Title: Army Second Lieutenant, World War II, Killed in Action; Purple Heart recipient
Birthdate: May 23, 1920
Death Date: July 30, 1944
Plot Location: Section 13, Lot 28

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David’s father and grandfather were entrepreneurs, running their own plumbing business in West Philadelphia. A quirky fact in his father’s story is that the names of the women in his life all began with the same letter; John’s mother’s name was Emily, his first wife was Elsie, and his second wife was Ethel.

When David was just a few weeks old this clipping appeared in the social pages, indicating John did well enough in his vocation to have a second residence. Their permanent home on South 57th Street was at the north end of Cobbs Creek Parkway. The boys were joined by a baby sister, Marie, in late 1921.

They were all baptized at Bethany Presbyterian Church and, as they grew older, had many occasions to get even wetter as they played in the creek that was just a block away. Then, while all three were under ten years old, their mother died from bacterial meningitis. It took time to recover and heal, but the family situation was soon remedied when John married Ethel Stiles. She was also recently widowed, with a daughter the same age as Marie. 

The 1940 census places everyone at the same address, with the girls in college. David’s brother, John Burton Lamond, had attempted a year of college before becoming a plumber in the family business. David graduated from West Philadelphia High School and Penn State, or Pennsylvania State College as it was then known.

He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps there before the second world war began, and enlisted as a Second Lieutenant in December, 1942. With the 110th Infantry of the 28th Division, David spent the first half of 1944 in Wales, preparing for the invasion of France.

On July 22, six weeks after D-Day, the 28th landed at Normandy and quickly worked their way to the front. They liberated Paris in August, but David didn’t make it that far. He was first reported as missing in action, then found dead near the village of Percy on July 30. For his sacrifice, he was given the nation’s oldest military award,  the Purple Heart. Below is a photo of his unit cautiously clearing that same village from German occupation three days after his death.

How does a family pay tribute to their fallen hero? The Lamond children did so in the lives they lived, starting with the oldest. John had been in the National Guard from 1933-41 and made the Army his career. He held the rank of Major with the Corps of Engineers until his retirement in 1966. 

His step-sister, Jeanne Stiles, graduated from Penn State in 1942 and went to the United States Navy Reserve Midshipmen’s School later that year. She was assigned to a WAVES unit (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) at the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. for over two years. Prior to her discharge in 1946 she was stationed at Pearl Harbor. Marie Lamond married in 1943, serving as a wife to Navy Lt. James Morris while he was in the Pacific theater.

David was buried beneath one of these crosses at left in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France. He was also included on this family stone at Mount  Moriah with his parents, Elsie and John, and his grandparents, Walter and Emily.  

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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