Reply To: Survivor-Allen E. Purtell 262nd infantry

Leopoldville Forums Post A Message Survivor-Allen E. Purtell 262nd infantry Reply To: Survivor-Allen E. Purtell 262nd infantry


My dad, Allen E. Purtell, was a survivor although he is not listed as one in survivor’s list in the book Leopoldville A Tragedy Too Long Secret by Alan Andrade. Although he did not often speak of the war, he did talk about being in the frigid water in the English Channel on Christmas Eve. The story was significant in our family because my older brother, my dad’s first child, was born in December 24,1950. I recall my dad saying that he felt that he only survived because he did not like what was being served for dinner and was up on deck when the torpedo struck. From that point on, he felt that someone was watching over him and that he was destined to return home safely. You are correct…the loading of the ships was chaotic and the passenger logs may not accurately reflect exactly who was on which ship. My dad also indicated that so many of his group did not survive that it took a while for them to regroup and be reassigned once in France.