T/5 CPL William James “Jim or Pat” Brodish (Born: James Patrick Urban) was killed on 6 June 1944. T/5 CPL Brodish was assigned to the 27thOrdnance Bomb Disposal Squad (Separate), which was attached to the 6th Engineer Special Brigade. A small party of two officers and sixteen men drawn from the 618th Ammunition Company and the 27thOrdnance Bomb Disposal Squad (Separate) landed on Normandy beach, France. They were actively involved in clearing dud-fired projectiles and rockets from the beach area and did not leave the beach until 2000 hours on the 6 June 1944. During any lull in their clearance activities the squad would also assist the medics with the wounded. In the afternoon T/5 CPL Brodish was killed when a German artillery shell exploded over his foxhole while the squad was still on the beach. T/5 CPL Brodish was killed instantly when a shell fragment pierced his head.
T/5 CPL Brodish was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart Medal, and he may have received a posthumous promotion to T/5 CPL as that rank is recorded in the 27th Ordnance Bomb Disposal Squad’s (Separate) unit history. T/5 CPL Brodish received Picatinny Arsenal’s Gold Star Roll of Honor award. The Gold Star Roll of Honor was neither a formal designation nor an official organization. The term refers to a listing the installation kept during World War II of former employees who died in uniform. Later their names (90 ninety in all) were placed on a plaque set in stone near Picatinny’s main entrance. Before joining the Army, T/5 CPL Brodish worked in Picatinny’s Loading Department for three years, where he loaded explosives to fill shell, bombs, grenades, and mines.
*This bio was researched and authored by SGM Mike R. Vining, USA (Retired) with supporting research from the books, Nine from Aberdeen, by Jeffrey M. Leatherwood, Ph.D., and Bomb Disposal, The Early Years of Explosive Ordnance Disposal, 1940 to 1949, by LTC Robert E. Leiendecker, USA (Retired)