Plymouth County


Capt. Gordon R. Brodie





NEWS of the Boys in the Service.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brodie have been advised that their son, Lieut. Gordon Brodie, is in Sicily, and they have heard from him since the invasion started. He is with the light armored forces. Lieut. Brodie is a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Brodie.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, August 10, 1943


From Merrill Service Men's News

Gordon R. Brodie, 1st Lt. has seen no fighting since the Sicilian campaign during which he commanded a company of tanks and won a Silver Star.  After several months for rest and reorganization, his unit moved to another island for further training with an invasion force.

Source: LeMars Sentinel, Friday, April 14, 1944

Gordon Brodie Promoted To Captain

Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Brodie received a letter today from their grandson, Lieut. Gordon
Brodie, in Normandy, but he isn't a lieutenant any more. It's Captain Brodie
now. Capt. Brodie, winner of a Silver Star in Italy, where he distinguished himself
for his initiative in forestalling a German counterattack on an American tank
force, writes that he is doing similar work in Italy, and his command is no doubt a
part of the powerful tank forces which have driven the Germans out of Caen and
unhinged Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's entire Normandy line. He is the son
of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brodie of Merrill.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, Thursday, August 3, 1944


Capt. Gordon Brodie, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brodie and grandson of M. F. Brodie, of LeMars, writes that he is well and having an active part in the invasion of Africa, Sicily and Italy. He was recently promoted to captain. He is in the Seventieth Tank Division.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, August 4, 1944

With Artillery In Support 4th Infantry

With the 4th Infantry Division in Germany.—All four companies of the 70th Tank Battalion were given honorable mention in a recent 4th Division Order of the Day for “invaluable support” given this division in the capture of the Schnee Eifel and Brandsscheid, Germany.

“Over four months ago,” the order read, “after advancing through the Ardennes, the Fourth Infantry Division broke through the Siegried Line and occupied the Schnee Eifel. Relieved by another division, the Fourth moved north and attacked through the Huertgen Forest, moved south again and successfully defended the city of Luxembourg against the German counteroffensive in December, attacked across the Sure and Our Rivers and advanced against continuous opposition until it was again opposite the Schnee Eifel.

“In spite of almost incredible weather conditions and the long period of continuous contact with the enemy, the division then recaptured the Siegfried Line defenses on the Schnee Eifel and captured the fortified town of Brandscheid which had heretofore successfully withstood all attacks made against it. The 70th Tank Battalion contributed aggressive and invaluable support throughout this entire operation.”

The 70th Tank Battalion is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Henry E. Davidson Jr., of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Company A., which supports the 8th Infantry, is led by Captain Gordon A. Brodie of LeMars. Capt. Francis E. Songer commands Company B in support of the 12th Infantry, and First Lieutenant Preston E. Yoeman of Crystal Lake, Illinois, commands Company C in support of the 22nd Infantry. Captain Herman Finkelstein of Philadelphia is commanding officer of Company D which is used in general support.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, March 23, 1945

Merrill Soldier Gets Silver Star for Gallantry

First Lieut. Gordon R. Brodie, armored force division, has been awarded the silver star for gallantry in action during the Sicilian campaign, which started July 10, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brodie of Merrill, have been informed.

He received the silver star for the manner in which he met a situation of extreme danger.  When a demolished bridge compelled a column of tanks to cross a precipitous ravine under heavy enemy artillery, mortar and small arms fire, Lieut. Brodie proceeded in advance of the column with only two tanks vigorously attacked enemy positions, a mission assigned to his entire company.

Lieut. Brodie went to North Africa last January. He was in command of a tank company throughout the Sicilian campaign after his company commander was wounded in action.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, April 1945 (photo included)

DeGaulle Awards Croix deGuerre to Capt. Brodie

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brodie, of Merrill, are looking forward to receiving a Croix de Guerre, French cross of war ranking with the American Silver Star decoration, which was awarded by General De Gaulle to their son, Captain Gordon Brodie, while the latter was on a visit to Paris.

Kissing Capt. Brodie on both cheeks, General De Gaulle said that France was honored to have such men fighting for her liberation. Capt. Brodie, as commander of Tank Co. A., 70th Bn., fought his way across France from D-day on.

Previous to the invasion of France, he fought in Italy. There the American Army commander awarded a Silver Star decoration to him, as the result of an exploit in which Capt. Brodie diverted the attacks of the German forces to himself, thereby permitting other units to extricate themselves from a difficult position. In the end he also broke free, chalking up a 100 per cent tactical success.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, April 12, 1945

Much Decorated Merrill, Ia., Captain Wins Eight Awards in Fighting Germans
Gordon R. Brodie Risks Life Many Times; Is Real Iowa Hero

MERRILL, Ia.--Special:  One of Iowa’s most decorated service men and a hero of many engagements with the Germans, Capt. Gordon R. Brodie of Merrill, has returned home after 33 months in the European theater of operations.

Risking his life on numerous occasions so that American units could advance, Capt. Brodie was awarded eight decorations. He knocked out a German tank with a bazooka dropped by an infantry patrol, was wounded when a nazi threw a grenade as he came out of the tanks, used a bulldozer tank to make a new road and reestablish contact with an infantry unit ahead of his unit, led a detail of medics back to eight tanks his company had lost and brought out all the wounded men, and wiped out other German installations in brilliant and heroic maneuvers.

His decorations and action for which each was awarded follow:

Silver Star in Sicily
Silver Star in Sicily for action in June, 1943, when he took his tank along a ravine to get behind and knock out German installations which were holding up his company.
Presidential citation for his unit’s action on D-day, June 6, 1944.

Bronze star in July, 1944. He crawled to a forward position and knocked out a German tank with a bazooka which had been dropped by an infantry patrol that had been dispersed by the tank.

Purple heart for wounds suffered when hit by a grenade thrown by a German who came from the tank that Capt. Brodie knocked out by the bazooka.

Oak leaf cluster to bronze star in November, 1944, in the Hurtgen forest.  Here Capt. Brodie took a bulldozer tank and cut a new road to reestablish contact with an infantry unit ahead. 

Oak leaf cluster to silver star in January, 1945, near Prum, Germany.  After being driven back by German tanks, he led a detail of medics back to the eight tanks his company had lost and brought out all the wounded men.

Second oak leaf cluster to silver star in March, 1945, for action while landing a large task force in behind enemy lines.  At dust Capt. Brodie ran into an installation of three German 88s. Instead of withdrawing, he deployed is tanks, charged in at 30 miles an hour and wiped out the installation, without losing an American tank.

Given French Award.
Croiz de guerre, one of four awarded in his battalion by the French government.

After V-E day Capt. Brodie was in charge of a German prison unit and later organized schools for the men in his battalion. He returned to the States a week ago and was discharged at Camp Sheridan, Ill., on October 12, but has over three months’ accrued furlough time, so will not be completely separated from the Service until January 23, 1946.

Capt. Brodie was graduated from Merrill high school in 1938 and then farmed with his father until he was drafted in January, 1942. He was assigned to the tank service and later sent to officer’s training school at Fort Knox, Ky.  He graduated in August, 1942, and was commissioned a second lieutenant.

First Tank Battalion
He was assigned to the 70th tank battalion, the first to be activated by the army and the first in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Normandy, as well as the fist into Paris.  Brodie missed the African invasion, but caught up with his battalion in January, 1943. He had been promoted to first lieutenant before he hit the beach on Sicily on D-day plus one and was in command of Company B after the third day of that campaign.

At the Normandy invasion he was in command of Company D (light tanks) in support of the 101st airborne division and hit Utah beach at H-hour plus 60 minutes. On July 13, he was promoted to Captain and placed in command of Company A (Sherman tanks) in support of the Fourth infantry division of the First army which set a record by maintaining continuous contact with the Germans for 199 days.

Capt. Brodie expects to resume farming after a short rest at home.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, issue dated end of October, 1945 (photo included)