Thomas Meagher, 93, holds a map given to him by a guard at a German prison camp. He was captured in France on June 10, 1944.

Thomas Meagher, 93, holds a map given to him by a guard at a German prison camp. He was captured in France on June 10, 1944.

Photo by Brian Louwers


Thomas Meagher: Normandy veteran shares story 70 years after D-Day

By: Brian Louwers | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published June 4, 2014

 Thomas Meagher, 93, landed on Omaha Beach with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division on June 7, 1944. He was captured on June 10 and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner in Germany.

Thomas Meagher, 93, landed on Omaha Beach with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division on June 7, 1944. He was captured on June 10 and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner in Germany.

 Meagher said loved ones back home were notified after he was taken prisoner by the Germans and that his family tried to communicate with him.

Meagher said loved ones back home were notified after he was taken prisoner by the Germans and that his family tried to communicate with him.

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Thomas Meagher
93, St. Clair Shores
Omaha Beach

Thomas Meagher grew up on a farm in Port Austin, Michigan, and was drafted into the U.S. Army. He went ashore with the 2nd Infantry Division at Omaha Beach early on June 7, 1944, 24 hours after the liberation of Europe began.

“I remember looking around and I just looked like this, and I saw a man way up in the air. He was on a boat and the boat hit a mine,” Meagher said of his trip to the beach in a landing craft. 

“That blew that guy up in the air. By the time he hit the bottom, the boat was gone. It sunk.”

Three days later, Meagher went into combat carrying a Browning automatic rifle and quickly found his company engaged with the enemy embedded in Normandy’s infamous hedgerows.

He recalled how the company commander died as they were trying to locate a German machine gun and a tank emerged on the field before them.

“That tank blew the hedgerow apart, and (the colonel) was killed right there,” Meagher said. “That thing was aiming right at this other guy and I, and that’s when we put our hands up, walked kitty-corner across this field and the Germans were right there.”

Meagher was taken prisoner by the SS on June 10, 1944 — his first day in combat — and spent a total of 31 days in a boxcar on the way to a prison camp in Germany. He was liberated in Bavaria in May 1945, after nearly 11 months in captivity.

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