John Sheridan Reilly was born November 18, 1919. He was the son of John S. and Estelle Reilly. He was the oldest of seven children and had completed four years of college. He had four sisters, Joan, Macy Ann, Mary A, and Madelein. And he had two brothers, Gregory and Myles.
His father was the President of a wholesale food manufacturer. The family lived at 946 Boston Post Road and were members of the Church of the Resurrection. John went for five years
to the Resurrection Parochial School,
Rye; graduated from the Iona School,
New Rochelle, and attended Georgetown University and the Fordham University School of Business Administration which he left to enter the service. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II.
John enlisted in the Army on 15 Oct 1940, having a college degree he attended officers candidate school OCS . He would wind up the Captain of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 414th Infantry Regiment, 104th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Timberwolf Division
First Fight Battle of the Dikes
The Allies needed the port of ANTWERP with its giant cranes and miles of docks to ship to Europe the millions of tons of what it takes to front line troops. The shortened supply line was instrumental in bringing Nazis to defeat. Captain John Sheridan Reilly and the Timberwolves played a vital role in wresting control of the great seaport from the foe. Thrown into the thick of the fight near the Netherlands border, in a land as flat as a billiard table and criss-crossed with innumerable canals, the division went to work. There began the Battle of the Dikes.
Oct. 23, 1944, 1700 hours: Wolves dug in on a line near Wustwezel facing the mighty Maas River, 22 miles to the north, after relieving the British 49th Division. Originally assigned a defensive role that was to last only a few hours, the division instituted vigorous patrolling. It was a chill, overcast day as the regiments mudded toward Holland, meeting only slight resistance and chalking up a considerable advance.
By nightfall, the division had crossed the Netherlands frontier, and preparations were made for the first of attacks which were to gain the Timberwolves their impressive reputation as night fighters. As the advance continued next day 1st and 2nd Bns. ,[Reillys Battalion] 414th, strangled the Breda-Antwerp highway. Although casualties were suffered as intense machine gun fire sprayed its front and flanks and mortars and 88s rained down incessantly, 2nd Bn. rallied and plunged on.
To the left, the 415th carved a 1600 yard salient. As the 413th right-hooked the Nazis, the 414th jabbed the center and the 415th uncorked a powerful left. They captured the town of Zundert and its citizens decked their homes and streets with long hidden Netherlands flags and Welcome to Our Liberators signs.
John Sheridan Reilly was killed in action during his Company H advanced on Antwerp on 10/25/1944.
Silver Star, General Orders: Headquarters, 104th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 62 1945 for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with the 104th Infantry Division during World War II, Purple Heart, Cemetery: Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery Belgium.
A letter from the commanding general of his division, said: "Tell Sherry Reilly's family he died gallantly leading his company."
★ World War II Victory Medal★ Silver Star★ Purple Heart★ Combat Infantryman Badge★ Marksmanship Badge★ American Campaign Medal★ Army Presidential Unit Citation★ Army Good Conduct Medal★ European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign