Thaddeus Ronsaville Dulin – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

Obituary of Thaddeus Ronsaville Dulin

Lieutenant Colonel Thaddeus R. Dulin, 30, a native of Washington and a graduate of the University of Maryland, was killed in action in France on June 22, 1944, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Horace Dulin, 2616 Cathedral Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., have been informed by the War Department.

Three other District area men also have been killed and five have been wounded.

Colonel Dulin was serving with the 4th Infantry Division in France at the time of his death. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in July 1937, he served at various posts in this country, including Fort Washington, Maryland, and the Arlington Cantonment. At the outbreak of the war he was stationed in Trinidad. Before going overseas he was an instructor at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

A graduate of Western High School, he was president of Scabbard and Blade, honorary ROTC organization at Maryland University, and a member of Sigma Nu Social Fraternity. His father was head of Dulin & Martin, an old Washington china and glassware firm. His widow, the former Catherine M. Porter, whom he married in September 1942, lives at 2712 36th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.

His father, Horace Dulin, First Lieutenant, United States Army, was a veteran of World War I.  He died in January 1955 and was also laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

Lieuenant Colonel Thaddeus R. Dulin was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Service Cross at the Pentagon yesterday for extraordinary heroism on June 22, 1944, in action that cost him his life. His wife, Mrs. Katherine P. Dulin, 4417 Q St, N.W., received the decoration.

A battalion leader in the famed 4th Division, Colonel Dulin led his outfit in an attack on a fortified enemy position during the bitter fighting following the Normandy invasion, the citation revealed.

“Forcing his way around the left flank of the german position, he seized the ground in the rear of the enemy,” according to the citation.

Then the enemy counterattacked vigorously. In order to hold his position, Colonel Dulin organized and personally led a bayonet charge which broke up the enemy counterattack and retained his position. He died, however, as a result of injuries received during his charge, his family was informed.

Colonel Dulin, a District native, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Dulin.

Colonel Dulin was graduated from Maryland University, where he headed the honorary ROTC organization, Scabbard and Blade. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Army in 1937 and at the outbreak of the war was stationed in Trinidad. He married Catherine Porter September 1942.

The regimental plan on 22 June 1944 called for the 3d Battalion to attack north, circling around to the rear of the enemy opposing the 2d Battalion. The 3d Battalion moved up to the northern edge of the wood during the morning. The Germans, observing the movement, opened fire from the slopes above the creek and heavily shelled the draw formed by a small tributary of the river. The 3d Battalion replied with artillery and overhead heavy machine-gun fire. The axis of attack was shifted slightly to the right to avoid the interdicted draw. Companies I and L led out abreast at 1430, crossing the stream and proceeding up the opposite bank. With the first determined charge, the enemy broke and fled. About twenty were captured. Here the 12th Infantry identified some of the first miscellaneous units thrown into line by the Germans, such as labor service troops, which were found scattered throughout the Cherbourg area.

Across the stream the battalion wheeled to the left to carry out the original plan, but Companies I and L, after advancing west almost to the Digosville road, were stopped by heavy fire. The Germans were firing from across a draw just ahead and were entrenched around the road junction. To the rear, continued interdiction of the draw had the effect of isolating the lead companies from the rest of the battalion for a while, although Companies K and M and battalion headquarters, on the first nose north of the woods, were only about 800 yards back. The rear companies were at last guided forward across the draw, suffering only a few casualties from enemy artillery.

Reunited, the battalion tried to renew the advance, but enemy fire was so intense that the attempt had to be abandoned. Judging the forward position to be unfavorable, Lieutenant Colonel Dulin, the battalion commander, decided to move back to the ground occupied earlier by the rear elements. The battalion retraced its steps about 2100 and found Germans again occupying some of this ground. The battalion commander was killed in the sharp skirmish which followed before the area was cleared.

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