James J. DeToy was born on March 26, 1922, at Jasper, Minnesota. Of Belgian
ancestry and raised as a Catholic, James farmed before entering the
service on January 23, 1942. The following is his story, told in his
Service Record: I enlisted in the Army from Jasper, Minnesota, in January 1942.
I was sent to Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and from there to Camp
Wallace, Texas, in the Coast Artillery. From there we went to Camp
Stewart, Georgia, and then on to California in an anti-aircraft
artillery battalion. I was transferred to a radar-search light
In 1944 I was moved to Camp Haan, California. I volunteered for
infantry duty overseas. I was then sent to Camp Buttner, North
Carolina, and then to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for assignment
overseas. I left New York in January 1945 to Glasgow, Scotland, then
on to Southhampton, England. I crossed the English Channel to
LaHavre, France, and was assigned to Hg 3rd Battalion, 222nd
Regiment, 42nd Rainbow Division.
I saw combat in the Hardt Mountains of Wingm, France; Wurtsburg,
Furth, Swienfurth, and Munich, Germany. The 42nd Division, of which
I was a part, took part in the liberation of the Dachau
Concentration Camp. I served with an American Honorary Company in
Vienna, Austria, after VE Day, until December 1945.
Camp Encounter: My squad was on other duty, so I was not in on the liberation.
Other soldiers of the 42nd were there on duty. I remember the smell
was something else. I could smell it from a mile away.
I received the Good Conduct Medal, American Theater, European
Theater, Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star with Oakleaf Cluster,
and two Battle Stars.