Pentz, Leland Truesdale (No. 10601871)

Pentz, Leland Truesdale (Lee)

Purple Heart

Private

No. 10601871, 301st Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division, US Army

Died of wounds on Friday 9 February 1945 (aged 19)

Buried:

Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (Plot D Row 10  Grave 25)

Commemorated:

American Battle Monuments Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Bangor Grammar School

BIOGRAPHY

Leland Truesdale (Lee) Pentz was born on 24 November 1925 in Massachusetts, USA and he was a son of Lorne Truesdale (sometimes Truesdell) Pentz and Dora Pentz (nee Bell).

Lee Pentz’s father was born on 8 October 1896 in Nova Scotia, Canada and during the First World War he served with the Canadian Field Artillery (No. 1261179) and then with the Canadian Air Force.

[A contingent of two squadrons formed in 1918, and stood down in January 1920, the Canadian Air Force was reformed in May 1920 with the prefix ‘Royal’ added in 1924.]

Lorne Pentz’s home address in Nova Scotia in 1916 was 244 Lockman Street, Halifax and in 1918 it was 1076 Barrington Street, Halifax.

Lorne Truesdale Pentz and Dora Bell were married on 11 April 1919 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and they moved to Massachusetts, USA.  Lorne Truesdale Pentz was a son of Cecil Lorne Pentz, a railway baggage man, and Ophelia Pentz.  Dora Bell, who was born in England, was a daughter of Robert and Janet Bell.

Lorne Truesdale Pentz and Dora Pentz (nee Bell) had two children:

Leland Truesdale (Lee, born 24 November 1925)

Roger Lorne (died 1930)

In 1928 the Pentz family was living at 8 Lancaster Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Dora Pentz (nee Bell) died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1929 and her younger son, Roger Lorne Pentz, died there in 1930.

In April 1930 Lorne T. Pentz (a 33-year-old salesman) travelled from Boston, USA to Liverpool, England aboard the SS Antonia.  His proposed address in the UK was 136 Regent Street, London.

The marriage of Lorne T. Pentz and Grace Mary O’Malley Burke was registered in the third quarter of 1930 in Hampstead, Middlesex.  Grace Mary O’Malley Burke, who was born on 14 August 1899 in Seabank, Dollymount, Clontarf, Dublin, was a daughter of Edmund Burke, a Professor of Elocution, and Elizabeth Mary Burke (nee O’Keefe).

Lorne Truesdale Pentz and Grace Mary O’Malley Pentz (nee Burke) had a son, Warren J.B. Pentz, who was born in the third quarter of 1931 and his birth was registered in Brentford, Oxfordshire.

In August 1931 Lee Pentz (aged 5) travelled from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool aboard the SS Nova Scotia.  The ship’s manifest does not show whether Lee was accompanied on his journey or travelled alone; his proposed address in the UK was 29 Park Road, Chiswick, London.

In the 1930s the Pentz family moved to Northern Ireland and they lived at Dunraven, 4a Downshire Road, Bangor – a house they rented from Marcus Patton.  It was from there that Lee’s stepmother ran the Burke School of Elocution and Dramatic Art.

In August 1938 Lorne Truesdale Pentz (aged 41) travelled on business from Belfast to Montreal, Canada aboard the SS Montrose.

The Pentz family left Bangor in April 1941 immediately after the Blitz and moved to Dublin where they lived at 45 Park Drive, Rathmines.

Lee Pentz attended Bangor Grammar School from 1936 until 1941 and after he died the Headmaster said that he was, ‘a bright and attractive lad, full of mischief and tricks, compact of fancies and ideas peculiar to himself.  He excelled on the stage of the School Dramatic Society.  He had the gift of artistic self-expression in the written and the spoken word’.  He also said that Lee Pentz had ‘inflexible determination and courage, moral and physical; the resolve to play a man’s part in this war, cost what it might and in the teeth of uttermost pain and peril.  Pentz won his way against odds and across frontiers into the armies of three nations’.

This was a reference to the fact that, after leaving school, Lee Pentz joined the British Army but was discharged when it was discovered that he was underage.  Then he joined the Irish Army and this time he himself disclosed his proper age after realising that their policy of neutrality would not provide him with the opportunity he wanted for active service.  He joined the US Army on 18 November 1944 ‘for the duration of the war or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law’.  He purported to be a year older than he was.  He was posted to the European theatre of war and less than three months after enlisting he died of wounds sustained during the Allied advance.

Private Leland Truesdale (Lee) Pentz (No. 10601871) was 19 when he died of wounds on 9 February 1945 and he is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial and in Bangor Grammar School.

Lee Pentz was buried in Luxembourg American Cemetery and the interment notice was sent to his father, Lorne Truesdale Pentz, c/o Burrows Adding Machines Ltd., Rylands Building, 15 Tib Street, Manchester.

Lorne Truesdale Pentz’s death was registered in the first quarter of 1972 in Westminster, London, England.