This is the story of my uncle, Private Jake Gabriel. His body lays to rest at the Brittany American Cemetary in St. James (Manche), France. Here is his story per a letter my grandparents received:
"On September 12, 1944, while his company was attacking the enemy, they were subjected to intense mortar and small arms fire which has impeded the advance and inflicted casualties. Despite
the necessity of having to evacuate the wounded across 500 yards of open terrain which was under continuous enemy fire, Private Gabriel, rifleman, volunteered for this perilous undertaking. Having worked at his task of evacuating the wounded for a period of two hours, Private Gabriel then organized parties of litter bearers composed of riflemen and led them to the wounded. Private Gabriel's actions, at great risk to his own pernal safety, undoubtedly resulted in the saving of the lives of many of his comrades. Such intrepid actions reflect great credit upon himself and the military service."
My uncle sacrificed his life for these men of the 175th Infantry, 29th Division. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his bravery.
A soldier who gave his mother a $1000 War Bond for her birthday in July, is killed in France on September 14th 1944. Mr. and Mrs Leo Gabriel, were informed by the war department early tuesday that their son, Pvt. Jake Gabriel aged 31, previously reported missing in action, was killed in action in France September 14th. Private Gabriel was born in Waco and educated here, and had been in service since February 1942. He was a member of the 175th Infantry and went overseas from Camp Howze, Gainesville.
If anyone visits the Brittany Cemetary, he is laid to rest in Plot G, Row 13, Grave 7. It is Jewish tradition to visit the grave and place a stone on it to show that he has not been forgotten. Please, if you are there, place a
stone on my uncle's grave. Remember, he gave his life so others may live. He did not care what their race, religion or ethnic backgroud was. They were his comrades in arms.
POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED SILVER STAR FOR BRAVERY ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY; ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1944 WHILE COMPANY WAS ATTACKING THE ENEMY, THEY WERE SUBJECTED TO INTENSE MORTAR AND SMALL ARMS FIRE WHICH HAD IMPEDED THE ADVANCE AND INFLICTED CASUALTIES. VOLUNTEERED TO EVACUATE THE WOUNDED ACROSS 500 YARDS OF OPEN TERRAIN, WHICH WAS UNDER CONTINUOUS ENEMY FIRE. WORKED AT THE TASK OF EVACUATING THE WOUNDED FOR 2 HOURS AND THEN ORGANIZED PARTIES OF LITTER BEARERS, COMPOSED OF RIFLEMAN AND LED THEM TO THE WOUNDED. HIS ACTIONS, AT THE COST OF HIS LIFE, RESULTED IN THE SAVING OF THE LIVES OF MANY OF COMRADES. ENTERED THE SERVICE ON FEBRUARY 1942. SERVED AS A MEMBER OF THE 175TH INFANTRY DIVISION.