PFC David Solomon Ortiz

PFC David Solomon Ortiz

Birth
Ocate, Mora County, New Mexico, USA
Death 12 Jul 1944 (aged 28)
Saint-Georges-d'Elle, Departement de la Manche, Basse-Normandie, France
Burial Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Plot U-227
Memorial ID 17577183 View Source

David was the 7th child of Ramon Ortiz and Maria Luisa Vigil. He joined the military on 6 December 1940 as America prepared for WWII. He was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. (Indianhead). David was in K Company of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, one of 3 regiments in the 2nd Infantry Division. The 23rd trained at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In October 1943 David journeyed from the US to Northern Ireland and Wales.

His division landed at Le Ruquet on Omaha Beach 7 June 1944 (D-Day + 1). On 10 June, the Division attacked across the Aure River liberating Trévières and then Cerisy-La-Foret, a large, wooded area inland from the coast. It then tried to push further south to capture hill 192 on 12 June. This proved to be a much harder task then they hoped. Hill 192 was a very strategic position because it was the highest point in the sector, offering whoever held it long-range observation for miles around. During a four-day battle fighting German paratroopers, the Division’s 23rd regiment, consisting of around 1200 to 1500 men captured the town of Saint-George-d‘Elle trying also to capture Hill 192. German defenses in the hedgerows were too strong and the attack failed. The Regiment stayed in static positions around Saint-George-d‘Elle from 16 June to 11 July. They consolidated their position close around the strategically important town of Saint-Lô. The American attack began on 11 July and the hill was taken on 12 July after fierce fighting. David was killed in action in a field near La Croix Rouge.

In November 2017 British Military Historian David Billingham was exploring near Hill 192 and discovered a dog tag belonging to David. It was no doubt separated close to where he fell. A two year search located the family and Mr. Billingham flew from London to be at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe on July 23, 2019 and present the dog tag to the family at a graveside remembrance service attended by family, friends, and media from Albuquerque and Santa Fe.