Harry M. Kemp

United States


Captain Harry M. KEMP was born in 1919 and was a native Pennsylvanian (area of Scranton, PA). In January 1937, he lied about his age to enlist in the US 109th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

The history of the US 109th Infantry Regiment, US 28th Infantry Division has strong links with  the city of Diekirch. The strong defence and above all, the civilian evacuation of the town, is in close connection with the actions of Captain Harry M. Kemp, During the winter of 1944 to 1945 he was the executive Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment.

He served in the regiment from training through to the end of the war. He took part in five  major operations in the European theatre during the Second World War. He started  his military career as an ammunition carrier in a heavy machine gun platoon. He ended the Second World War as a battalion commander with the rank of a major.

It was thanks to Captain Kemp that over 6,000 civilians of Diekirch could be evacuated out of the threatened town in great hast during the night of 19 to 20 December 1944 a few hours before German forces s took the town.

Parallelly, Captain Kemp, as a priority mission was coordinating and supervising the pull back out of Diekirch of the exhausted remains of the 3rd battalion, 109th Inf. Regiment to a new defensive position to the height further west in direction Ettelbrucl-Feulen-Mertzig.

After the Second World War ended, he transferred to the regular Army and commanded an infantry battalion during the Korean War. He went on to serve, ranked as f a Colonel, in various staff and command positions.

He passed away in 2006 and is buried at Arlington Cemetery, USA.