Peter J. Sproule was born in New York in 1925. He attended Milton School and later the Peekskill Academy, lived on 20 Natoma St. and later on Forest Avenue while growing up in Rye. Both of his parents, Eric and Nancy, were born in England. His father was a Flyer with the Royal Air Force RAF in the First World War and was taken prisoner by the Germans. He worked as an Interior Designer while living in Rye. Peter enlisted and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Died On: 27 Feb 1945
Street Address: 20 Natoma Street
Branch of Service: U.S. Army
Peter mustered in at Hartford, CT on September 9, 1943 at the age of 18. He was a Tank Driver with the 771st Tank Destroyer Battalion, 9th Army under General Simpson.
The 771st Tank Battalion led the 84th Infantry Division from the Roer to the Rhine in ten days, an advance of nearly 50 miles. The offensive had accounted for more than 9000 Germans killed, wounded or captured.
On Feb. 27. 1945, 84th Infantry Division’s General Bolling sent a motorized column battering into German lines. Commanded by Brig. Gen. John H. Church, Asst. Division Commander, this task force was composed of the 334th infantry regiment motorized, 771st Tank Battalion, attached to the division; 326th FA, and smaller units.
Task Force Church moved out with all guns blazing. Behind, on foot, followed the 333rd and 335th infantry regiments. With the 771st Tank Battalion in the lead Task Force Church, spearheaded for several days the drive of the Ninth Army into the Rhine Valley. The task force advanced 12 miles the first day, plunging along roads in a breakthrough reminiscent of earlier victories in France.
On that first day, 2/27/1945, Peter J. Sproule was killed in this drive against German forces. He was first reported missing in action MIA in late February 1945 in Germany. According to the Rye Chronicle, He was a tank driver and it is believed he lost his life just before the 9th Army crossed the Rhine.