Skip to comments.Bud Lomell, Local World War II Hero, Dies ("Boys of Point Du Hoc")
Posted on 03/05/2011 5:13:52 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
A local legend many called a hero for his World War II efforts died at the age of 91 yesterday.
World War II veteran and Silver Star recipient Leonard G. 'Bud' Lomell died of natural causes in Toms River March 1.
He was a great friend of all of us and a hero of D-Day, a person of great character, said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari.
Bud was a very kind man, we miss him, said Freeholder Gerry P. Little, recalling how Lomell served in the Second Ranger Battalion, charged with silencing German shore batteries during the D-Day invasion.
He found the shore artillery hidden in an orchard, braved German fire, and disabled the guns using thermite grenades. Little said Lomell was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Distinguished Service Medal for his actions during the invasion.
His descriptions of what happened have been included in History Channel accounts and in Tom Brokaws book, The Greatest Generation, which devoted an entire chapter to Lomell.
American Historian Stephen Ambrose recognized Lomell as the single individual other than Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower most responsible for the success of D-Day, which he wrote in his biographies of the President. In 1994 Lomell was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame.
He was born in Brooklyn but in his youth his family relocated to Point Pleasant Beach, where he graduated from Point Pleasant Beach High School.
Before his graduation from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1941, he served as the colleges student newspaper editor and was a fraternity president. In the year between graduation and enlistment in the Army, where he initially served with the 76th Infrantry Division before volunteering for the Rangers, Lomell returned to New Jersey to work as a brakeman for freight trains.
Lomell was 24, when as First Sergeant was the acting commander for the 2nd Ranger Battalions D Company, making a major impact on D-Day when he uncovered German guns to be used against Omaha and Utah Beach, and worked to disable them.
On Dec. 7, 1944, his actions leading a command up a hill that served as a German command center to overtake would later earn Lomell his Silver Star. It would be Nov. 9, 2007, during a ceremony in Toms River.
A monument to Lomell is among Veterans Park, Point Pleasant Beach, depicting a grapnal hook used to destroy the guns at Point Du Hoc. It was dedicated Dec. 4, 1999.
In Toms River, the town hall includes the Leonard Lomell Meeting Room, which was dedicated in 2008 where many of the countless awards, plaques, and proclamations Lomell was given are on display.
After the war, Lomell embarked on a career in law, becoming founder and senior member of the law firm of Lomell, Muccifori, Adler, Ravaschiere & Amabile, later simply known as the Lomell Law Firm in Toms River.
The firm of Leyden, Caportoro is the successor to Lomell Law Firm, and details in its history: We are extremely proud of Mr. Lomell's lifetime achievements and in 2000 the firm name was shortened to Lomell Law Firm in his honor. Mr. Lomell started the firm in 1957 after completing law school under the G.I. Bill. He started as a sole practitioner specializing in insurance defense for carriers.
Countless awards were bestowed on Lomell during his lifetime, including an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 2007 from Monmouth University, Long Branch.
He also held a variety of business positions, serving on boards of directors. They include a director of The First National Bank of Toms River and a director and vice-president of Statewide Bancorp. He was a director of the South Jersey Title Insurance Co., Atlantic City.
Civic work was a large part of Lomells life, having served on the Dover Township Board of Education and a director of the Ocean County Historical Society.
He was also a president of the Garden State Philharmonic Symphony Society; a chairman of the Dover Township Juvenile Conference Committee; and a member of the Community Memorial Hospital building committee.
In recent years Lomell remained prominent locally and nationally for the number of interviews he gave and public speaking events he participated in, on the subject of his WWII efforts.
Back in the summer of 2009 Lomell served as the honorary captain of the Ocean County squad at the annual All Shore Classic Football game. It was at the same game that former Point Boro Coach Al Saner was inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Hall of Fame. Prior to graduating from Point Beach with the class of 1937 Lomell had played football and baseball for the Garnet Gulls.
Lomell was 24, when as First Sergeant
Wow! A 24 year old First Sergeant! Desperate Times!
I remember seeing those cliffs on one of the history type channels on TV.
I was thinking that I couldn’t believe they even tried that, much less succeeded in going up them under fire.
In February, 1945, at the age of 26, Harrison R. Thyng became the youngest Colonel in the U.S. Army Air Force.
There were several like that:
Death of the Young Colonel
Thanks for the link. I wonder what happened to him. Natural causes... Could mean anything from dysentery to alcohol.
Thank you 2nd. DivisionVet. Folks this man, Mr. Lomell lived in the next town over from me here in Ocean Co. NJ. I never had the honor of meeting him but in this small community, you always knew someone who did know him well. He was, I’m told a very quiet, unassuming man but he was quite a fixture here in this area. I asked 2nd. Division if he could post a story on this great soldier and he did. Go in peace Lieutenant Lomell. Thank you for my freedom.
I made a pilgrimage of touring Normandy while on vacation in Paris a few years back, including the beautiful cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, the ruins of various German fortifications, remnants of Mulberry harbours.
It was a very memorable experience in appreciation of American heroes of freedom.
Lost Flight and was written by Joseph S. Lovett Sr., who also gave a son for his county.
Oh, his wings were bright and shining
As he soared into the skies-
On his lips the song of freedom
And God’s beauty in his eyes.
Brave and loyal in the service
Of the Flag he bore on high-
He gave his life to keep it flying,
And such heroes never die.
So, another name is graven
On the Shield of Freedom’s Light,
There to live and shine forever.
Showing us the the truth and right.
Time may dim our grief and sorrow
But our love for him will stay
Bright through all the years before us,
And we’ll miss him everyday.
Yes, he knows we will remember,
And he smiles with love and pride
When to Heaven comes our whisper,
Thank you son, for us you died.
Oh, his wings are bright and shining
And no clouds are in the skies,
As he hears the songs of angels
And God’s beauty fills his eyes.
One of the many letters Mrs. Lancaster has received stated: Your grief will be assauaged somewhat for you to
know what a courageous lad he was and how anxious he was to do his part. He was not regulary assigned to
any of the squadrons we took with us, but due to his outstanding ability.( The end part is missing)
I cannot find the lyrics for “Hymn to a Hero” but this is a video. Its lyrics are haunting. “...Tonight, beside the Coral Sea, where ?? stand so silently, a boy is sleeping.......”
Please let me know if anyone finds these lyrics. They are magnificent.