By John Macklin

Throughout the hot summer of 1944, Allied forces poured back into Europe and the German grip on nations under occupation for half a decade began to be slowly but surely broken.

By early September, the American armoured division in which David Paladin served as a gunner was engaged in fierce fighting with German Panzer troops on the outskirts of Brussels.

The desperate German rearguard action resulted in mass Allied casualties and deaths, and on the morning of September 3, David Paladin seemed to have joined the list of American dead heroes when the tank in which he was gunner ran over a landmine and burst into flames.

Three of the crew died instantly and David Paladin, hurled into a ditch, his clothes smouldering, lay ominously still, to be found a day later by a British patrol and taken to a field hospital where he was examined by two doctors and pronounced dead.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own