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Fritz Guessford

 

Date and Place of Birth: August 19, 1909 Halfway, Maryland
Date and Place of Death:    August 27, 1944 Mantes-Gassicourt, France
Baseball Experience: Semi-Pro
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Private
Military Unit: 319th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Earl M. "Fritz" Guessford was born in 1909 at Halfway, Maryland. A semi-pro pitcher, he played for the Williamsport Wildcats and Antietam Redbirds of the Washington County Independent Baseball League before securing the player-manager position with the Harrystown Old German team in 1937. In 1939, the Independent League umpires voted Guessford the player showing the best sportsmanship during the season and awarded him the Summer's Trophy.

Continuing to play baseball with Harrystown and working at the Byron Tannery in Williamsport, he entered military service with the Army in October 1943.

Private Guessford trained at Camp Croft, South Carolina, and went overseas in April 1944. He was assigned to the 319th Infantry Regiment of the 30th Infantry Division and was killed in action in as the 30th crossed the Seine River at Mantes-Gassicourt, France, on August 27, 1944. Guessford was survived by his wife, three sons (Earl M. Jr., Sidney and Page) and a daughter, Joyce.

Guessford's body was returned to the United States in 1949 and reburied at Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg, Maryland on April 29.

Earl Guessford

Earl M. "Fritz" Guessford's grave at Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg, Maryland

Date Added June 4, 2012 July 11, 2013

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