Donald Ralph Torrey was born on December 26, 1923, in New York City, New York, son of Ralph S. and Esther Orcutt Torrey. In Rye his family lived at 2 Park Lane, which is the street adjacent to Milton Firehouse and they were members of the Presbyterian Church. Donald attended Rye High School three years and Mount Hermon School for Boys in Massachusetts. He entered the University of Maine in the class of 1945. Received numerals in Freshman Baseball; a member of Theta Chi fraternity.
Donald entered the Enlisted Reserve Corps, United States Army, in the fall of 1942; called to active training in the Infantry at Camp Upton, New York, March, 1943. Transferred to Camp Croft, South Carolina, where he completed training in December, 1943, with the rank of Sergeant. Ordered to England in January, 1944, and participated in the invasion of Normandy and Northern France.
Donald was an infantrman in the 29th Infantry Division, 175th Infantry Regiment. His Regiment landed in Normandy at Omaha Beach on June, 7 1944 D+1.
For the next 2 weeks Donald and his Regiment fought there way toward Saint-Lô, despite continuous artillery and mortar fire. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wound receive June 20, 1944, and after convalescing he returned to the front lines.
After taking Saint-Lô, on 18 July, the division joined in the Battle for Vire, capturing that strongly held city by 7 August. It continued to face stiff German resistance as it advanced to key positions southeast of Saint-Lô
The 175th Infantry Regiments main objective was the port of Brest, one of Frances most magnificent harbors.
Donald was seriously wounded on August 12, 1944 as his regiment inched it's way toward Brest.
Sgt. Donald Torrey, twenty years old, died in an Army hospital in England on September 4, 1944 as a result of wounds received. He was awarded the Purple Heart with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, which designates the person as receiving three Purple Hearts in battle.
Notified at the end of August 1944 that their son had been seriously wounded, his parents received a War Department telegram informing them of his death. Although known to be seriously wounded, Mr. and Mrs. Torreys hopes were buoyed considerably when they received a letter from their son stating "he was feeling fine. He praised the work of the U. S. Medical Department, saying it. was wonderful the way they evacuated the wounded from France. An hour and a half after I was hit in the abdomen, I was in an English hospital and already had received blood plasma.
★ World War II Victory Medal★ Purple Heart★ Combat Infantryman Badge★ Marksmanship Badge★ American Campaign Medal★ Army Presidential Unit Citation★ Army Good Conduct Medal★ European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign