February 28, 1926 (Willimantic, CT) – February 19, 1945; 18 years old
Last local address: 24 Emerson Street, East Norwalk
Service number: 31466953
Unit: 94th Infantry Division, 376th Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, Company B
Born to Sanders M. Sr. (1892-1970) and Emma Millicent Barron Dorr (1900-1995). Four sisters, Eleanor Millicent Dorr Bailey (1924-2018), Ethel I. Dorr Rubino (1927-2017), Violet M. Dorr Tasco (1931-), and Elsie J. Dorr Martin (1935-2014). One brother, Robert S. (1932-1996).
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal
From The Norwalk Hour April 25, 1945
Private Sanders M. Dorr Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Sanders M. Dorr Sr., of 24 Emerson Street, reported by the War Department as missing in action in Germany since February 19, was killed as indicated in a letter received by his parents from a “buddy” PFC Stanley Ziarniak. In his letter dated April 13, sent from Germany, PFC Ziarniak writes:
“During an encounter around the 18th of February, Sanders was fatally wounded by artillery fire and by the grace of God, died instantly. Our acquaintance with him was more than slight – he was known to us as “Sandy” and was very well-liked by all the boys in the section. His character was encouraging and his leadership outstanding; his death was a great loss to us as a fighting unit. I have mailed you his personal belongings and in some small measure I sincerely hope this letter will relieve your mind.”
Private Dorr was a paratrooper attached to the 376th Infantry of the Third Army.
From the Norwalk Hour September 27, 1945
Sanders M. Dorr Jr., the 18-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Sanders M. Dorr Sr., of 25 Emerson Street, was killed in action in Germany on February 19th, according to word received last night by the parents from the War Department. Dorr had been previously reported as missing. The local youth entered the U.S. Army on May 10, 1944, and was a paratrooper with the 376th Infantry of the 94th Division, attached to General Patton’s Third Army. Mr. Dorr, the boy’s father, is employed as an Intertype operator by the Norwalk Hour.
From The Norwalk Hour November 17, 1945
Private Sanders M. Dorr Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Sanders M. Dorr of 24 Emerson Street, who was killed in action on February 19th while fighting with the 94th Infantry Division in Germany, earned the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement and the Purple Heart for wounds before he lost his life, his family learned when the U.S. Army made the posthumous award to the family. The late Private Dorr who was 18 years old when he entered the Army on May 10, 1944, served with Company B, 287th Infantry, a part of the 94th Division, which fought with Patton’s Third Army. The citation which accompanied the Bronze Star Medal reads as follows:
For heroic achievement in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States in Germany on 19 February 1945. While serving on a Light Machine Gun squad, Private Dorr on several occasions distinguished himself by outstanding service. On one occasion when his squad leader became a casualty during an attack on fiercely defended enemy positions, he took command of the squad. Braving heavy, hostile artillery and mortar fire, he led the group against the enemy, captured its objective, and repulsed numerous enemy counter-attacks. Private Dorr’s unselfish courage, exemplary heroism, and supreme devotion to duty stand as an inspiration to his comrades and are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service.
From The Norwalk Hour December 21, 1945
Mr. and Mrs. Sanders M. Dorr Sr., of 24 Emerson Street, on December 18, received the Bronze Star Medal which was posthumously awarded to their son, Private Sanders M. Dorr Jr., Infantry, who was killed in action in Germany on February 19. The presentation was by Lt. Col. R. Springer of the Bridgeport Recruiting Office. The Bronze Star Medal was awarded for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy on the day that he was killed. Entering the Army on May 10, 1944, he was a paratrooper with the 376th Infantry of the 94th Division, Third Army.
From The Norwalk Hour May 11, 1949
The remains of the late Private Sanders M. Dorr Jr., son of Mrs. and Mrs. Sanders M. Dorr Sr., of 24 Emerson Street, who was killed on February 19, 1945, in Germany, are due to arrive in Norwalk on Friday at 11:25 A.M. Besides his parents, Private Dorr is also survived by one brother, Robert Dorr of Norwalk; four sisters, Miss Millicent Dorr of Los Angeles, California, Mrs. Philip Rubino, Miss Violet Dorr, and Miss Elise Dorr of Norwalk. Funeral arrangements, in charge of the A.J. Collins Company, will be announced later. Private Dorr was killed in action while fighting in Germany as a member of Patton’s Third Army. A paratrooper attached to Company B, 376th Infantry, Dorr, 18 years of age at the time of his induction into the service on May 10, 1944, received his training at Camp Blanding, Florida, Fort Benning, Georgia, and Camp McCall, N.C., leaving for overseas on January 2nd, 1945. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroism in ground combat and the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in action from which he died.
From The Norwalk Hour May 20, 1949
CARD OF THANKS — In grateful acknowledgment to Mr. A.J. Collins Co., Inc, the White Fleet, Mulvoy-Tarlov-Aquino Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Ladies Auxiliary, Frank C. Godfrey Post, American Legion and Auxiliary, National Guard, Gold Star Memorial Association, Gold Star Mothers, Norwalk Hat Company, Cavanaugh Department, Hat Corp of America. Norwalk Typographics Union No. 329, employees of The Norwalk Hour, the Official Board and members of the East Avenue Methodist Church; our neighbors on Emerson Street, East Norwalk, and friends throughout the city, the expression of whose sympathetic understanding, thoughtful consideration, and courtesy throughout the ordeal of receiving the body of our soldier son and brothers, Sanders M. Dorr Jr., from overseas, and attendant burial, has afforded us immeasurable sustaining courage. We deeply appreciate, and acknowledge here, the honor and respect you have paid our dead boy. MR. AND MRS. SANDERS M. DORR SR., AND FAMILY
From napavalleyregister.com May 29, 2016
On Memorial Day, we should remember all soldiers that lost their lives and especially those that were very young. They did not have the opportunity of living life.
Sanders Dorr was the brother of Millicent Bailey of Napa but was originally from Norwalk, Connecticut. Sanders enlisted in the army paratroopers right after his high school graduation in May 1944 in Norwalk. Sanders was killed in action in Sinz, Germany (near Saarburg) on Feb. 19, 1945. He was 18 years old. He was awarded the bronze star for his bravery that day while serving in a light machine gun squad with the 376th infantry regiment of the 94th Infantry division. They were part of General George Patton’s 3rd Army and the infantry units sustained heavy casualties fighting with Patton through Belgium, Luxembourg, and into Germany. He was originally declared missing in action. But the Army eventually changed it to killed, but not until September 1945. During those seven months, the family held out hope even though they had heard from his fellow soldiers of Sanders’ death.
Private Dorr’s remains were repatriated in 1949 to Riverside Cemetery, Norwalk; Section 11. Photo by webmaster.
4 thoughts on “PRIVATE SANDERS MELANCTHON DORR JR.; U.S. ARMY”
My uncle Sanders had 3 other sisters besides Millicent. Elsie Martin, Violet Tasco and Ethel Rubino, all of Norwalk ( Millicent, Elsie & Ethel are deceased) He also had a brother Bob Dorr ( also deceased). Violet is the sole remaining sibling still living in Norwalk. Once Uncle Sanders remains were found, his mother, my grandmother, Emma Barron Dorr had correspondence from the French family that took care of his temporary grave in Belgium. We have some pine boughs that they had placed on his grave which they sent to her along with pictures and letters. We also have copies of letters from his fellow soldiers describing the action that day and the moment he was killed.
Linda, it would be a great addition to include the letters from the French family and the pictures. I will go with whatever you’re comfortable doing. If you wouldn’t mind, it would best to scan them and that way create a digital file of them all. I can do that for you, or if you have the equipment and time, feel free. My e-mail is email@example.com. Please let me know how you and your family would like to proceed.
Thanks so much. I will let you know as my brothers & I recently moved out of Norwalk up to Lyme so the boxes are packed away but should be easy enough to get to. I should mention the letters from the family in Belgium are in French so I’m not sure if you would want them. I will be in touch. Again, many many thanks for this wonderful site. So nice to know their sacrifices will be remembered. All the best to you, thank you for your service.
I will definitely take a look at them. I have had a lot of luck using Google Translate. I actually correspond regularly with a man in France who has made it his life’s mission to honor US Airmen who were shot down in southern France. It’s a great tool. I look forward to hearing from you.