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CPL Jack Dempsey “Dody” Tanner

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CPL Jack Dempsey “Dody” Tanner

  • Birth 29 Aug 1918 Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas, USA
  • Death 23 Feb 1945 Germany
  • Burial Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
  • Plot Section E - buried next to Mother. Not buried in the Field of Honor with other Veterans at Restland. Mother had him brought back on her own.
  • Memorial ID 63277789

*** Purple Heart Received *** 320th AIRBORNE
*** Bronze Star Received ***

Enlisted as a Paratrooper, injury placed him in infantry. He drove tanks for a short time.

Killed in Action, the story was that Dody drew fire upon himself and a German machine-gun nest fired on him. He was not married, so he volunteered to stay behind enemy lines and provide "cover" for his fellow soldiers to vacate. He would never come home to Eileen in Dallas, TX and make her his wife.

Jack Dempsey Tanner was named for the boxer. He was preceded in death by his father Herman John Tanner (on F.A.G.). He left behind a Goldstar Mother, Marian Elizabeth Townsend Tanner (on F.A.G.) Brother - Willard Archie Tanner (on F.A.G.)and hie wife Leota. Little Sister Marian Elizabeth Tanner (Barnes) was 18 at the time; today she is 85 still alive at time of this writing.

Favorite Song: Roy Rogers and Trigger - Don't Fence Me In - Dody you have the ranges of Heaven and the starry skies ~*~ The Lord set you free to roam them all.


How did they get a name like Dody? Older baby brother Willard was nicknamed "Son", he tried to call the baby a dolly, but said "Dody" and the name stuck.

Dody was a very ambitious young man, always worked hard. Early on he had a paper-route in East Dallas. The family lived on Florence Street in East Dallas. Dody graduated from Crozier Technical High School in Downtown Dallas and he went into the Army to be a paratrooper. He spent 3 mos. at Ft. Campbell, KY. He hurt his leg on a jump and went into the infantry. Christmas 1944, he came home to show his little sister how to jump off the couch like a super duper paratrooper and rock and roll! He had a girlfriend, Eileen, they were very much in love at that time. This was his last furlough over that Christmas weekend. He was sent to Germany in January. On sunday February 25, 1945, a telegram came from Western Union, it read: "Dody had been killed in action on February 23, 1945". After that, his Mother never claimed to be of Dutch decent, claiming until her death she was instead "high dutch".

Marian, 18, opened the telegram and began screaming and ran next door to Parker, the neighbor. Parker went to the bakery where Ma worked, she was afraid that Marian was hurt. They waited for her to arrive home to break the devastating news. The news came a week after the incident.

Dody always sent flowers to his mother. Always affectionate towards his Mother, she had been widowed in 1938. Bought things for her as a young boy with money from his paper route.

Dody was killed in Kranz, Germany. The recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Little Sister says to this day: "It sounded just like him, he always thought of everyone else first."

Dody had written his Mom earlier to tell her Holland was beautiful. His body was buried in a Veteran's Cemetery in Holland. A little girl watched his grave, she wrote a letter to Ma Tanner. Ma Tanner could not rest until his body was brought back to the United States. It took sometime for her to get him back. Brother was in NAVY at time of the death. He was given leave and came home to his Mother and Sister. Dody's name is on the list of Honorable Soldiers memorial at Restland Cemetery Dallas, TX. He is an American Hero.

In 2010, Dody's nephew Bernard Barnes and wife, Paula - donated a flag on his behalf to add his name on the Honorable Soldier's Memorial list each Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. The flag was presented by Sister Marian Barnes - only fitting for a Sister who had lived a lifetime without such a wonderful brother.


Family Members

Gravesite Details Killed in Action
  • Created by: Diddy & Doodle
  • Added: 24 Dec 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 63277789
  • Diddy & Doodle
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for CPL Jack Dempsey “Dody” Tanner (29 Aug 1918–23 Feb 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 63277789, citing Restland Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Diddy & Doodle (contributor 47078218) .