TECHNICIAN FOURTH CLASS GILBERT M. BLORE was born in 1917 in New Jersey to James P. and Mary Ella Blore. His grandfather was the late Nelson Johnson, who had been a partner in the Johnson & Holt Iron Works at the foot of Elm Street in North Camden. Gilbert Blore was the fifth child, there were four older brothers. At the time of the 1920 census the Blore family was renting a home on Haddonfield Road in Delaware Township (Cherry Hill) NJ, and James Blore was working as an electrical engineer in a factory. By 1930 the family had moved to Voorhees Township NJ, where the family had purchased a house on Lotus Avenue. Two more children had joined the family, a son and a daughter, and oldest son James Jr. had gone to work as draftsman. Both James Sr. and James Jr. were working for an electrical manufacturing company. By the time of the war Gilbert Blore had moved to 531 York Street, in Camden NJ.
Gilbert Blore was inducted in 1941. He was assigned to the HQ Company, 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment of the 28th Infantry Division. He went overseas with his unit in October of 1943.
Gilbert Blore died of wounds received in action on August 13, 1944. He was survived by his mother, Mary Blore, and siblings. At the time of his death, his brother John was serving with a medical unit in New Guinea, and brother Lester was stationed at Fort Bragg NC. His death was reported in the September 11, 1944 edition of the Camden Courier-Post.
The 28th Division, of which the 112th Regiment was a part, arrived in France on July 24th, about six weeks after the D-Day invasion. This was a period of stalemate, in which the Allies, having secured a significant beachhead in Normandy, were yet surrounded by a determined and entrenched German force. The Allied offensive of early July was designed to "breakout" of Normandy pocket and eventually drive the German army back across. The battle was waged in a region known as the Bocage, and is sometimes called the Battle of the Hedgerows, for these mighty mechanized armies were often stymied by the tall hedgerows that surrounded each field and provided cover for enemy forces. The fighting here was particularly bitter and exhausting, but finally the "breakout" was achieved. The next phase would be the "breakthrough." After much heroic effort the Allied forces would extend their line across the Cotentin Peninsula in northwest France and begin to drive the enemy eastward. At this point the 28th in thrown into the action. Mostly fresh from the states, their battlefield efforts do not at first satisfy the high command. But on August 1 they help to take the town of Percy, then moving gradually eastward they are involved in serious fighting around Gathemo on the 10th, this last being a part of the effort to completely surround and crush a portion of the German Army in the Falaise Pocket. It was a significant defeat for the German Army, and forced them to hurriedly withdraw eastward. Thus, from mid-August to mid-September the story is one of German retreat (Lt. Flynn calls it "their famous retrograde action") and Allied pursuit. As a result, a sense of optimism spreads through the troops, a feeling that the tide had indeed turned. The month of August culminates with the the Division's triumphal parade through Paris on the 28th. By the end of the month they are still in pursuit of the back-pedaling and apparently doomed German Army.
Unit History for August, 1944
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