Abbeville in Abbeville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Maj. Thomas D. Howie
The Major of St. Lô
Birthplace of Thomas Dry Howie (1908–1944), World War II hero famous as “The Major of St. Lô,” Abbeville High School, Class of 1925. The Citadel, Class of 1929, where he was an all-state football player and was president of his class. Coach and teacher, Staunton Military Academy, Staunton Va., 1929-1941. Lt., 116th Inf. Va. National Guard, 1941. Promoted to major; served at regimental H.Q. until
July 1944, when he took command of the 3rd Btn. Howie told his men, “I’ll see you in St. Lô” — a major Allied objective in the weeks after D-Day. He was killed July 7, 1944, the day before American troops captured the town. In a tribute from his comrades, Howie’s flag-draped body was carried into St. Lô on the lead jeep and lay in state on the rubble of St. Croix Church. “Dead in France, Deathless in Fame.”
Erected 1995 by Abbeville County Historic Society. (Marker Number 1-8.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina, Abbeville County Historical Society/Commission marker series.
Location. 34° 10.703′ N, 82° 22.9′ W. Marker is in Abbeville, South Carolina, in Abbeville Click for map. Marker is located in front of the Howie house. Marker is at or near this postal address: 118 West Pinckney Street, Abbeville SC 29620, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Bundy-Barksdale-McGowan House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House (about 600 feet away); Last Cabinet Meeting Marker (about 600 feet away); Trinity Episcopal Church (about 600 feet away); The Old Livery Stable (about 700 feet away); Burt-Stark House / Jefferson Davis’s Flight (about 800 feet away); Major Thomas Dry Howie (approx. 0.2 miles away); Abbeville County Confederate Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Big Bob" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Abbeville Square (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Abbeville.
Regarding Maj. Thomas D. Howie. The story of Maj. Thomas Howie was told in the 1950s television series Cavalcade of America, Season 4, Episode 24. The part of Howie was played by a young Peter Graves. A soldier similar to Howie was also portrayed by Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this
Also see . . .
1. Thomas D. Howie. Thomas Dry Howie (April 12, 1908 – July 17, 1944) was an American army officer, killed during the Battle of Normandy during World War II, while trying to capture the French town of Saint-Lô. (Submitted on August 5, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. The Major of St-Lo (youtube.com). Major Thomas Dry Howie the "Major of St-Lo", was the man Tom Hanks portrayed in "Saving private Ryan." (Submitted on November 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. American Forces in Action : St.. Lô. Last Phase of the Battle (15-20 July). (Submitted on November 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Saint-Lô. Saint-Lô is a commune in northwestern France, the capital of the Manche department in Normandy. (Submitted on December 26, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
5. Staunton Military Academy. Staunton Military Academy was an all-male military academy located in Staunton, Virginia for much of its 116-year history. (Submitted on August 21, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
6. Thomas Dry Howie. The subject is heroism. [T]he four components of heroism [are]: moral greatness, ability or prowess, action in the face of opposition, and triumph in at least a spiritual, if not (Submitted on November 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
7. Major of Saint Lô inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. Nearly 60 years after a German mortar blast ended his life, the man known as Major of Saint Lô was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. (Submitted on July 20, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
8. Thomas Dry Howie: A Hero Who Exemplifies Excellence. Address given at the induction of Thomas Dry Howie into the South Carolina Hall of Fame, February 10, 2003. (Submitted on November 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
9. Howie Rifles. The Howie Rifles was established in 1945 to perpetuate the ideals, leadership, and courage exemplified by Major Thomas Dry Howie. (Submitted on July 20, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
10. Staunton Military Academy Alumni Association. (Submitted on March 15, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
1. Incident At Saint Lo
The following poem by war poet Joseph Auslander (1898-1965) appeared in Life Magazine, September 18, 1944:
They rode him in, propped straight and proud and tall
Through St. Lo's gates...He told the lads he led
That they would be the first at St. Lo's fall --
But that was yesterday -- and he was dead:
Some sniper put a bullet through his head,
And there was nothing further to be said;
Nothing to say -- nothing to say at all.
Ride soldier in your dusty jeep,
Grander than Caesar's chariot! O ride
Into the town they took for you to keep,
Dead captain of their glory and their pride!
Ride through our hearts forever, through our tears
More splendid than the hero hedged with spears!
— Submitted August 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. T.V. Howie House
Two-story, frame residence with hip roof and gabled ells. A two-story ell projects from the left end of the facade and has two windows on each story and a diamond-shaped, louvered attic vent on the gable end. A hip roof porch across the remainder of the facade and on the right elevation is supported by chamfered wood posts with necking; a portion of the simple balustrade remains. Windows have two-over lights and louvered shutters. The house has been sheathed in aluminum siding. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
— Submitted November 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
3. Marker Style
The marker shown reflects the second style of South Carolina Historical Markers. It was in use between 1955 and 1990. The original design was cast aluminum and crowned with a bas relief of the state flag surrounded by an inverted triangle. The markers were painted dark blue with silver lettering.
— Submitted September 16, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Categories. • 20th Century • Heroes • Military • Notable Events • Notable Persons • War, World II •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 4,762 times since then and 244 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 3. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 4. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 5. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.