PLATTSBURGH — When U.S. Army Pvt. Kenneth Fountain was killed in action during the liberation of La Roquebrussanne on Aug. 18, 1944, he didn't die alone.
Assigned to the Med. Det. 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division during World War II, he and his Ohioan brother-in-arms, Pvt. Raymond Smith, were killed by German machine gun fire in the village located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.
Aug. 18 marks the 75th anniversary of their death, and La Roquebrussanne Mayor Michel Gros and Pierre Pillet, director of Modern Languages in Cambridge, UK and a La Roquebrussanne summer resident, are searching for any of Fountain relatives as well as Smith's.
Gros and Pillet recently visited Smith's grave at the American cemetery in Draguignan South-East France.
Smith was born April, 19, 1921 in Hamilton, Ohio, the son of John A. and Alice (Ross) Smith.
Alice was born in 1887 in Ohio.
John, a carpenter, was born in 1877 in Wisconsin, as were his parents.
In 1920 and 1930, the Smiths lived at 5804 Panama St. in Cincinnati Ward 1, Hamilton Co., Ohio, according to genealogy service Ancestry.
Raymond's siblings were Harold, Marcella, James, George, Margaret, Virginia and Ethel.
After their marriage, the Smiths lived in Cincinnati and Hamilton in the home of her parents.
Raymond enlisted on Nov. 2, 1942 in Hamilton, Ohio.
His education level was grammar school on his enlistment record but the French record said he attended Lorain High School and was embarking on science studies at Catholic University in Dayton, Ohio.
In the 15th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, he saw action in North Africa, Sicily and Italy before he died with Fountain in the liberation of La Roquebrussanne.
“If you were able to forward (please) this to the journalist(s) taking on the Raymond L. Smith story in Ohio, that would be absolutely great!” Pillet, via email, wrote.
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