A detailed obituary of Peter P. Igoe from the local newspaper in Oak Park known as the Oak Leaves. I cannot determine the exact date of publication but I am surmising that it is from early 1945. Perhaps January or February?
I learned a lot from this obituary but it does contain one small error. Peter Igoe attended Our Lady Help of Christians for his K-7 education. He finished grammar school, 8th grade basically, at a small parish-affiliated school named Saint Angela's. Everything else about his education history is 100% accurate. He graduated from Austin High School in Chicago and was a sophomore at DePaul University in Chicago when he enlisted in June 1942.
The obituary jumps from his enlistment in June 1942 to: "In march (sic) last year he was called to service when in his sophomore year....before going overseas in May." I have to carefully parse this (somewhat condensed) time line.
I look at two key phrases here. One is "march last year" and then, "in May." I know that Peter Igoe was still in training in the summer of 1943. I will be uploaded a delightful series of letters that Pete wrote home to his family during his entire training time. I am reasonably certain that when the author of the obituary uses the two time-oriented phrases of "march last year" and "in May" they must be writing this in 1945.
Can't be 1944 because that would make "march last year" mean "march" of 1943, right? Peter was still in the American south in this time period, primarily Texas. Further, I am reasonably certain that Peter Igoe shipped out for England in May of 1944. So this makes the "in May" line corroborate that the article must be from 1945. If it was published in 1944, it would have to have been very late in that year.
I also learn about letters (that we might have, I will continue to dig in the archives) that Pete wrote to his mother from England on July 10th and 13th of 1944. He was awarded the Air Medal on July 10th and knowing Pete, he HAD to share this with his family.
These letters were written mere days before his death. I sure hope we have them.
Pete's brother Bill Igoe also gets a mention. Bill Igoe is still alive. He is 96 years old.
Also love how the obituary names Pete's 3 sisters - Mary, Catherine and Ann. Catherine is my mother. Aunt Mary & Aunt Ann were a huge part of my life growing up. Ann went on to have four children, my fabulous Lavoie (Ann's married name) cousins. Mary never had any children but she lived a long, productive life, passing at the age of 88. Ann passed a number of years ago as well and she too lived to a ripe old age. My mom died in 2004 at the age of 86. Bill Igoe is the sole surviving Igoe sibling.
Finally, I love the small vignette about Pete requesting a new officer's cap. "He requested that his sister send him a new officer's cap..but the cap never reached the flier." Wow! I really have to "read between the lines" when I read these few sentences.
My first question is: Which sister? Second, this request for a new cap must have been in the July 10th letter from Pete in England. The author doesn't state that but it seems to follow that it would be in the July 10th letter.
I would take an educated family guess that he requested that his sister Mary get him a new cap. She was the oldest sibling and was always a no-nonsense type of person he could count on to actually get him a cap.
Finally, since he requested a new cap on July 10th, 1944 and he died on July 18th, 1944, I am left wondering if the phrase "the cap never reached the flier" means that he was dead by the time the cap actually arrived in England.
Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
Igoe was killed in action on 18 July 1944, during a tactical mission to support the Normandy Invasion. His aircraft B-24 'Spare Parts' #41-29350 was hit by flak and crashed into the English Channel near Granville. Members of the crew reported he was in...