Purple Heart Private First Class
Joseph Lucas Sr

7 December 1907 - May 26, 1945

Detroit, Michigan - Hanau, Germany



Joseph Lucas was born on 7 December 1907 and he lived in Detroit, Michigan. He worked as a farmer for some time, but worked in the automobile industry in Detroit when he married Theresa Lucas. They had four children. Unfortunately they divorced in 1943 and Joseph joined the army.

After basic training Joseph was attached to the 882nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 70th Infantry Division. He was part of Battery B, which had 105mm Howitzers which were mainly used in support of the 274th Infantry regiment.

 The 70th Infantry Division arrived in Europe


882nd Field Artillery Battalion

70th Infantry Division

in December 1944. It landed in Marseille and were attached to the 7th Army and moved up North to stem the German attack during Operation Nordwind. The division saw heavyf ighting in the Vosges and the Saar and liberated Saarbruecken on 20 March 1945. The division was committed to the fighting in the Saar basin until VE Day, 8 May 1945. The Battalion was then sent to Hanau for Occupation Duty.

Joe and three of his kids. The kids from left to right; Johnny, Betty, and Joe.
(picture courtesy of Christopher Shaw. www.shawgenealogy.com)

On 26 May 1945, Pfc Lucas and others from his battery were ordered to guard a food warehouse in Hanau. Around 14.00 between 20 and 25 German civilians  tried to gain access to the warehouse. The guard that was with Pfc Lucas went up to the third floor of the warehouse and started firing near the point of entry and over some boxcars on a nearby rail track to scare the intruders off. He then went down to round up the intruders. Looking into a boxcar he found Pfc Lucas lying on the floor, apparently hit. On further investigation it turned out that one of the bullets fired by the guard over the boxcar had actually hit Pfc Lucas in the neck, killing him.

Pfc Joseph Lucas is buried at Margraten Military Cemetery, Plot O Row 6 Grave 12.

Margraten, The Netherlands

See Also:
Other casualties of the 70th Infantry Division buried in The Netherlands

Sources and Acknowledgements:
Mr. Christopher Shaw (Grandson of Pfc Lucas. Pictures and information from his Shaw Family website. Used with permission)
Mr. Ed Lane
Mrs. Diane Kessler
Steve Dixon, 70th Infantry Division Website

Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery

Posted 15 May 2006

If you have any suggestions, comments or additional information, please contact me.

This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.


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