jeremie Sheehan, born after her father’s death; now Jeremie Sheehan Johnson

[Editor’s note:  My deepest appreciation goes out to Marguerite Sheehan Redwine and Jeremie Sheehan Johnson who responded so generously to my request for information, and to provide a photograph of their father.]


Life Magazine: D-Day 75 Years Later (in photos)


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