Odna Lagasse Ritchie Redux

Two years ago I thought this woman was Odna Lagasse on a picture that was in little Sylvia Marie’s collection of old pictures. 

Robin who lives on the West Coast scanned a few pictures for me in 2011 even if she had never met me before.

A few pictures? More than 100! 

Since there was no caption with the above picture I had to try guessing who was on it and I thought at first it had to be Odna and I began a little search on her just for fun.

Robin had also scanned this group picture below also without a caption. I believed rightfully that Odna was on the right in the third row with her brother Levi Napoleon Lagasse on the left.

When I saw that picture, I did this montage trying to make sense of all this and who was who.

There were many ressemblances.

Then there was this obituary sent in October 2011 by my 3rd cousin Dennis Lagasse IV whose grandfather was Levi Napoleon Lagasse.

It told us a lot about Odna’s life…

Since 2011 I have found out more about her two boys who were both killed during WWII with the help of my good friend and 3rd cousin Joe from Plainville, Connecticut.

Robert J. Ritchie was an EM3c (Electrician’s Mate Third Class) aboard SS 332 Bullhead.

William H. Ritchie was a sergeant in Company G in the 327th Glider Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division.

The submarine SS 332 Bullhead was the last American ship sunk in WWII. Most probably it was sunk by a Ki-51 Japanese aircraft on August 6, 1945. Robert J Ritchie’s body was never found. The news of the sinking came on August 15, 1945, when another submarine SS Capitaine sent this message…

“Have been unable to contact USS Bullhead by any means since arriving in area.”

Robert J Ritchie 1925?-1945

William H. Ritchie was killed in Holland on September 22, 1944, during Operation Market Garden.

In 2011 I didn’t have a picture to show you. Only this.

William H. Ritchie

Sergeant, U.S. Army

Service # 31271954

327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

Entered the Service from: Connecticut Died: 22-Sep-44 Buried at: Plot J Row 10 Grave 6 Netherlands American Cemetery Margraten, Netherlands Awards: Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster

Then I started looking and looking for William and I contacted someone related to the Ritchie family who had posted Robert’s picture on a memorial paying tribute to the sailors of SS 332.

He sent me this…

William RitchieI kept looking for more information about William and his unit 327 Glider Regiment and I found these two pictures on the Internet…

eindhoven2 eindhovenWilliam Ritchie died in Operation Market Garden. They made a movie out of it.

A Bridge Too Far!

Bridge Too Far

William never came back.

William Ritchie