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Nathan Jordan

 
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VETERANS DAY 2014:

GREER REMEMBERS A NATIVE SON

    Brittany
   Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial
The Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in St. James, France covers 28 acres of rolling farm country near the eastern edge of Brittany and contains the remains of 4,409 Americans, most of whom lost their lives in the Normandy and Brittany Campaigns of 1944. Along the retaining wall of the memorial terrace are inscribed the names of 498 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
 
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The gray granite memorial, containing the chapel as well as two large operations maps with narratives and flags of the United States military services, overlooks the burial area. Stained glass and sculpture embellish the structure. The lookout platform of the tower, reached by 98 steps, affords a view of the stately pattern of the headstones, as well as of the peaceful surrounding countryside stretching northward to the sea and Mont St. Michel, France.

The cemetery is located on the site of the temporary American St. James Cemetery, established on August 4, 1944 by the U.S. Third Army. It marks the point where the American forces made their breakthrough from the hedgerow country of Normandy into the plains of Brittany during the offensive around Avranches, France.

Head to Plot E, Row 10, Grave 14 and you'll find the final resting place of Sgt. Nathan Haynes Jordan, Jr., a Greer native and the eldest of three brothers who chose to serve their country during World War II. Signatures on the cover of a 1937 Greer High School graduation program attest to Nathan's popularity in his hometown Correspondence from his stateside infantry training post and later from Europe during the war are a testament to his love of family.

Like his younger brothers Richard and William -- both members of the U.S. Navy -- Nathan was a southern gentleman prepared to do his job to bring peace to a world in turmoil.


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Nathan Jordan rose to the rank of corporal at an infantry training post at Ft. Wheeler, near Macon, Ga., where he served on the cadre of a battalion responsible for training inductees. After the invasion of Normandy, Nathan Jordan was transferred to Ft. Meade, Md., to await transport to the European theater.

He arrived in England on July 23, 1944, and was sent immediately to France, where he was assigned to Co. M, 38th Infantry Division.

Nathan reported to the 38th Infantry Regimentm 2nd Infantry Division on August 7, 1944, and entered combat the following day. His final letter home, dated August 11, 1944, tells of living conditions:
 
I was promoted to Staff Sgt. this morning. It's rough going and I've got lots to see and learn. Am now in combat and have been for the past three days. Am living in a fox hole, but we still get hot meals, chance to write letters, cigarettes, gum and candy.

Three days later, Sgt. Jordan was seriously wounded in fighting near Tinchebray, France. Information received by the Jordan family tells of his plight:

After administering first aid, the platoon leader was forced to advance with his unit, leaving your son behind due to the intensity of the battle. A subsequent search of the area revealed no trace of your son.

Sgt. Jordan was listed as missing in action until August 1945, when the U.S. government issued a presumptive date of death, the day following the expiration of twelve months' absence.

“It’s difficult to find a family in the United States that was not affected somehow by World War II,” Mayor Rick Danner said. “To stand at our Veterans Memorial Park and read the names on monuments of those who were killed during the conflict reminds us of how entire towns and cities were affected as well. This Veterans Day we will honor and remember Sgt. Nathan Jordan and all of the brave men and women from Greer who have served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice.”



The City of Greer would like to thank local historian Rose Marie Cooper Jordan for her research on the Jordan brothers' correspondence that made this page possible. Her tireless work as a member of the Joyce Scott chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and preserving the history of Greer for future generations is very much appreciated.