Margaret Ryan

Margaret Ryan
  • Hometown: Payton, Iowa
  • Husband: William
  • Sons: Peter, Daniel, Sean and James

Although the four Ryan brothers—Sean, Peter, Daniel and James—had originally been assigned to the same company in the 29th Infantry Division, they were split up following the deaths of the Sullivan brothers on U.S.S. Juneau in November of 1942.

Sometime on or after June 9, 1944, Mrs. Ryan was visited by an Army officer and a chaplain, who delivered telegrams informing her of the deaths of three of her sons; Sean, Peter and Daniel. James, serving with the 101st Airborne Division, was eventually found by members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion and he was safely returned stateside.


A picture in the Ryan home shows what looks to be the four Ryan brothers in uniform. This does not match Private Ryan's statement that he and his brothers had last been together two years ago just before Daniel went off to Basic training, and the fact that the four of them had supposedly served in the same company in the 29th Division.

Fact vs. Fiction

A valid point of criticism is the extremely short period of time it takes for the news of the deaths of the Ryan brothers to reach the U.S. It would have been impossible for telegrams to be sent to the Ryan household only days after their sons had been killed.


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