Overd Gordon “Gordy” Province

1923 - 2002

Korean WarVietnam WarWWII

Their Story

Overd Gordon Province was born December 9, 1923, in Los Angeles, California, to Joseph W. Province and Emma J. Lindsey Province. In 1936, Gordon was a patient at Pine Knoll Sanitarium in Davenport, Iowa.1 The facility was constructed in the early 1900s by Scott County as a sanitarium for residents with tuberculosis.2 In 1940, he lived in Davenport, Iowa, with his mother, NKA Emma Meyer.3 She was divorced and employed as a maid in a hotel. He had two sisters, Josephine Lucille and Mary Dorothea. He attended Davenport High School. Gordon was a blue-eyed, tall, blonde with freckles.4

He entered the service March 11, 1941.5 He received his paratrooper and infantry training at Camp Wolters, Texas, and Fort Benning, Georgia. He left for overseas duty in April 1944 and was sent to Belgium,6 serving with Co. B, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the 12th Infantry saw its first action of the war when it, as part of the 4th Infantry Division, made an amphibious assault landing on Utah Beach. Gordon was on the D-Day armada that stormed the beaches, disembarking D-Day plus 3. The 12th Infantry Division spearheaded the assault landing on Utah Beach under the command of Colonel Russell “Red” Reeder.

The Regiment went on to fight in five European campaigns through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. The 12th Infantry was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its valor in the defense of Luxembourg during the Battle of the Bulge. The Regiment was also awarded the Belgian Fourragere.

Gordon fought across Europe as a rifleman, automatic rifleman, and scout in four major campaigns: Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Northern France.7 He stepped on a land mine in Germany on December 16, 1944, and was wounded. In February 1945, he received the Purple Heart for those wounds. After Germany’s surrender, the 12th Infantry, along with the 4th Infantry Division, returned to the United States on July 12, 1945.8 He was discharged on October 10, 1945.9

He registered for the draft five days later. On August 7, 1946, he was sent to Fort Snelling, Minnesota, by Davenport Army recruiters for re-enlistment. He had already served 3 ½ years.10 He was a private first class. The enlistment was for the Hawaiian Department.11 He continued to serve, retiring after 20 years in the U.S. Army in 1966.12

In 1947, Gordon married Virginia “Jean” Ann Marcotte in Menominee, Michigan.13 She died in 1997. 14 They had no children.

During and after his military career, he worked at a variety of places. In 1950, he was a hired hand for Col. James Barney in Steilacoom, Washington, and lived at his residence. His wife, Virginia, was a maid there. Col. Barney and Gordon were both in the service at the time.15 In June 1951, SFC Province was stationed at Fort Richardson, near Anchorage, Alaska, where he was the post honor guard command.16 And, in 1956, he was a switchman with Chicago and North Western Railroad in Menominee, Michigan.

He even did a stint as the caretaker at the Buffalo Bill Homestead near McCausland, Iowa. He was the superintendent there in 1975. At that time, Cody Homestead had four bull buffalos, one of which Gordon picked up in Nebraska to replace a 1,900-pound bull that was destroyed due to aggressive behavior.17

In 1993, he lived in Gibsonton, Florida.18 He died in Davenport, Iowa, on August 8, 2002.


1 18 Mar 1936, 7 – The Daily Times at Newspapers.com

2 Photos: Pine Knoll (qctimes.com)

3 Search Results – Overd Gordon Province • FamilySearch

4 U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 – Ancestry.com

5 Iowa, U.S., World War II Bonus Case Files, 1947-1954 – Ancestry.com

6 06 Feb 1945, 18 – The Daily Times at Newspapers.com

7 14 Aug 2002, 24 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com

8 12th Infantry Regiment | 25th Infantry Division Association (25thida.org)

9 Iowa, U.S., World War II Bonus Case Files, 1947-1954 – Ancestry.com08 Aug 1946, 13 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com

10 08 Aug 1946, 13 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com

11 Search Results – Overd Gordon Province • FamilySearch

12 14 Aug 2002, 24 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com

13 Michigan, U.S., Marriage Records, 1867-1952 – Ancestry.com

14 Virginia Ann Province (1912-1997) – Find a Grave Memorial

15 1950 United States Federal Census – Ancestry.com

16 24 Jun 1951, 10 – The Cushing Daily Citizen at Newspapers.com

17 New at Homestead, Not a Beefy Buffalo, 16 Oct 1975, 32 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com

18 U.S., Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 – Ancestry.com