Stephen Pszeniczka enlisted for the army in Greensburg, PA on June 15, 1942. He became a Private First Class in the 315th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Infantry Division. As a private first class, Stephen’s responsibilities were to carry our orders issued by his commanding officers. If Stephen had lived through the war, he likely would have been promoted to a Specialist or Corporal next. Infantry members carried things like a water-bottle, ammunition pouches, an entrenching tool, a groundsheet and haversack containing: a mess-tin, tinned rations, extra iron rations, spare socks and laces, and of course, a rifle.
The 315th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Infantry Division landed in France on June 14th, 1944 under German artillery fire. Stephen had enlisted for the army the same day of his division activation on June 15, 1942. Grueling training throughout the winter led the soldiers to be toughened and ready to fight in England for D-Day (which Stephen lived through). The regiment then moved to Sainte-Mere-Eglise, to relieve the 90th infantry division. Stephen was a part of the B company, and they found German enemies near Morville, while the A company was stuck fighting in Flottemanville. The regiment continued advancing along the road Vaolgnes on June 21st, 1944 and it was near Tollevast and Hardinvast that the Germans lashed back stronger; eventually leading to Stephen’s untimely death a day later on the 22nd.
This is the Private First Class insignia that Stephen would have worn stitched onto the sleeve of his uniform.
Pictured above are some examples of what the rifles looked like that infantrymen carried with them in WWII.
This is a picture taken of the regiment storming the beach in 1944, taken about a week before Stephen died.
Here is another picture of Stephen's regiment walking through town, likely on their way to Tollevast and Hardinvast along the road Vaolgnes.