Note: To continue honoring the Greatest Generation, the Bulletin is featuring Baldwin area residents who gave their lives in the Second World War.
The War didn’t begin to hit close to home in Baldwin until the summer of 1944. Up to that point, no young men from Baldwin had been killed in combat, but following the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the realities of war were felt in full effect.
Less than a month after Carl Dahl Jr. was killed in action, Staff Sergeant Gordon DeYoung became the second Baldwin resident to lose his life fighting in France.
DeYoung was born in Baldwin on Sept. 4, 1915. He spent his entire childhood in
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town and graduated from Baldwin High School in 1933.
He joined the service before Pearl Harbor in June 1941 and trained at Camp Polk, La. and Fort Knox, Ky. On Aug. 27, 1943, he shipped out to England with the 3rd Armored Division.
The division landed in Normandy on June 24 and almost immediately began combat operations. DeYoung was in one of the maintenance companies of the 33rd Armored regiments, and took part in the Battle of St. Lo and the Battle of Mortain with the rest of the division. On August 13, 1944, the 3rd Armored Division began helping to close the Falaise Gap, trapping or destroying nearly 40 German Divisions and effectively ending the battle of Normandy. The carnage was unprecedented, with an estimated 450,000 German casualties. The allies lost 36, 976 soldiers in the engagement, including Gordon DeYoung. He was killed as the 3rd Armored Division was wrapping up their involvement in the battle on August 18, 1944.