John A. McGreevy

  • Sergeant
  • WW II


John (Mac) Andrew McGreevy was born on 2 October 1922 in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the oldest child born to John and Gertrude McGreevy. He was a 1940 graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School in Providence, Rhode Island. John was an honor student and active in many school activities. He entered Rhode Island State College (RISC) in September 1940 majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He was a member of the Scabbard and Blade Military Fraternity, Camera Club, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and participated in the Army ROTC program. John entered active service in the United States Army shortly after his graduation from college in September 1943.

The 337th participated in Infantry training until they deployed to Europe on 9 August 1944. Arriving in England on 17 August 1944, they immediately joined the Invasion of Europe and landed on Omaha Beach on 6 September 1944. On 18 November, the 337th participated in combat operations to capture Metz, France. The 337th moved out toward Fort Bellecroix, one of the oldest forts close to the Seille River. The 337th units attacked the fort encountering strong resistance. Minor skirmishes were fought inside but resistance soon ceased and the prisoners were disarmed and sent to the rear.

As a sergeant of Company K, 337th Infantry Regiment of General George Patton’s Third Army, SGT McGreevy was in heavy combat in France for several months. On 18 November 1944, as allied units started to regroup, two tremendous explosions took place within the captured fort, shattering the heavy masonry structure and sending gigantic chunks of walls into the air. Sadly, Sergeant McGreevy, along with 16 other soldiers were killed from the explosion. Sergeant John A. McGreevy, U.S. Army was cited for Gallantry in Action and awarded the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Mans Badge (Posthumously).

Sergeant John A. McGreevy, U.S. Army, was buried with full military honors in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island. When the University of Rhode Island Memorial Union was dedicated on 13 November 1954, in honor of Alumni and Students who fought for their country and as a living memorial to those who died in its service, the Beacon Office was dedicated to the memory of Sergeant John A. McGreevy by his parents, Mrs. John J. McGreevy and the late Mr. McGreevy, and by his grandfather, the late Andrew J. Van Dommele:

In Remembrance
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die”

Sergeant John A. McGreevy, U.S. Army, was a hero in defeating the German Forces during World War II. He was another son of Rhode Island and America who answered the call to duty and gave his life during World War II. He was a member of the “Greatest Generation”.