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Victor Edward Lawrence

PVT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : HQ & Service Co

Military occupational specialty: 55 (clerk, general)


Born 1917 in OH, Died 2000

County of residence at enlistment: Cuyahoga County, OH
Other residence(s): Cleveland, OH; Lancaster, PA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: stenographers and typists
College education before the war: 1 year
Source: Unit Shipment 10143-B, 23d HQ, from le Havre 23 June 1945;

Victor Lawrence was born on September 18, 1917, in Madison, OH, and grew up in Cleveland. He was the only child of his parents, but he also had a half-brother and a stepsister who do not appear listed with the family in the 1920 or 1930 census records.

Victor graduated from high school and may also have had a year of college. He married Annabell Elizabeth "Betty" Kirkland on April 8, 1939. At the time of the 1940 census, he and Betty were living in Cleveland, and he was working as a shipping clerk at a production company. He registered for the draft later that year, on October 16. He enlisted on July 19, 1943, at which time his profession was given as stenographer/typist (probably a clerk's job similar to the one he had in 1940).

Victor was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion and saw service with the unit during the war. He was interviewed about his wartime experience a few months after his discharge for an article in the February 21, 1946 issue of the Dayton Herald (OH). In that article, entitled "Ghost Army Kept Germans Busy, Former Private Says," he detailed all of the activities of the major units of the 23rd, including inflatable tanks, sound deception, radio messages, and special effects.

Victor and Betty would go on to have three sons: Bruce, Brian, and Douglas. Victor would have a 40-year career in the operation of family pet shops and the manufacture of pet supplies. He retired as director of marketing for Nedyco in Bethesda, MD, and then started up a business as an antique dealer in Gettysburg, PA.

He was a member of an independent Baptist church, the Millersville chapter of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, the VFW, the Knights of Pythias, and the Republican National Committee.

He died on January 20, 2000 in Lancaster, PA, where he and Betty were living at the time of his death, and is buried at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in East Hanover Township, PA.


1930 census

1939 marriage record

1940 census

1940 draft card

1943 enlistment record

1946 article in the Dayton Herald (OH) about his Ghost Army experience

2000 VA death record

2000 US Veterans Gravesites

2000 Find a Grave record

2000 obituary in the Lancaster New Era (PA),0.045608558,0.9664383,0.20783214&xid=3355&_ga=2.163944632.663023153.1624998859-945911241.1624998859

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