George Forrest Daley Jr.
2LT in 406th Engineer Combat Co
Born 1922 in VT, Died 2014
County of residence at enlistment: Lamoille County, VT
Other residence(s): Hyde Park, VT; Toledo, OH; Toronto
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: bookkeeping machine operators
College education before the war: Univ. of Vermont 3 years
College education after the war: Univ. of Toledo
George Daley was born on January 18, 1922 in Hyde Park, VT, the oldest of three children. His father, who had served in the Cavalry during the Spanish American War, was a mechanic and later owned his own garage.
George graduated from Lamoille Central Academy in Hyde Park in 1939, and went on to study mechanical engineering at the University of Vermont, where he ran track, was a member of the rifle team, and was involved in various student military units. He graduated in January, 1943, one of many young men studying at US military academies and colleges who graduated in January that year to allow them to enlist earlier.
George enlisted in the Army on February 11, 1943, and started his career at a recruitment center at Fort Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts. Within 10 days, he’d been assigned to Fort Belvoir in Virginia. In May he moved to Fort Crook in Nebraska for eight weeks at the ordnance auto school, and from there to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. A few weeks after that he was assigned to the 293rd Engineer Combat Battalion at Camp Gordon in Georgia, and moved with them to Tennessee and later California.
In April, 1944, the 293rd was incorporated into the 406th Engineer Combat Company, and George served with the 406th in the European theatre as a lieutenant. His daughter recalls that her father didn't talk much about his Army service, but says there was no doubt in her mind "that it was the defining experience of his life. . . He told of nodding off in his jeep one time when General Patton drove by—Dad feared he'd be called to account but luckily he escaped the General's attention. . . . Dad also told (only once and with emotion) how at the end of the war, after he parted ways with the men of his company at a train station, he broke down realizing he would not likely see any of them ever again."
After his discharge from the Army, with the rank of 1LT, he married Mildred Williams in San Francisco in September 1945. He and Mildred moved to Toledo, OH where he worked for 18 years for a leading manufacturer of industrial heat processing equipment. Along the way, he and Mildred had two daughters: Helen and Judy, and George earned his MS at the University of Toledo in 1957.
In 1963 the family relocated to his company's Canadian HQ in Toronto, and he worked there in various levels of management until he retired in 1984. He was a member of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.
George and Mildred divorced in 1987 and he married Gale Kasperski in 1992. His daughter reports that he enjoyed reading, music, and skiing, and was an avid golfer and camper well into his eighties. He was interested in world history and tracing his family's genealogy. Judy also reports that "Dad instilled in his daughters a great love of nature and tramping through the woods in Vermont and Ontario."
And years after his discharge from the Army he was able to correspond by letter and email with several men he'd served with, and to attend a Ghost Army reunion in Erie, PA.
George died on August 4, 2014 in Omemee, Ontario, Canada and is buried at Jedediah Hyde Cemetery in Hyde Park, VT, where his parents are also buried. His grave marker is inscribed: "US Army WWII."
1943 college yearbook photo (see below)
1922 birth record
1943 college yearbook
1943 enlistment record
1992 marriage record (2nd marriage)
2022 (February 24) GALP Veteran Biography Worksheet from daughter Judy Daley
George Daley Letters, GALP Archive