Private Frutoso Chavez

Frutoso Ramos Chaves was born January 21, 1922 in Pecos, Reeves county, Texas, the oldest son of Urbano Franco Chaves and Isabel Ramos. He had five brothers and two sisters. The family lived in Reeves county, where his father worked as a labourer. Frutoso attended one year of high school.

May 11, 1943 he married Juana Fierro. On June 30th, 1942 he registered for the draft in Reeves county. At that time he was employed by Lee Motor Construction Company.

On November 17, 1942 he entered the Army at Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Texas. He was a Private attached to the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division. In May 1943 the 116th was transferred along with the division to Devon and Cornwall, relieving the British 55th Infantry Division there to free up Tidworth for the buildup of American forces in England, Operation Bolero. They participated in intensive training in Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor. In July, it commenced amphibious assault training on landing boats, loaned by the British at Slapton Sands. In. September the 116th began training at the U.S Army Assault Training Centre on Woolacombe Beach, the first unit of the 29th to go through the centre.

In preparation for the Invasion of Normandy, the regiment held invasion rehearsal exercises using landing craft, vehicle, personnel and landing craft. For the invasion, the regiment was part of Force O, the initial assault force. On June 3, 1944 the regiment embarked for Normandy from Weymouth. The operation was launched on June 6th, 1944. Troops encountered heavy German mortar fire.

Private Chavez was killed in action during the D-Day invasion on June 6th 1944.

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