DEMING James W., Tech5 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion

   James W. Deming was born February 22, 1923 in Patchogue, Long Island, NY to Minnie G. Deming (nee Wilcox). By 1927 his mom was living in Oneonta, NY and by 1930, the U.S. Census recorded them living in Westford, NY. His mom was a public school teacher and divorced by then. James was seven years old at that time and they had a boarder living with them. I was unable to find any records of his dad.

   Back in the 1930s and 40s local newspapers had a "community" section. James was often
mentioned in these sections as being a high honor student and a talented musician. This interest in music would get him accepted to the world renown Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY where he was highly regarded as a composer and an accomplished pianist and clarinet player. He attended Eastman for three years before entering the Army on June 4, 1943. He was 5'-10” tall and weighed 160 pounds. He had blue eyes and brown hair. He
trained at Ft. Benning, Ga. and Camp McCall, N.C. before going overseas. He served in North
Africa for a time before joining the invasion of southern France.

   The 551st Parachute Infantry (aka "Get Off Your Ass" or GOYA) was part of Operation Dragoon's
airborne landings near Draguignan and LeMuy, France with the aim of taking these towns to
prevent German counterattacks against the beaches. Operation Dragoon was the Allied invasion of
southern France during World War II.

   Deming was killed in action on August 21, 1944 during the attack on Hill 105 near Mandelieu La Napoule and buried in
the Rhome American Cemetery. His name appears on a plaque in Draguignan today (see above).
He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. An impressive memorial service was held for
him Sept. 17, 1944 at the Methodist church in Worcester, NY. A memorial marker for him was
placed in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Worcester, NY by his mother in 1962.


   If you notice anything erroneous in this profile or have additional information to contribute to it,
please contact me at nez13820@gmail.com or feedback@storiesbehindthestars.org.
Draguignan Liberation Memorial, American War memorials Overseas, accessed at
https://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=974&MemID=1281, January
31, 2024.

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/55881716/james-w-
deming: accessed 24 January 2024), memorial page for Tec5 James W Deming (1923–21 Aug

1944), Find a Grave Memorial ID 55881716, citing Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial,
Draguignan, Departement du Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France; Maintained by Don Jones
(contributor 13966416).
National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Wwii Draft Registration Cards For New York
State, 10/16/1940 - 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147
National Archives at Washington DC; Washington DC, USA; Applications for Headstones For U.S.
Military Veterans, 1925-1941; NAID: 596118; Record Group Number: 92; Record Group
Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General
“Paratrooper Dies in Action”, The Binghamton Press, Binghamton, NY, Sept. 13, 1944, pg. 5
"Worcester Composer Winning Recognition", The Otsego Farmer, Cooperstown, NY, May 28,
1943, pg. 3.
Worcester Memorial Service, Sept. 22, 1944, pg. 6.
“Worcester Soldier Killed in Action”, The Otsego Farmer, Cooperstown, NY, Sept. 15, 1944, pg. 1.
Year: 1930; Census Place: Westford, Otsego, New York; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0055;
FHL microfilm: 2341371
Year: 1940; Census Place: Worcester, Otsego, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02717; Page: 3B;
Enumeration District: 39-70
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is
a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen saved on
Together We Served and Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a
smartphone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name
and read his/her story.
SBTSProject/New York/Otsego


   This article has been written by James GREENBERG, Oneonta, NY, USA. He kindly desserve us the right to publish it and pay tribute to this hero fallen in Southern France.

   James W. Deming est né le 22 février 1923 à Patchogue, Long Island, New York, de Minnie G. Deming.
(née Wilcox). En 1927, sa mère vivait à Oneonta, dans l'État de New York, et en 1930, le recensement américain les enregistrait
vivant à Westford, New York. Sa mère était enseignante dans une école publique et avait alors divorcé. James
avait sept ans à cette époque et ils avaient un pensionnaire qui vivait avec eux. Je n'en ai trouvé aucun
dossiers de son père.
Dans les années 30 et 40, les journaux locaux avaient une section « communautaire ». James était souvent
mentionné dans ces sections comme étant un étudiant très honoré et un musicien talentueux. Cet intérêt pour
la musique le fera accepter à la célèbre Eastman School of Music de Rochester, NY où il était très apprécié en tant que compositeur pianiste et clarinettiste accompli. Il a fréquenté Eastman pendant trois ans avant d'entrer dans l'armée le 4 juin 1943. Il mesurait 5'-10" et pesait 160 livres. Il avait les yeux bleus et les cheveux bruns. Il est formé à Fort Benning, Géorgie et Camp McCall, Caroline du Nord avant de partir outre-mer. Il a servi en Afrique du nord pendant un certain temps avant de rejoindre l'invasion du sud de la France.


   Le 551st Parachute Infantry (alias « Get Off Your Ass » ou GOYA) faisait partie de l'opération Dragoon,
un atterrissage aéroportés près de Draguignan et LeMuy, en France, dans le but de prendre ces villes et
empêcher les contre-attaques allemandes contre les plages. L'opération Dragoon était l'invasion alliée dans
le sud de la France pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

    Deming a été tué au combat le 21 août 1944 lors de l'attaque de la Colline 105 près de Mandelieu La Napoule et enterré au cimetière américain Rhone American. Son nom figure aujourd'hui sur une plaque à Draguignan.
Il a reçu le Purple Heart et l'Étoile de Bronze. Un service commémoratif impressionnant a été organisé pour
lui le 17 septembre 1944 à l'église méthodiste de Worcester, New York. Un monument commémoratif pour lui était
placé au cimetière Maple Grove, Worcester, NY par sa mère en 1962.