Wade L. Bridgham - LST 531

Wade L. Bridgham - U. S. Naval Reserve
Quartermaster 3rd Class Petty Officer
Tablets of the MIssing
Normandy American Cemetery, France


Brief History of Wade L. Bridgham, by Bill Bridgham, Nephew

Wade Laurence Bridgham, Jr. was born on November 5, 1922 in Westbrook, Maine. He was the son of Wade Laurence Bridgham and Ruth Daly Blake Bridgham. Wade, Jr. served in the United States Naval Reserve as a Quartermaster 3rd Class during World War II. He was aboard the USS LST 531 and was killed during the Exercise Tiger--one of the large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy. This took place in April 1944 in Slapton Sands, Devon in the UK. An Allied naval convoy involved in the exercise was attacked by German submarines, and coordination and communication problems resulted in friendly fire deaths. 639 American servicemen were killed. Because of the impending invasion of Normandy, the incident was highly classified and the full story did not come out until years later after the war. QM3 Bridgham was delcared Missing in Action on April 29, 1945 and is commemorated on the Tablets of the Missing, Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France. He also has a cenotaph located in High Street Cemetery, Bridgton, Cumberland County, Maine.