William Monde (circa 1945)
Monde was a "Mustang" artillery lieutenant with an address in Santa Cruz.
Second Lieutenant William Monde was born in Idaho in 1910. Later he declared Santa Cruz County, California, as his residence. Information regarding his parents, siblings, life in Idaho or in Santa Cruz has not been found. He completed grammar school but did not continue with his formal education. In December 1940, he was single, living in Kern County, California, and working as a brakeman on a railroad.
William Monde was inducted into the US Army as a private in Los Angles, California, on January 21, 1941. It is likely that he married in the early years of his enlistment, and that his wife established a residence in Santa Cruz. After completing basic training at Camp White, Oregon, Monde was assigned to the 242nd Field Artillery. On January 13, 1943, that unit moved to a firing range in Yakima, Washington. Following a short tour, they were transported to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
On March 4, 1943 Monde arrived at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and entered Officers Candidate School. In early June he graduated, was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to Battery B, 242nd Field Artillery Battalion. Lt. Monde's unit
“remained at the Field Artillery School and Officer Candidate School until March 11, 1944 when they convoyed to Camp Howze, Texas. At Camp Howze, Army Ground Force Tests were taken preparatory to going overseas. All equipment was turned in. The troops boarded a train on June 21, 1944, arriving at Camp Shanks, NY June 24, 1944. On July 1, 1944, the men of the 242nd boarded a ship (the Thomas H. Barry, formerly the cruise ship, Orienta) in Brooklyn in the largest convoy ever to cross the Atlantic. They arrived at the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, then went by train to Camp Blackbirds in South Wales. All new equipment was issued and the 105mm cannon were test fired. On August 19, 1944, the battalion convoyed to South Hampton, England, and boarded ship to cross the English Channel, landing on Utah beach.”
While in France, Second Lieutenant William Monde was reported to have been involved in a jeep accident that claimed his life after the war. His body was initially buried in France; however, his final resting-place has not been identified.
(ACGEN; NARA2; 442nd Field Artillery Battalion WWII http://www.242nd-field-artillery.com, [16 September 2008]; email dated 6/7/2007 from E.V. Walsh)