SERGEANT JAMES A. EDWARDS was born in 1920 to James C. and Elsie L. Edwards. In 1920 the Edwards family lived at 622 Birch Street in the North Camden section of Camden NJ. The elder Edwards worked as an expressman. The family later moved to a home in the rural part of South Jersey. James A Edwards graduated from Hammonton (NJ) High School, and registered for the draft in Cumberland County NJ, prior to returning to Camden NJ to work at the RCA-Victor factory. His last stateside address was 628 Birch Street in Camden.
James Edwards was inducted into the Army in July of 1942. Assigned to the 318th Infantry regiment, 80th Infantry Division, he reported to Camp Forest, Tennessee, and later trained at Camp Phillips, Kansas, and the California-Arizona maneuver area. James Edward had been promoted to Sergeant prior to July 4, 1944, when the 80th boarded the Queen Mary and a few days later landed at Greenock, Firth of Clyde, Scotland. The division proceeded south to Northwich, England, via trains for additional training. Training included learning how to waterproof equipment for the upcoming channel crossing. The Division crossed the English Channel in LSTs and Liberty Ships landing in Normandy on Utah Beach shortly after noon on August 2, 1944, D-Day + 57 and assembled near St. Jores, France. A few days later on August 8, 1944, the 80th was initiated into battle when it took over the LeMans bridgehead in the XX Corps area.
After mopping up in the Le Mans area it assisted in the Battle for the Falaise Gap, storming Le Bourg-St Leonard on August 17, 1944 and capturing Argentan on August 20. It then followed the 4th Armored Division to cross the Meuse River at Commercy on September 1, 1944. The division met strong opposition in its efforts to force the Moselle River at Toul. The 318th Infantry fought for Fort de Villey-le-Sec from September 5 through September 10. The entire division crossed the Moselle on September 12, and defended the Dieulouard bridgehead against German counterattacks. The Germans mounted further counterattacks on September 15 and 16, and the 80th Infantry Division counter-attacked in turn. Sergeant Edwards was killed in action defending the bridgehead during the German counterattack of September 16, 1944.
James Edwards was survived by his parents, and two sisters, Dorothy and Elsie. His death was reported in the October 28,. 1944 edition of the Camden Courier-Post.
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