Harvey R. Colome

  • Corporal
  • WW II


Harvey Ringland Colome was born in Burrillville, Rhode Island on 31 August 1921. He was the older of two children born to Antonio J. and Lucille (Ringland) Colome. He graduated from Burrillville High School in June 1938. Harvey was an outstanding student and participated in many school activities.

Harvey entered Rhode Island State College (RISC) in September 1938 with the class of 1942. He participated in the Army ROTC program. Like so many of his classmates, he left RISC prior to graduating. He joined the U.S. Army on 27 October 1942. Corporal Colome was assigned to Camp Croft, South Carolina, for basic training before being assigned to the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion, Fort Russell, Texas. The 81st deployed to England in early November 1943 where it trained for the invasion of Europe. The 81st landed on Omaha Beach, France on 6 June 1944 with the First Army. The 81st played an important role in the campaigns through the European Treater of Operations.

The First Army initially fought in Belgium and onto Germany during the drive to the Rhine River. The 81st was in direct support of “Patton’s Seventh Army.” On 13 March 1945, at 0300 hours, preceded by a tremendous barrage from massed artillery that lasted for two hours with the 81st firing over 350 conventional motor rounds in one hour, Patton’s Seventh Army attacked the German positions near Nebelwerfer; and the German units were in full retreat. The retreat rapidly became a route.

General Patton’s troops were moving so fast that it was impossible for the forward elements to handle the vast number of German prisoners. However, American units were constantly subjected to enemy artillery fire. It was on March 23, 1945 that the 81st suffered its last casualty west of the Rhine when Corporal Colome was killed by the burst of an enemy artillery shell.

His body was recovered; and he was buried with full military honors in Acotes Hill Cemetery, Gloucester, Rhode Island. Corporal Harvey Ringland Colome was a son of Rhode Island State College who answered the call to service during World War II and gave his life in service to Rhode Island and America. He was another member of the “Greatest Generation.”