September 5, 1924 (Norwalk, CT) – May 21, 1945; 20 years old
Last local address: 101 George Avenue, Norwalk
Enlisted March 3, 1943
Service number: 31326774
10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION, 86TH MOUNTAIN INFANTRY REGIMENT, COMPANY F
Awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal.
Wounded in action in March 1945 at Castel d’Aino. Sustained compound, comminuted fracture of upper femur after standing on land mine. Empyema (pus buildup around lungs). Underwent thoracotomy and rib resection. Died of those wounds on May 21, 1945 at Torre Iussi, Bologna, Italy.
WEBMASTER NOTE: Castel d’Aiano, Italy is where PFC John Magrath of Norwalk, recipient of the Medal of Honor, was killed in action on April 14, 1945. PFC Magrath and PFC Hyatt were in the same unit, the 86th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division. PFC Magrath was in Company G, PFC Hyatt was in Company F. Also SSgt George William Lee was in the 86th, but in Company I. Also former Vice President of the United States, Bob Dole, was in the 10ID, 86th around the same time PFC Magrath was killed in action.
From The Norwalk Hour April 6, 1945
PFC Harold L. Hyatt Jr., a ski-trooper, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold L. Hyatt Sr., of 101 George Avenue is reported by the War Department as missing in action in Italy since March 14, a notification having been received today by his parents. According to his mother, PFC Hyatt was in the Apennines. Mr. and Mrs. Hyatt last heard from their son about two weeks ago when they received an Easter greeting. PFC Hyatt entered the service in March 1943, training at Camp Hale, Colorado. He has been overseas since December 1944.
From The Norwalk Hour May 17, 1945
Mr. and Mrs. Harold F. Hyatt of 101 George Avenue, received the good news this week that their son, Private First Class Harold LeGrand Hyatt Jr., of the Ski Troops, who had been reported missing in action in March, has been found and hospitalized. PFC Hyatt is a member of the Tenth Mountain Division and wen to Italy in December. He trained at Camp Hale, Colorado and has been in the Army over two years. He is 20 years of age. One of his friends in the same outfit wrote to Mr. and Mrs. Hyatt after Harold was missing, to the effect that he was one of five who were wounded. The other four were found by the U.S. Army medical corpsmen, but Harold was not found at that time, and consequently he was reported as missing. His parents believe that he was picked up by the underground or friendly Italians and hidden from the enemy for a time. The telegram which Mrs. Hyatt received from the War Department on Monday stated:
The Secretary of War desires me to inform you that your son, PFC Harold L. Hyatt Jr., returned to military control in Italy on April 29h. The report further states, however, the he is hospitalized in the Mediterranean area. New address and further information will follow directly from the hospital.
From The Norwalk Hour May 24, 1945
With the Fifth Army — Private First Class Harold Hyatt, a rifleman, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harold L. Hyatt, lives at 101 George Avenue, Norwalk Connecticut, has been cited by the 86th Mountain Regiment of the 10th “Mountaineer” Division and awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge for actual participation in combat against the enemy on the Fifth Army front in Italy. PFC Hyatt has been reported as missing in action in Italy in March but has been found and is under hospitalization in the Mediterranean area according to a War Department telegram received by his parents.
From The Norwalk Hour June 1, 1945
PFC H.L. HYATT JR. DIES OF WOUNDS
Parents Get Word From War Dep’t He Had Been Wounded Before Being Taken Prisoner
Mr. and Mrs. Harold L. Hyatt of 101 George Avenue have received word from the War Department that their son, Private First Class Harold LeGrand Hyatt Jr., of the Ski Troops, died in northern Italy on May 21st as the result of wounds and had been buried in an American cemetery there. In April, Mr. and Mrs. Hyatt received word that their son was missing in action, and on May 16th had word that he “had returned to military control in Italy on April 29th and that he is hospitalized in the Mediterranean area.” However, they learned since that time that the 20-year-old ski trooper, a member of the Tenth Mountain Division, had been wounded at the time he was missing, had been taken prisoner by the Germans and was taken to one of their hospital units in northern Italy. When the American Armies advanced further into that section, he had been liberated and brought back to an American base hospital in Italy. PFC Hyatt entered the service in March 1943, trained at Camp Hale, Colorado, and went overseas last December.
From The Norwalk Hour November 10, 1948
The Department of the Army announced today that the body of PFC Harold LeGrand Hyatt Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Hyatt of Newtown Avenue, has arrived in this country aboard the transport Lawrence Victory and will be released for burial shortly. PFC Hyatt died in Northern Italy May 21, 1945 as a result of wounds received several months earlier. He had been taken prisoner by the Germans, Hospitalized and later liberated by the Americans and brought back to an American base hospital in Italy. In June 1945, his father was presented with a posthumous Bronze Star Medal at U.S. Army Headquarters, Springfield, Massachusetts. The citation accompanying the medal praised the 20-year-old soldier for heroic achievement in action on March 16, 1945 near Castel d’Aino, Italy.” PFC Hyatt wounded during a night reconnaissance patrol, when the enemy opened fire from outpost positions, passed word back to his comrades of the location of the hostile emplacement, although he was unable to walk without assistance, thus enabling them to escape from the danger zone without further casualties. Remaining alone, he was thus captured by the enemy. PFC Hyatt entered the Army in March 1943 and received his training at Camp Hale, Colorado. He was sent overseas in December 1944.
Citation to accompany the award of the Bronze Star Medal from the 10th Mountain Division, written July 10, 1945. Contributed by Keli Schmid, Archivist Librarian, 10th Mountain Division Resource Center, Denver Public Library.
HAROLD L. HYATT JR., 31326774, Private First Class, Infantry, 86th Mountain Infantry, United States Army. For heroic achievement in action on 16 March 1945, near Castel D’Aaiano, Italy. During a night reconnaissance patrol, the enemy opened surprise fire from outpost positions with rifles and grenades, and Private First Class HYATT, the first scout of the group, was wounded. Being unable to walk without assistance, he passed back word to the patrol leader of the location of the hostile emplacements, allowing his comrades to escape from the danger zone without further casualties. He remained alone, and was captured by the enemy. His heroic sacrifice probably saved the lives of other patrol members, and has proven Private First Class Hyatt worthy of the finest traditions of the United States Army.
Entered the military service from Norwalk, Connecticut. Next of Kin: Mrs. Eunice Hyatt (Mother), Norwalk, Connecticut
BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL HAYS:
Asst. Adj. Gen.
PFC Hyatt was originally interred in Italy and was later repatriated here on November 23, 1948. Harold is buried in Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York; Section J, Plot 14778. Photo by webmaster.