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Purple Hearts of the European Theater of Operations in World War II.

Helet on the beachThis page contains the stories of servicemen killed in action in the European Theater of Operation (ETO) in World War II.  This includes those killed in the North African and Italian Campaigns as well as the Western and Central European Campaigns.  I have divided the World War II section into European and Pacific Theater sections because of the size a scope of the war.  In all, almost 400,000 Americans were killed in action during World War II.  American involvement officially lasted from 7 December 1941 to September 1945, even though US forces were fighting and dying both before and after these dates. 

During World War II, the regulations surrounding the Purple Heart and the medal itself changed greatly.  In 1942, the government expanded the criteria for awarding the medal to those killed in action retroactive to 7 December 1941.  They also allowed members of all branches of the U.S. military to be eligible for the award, not just the Army.  Finally, the provision allowing the Purple Heart to be awarded for Meritorious Service, was removed and the Purple Heart truly became a medal awarded to those who were wounded or killed in the service of their country.  

Because of the number of wounded and killed during the war, the way the Purple Heart was manufactured and distributed also changed.  After the initial 600,000 medals were constructed after 1932, the Purple Heart was no longer serial numbered along a side rim.   The purple center of the medals changed from a painted and/or enamel center to a plastic center during this period as well.  As the various services ordered Purple Heart medals to be manufactured by separate contracts, in many cases the construction methods used to manufacture the Purple Heart is different between medals awarded by the Army and those awarded by the Navy and Marine Corps, especially before 1944-1945. 

The practice of engraving the Purple Hearts also changed during this period.  The government stopped automatically engraving the name of the person on the reverse of the Purple Heart for those wounded in action.  Only those people who were killed in action had their medals engraved before being sent to the next-of-kin.  As with difference in the manufacturing of the medal among the services, the style of engraving varied between the Army and that of the Navy and Marine Corps.  The Army engraved the name of the person only on the reverse of the medal, while the Navy/Marine Corps engraved the person's name, rank and branch of service, often in elaborate styles.  One can spend a lot of time just researching the artistic qualities used in the medals manufacturing and engraving during World War II.

It should be noted that in preparation for the Invasion of Japan in 1945-1946 and the horrific number of casualties the U.S. expected to suffer that the government placed an large order for the manufacture of new Purple Heart medals.  The order was so large, that when the invasion was called off because of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb and the surrender of Japan, that the United States did not need to exhaust this supply of medals until the end of the Vietnam War almost 30 years later.

Copyright 2009-2014.  All Rights Reserved.  Do Not Duplicate Without Written Permission.

Adam's medals
Pvt. Adams' Purple Heart.
Pvt. Ralph E. Adams, 39598171, Company B, 275th Infantry Regiment, 70th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 21 February 1945 while scouting the village of Spicheren, France. Born on 26 November 1923, he entered the service on 19 August 1944 from Alhambra, California.

Pvt. Adams was a new infantry replacement for Company B, having only joined them on 14 February 1945 while they were fighting on the approaches to Saarbrucken, Germany.  Pvt. Adams, like many new replacements, died shortly after arriving to the front.  On 21 February, he, along with several other soldiers, were scouting the defenses of Spricheren, France, when no one returned.  His remains were recovered on 19 March and he had been killed by shrapnel wounds to his head and right side.

He is buried at the Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France. He was 21 years old.

Adams' grave
Pvt. Adams' headstone at the Epinal-American Cemetery.
Lt. Anderson's medals
Lt. Anderson's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. Russell C. Anderson, O-818800, Co-Pilot, B-24, serial #42-50898, 732nd Bomb Squadron, 453rd Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 27 December 1944 when his B-24 crashed on take-off in heavy weather.  Born on 16 August 1918, he entered the service on 5 December 1943 from Chicago, Illinois.

2nd Lt. Anderson was on his 9th mission when he was killed.  He had participated in his first mission on 18 July 1944 when he bombed Caen, France.  Following missions included Laupheim, Germany, the submarine pens in Cherbourge, France, chemical plants in Ludwigshaven, Germany, Fismes, France, Brunswick, Germany and Basdorf, Germany.  2nd Lt. Anderson became a member of the "Caterpillar Club" on 1 August 1944 when his B-24 lost power in two engines and the crew was forced to bail out over southern England.  The entire crew received the Air Medal for this mission by General Order 209, HQ 2nd Bombardment Division, 28 August, 1944.

On the day of his death, he was the co-pilot with Lt. Roscoe C. Brown as pilot.  The aircraft took off for a combat mission at 0827 hours in overcast weather which prevented people on the ground from seeing the aircraft as it took off. The Control Tower heard Lt. Brown say, "I cannot keep her up.  We have had it."  The aircraft crashed about 500 meters off the end of the runway and caught fire with the tail section breaking off.  The bombs and machinegun ammunition cooked off with the bombs exploding 5 minutes after the crash.  The tail gunner and two waist gunners survived the crash with the tail gunners, S/Sgt. Marvin G. Mackey and S/Sgt. Tommie F. Dickson, being recommended for the Soldier's Medal when the rescued the tail gunner from the burning wreckage of the tail section.  The other 7 members of the crew were killed.

The photograph on the right shows Lt. Anderson standing second from the left with his hands on his waist.  

He is buried at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.  He was 26 years old and married.

Anderson photo
Lt. Russell Anderson

Anderson's crew

Lt. Anderson's crew photograph.

Anderson's grave

Lt. Anderson's headstone at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Angert's medals
Lt. Angert's Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. Richard K. Angert, O-2074562, Navigator, B-24, serial #42-51343, "Shazam", 564th Bomb Squadron, 389th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action 7 March 1945 at Old Costessey, England when they crashed on take off.  Born on 2 December 1919, he entered the service on 14 October 1944 from Chillicothe, Ohio.

2nd Lt. Angert was a member of the crew of Lt. Dale E. Williams on the aircraft "Shazam."  Their target for the day was the Soest Marshaling Yards. They crashed shortly after take off in cloudy weather with heavy icing.  Because no one survived the crash and the weather clouded the crash from the view of other aircraft and civilians on the ground, the exact cause of the crash was never determined.  Three witnesses on the ground saw the aircraft moments before it hit the ground.  All said that the aircraft was on fire when it broke through the low clouds and that the plane appeared to level off before the right wing broke off the aircraft and the fuselage crashed into the ground and exploded. The two photos on the right are of the crash scene.  They were taken as part of the accident investigation.  Unfortunately, the original photos were destroyed and these copies are the best quality photograph available.

He is buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.  He was 25 years old.

The medals and photograph of Lt. Angert's Co-Pilot, 1st Lt. George E. Benko, are also listed on To Honor Our Fallen, below.

Crash site photographs courtesy of the 389th Bomb Group Archives.

Angert's aircraft
Lt. Angert's B-24 Liberator, "Shazam."

Crash site
A photograph of the wreckage of Lt. Angert's
B-24.
Crash photo
Smoking wreckage of Lt. Angert's aircraft.
Crash site

Photographs showing the crater caused by the crash.
Crash photo

Crash photo

Crash photo

Angert's grave

Lt. Angert's headstone at the Cambridge-American Cemetery.
BAder's medals
Pfc. Bader's Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal.
Pfc. Joseph P. Bader, 35689255, 395th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 15 April 1945 by a shrapnel wound to the abdomen while clearing the Saalhausen-Langener sector of the eastern Ruhr Pocket, near Kromback, Germany.  Born on 1 July 1913, he entered the service on 1 December 1942 from Louisville, Kentucky.

He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. He was 31 years old and married.  He was survived by his wife, parents and six siblings.

Pfc. Joseph Bader
Pfc. Joseph P. Bader. (Photo courtesy of Maria Schultz)

Pfc Bader's wedding

Pfc. Bader and his bride Elizabeth on their wedding day. (Photo courtesy of Maria Schultz.)

Bader's grave
Pfc. Bader's headstone at the Netherlands-American Cemetery.

Barbera's medals
Pfc. Barbera's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Salvatore Barbera, 35282465, Company F, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on  24 April 1943 during the attack to capture Djebel Cheniti, Tunisia.  Born on 9 May 1920, he entered the service on 16 January 1942 from Cleveland, Ohio.

He is buried at Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.  He was 22 years old and married.

Barbera's grave
Pfc. Barbera's headstone at Calvary Cemetery.
Barnes medals
Pvt. Barnes' Purple Heart.
Pvt. Gerald W. Barnes, 39916711, Company A, 56th Armored Infantry Battalion, 12th Armored Division.  Killed in Action on 16 January 1945 by a shrapnel wound to his right side near Herrlisheim, France.  Born on 18 September 1924, he entered the service on 29 June 1943 from Sparks, Nevada.

He is buried at the Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France.  He was 20 years old.

Pvt. Barnes' headstone
Pvt. Barnes' headstone at the Epinal American Cemetery.
(Photo from www.Findagrave.com.)
Barnes' medals
Pvt. Barnes' Purple Heart.
Pvt. Jack W. Barnes, 33464920, Company A, 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 4 December 1944 near Puttelange,  France by a shrapnel wound to the back.  Born on 16 February 1924, he entered the service on 4 March 1943 from Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.

On 4 December 1944, the 134th Infantry Regiment, with Pvt. Barnes, was attacking German positions near Puttelange, France on the Maginot Line.  At 0400 the men of Companies A and C launched a surprise attack through a rain storm attempting to catch the Germans defending the town by surprise.  The surprise was complete with the two Companies almost clearing the other side of the town before the Germans fired a shot.  Over 100 German prisoners were taken in the town with only one American casualty from 1st Battalion, either killed or wounded.  The Germans counterattacked later in the day, but the Americans held the town and continued to advance on 5 December. 

The death of Pvt. Barnes was not the only sad news his family had to bear during the war.  His older brother, Pvt. Walter Barnes, was killed in action in France in 1944 as well.  His parents had the bodies of both sons returned together and they were buried side by side.

He is buried at the Creveling Cemetery, Almedia, Pennsylvania.  He was 20 years old and married. 

Barnes photo
Pfc. Jack Barnes's newspaper photograph.

Barnes' grave

Pvt. Barnes's headstone at Creveling Cemetery.
Bartel's medals
Pfc. Bartel's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Pfc. Edward H. Bartel, 36800199, Company "L," 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 16 January 1945 south of Hachimette, France.  He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. Born on 31 August 1922, he entered service on 29 January 1943 from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

He joined the 7th Infantry Regiment as a rifleman on 26 May 1944 after serving as a cook from June 1943.  He participated in the Garrison of Rome until the division landed in southern France on 15 August 1944.  He fought as a rifleman across France being wounded one time and receiving the Combat Infantryman's Badge on 30 June 1944.

On 16 January 1945, Pfc. Bartel was reported as missing in action following an attack by his company two miles south of Hachimette, France.  Company "L" was assigned to attack a series of enemy strong points along a trail in front of the 1st Battalion just before dawn.  Shortly after leaving the line of departure, Company "L" received enemy mortar, rifle, machine gun and rifle grenade fire.  It is believed that Pfc. Bartel was wounded at this time and died before he could be moved to an aid station as several platoon members  reported that Pfc. Bartel had been killed in action.  Pfc. Bartel's body was never recovered from the field and after several years of investigation the Army declared him to be dead. 

He is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France.  He was 22 years old.

Bartel photo
Pfc. Edward Bartel and his mother.

Bartel grave
Pfc. Bartel's name on the Tablet of the Missing at the Epinal-American Cemetery.
LT. Benko's medals
Lt. Benko's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
1st Lt. George E. Benko, O-714616, Co-Pilot, B-24 "Shazam," 564th Bomber Squadron, 389th Bomber Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 7 March 1945 when his B-24 Bomber crashed on take-off at Old Costessey, England.  Born on 19 November 1921, he entered the service from Ohio. 

1st Lt. Benko was a member of the crew of Lt. Dale E. Williams on the aircraft "Shazam."  Their target for the day was the Soest Marshaling Yards. They crashed shortly after take off in cloudy weather with heavy icing.  Because no one survived the crash and the weather clouded the crash from the view of other aircraft and civilians on the ground, the exact cause of the crash was never determined.  Three witnesses on the ground saw the aircraft moments before it hit the ground.  All said that the aircraft was on fire when it broke through the low clouds and that the plane appeared to level off before the right wing broke off the aircraft and the fuselage crashed into the ground and exploded.  The photos on the right are of the crash scene.  They were taken as part of the accident investigation.

The photos on the right (unless noted otherwise) were provided by Lt. Benko's nephew, George Benko.  They were part of a photo album collected by Lt. Benko's mother after his death. 

Lt. Benko is buried at Cavalry Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.  He was 23 years old.

The medals of "Shazam's" Navigator, 2nd Lt. Richard Angert, are also shown on this web page.


Lt. George Benko - 1944
2nd Lt. George Benko in 1944.

Lt. Benko's Crew Photo

Lt. Benko's crew photo.

Shazam

Lt. Benko's B-24,  "Shazam."

Crash photo 1
Wreckage of "Shazam."

Crash photo 2
Officers inspect the crash site of "Shazam."
crash photo 3
One of "Shazam's" four engines.

crash photo 4
The destruction caused by the crash of "Shazam."

The caskets of Lt. Benko and Lt. Angert.

The caskets of Lt. Benko and crew in England.  Lt. Benko's casket is second from the front.

Lt. benko's grave
Lt. Benko's initial headstone in England.

Lt. Benko's headstone
Lt. Benko's headstone at Calvary Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com)

Berry's medals
Pfc. Berry's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Carl C. Berry, 33794418, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 310th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division.  Died of Wounds on 5 March 1945 when he suffered shrapnel wounds to the head near Euskirchen, Germany. Born on 24 February 1920, he entered the service on 9 August 1943 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

On 4 March 1945, the 3rd Battalion, 310th Infantry Regiment was attached to Combat Command A, 9th Armored Division and attacked Euskirchen, Germany. Under strong German artillery and small arms fire the Battalion advanced for 5 miles in deep mud, suffered 57 casualties  and captured the town  Despite being 2 to 5 miles ahead of supporting American units, the Battalion held the town and captured and crossed the Erft Canal and secured the town of Roitzheim on 5 March 1945.  It was at this time that Pfc. Berry was hit by shrapnel and died of his wounds.  For the Battalion's action during this time and its distinguished combat record from 1 March to 15 March 1945, it was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.   

He is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.  He was 25 years old.

Pfc Carl Berry
Pfc. Carl Berry.
(Photo courtesy of Joel Gilfert.)


Berry's grave
Pfc. Berry's headstone at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery.
Berryhill's medal
Pvt. Berryhill's Purple Heart.

Pvt. Kenneth S. Berryhill, 16040399, Company "C," 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. Killed in Action of 7 May 1943 near Bizerte, Tunisia.  Born on 20 September 1909, he entered service from Calhoun, Illinois.  

Pvt. Berryhill was killed in the final assault on Tunisia with the II Corps near Bizerte on 7 May 1942.  Tunisia fell to the Allies on this day.  Pvt. Berryhill was killed as a result of shrapnel wounds to the head.  

He is buried at the North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia.  He was 33 years old.

Berryhill photo
Pvt. Kenneth Berryhill.

Berryhill's grave

Pvt. Berryhill's headstone at the North Africa-American Cemetery.
Blackburn medals
Sgt. Blackburn's Purple Heart.

Sgt. Blackburn's Purple Heart Certificate.

Sgt. Blackburn's Purple Heart Certificate.

Sgt. Donald W. Blackburn, 36810750, 1st Platoon, Company L, 135th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 18 September 1944 by a penetrating head wound near Migneto, Italy.  Born on 22 November 1916, he entered the service on 11 March 1943 from Mausten, Wisconsin.

During September 1944, the 135th Infantry Regiment attempted to break through the German's heavily fortified and defended Gothic Line defended by the 4th German Paratroop Division.  Fighting was brutal with heavy casualties on both sides. Mules had to be used to move supplies up to the line and carry the wounded back to the aid stations.  Sgt. Blackburn was killed in this intense fighting.

He is buried at the New Lisbon City Cemetery, New Lisbon, Wisconsin.  He was 27 years old.  

Blackburn photo
Sgt. Donald Blackburn.

Blackburn's grave

Sgt. Blackburn's headstone at New Lisbon City Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com.)
Bower's medals
T/4 Bowers' Purple Heart.

Tech. 4 Sidney A. Bowers, 32335595, HQ Battery, 419th Field Artillery Battalion, 10th Armored Division.  Died of Wounds on 20 April 1945, at an Aid Station near Schlaf, Germany. Born on 29 April 1915, he entered the service on 13 May 1942  from Sea Cliff, New York.

T/4 Bowers was killed by shrapnel fragment wounds to his right thigh and left arm. 

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France. He was 29 years old.

Bowers' grave
T/4 Bowers' headstone at Lorraine-American Cemetery.
Brownfield's medals
Lt. Brownfield's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. Dwyer C. Brownfield, O-813313, Co-Pilot, B-24H, "Swiss Itch," #41-28716, 759th Bomb Squadron, 459th Bomb Group (H), 15th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 2 April 1944 when his aircraft ditched in the Adriatic Sea returning from a bombing mission over Styer, Austria.  Born on 16 April 1918, he entered the service on 1 October 1943 from Los Angeles, California.  

On 2 April 1944, Lt. Brownfield was the co-pilot commanded by Capt. Donald A. Garrard.  They departed their Giulia Airfield, Italy and proceeded to their target of Styer, Austria.  As the aircraft completed it's bomb run and turned toward the rally point, two ME-109s attacked the B-24 passing from the front of the aircraft to the rear.  Witnesses state that they observed the aircraft's #2 and #4 engines begin to smoke as Lt. Dwyer's aircraft pulled up higher and dropped out of formation to the right.  T/Sgt. Kenneth H. Foley, on another aircraft, stated that the #4 engine was smoking and the # 2 engine was feathered.  In an effort to keep up with the formation, Capt. Garrard unfeathered #2 engine and started to catch up with the formation.  This did not help for long and he was forced to feather the engine again and fell out of the formation for the last time.  The last reported sighting of the B-24 was made by P-38 fighter pilots who reported observing a B-24 with one engine out and another smoking attempting to make a forced landing in the Adriatic Sea.   No trace of the crew or aircraft were ever found despite multiple rescue missions being flown over the reported crash sight.

His body was never recovered and is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy.  He was 25 years old and married.

Dwyer Brownfield in 1938
2nd Lt. Dwyer Brownfield in a 1938 Yearbook photo from Glendale Junior College, Glendale, California.
Buchler's medal
S1c Buchler's Purple Heart medal.
Seaman 1st Class (S1c) Robert Henry Buchler, 6103225, Brooklyn-class Cruiser, U.S.S. Savannah, CL-42.  Killed in Action on 11 September 1943 while supporting the Invasion of Salerno, Italy.  Born on 2 September 1918, he entered the service on 9 January 1942 from Chicago, Illinois.

Following basic training, Seaman Buchler joined the crew of the USS Savannah on 25 August 1942 and proceeded to serve in support of the invasions of North Africa and Sicily.

On 11 September 1943, S1c Buchler and his crewmates on the Light Cruiser U.S.S. Savannah were supporting the Allied invasion of Salerno, Italy when a German radio-controlled bomb struck the ship.  The bomb was released by a German Donier twin-engine bomber.  The bomb came out of the sun, and despite trailing smoke, the Savannah's gunners were not able to shoot it before the bomb penetrated the cruiser's #3 Turret, penetrated three decks and exploded, killing 197 sailors.  Despite the damage, the USS Savannah remained on station and continued to support the invasion.

S1c Buchler was buried at sea off of Malta on 20 September 1943  He is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.  He was 25 years old and married.
 
S1c Robert Buchler
S1c Robert Buchler.

The USS Savannah
The USS Savannah. (National Archives Photo.)

USS Savannah hit my bomb

A German bomb hits the Savannah. (National Archives Photo.)

The Savannah on fire.

Smoke coming from Turret #3. (National Archives Photo.)

Crewman ontop of turret 3

The crew fight the fire in Turret #3. (National Archives Photo.)

Some of the Savannah's dead.

The remains of some of Savannah's crew. (National Archives Photo.)
Bush's medals
Pfc. Bush's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Clarence N. Bush, 32596869, Loader in a Sherman Tank, Company E, 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division.  Killed in Action on 2 August 1944 near Juvigny, France when his tank was hit by a Panzerfaust. Born on 23 October 1918, he entered the service on 10 December 1942 from Garfield, New Jersey.

Pfc. Bush was the loader in a tank commanded by S/Sgt. Arthur L. Stolan.  On 1 August 1944 the tank of Pfc. Bush departed from a point 6 miles southeast of Bracey, France with a mission to "seize and secure high ground around the town of St. Barthelemy, France."  On 2 August 1944, Pfc. Bush in the loader position as his tank, and along with one other tank, was proceeding and protecting trains as they advanced towards St. Barthelemy, France.  Both tanks were separated from the rest of the column and were attacked by Germans near Juvigny, France.  Pfc. Bush's tank was hit by a Panzerfaust on the loader's side of the turret, and it exploded and burned.  They four other crewmen in the tank managed to escape the tank, with two later dying of their wounds, and one taken prisoner by the Germans.  Pfc. Bush never made it out of the tank. It was not until 1947 that Pfc. Bush was declared dead as the Germans occupied the ground where the tank was destroyed and no one knew the whereabouts of Pfc. Bush. 

His body was never recovered and is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Brittany American Cemetery, St. James, France. He was 26 years old.

Bush grave
Pfc. Bush's name on the Tablet of the Missing at the Brittany-American Cemetery,
Campbell's medal
Sgt. Campbell's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
Sgt. Thomas M. Campbell, 33204771, Gunner on B-17, serial # 42-3536, 325th Bomb Squadron, 92nd Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 9 March 1944 when his aircraft exploded on takeoff at Covington Airfield, on a mission to Berlin, Germany.  Born on 24 June 1914, he entered the service on 11 July 1942 from Midland, Maryland.  

Sgt. Campbell's aircraft was piloted by 2nd Lt. William L. Webb.  According to an eyewitness, 2nd Lt. Webb's aircraft made a successful take off before developing trouble in the Number 1 and 3 engines.  They made a successful heavyweight landing and quickly ran for a spare aircraft which had not gone through a proper pre-flight check.  As they reached an altitude of only 150 feet, all for engines died simultaneously and the aircraft exploded upon hitting the ground with its full bomb load.

He is buried at the Belvedere Cemetery, Midland, Maryland.  He was 30 years old and married.  The markers at the right include his original headstone, which appeared to have fallen over at some time, a newer flat marker at the same location, and the Midland, Maryland town monument to their fallen citizens.

Campbell photo
Sgt. Thomas Campbell.
Campbell headstone

Sgt. Campbell's headstone at Belvedere Cemetery.

Campbell marker

Sgt. Campbell's new grave marker.

Town memorial

Sgt. Campbell's name on Midland, MD war memorial.
Carmichael's medals
Pfc. Carmicheal's two Silver Star Medals, Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.

Pfc. Wilbur N. Carmicheal, 19051328, Company D, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.  Died of Wounds to the left side of his neck on 4 June 1944  near Valmontone, Italy when he was hit by gun fire.  Born on 24 November 1915, he entered the service on 14 January 1941 from San Gabriel, California.

Pfc. Carmicheal was awarded 2 Silver Stars, 1 Bronze Star for valorous conduct, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Purple Heart.  He received his first Silver Star for "for gallantry in action."  The citation of 7 April 1944 continues, "when enemy attackers began encircling his company's positions south of San Pietro, Italy, the night of 7 November 1943, Private First Class Carmicheal voluntarily took his light machine gun and ran 40 yards through mortar fire which fell within 40 feet of him and machine pistol bullets which cut the ammunition belt on his gun, to go into position on the exposed forward slope of a small knoll.  Remaining 25 minutes under enemy mortar and small arms fire from positions 75 yards away, he placed effective fire on the Germans, killing eight and wounding two.  his brave actions aided in repulsing the counterattack and reflect great credit on himself and the military service."

His Bronze Star medal was awarded posthumously for valorous actions against the enemy in Italy on 28 May 1944.  The General Order for his posthumous Silver Star on 3 March 1945 is missing from the National Archives.

He is buried at the El Monte Cemetery  in El Monte, California.  He was 28 years old.  In 2007, it was discovered that Pfc. Carmicheal's grave did not have a headstone.  On 11 November 2008, this issue was resolved and a new marker was unveiled at the El Monte Cemetery.  Thank you to everyone that was involved in this process.

Carmichael photo
Pfc. Wilbur Carmicheal after receiving his first Silver Star medal.

Carmicheal's headstone

Pfc. Carmicheal's new headstone at El Monte Cemetery.

Carmicheal ceremony

The unveiling ceremony for Pfc. Carmicheal's headstone held on 11 November 2008.
Chaplin's medals
Fl. O. Chaplin's Air Medal and Purple Heart.

Flight Officer James B. Chaplin, Jr., T-003772, Bombardier, B-24 #42-78397, 741st Bomb Squadron, 455th Bomb Group (H), 15th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 17 November 1944 when his aircraft developed engine trouble and he had to bail out into the Adriatic Sea.  Born on 20 July 1923, he entered the service on 20 May 1944 from Kansas City, Kansas.

Fl. O. Chaplin served as the bombardier on the B-24 piloted by 2nd Lt. Horace D. Redding.  On 17 November 1944, 28 B-24s took off to bomb the marching yards of  Gyor, Hungary.  Flak over the target was reported to be "heavy and accurate." Upon finishing the bomb run the #2 engine of Lt. Redding's B-24 failed, causing the aircraft to drop out of formation.  Lt. Redding flew a direct path for the base at San Giovanni Airfield, Italy.  Upon reaching the Adriatic, #3 engine also failed, and Lt. Redding made for the Island of Viz to land.  when approaching the island at 1325 hours, the #4 engine failed.  Unable to get to land with enough altitude to allow the crew to bail out, the pilot ordered the crew to bail out over the water, where a rescue launch circled beneath them.   All 10 men bailed out but only 6 were recovered by the rescue launch.  The other four, including Fl. O. Chaplin are believed to have drowned trying to get out of their parachutes. His body was never recovered.

He is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy.  He was 20 years old and married.

 
Chaplin's medals
Capt. Chaplin's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Captain William F. Chaplin, O-427348, Commander of Company L, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 16 October 1944 in Aachen, Germany. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart.  Born on 20 July 1917, he entered service on 27 January 1942 from Altoona, Pennsylvania. 

His first Bronze Star was awarded for heroic achievements in military operations against the enemy near Hambye, Normandy, France on 30 July 1944. The citation continues, "When his company encountered heavy enemy opposition and a number of men were seriously wounded while protecting engineers constructing a bridge, Captain Chaplin skillfully maneuvered his unit into a more advantageous position and, with effective rifle fire, repulsed the hostile attack." 

Chaplin continued his outstanding leadership on Love Company throughout the summer and fall of 1944 with the company receiving a Unit Commendation on 10 December 1944 for actions with the 3rd Platoon, Company C, 745th Tank Battalion on 3 September 1944 near Avesnes, France when the units, "drove through an enemy flank guard and contacted a hostile motorized and horse-drawn column north of La Lougueville, France.  The tanks and infantry quickly deployed and  completely destroyed the enemy column, and later, upon encountering a larger force, aggressively engaged the enemy troops and dispersed them throughout the countryside. ... (and) contributed appreciably to clearing the battalion path of advance by routing a superior enemy force estimated at regimental strength and seizing approximately 1100 prisoners."

Chaplin's final action took place at Aachen, Germany when the 1st Infantry Division assaulted the city defended by the German 246th Infantry Division.  Love Company attacked the suburbs of Aachen on 8 October, 1944 near Brandenhof and continued to move into Aachen on 11 October, clearing out German strong-points in house to house fighting in the Factory District near Rosenthal (Observation Hill).  On 15 October, the Germans launched a severe counterattack of infantry and armor towards Love and Item Companies which turned into bloody hand to hand fighting.  Attack after attack of four German tanks (one of which was a Tiger) and infantry piled up against Love Company until the enemy withdrew at 1700 hours. The 3rd Battalion Commander reported that "L Company saved the day."  The Germans attacked Love Company again at 0900 hours on 16 October which was occupying ground on the left side of the tower on Observatory Hill. The attack lasted most of the morning and the enemy was pushed back after all 3rd Battalion reserves had been committed to the battle. As the enemy was pushed back Love Company followed the enemy and overran a German 150mm Mortar position.  It was during this attack that Captain Chaplin was mortally wounded by German mortar fire around 1200 hours.  For this action, Capt. Chaplin was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star medal.  The citation reads, "Despite heavy mortar fire, Captain Chaplin moved fearlessly about exposed ground and directed (the) successful defense of a tactically important terrain feature.  In the performance of his heroic mission, Captain Chaplin was mortally wounded."

Captain Chaplin is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. He was 27 years old.

 

Capt. Chaplin (seated on left) in Aachen, Germany in October 1944 shortly before he was killed in action. (Video clip from "WW2 Across France with Jack H. Lieb (1944)," on YouTube.com.)

Chaplin photo
Capt. William Chaplin.



Chaplin's grave

Capt. Chaplin's headstone at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery.
Sgt. Carter's Purple Heart
Sgt. Carter's Purple Heart.
Sgt. Elmer F. Carter, 39550429, Aircraft Armorer, 831st Bomb Squadron, 485th Bomb Group (H).  Killed in Action on 20 April 1944 when the S.S. Paul Hamilton , the troopship on which he was sailing, exploded during a German bomber attack in the Mediterainian Sea, killing everyone on board.  Born on 12 January 1920, he entered the service on 28 December 1942 from Los Angeles, California.

On 20 April 1944, Sgt. Carter and 579 others were on the Liberty ship,  S.S. Paul Hamilton, were part of a convoy en route to Italy from the United States when they were attacked by 23 German Ju-88 bombers.  They ship was off the coast of Cape Bengut, Algeria when an aerial torpedo hit the Hamilton and ignited the cargo of ammunition and high explosives stored below decks.  The ship exploded and sank within 30 seconds, killing everyone on board.  The remains of only one of the 580 men aboard were ever recovered. 

Sgt. Carter is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the North African American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia.  He was 24 years old.
Elmer Carter
Sgt. Elmer Carter.

Elmer Carter

Sgt. Elmer Carter.

S.S. Paul Hamilton
The S.S. Paul Hamilton.

SS Paul Hamilton exploding

The S.S. Paul Hamilton exploding on 20 April 1944.
Ciarletto's medals
Pfc. Ciarletto's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Alfred J. Ciarletto, 31049862, Company "F," 351st Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 24 September 1944 at Moraducci, Italy by a severe penetration wound in his chest. Born on 27 October 1913, he entered the service on 7 August 1941 from Norwalk, Connecticut.

Born to Italian Immigrant parents from Naples, Pfc. Ciarletto joined the Army right before Pearl Harbor.  In one of the many ironies of war, he returned to the birthplace of his parents only to be killed there.  He served in North Africa before being serving in Italy. Pfc. Ciarletto was killed in one of the fiercest battles fought by the 88th Infantry Division in drive for the Po Valley.  On 27 September 1944, the 2nd Battalion of the 351st Infantry Regiment was given orders to capture Mount Capello.  This mountain was a German strongpoint in the Gothic Line.  The battle turned into a vicious two day hand-to-hand struggle between the Germans and Americans.  Company F was badly mauled during the initial stages of the attack between 0845 and 1355 hours on 27 September.  Visibility was so poor that some small scale platoon sized assaults had to be carried out by following the paths of the German tracer rounds back to the German positions.  Close quarter fighting raged back and forth on Mount Capello until the it was captured by the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 351st Infantry Regiment on 28 September.  Conditions during the fighting even forced the men of 2nd Battalion to resort to using German machine guns and grenades to repel German counter-attacks.  For the fighting, the 2nd Battalion, 351st Infantry Regiment received the Presidential Unit Citation.    Pfc. Ciarletto was killed on the first day of this battle. 

He is buried at the St. John Cemetery, Norwalk, Connecticut. He was 30 years old he was survived by his mother and five brothers.

Ciarletto photo
Pfc. Alfred Ciarletto in a newspaper photograph.

Ciarletto's grave

Pfc. Ciarletto's headstone at St. John's Cemetery.
Clark's medals
Lt. Clark's Silver Star and Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. Bertram J. Clark, O-1320429, Company "C," 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. Died of Wounds received on 8 December 1944 on 9 December 1944 west of the Roer River opposite Jeulich, Germany at the Sportzplatze and Hsenfild Gut. Born on 3 May 1924, he entered service on 2 June 1943 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2nd Lt. Clark began the assault on the Sportzplatze and the heavily fortified swimming pool just north and adjacent to the Sportzplatze from the woods just south of the facility on the Aldenhoven-Julich Road.  Company "C" was engaged clearing the woods in the early morning hours of 8 December.  As the units moved towards their objectives heavy volumes of enemy fire struck the Company with an enemy strong point located in a house in the woods. At least one assault gun was dispatched from the 747th Tank Battalion to aid Company "C" with this strong point.  The posthumous citation for the Silver Star medal details the events that followed:

"On 8 December 1944 after numerous unsuccessful attempts by Company "C," 115th Infantry to neutralize three strongly-defended fortifications along the west bank of the (Roer) River, tanks were ordered forward to support the riflemen.  Although the route of advance was under direct enemy observation and subjected to intense enemy artillery fire, 2nd Lt. Clark succeeded in guiding the tanks to their forward positions and successfully directed their fire upon the enemy positions.  After several strong points had been neutralized by this fire, 2nd Lt. Clark returned to the company to lead his men in an assault upon the remainder of the enemy positions.  Although the area was still under heavy enemy fire, 2nd Lt. Clark unhesitantly advanced forward, calling on his men to follow.  Inspired by his outstanding courage and determination, the platoon increased the momentum of the assault and completely destroyed the enemy positions.  2nd Lt. Clark was seriously wounded during this action by enemy mortar fire and later died of his wounds."  2nd Lt. Clark died the next day. 

He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. He was 20 years old.

Clark's grave
Lt. Clark's headstone at the Netherlands-American Cemetery.

Cook's medals
Pfc. Cook's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Cook's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pfc. Cook's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pfc. Cook's Presidential Accolade.

Pfc. Cook's Presidential Accolade.

Pfc. Clinton I. Cook, 35124709, Company B, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 10 June 1944 at Normandy, France.  Born on 5 February 1912, he entered the service on 9 June 1941 from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Pfc. Cook landed with the 12th Infantry Regiment on Utah Beach at 1130 on 6 June 1944 through heavy German artillery fire. The 1st Battalion was able to advance 6.5 miles inland by the end of the day.  The 1st Battalion and Pfc. Cook continued to attack for the next three days, capturing Bandenville, Azeville, Emondville, and Montebourg.   On 10 June the regiment attacked past Montebourg -- St. Floxel Road with tanks in support.  It was during this advance that Pfc. Cook was killed.  

He is buried at the St. Joseph's Cemetery, Cincinnati,  Ohio.  He was 32 years old and married.

Cook's photo
Pfc. Clinton Cook in a pre-war photograph.

Cook's grave

Pfc. Cook's headstone at St. Joseph's Cemetery.
Cornwell's medals
Capt. Cornwell's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Captain Franklin L. Cornwell, O-1284669, HQ Company, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 19 June 1944 near St. Georges de Elle, France.  He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.  Born on 2 June 1920, he entered service on 2 June 1942 from Olney, Illinois.

He landed on Omaha Beach (Easy White Beach) on 8 June 1944 (D+2) with most of the 23rd Inf. Reg., which remained in Division reserve until 11 June 1944.  On 11 June 1944, the Regiment was ordered to occupy the high ground near St. Georges d 'Elle.  The advance continued on 12 June until the Regiment encountered heavy enemy resistance at 1305 hours from elements of the German 3rd, 5th and 8th Parachute Divisions. and the 352nd Infantry Division.  An enemy company was able to counterattack and surround the 1st Battalion of the 38th Infantry Regiment, which was attached to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, just north of Bois d' Elle.  It was during this time that Capt. Cornwell earned his Bronze Star for gallantry in action.  The citation reads, "On 12 June 1944 in Normandy, when a battalion was cut off and surrounded in an area 300 yards square, Captain Cornwell volunteered to penetrate the enemy lines with two enlisted men to lead a support force to the aid of his battalion.  In so doing he subjected himself to a large volume of sniper and machine gun fire.  He succeed in his mission and the battalion was able to beat off the enemy attack."

The next few days were spent in back and forth actions with limited Regimental attacks and German counter-attacks causing heavy casualties to both sides.  On 19 June 1944, the Division jumped off in an attack at 0800 hours.  Heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire fell on the entire Regiment throughout the attack.  The action continued until 2228 hours by which time 10 officers and 162 enlisted men were wounded and one officer was killed.  That officer was Captain Cornwell.

Captain Cornwell is buried at Woodland Cemetery,  Xenia, Ohio.  He was 24 years old and married.

Cornwell photo
Capt. Franklin Cornwell.

Cornwell's temporary marker
Capt. Cornwell's temporary grave marker at the St. Laurent Cemetery in 1944.

Cornwell's grave

Capt. Cornwell's headstone at Woodlawn Cemetery in the 1947.

Capt. Cornwell's headstone

Capt. Cornwell's headstone in 2010.
(Photo courtesy of Cheryl M.)
Coughlin medals
Pfc. Coughlin's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Thomas R. Coughlin, 31256391, Company "A," 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 15 March 1945 near Mietesheim, France.  Born on 14 November 1920, he entered the service on 30 November 1942 from Worchester, Massachusetts.

Pfc. Coughlin served with the "T-Patchers" in its drive across France in 1944 - 1945.  He received the Combat Infantryman's Badge for his combat service and fought with the Division as it gained the Vosges foothills in September 1944.    In the beginning of December 1944, the Division was engaged in the Colmar Pocket reduction. On 15 March 1945, the 143rd Infantry Regiment was fighting to capture Bitschhoffen, France.

The attack commenced at 0100 hours with the 1st Battalion in the Regimental reserve behind the 2nd and 3rd Battalions.  At 1100 hours, the 1st Battalion was given orders to capture two key bridges and to continue the attack towards Griesbach.  After "I" and "L" Companies became heavily engaged in the southwest part of Mietesheim, Lt. Col. Clarkin, commander of 1st Battalion, led two platoons of Coughlin's Company "A" into the town from the southeast and captured 30 German prisoners.  Resistance in Mirtesheim collapsed and the 1st Battalion continued to advance along the Mietesheim-Griesbach Road.  Other elements of the Regiment failed in their attempt to cross the river as heavy German machine gun fire broke up the attack.  At 1845 hours, 1st Battalion crossed the river and 2 platoons of Company "A" captured the houses defended by the Germans which had held up the advance.  It was sometime during this day's battle of  Company "A," that Pfc. Coughlin was killed by a shrapnel fragment wound to his back.  

He also received the Good Conduct Medal.

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.  He was 24 years old.

Coughlin's grave
Pfc. Coughlin's headstone at the Lorraine-American Cemetery.

Pfc. Curry's Purple Heart
Pfc. Curry's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Curry's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pfc. Curry's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pfc. Curry's Presidential Accolade.

Pfc. Curry's Presidential Accolade.
Pfc. Walter D. Curry,  37390383, 63rd Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division.  Killed in Action on 3 August 1944 in France.  Born on 21 August, 1921, he entered the service from Petis County, Missouri.

He is buried at High Point Cemetery, Hughesville, Missouri.  He was 22 years old.
Pfc. Curry's headstone
Pfc. Curry's headstone at High Point Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Gale Yocum.)
Davis' medals
T/4 Davis' Purple Heart.
T/4 Rupert L. Davis, 38049468, Cook, Company I, 386th Infantry Regiment, 97th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 9 April 1945 at Eitorf, Germany when he was struck in the neck by shrapnel from a land mine.  Born on 13 June 1920, he entered the service on 8 May 1942 from Dallas, Texas.

The 3d Battalion, 386th Infantry Regiment moved onto the front line near Dusseldorf, Germany on 2 April 1945. Over the next few days, the regiment conducted patrols and reconnaissance while encountering harassing fire from the Germans.  The regiment moved to positions south of the Sieg River near Oberpleis on 5 April and prepared to take part in the Ruhr Pocket Operation as part of the First Army.  The 1st and 2nd Battalions attacked German positions near Ruppichterroth and Felderhoft on 8 and 9 April with the 3rd Battalion being held in reserve.  Enemy resistance was light, with Volkstrum soldiers only fighting for as long as they could do so in safety and then surrendering.  The main resistance encountered was from roadblocks, felled trees, blown bridges and mines. The American advance was so fast that many of the road blocks were not completed, even though the materials necessary to build them were lying on the side of the road.  T/4 Davis was riding in a 1/4 ton Truck when it hit a Teller mine at the Eitorf Bridge.  The truck was "torn to pieces" and three soldiers from Company I were killed, including T/4 Davis.  The war would end one month later.    

He is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Denton, Texas.  He was 24 years old.  He was married at the time of his death, and was survived by his mother, and three brothers who were also in the service during the war.  His father was killed during World War I. 

Davis photo
T/4 Rupert L. Davis in a newspaper photograph.

Davis' headstone

T/4 Davis' headstone in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.
(Photo Courtesy of Robert Shaw.)

Pvt. DeVincenzo's Purple Heart
Pvt. DeVincenzo's Purple Heart.
Pvt. Dominick V. DeVincenzo, 32944774, 338th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 20 September 1944 in Italy.  He entered the service on 17 September 1943 from Oneida County, New York.  
Dowling medals
T/5 Dowling's Purple Heart.
T/5 Edward J. Dowling, 42055059, HQ Company, 261st Infantry Regiment, 65th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 4 May 1945 near Efreding, Austria when he was wounded in the face.  Born on 24 March 1923, he entered the service on 19 November 1943 from Bronx, New York.

The 65th Infantry Division first saw battle near Oberesch, Germany on 9 March 1945 when the 261st Infantry Regiment attacked across the Saar near Menningen to clear the German defenders from the heights south of Merzig.  Following this successful battle, the Division fought its way through the West Wall before being pulled out of the line for rest and refit.  The 261st Infantry regiment crossed the Rhine River on the night of 29-30 March 1945.  After a series of engagements, the 261st Infantry regiment, and the 65th Infantry Division continued to advance across Germany and moved into Austria.  On 3 May 1945, the 261st Infantry Division overran Enns, Austria on the Enns River.  On 4 May, the After-Action Report of the 65th Infantry Division reports that a small German delaying force was encountered near Efreding, Austria. It was here that T/5 Dowling was killed by a wound to the face on 4 May, only 4 days before the end of the war.

He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, New York, New York.  He was 22 years old.

 
drabnis Purple Heart
F/O Drabnis' Purple Heart.
Flight Officer Alfred Drabnis, T-000072, Pilot, B-17 #42-30792, "Daisy June IV," 339th Bomb Squadron, 96th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 27 September 1943 while on a mission to bomb the submarine pens in Emden, Germany.  Born on 19 December 1918, he entered the service from Middleport, Pennsylvania.

On 27 September 1943, Flight Officer Drabnis was flying his 25th and final mission of his tour.  He was the pilot of the "Daisy June IV" on a mission to bomb the submarine pens at Emden, Germany and was leading the low squadron of the low group.  After completing the bomb run, the "Daisy June IV" was attacked by several German FW-190 fighters.  A 20mm cannon shell from one of the fighters hit the front of the B-17, blowing the nose off of the aircraft and killing Lt. Lester A. Leonard, the navigator, according to the bombardier, 2nd Lt. Stewart E. Cooper.   Two additional 20mm rounds hit the aircraft with one killing F/O Drabnis when it exploded in his face, and the other blowing off the left leg of Lt. Cooper.  With the aircraft out of control and mortally damaged, the rest of the crew bailed out over Germany, including Lt. Cooper.  All were taken prisoner but the wounds of Lt. Cooper and the co-pilot, 2nd Lt. Cecil B. Fisher were so severe that they were repatriated in the second exchange of prisoners of war in September 1944.  The aircraft crashed near Wirdum, Germany which is about 5 miles north of Emden.  The Germans recovered the remains of F/O Drabnis and Lt. Leonard and buried them at the Military Cemetery in Wittmund, Germany on 30 September 1943.  The remains were recovered by the United States after the war.

Flight Officer Drabnis is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium.  He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart.  He was 25 years old and married and had two brothers serving in the army, Staff Sgt. Clement A Drabnis, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, and Pfc. Edward P. Drabnis, 71st Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Division.  All three brothers were killed during the war.
Alfred Drabnis
F/O Alfred Drabnis.

Drabni's B-17

The B-17 "Daisy June IV" in which F/O Drabnis was killed as the pilot.

Light Officer Drabnis' grave

Fl. Officer Drabnis' headstone at the Ardennes American Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Dominique Potier.)

Ely's medal
Pfc. Ely's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Charles W. Ely, 38588742, 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, 87th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 4 February 1945 at Roth, Germany by a gun shot wound to the chest.  Born on 13 June 1925, he entered the service on 12 August 1943 from Nowata, Oklahoma.

He is buried at the Memorial Park Cemetery, Nowata, Oklahoma.  He was 19 years old.

Ely's grave
Pfc. Ely's headstone at Memorial Park cemetery.
Sgt. Ervin's medals
Sgt. Ervin's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
Sgt. Edward P. Ervin, 33805730, B-24 #44-48958, 885th Bomb Squadron (Heavy) (Special), 2641 Special Group (Provisional), 15th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 7 March 1945 near Brandisi, Italy, when his aircraft crashed into the Adriatic Sea returning from a "Secret Combat" mission supporting the O.S.S.  Born on 3 October 1917, he entered the service on 18 November 1943 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sgt. Ervin belonged to a unit that supported clandestine operations behind enemy lines.  The 2641st Special Group (P) used modified B-24 and B-17 bombers for night operations to insert operatives and drop supplies to partisans in support of the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. Their aircraft were painted black with the ball turret removed for an access door and front turret removed to provide extra visibility to spot drop zones at night. 

On 7 March 1945, Sgt. Ervin's aircraft, piloted by 1st Lt. Edward McKeon, was returning from night mission when it crashed into the sea near their airfield in Brandisi, Italy.  At about 2345 Hours, the Control Tower acknowledged giving the pilot instructions to land, but soon realized that the aircraft was approaching the field in the opposite traffic pattern in use that night.  They fired a red flare into the air to instruct the pilot not to land.  Witnesses heard the aircraft strike the water about 300 yards from the east end of the runway. A launch from the Brandisi Harbor was launched immediately but there were no survivors from the crash.

Sgt. Ervin is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy. He was 27 years old and married.
Special B-24
An all-black B-24 used by the 2641st Special Group (P) for missions supporting the O.S.S.

Farioly's medal
Pvt. Farioly's Purple Heart.

Pvt. Farioly's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pvt. Farioly's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pvt. Vincent Farioly, 19059339, Company "E,"  1st Ranger Battalion, Darby's Rangers.  Killed in Action on 25 November 1943 near Venafro, Italy by a gun shot wound to the head. Born on 16 September 1912, he entered the service on 8 December 1941 from Danbury, Connecticut.

In one of the most famous units of the US. Army in World Was II, Pvt. Farioly served in the 1st Ranger Battalion, which formed part of the famous "Darby's Rangers" which comprised several Ranger Battalions commanded by Lt. Col. William O. Darby.  They took part in the Invasion of North Africa, the Invasion of Sicily, the Invasion at Anzio and the fierce battle of Cisterna. 

He is buried at the Wooster Cemetery, Danbury, Connecticut.  He was 31 years old.

Farioly's grave
Pvt. Farioly's headstone at Wooster Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Linda Kochanov.)
Fitzgerald's medals
Pfc. Fitzgerald's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Joseph R. Fitzgerald, , Company A, 1st Battalion, 401st Glider Infantry Regiment, attached to the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.  Killed in Action on 14 June 1944 at Carentan, France from a wound to the abdomen.  Born on 22 February 1915, he entered the service on 12 September 1942 from Fulton, New York.

The 1st Battalion of the 401st Glider Infantry Regiment was attached to the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment and  took part in the D-Day assault on Normandy, but not as Glider Infantry.  They landed across Utah Beach like regular infantry as there was a shortage of gliders because of the size of the D-Day Airborne assault.

Pfc. Fitzgerald was killed in the 101st Airborne Divisions assault on Carentan, France.  After 8 days of fighting, the town fell to the Americans on 15 June 1944.

He is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Fulton, New York.  He was 29 years old.

Fitzgerald's grave
Pfc. Fitzgerald's headstone at St. Mary's Cemetery.
Fox's medal
Lt. Fox's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
1st Lt. John W. Fox, O-759439, Pilot of B-26, serial #42-50593, 455th Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group (M), 9th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 26 December 1944 when his B-26 was shot down on a mission near Ronchampay, Belgium.  Born on 19 October 1921, he entered the service on 3 November 1943 from Vernal, Utah.

On 26 December 1944, 1st Lt. Fox was flying a mission in support of the US ground forces fighting in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.  He was flying in the number 3 position of the high squadron when an enemy flak burst hit the aircraft in the left engine mount and the fuselage.  The explosion of the fuel tank in the left wing, blew pieces of the wing off, causing the plane to fall out of control to the left.  The aircraft dropped out of sight before hitting the ground.  There were no survivors.

1st Lt. Fox is buried at the Vernal City Cemetery, Vernal, Utah.  He was 23 years old.

Fox photo
John Fox before joining the Air Corps.

Fox's grave

Lt. Fox's headstone at the Vernal City Cemetery.
Gerace's medals
Sgt. Gerace's Purple Heart.
Sgt. Nicholas J. Gerace, 32071877, Company A, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 30 September 1944 at Losenseifen Hill near Grosskampenburg, Germany on the Siegfried Line when he was struck in the chest by machinegun fire.  He entered the service on 18 April 1941 from Cape May, New Jersey.

He is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.  He was 25 years old.

Gerace's grave
Sgt. Gerace's headstone at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery.
Gilbert's medals
T/3 Gilbert's Silver Star and Purple Heart.
T/3 William J. Gilbert, 39544494, Medic, 362nd Infantry Regiment, 91st Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 18 July 1944 near Strada, Italy by a gun shot wound to his back and center.  Born on 3 June 1905, he entered the service on 18 November 1942 from Ventura, California.

The 91st Infantry Division entered action on the Italian Front on 12 July 1944.  The Germans were holding  the Gothic Line on the Arno River near the port city of Livorno, the last prepared defenses before the Po Valley.  The 91st Infantry Division was part of the Allied offensive to cross the Arno River and move around Livorno, to isolate it from the German lines.  By 16 July, the 91st Infantry Division began to reach the south bank of the Arno River after several days of heavy fighting.  The Division was meet with heavy German resistance of machine guns and 88mm artillery fire.  It was during this time that T/3 Gilbert was killed in action. 

T/3 Gilbert was posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal on 17 June 1945.  His citation reads, "For gallantry in action on 17 July 1944, near Strada, Italy.  While attempting to render first aid to a seriously wounded man Technician Third Grade Gilbert was mortally wounded.  Located behind the forward element of the attack, in a comparatively safe position, Technician Third Grade Gilbert went forward when he saw a number of men receive wounds from a direct hit on a house by an enemy shell.  Though the wounded men were of another unit, he did not hesitate to go to their aid.  He crawled and ran across an area under heavy small arms and artillery fire from the enemy.  With complete disregard for his personal safety, Technician Third Grade Gilbert went to a man who lay in an exposed position and administered first aid.  An enemy sniper fired on him.  Technician Third Grade Gilbert's unselfish courage and devotion to duty are exemplary of the highest traditions of the American Soldier." 

He is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Compton, California. He was 39 years old and was survived by his wife.

Gilbert's grave
T/3 Gilbert's headstone at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Gisolo's medal
Pfc. Gisolo's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Martin Gisolo, 39563572, Reconnaissance Company, 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 76th Infantry Division.  Died of Wounds on 26 February 1945 at the 12th Evacuation Hospital, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg  He was wounded on 25 February and died from a fractured skull.. Born on 11 October 1914, he entered the service on 2 March 1943 from Los Angeles, California.

Pfc. Gisolo was a member of the 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  This unit was temporarily assigned to the 76th Infantry Division from 22 February to 3 April 1945.  At the time of his death, the 76th Infantry Division was forcing the Pruem River.  

He is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.  He was unmarried and 29 years old.

Gisolo's grave
Pfc. Gisolo's headstone at the Luxembourg-American Cemetery.
Glass's medals
S/Sgt. Glass' Air Medal and Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. Ira A. Glass, 35807205, Left Waist Gunner on B-24-J, serial #42-51275, 409th Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 16 January 1945 when his aircraft was shot down by flak near Lauta, Germany.  Born on 24 December 1918, he entered service on 16 November 1943 from Lousiville, Kentucky.

Sgt. Glass' B-24 was a crew member of the B-24 piloted by 1st Lt. Donald A. Hastreiter.  They were on their 22nd mission to bomb a mixture of industry and synthetic oil plants in Lauta, Germany.  About 1 minute after "bombs away," Sgt. Glass' aircraft was hit by German flak and caught fire.  Losing altitude, the bail out signal was given to the crew.  The crew members were badly shaken up and attempting to get out of the aircraft before 1st. Lt. Hastreiter lost control of the aircraft.  Five of the crew members managed to jump from the aircraft, with four being taken prison (including 1st Lt. Hastreiter), with Fight Officer Newell, the co-pilot, dying when his parachute failed to open.  

The Top Turret Gunner was last seen trying to get out of the aircraft through the bomb bay by Charles Curren, the Radio Operator, as he was given a fire extinguisher.  He never made it out of the plane.  Sgt. Glass  was last seen by the Navigator, 2nd Lt. Nathan Solomson, as Sgt. Glass helped him out of the nose wheel doors. Sgt. Glass never made it out of the burning plane.

He is buried with his crew at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.  He was 24 years old.   

Glass's Crew Photo
Sgt. Ira Glass' crew photo.  He is unidentified in this photograph.

Glass's grave

The headstone for S/Sgt Glass and his crew at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Goetz's medal
Sgt. Goetz's Purple Heart.

Sgt. Everett B. Goetz, 32002183, Company "H," 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 30 September 1944 near Lammersdorf, Germany.  Born on 24 March 1917, he entered service on 17 January 1941 from Bronx, New York.

He served in the 9th Infantry Division from the beginning of the war and participated in the Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisa, and Sicily Campaigns, earning the Combat Infantryman's Badge on 31 January 1944, before landing in France on 10 June 1944 across Utah Beach.  The 9th Infantry Division went immediately into the line and pushed the Germans back to the Quineville Ridge on 12 June 1944.  Sgt. Goetz took part in the final assault of Cherbourg on 19 June with the 39th Infantry Regiment capturing the German fortress commander on 26 June.  The 39th Regiment continued its steady push across France and crossed into Germany to assault the Scharnhorst Line past Lammersdorf by mid-September.  On 29 September 1944, the 39th Regiment captured Hill 554 in the West Wall after heavy fighting.  It was during the next day that Sgt. Goetz failed to return from a mission to repel an enemy counterattack.  His remains were not discovered until 9 August 1946 when a German Mine Clearer discovered them in a shallow grave. 

He is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium.  He was 27 years old.

Goetz photo
Sgt. Everett Goetz.

Goetz headstone

Sgt. Goetz's headstone at the Ardennes-American Cemetery.

Wide photo of cemetery

Sgt. Goetz's headstone and those of his comrades at the cemetery.
Goodman's medals
T/Sgt. Goodman's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
T/Sgt. Louis W. Goodman, 11055185. Radio Operator on B-17 "Polly Ann," serial #42-30647, 366th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 23 September 1943 when his aircraft collided with 2 other B-17s returning from a mission to Nantes, France.  Born on 8 January 1922, he entered the service from Dorchestor, Massachusetts.

T/Sgt. Goodman flew as the Radio Operator for 1st Lt. Norman A. Drouin.  T/Sgt. Goodman flew with 1st Lt. Drouin on all of the missions he led  although all of the other crew members had made missions with different pilots.  T/Sgt. Goodman flew his first mission to the Le Bourget Airfield near Paris, France on 16 August 1943.  his only mission to a target outside of France and Belgium was his sixth mission on 6 September 1943 to Stuttgart, Germany (the picture of the "Poly Ann" to the right was taken on this mission).

On the mission of 23 September 1943, "Polly Ann" and her crew were returning and ready to land at the airfield at Chelveston, England.  Drouin was flying the lead in the low squadron.  As the group descended to 1,000 feet, the planes would peel off one at a time to land, starting from the left hand position.  Lt. Drouin apparently slowed down too much as he collided with the lead plane of the trailing element.  The two aircraft then fell into a third B-17.  The other two aircraft managed to land at the airfield, but the "Polly Ann" never regained control and crashed into the ground killing all aboard.  The two pictures on the right show the "Polly Ann" right as it is about to crash and the following explosion.

He is buried at the Pride of Lynn Cemetery, Lynn, Massachusetts.  He was 21 years old.

Goodman's B-17
T/Sgt. Goodman's B-17, "Polly Ann" in flight.

Goodman crash

Film image of T/Sgt. Goodman's B-17 seconds before it crashed into the ground.

Goodman explosion photo

Film image of the T/Sgt. Goodman's B-17 exploding after it crashed.

Goodman's grave
T/Sgt. Goodman's headstone at Pride of Lynn Cemetery.
Graham's medal
S/Sgt. Graham's Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. Herbert J. Graham, 19062647, Tail Gunner, B-25, 448th Bomb Squadron, 321st Bomb Group (M), 12th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 17 April 1944 when his aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire while attacking the Attigliano Rail-Road Bridge, in Italy. Born on 17 October 1919, he entered the service on 1 March 1942 from Porterville, California.

Sgt. Graham was the tail gunner on a B-25 flown by Capt. Weymouth Crowell, Jr.  On 17 April 1944, they  were bombing a rail-road bridge at Attigliano, Italy when anti-aircraft fire shattered the tail of the aircraft, causing the tail assembly to fall off the airframe.  The aircraft climbed out of control and fell off on its back into a spin.  Capt. Crowell managed to control the spin briefly allowing two members of the crew to bail out before crashing and exploding.   The two survivors from the crew were 1st Lt. William S. Hough and 2nd Lt. Floyd A. Elliot.   Sgt. Graham was believed to have been killed in the flak burst and did not bail out of the aircraft.

He is buried at the Vandalia Cemetery, Porterville, California. He was 25 years old.

Graham crew photo
S/Sgt. Graham's crew photo.  Individuals are not identified.

Sgt. Graham's headstone.

S/Sgt. Graham's headstone at Vandalia Cemetery, Porterville, California.
(Photo courtesy of Linda Rhoadarmer.)
Gutis medal
Pvt. Gutis' Purple Heart.
Pvt. Philip Gutis, 33586079, Company E, 345th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 18 December 1944 near Obergailbach, France by a shrapnel fragment wound to the chest. Born on 3 January 1924, he entered the service on 19 February 1943 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He is buried Mt. Sharon Cemetery in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He was 20 years old.

Gutis photo
Pvt. Phillip Gutis.

Pvt. Gutis' headstone

Pvt. Gutis' headstone at Mt. Sharon Cemetery.
Gvozdak medals
S/Sgt. Gvozdak's Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. Paul A. Gvozdak, 33279182, Company D, 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division.  Died of Wounds at the 56th Evacuation Hospital on 22 February 1944 on the Anzio Beachhead, Italy.  Born on 20 November 1921, he entered service on 18 July 1942 from Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

S/Sgt. Gvozdak was killed by a severe shell fragment wound to the head received on 21 February 1944.  He was evacuated immediately, but died the following day as a result of his wounds.

He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Ft. Myers, Virginia.  He was 20 years old.

Gvozdak's grave
S/Sgt. Gvozdak's headstone at Arlington National Cemetery.
Hackett's medals
Capt. Hackett's Purple Heart medal.
Capt. Edward J. Hackett, O-1692285, Medical Corps, Squadron Surgeon, 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Armored Division.    Killed in Action on 13 September 1944 northeast of Malmaison, France.  Born on 28 June 1907, he entered the service on 31 August 1942 from Westfield,  New Jersey.

Capt. Hackett was the Squadron Surgeon for the 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Armored Division.  On 13 September 1944, he was mortally wounded at the front when he went within 10 yards of German positions to rescue a wounded American soldier.  He died later that day at a Field Hospital.  For his actions, Capt. Hackett was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  The citation reads:

Captain (Medical Corps) Edward J. Hackett (ASN: 0-1692285), United States Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Medical Officer with the 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Infantry Division, on 13 September 1944, in France. On many occasions Captain Hackett went forward under enemy fire to aid wounded and evacuate. On 13 September, in the woods near Malmaison, France, he went to within 10 yards of where the enemy was dug in to aid a wounded man. In doing so he was mortally wounded. Captain Hackett's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 7th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.  He was 37 years old and married with a daughter.
Photo of Capt. Hackett
Capt. Edward J. Hackett
(Photo courtesy of 7tharmddiv.org.)

Capt. Hackett's grave

Capt. Hackett's headstone at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.
(Photo courtesy of Marshall and Mary McIntyre.)
Hale's medal
Sgt. Hale's Purple Heart.
Sgt. Harry E. Hale, 32025905, Company B, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 29 March 1943 at El Guettar, Tunisia by a gun shot wound.  Born on 23 October 1914, he entered the service in 1940 from Syracuse, New York.

Sgt. Hale served with Company B, 39th Infantry Regiment throughout his time in the army.  He landed in North Africa with the regiment on 8 November 1942. Until the day before his death, the 39th Infantry Regiment had spent most of its time in North Africa on guard duty in Algeria.  On 29 March 1943, it went into battle for the first time with all of the 9th Infantry Division as a single unit.  The 9th Infantry Division was ordered to attack towards Hill 369 and Hill 772 near Djebel Berda.  The division was decimated in the attack as German artillery and infantry beat back the attack with heavy losses.  Sgt. Hale was one of the hundreds of soldiers killed in this attack.

He is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Syracuse, New York.  He was 28 years old.    

Hale photo
Sgt. Harry Hale in a 1943 newspaper photograph.

Hale's grave

Sgt. Hale's headstone at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Lt. Hamrick's Purple Heart
Lt. Hamrick's Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. James T. Hamrick, O-826417, Pilot, P-47, 42-28811, 366th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 2 March 1945 while attacking a train near Hinterweiderthal, Germany.  Born on 3 November 1923, he entered the service on 12 March 1944 from Birmingham, Alabama.

Lt. Hamrick flew a P-47 "Thunderbolt" in the 366th Fighter Squadron.  On 2 March 1945, while flying his 51st mission of the war, Lt. Hamrick and three other pilots were flying a ground-attack mission near Hinterweiderthal, Germany when they attacked two trains.  Lt. Charles Pender, leader of the first two aircraft attacked the first train, while Lt. Hamrick, leader of the second pair of P-47s, attacked a second train.  Both Lt. Pender, and Lt. George Graver, Hamrick's wingman, recounted that Lt. Hamrick was flying at about 100 feet when he made a slight dive and began a strafing pass on the German train.  He had flown about one half of the length of the train when a sheet of flame came out of Lt. Hamrick's aircraft.  The P-47 exploded about three seconds later and crashed into the ground about 50 yards away from the train about .75 miles northwest of the town of Dahn.

Lt. Hamrick's remains were buried by German civilians in a civilian cemetery in Dahn. His name was unknown and buried him with a marker that read: "Hier ruht der USA flieger"-- "Here lies a US Aviator."  The Army recovered his remains after the war but were not able to identify him until June 1947. 

His parents not only had to endure the loss of their son James, they also lost another son, Lt. Charles M. Hamrick, Jr, a navigator on a 100th Bomb Group B-17 bomber, when he was shot down on a mission deep inside Germany on 28 September 1944.  Both sons were returned home for burial in March 1949.  Apparently the stress of loosing both sons and not knowing the location of their remains for so long took a massive toll on their parents.  Records indicate that they separated and moved apart by late 1947.

Lt. James Hamrick is buried at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama along with his brother.  He was 21 years old.
Painting of Lt. Hamrick
Painting titled "P-47 over Hinterweidenthal" by Marek Dziewa showing Lt. Hamrick being shot down while attacking a train.
Harris' medal
Pvt. Harris' Purple Heart.
Pvt. Fred Harris, 37001608, 101st Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 10 January 1945 near Nothum, Luxembourg during the final stages of the Battle of the Bulge.  Born on 7 August 1908, he entered the service on 20 March 1944 from Kansas City, Missouri.

It is not known when Pvt. Harris joined the 26th Infantry Division.  It is possible that he was with the Division when it landed at Utah Beach and Cherbourg, France on 7 September 1944.  He could have joined the Division at any time up to 7 December 1944 when the Division was regrouping on the Maginot line and in Metz when the Germans launched the Ardennes Offensive on 16 December 1944. 

The 26th Infantry Division was moved into Luxembourg on 20 December 1944 and attacked in the Rambrouch-Vacinity and cleared Arsdorf from 22 -25 December 1944.  The Division halted on the Wiltz River after its attempts to force the river were repulsed in early January 1945.  It was while the Division was preparing to force the river near Oberwampach that Pvt. Harris was killed when he was struck in the chest and neck by small arms fire.  For his service, Pvt. Harris was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge before his death.

He is buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.  He was 36 years old. 

Harris' grave
Pvt. Harris' headstone at the Luxembourg-American Cemetery.
Hawkins' Purple Heart
Sgt. Hawkins' Purple Heart.
Sgt. Arnold F. Hawkins, 17129099, Flight Engineer of B-24, serial #42-52562, 785th Bomb Squadron, 466th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force. Killed in Action on 27 March 1944 in a mid-air collision over England.  Born on 2 November 1915, he entered the service on 7 November 1942 from Kansas City, Kansas.

Sgt. Hawkins was a member of the crew of Prosper F. Pinto  They collided with another aircraft flown by Lt. Robert J. Mogford as it attempted to return to base after developing engine problems in very think clouds. Both planes crashed about 5 miles form the Attlebridge airfield. This was the 3rd and 4th crews lost in mid-air collisions in the first five days of combat missions for the group.  Another 2 crews were lost when they collided over Berlin.  In all, 59 men were killed in a span of 4 missions in five days.  The photograph at the right is of the Pinto crew yet the individuals are not identified.

He is buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.  He was 28 years old.

Hawkin's crew photo
Sgt. Hawkins' crew photo.  Individuals are not identified.

Hawkins' grave

Sgt. Hawkins' headstone at the Cambridge-American Cemetery.
Hightower medal
Pfc. Hightower's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Floyd G. Hightower, 37363532, Company "K," 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 15 January 1945 near Harlange, Luxembourg.  Born on 2 December 1920, he entered the service on 25 April 1944 from Pueblo, Colorado.

Pfc. Hightower joined Company K as a replacement on 16 November 1944. By the beginning of 1945, Pfc. Hightower had received the Combat Infantryman's Badge.  The 358th Infantry Regiment attacked with the rest of the 90th Division on 9 January 1945 to cut the Bastogne-Wiltz Road at Doncels.  They captured Bras on 13 January 1945 and was prepared to begin the Battle of Oberwampach on 16 January when Pfc. Hightower was killed in action by multiple shrapnel wounds to the right hip and chest.

He is buried at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California.  He was 23 years old.

Hightower's grave
Pfc. Hightower's headstone at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Hine's medal
Pvt. Hines' Purple Heart.
Pvt. William J. Hines, Jr., 33134061, Troop C, 2nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Group.  Killed in Action on 21 February 1945 near Grevenmacher,  Luxembourg while the unit guarded the right flank of the XII Corps on the Moselle River.  Born on 24 April 1918, he entered the service on 14 January 1942 from Mount Washington, Pennsylvania.  

He is buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.  He was 26 years old and survived by a wife and son. 

 
Hoadley medals
S/Sgt. Hoadley's Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. William H. Hoadley, 15304146, Company A, 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 28 October 1944 by gun shot wounds to the back in Luxembourg.  Born on 3 February 1924, he entered the service on 3 November 1942 from Bloomington, Indiana.

He is buried at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery, Bloomington, Indiana.  He was 20 years old and survived by his parents.
Sgt. Hoadley
S/Sgt. William H. Hoadley. (The World Telephone Newspaper, Bloomington, IN, 24 Nov. 1947.)

Hoadley's headstone
S/Sgt. Hoadley's headstone at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Jim Bohn at Findagrave.com.)

Hoffman's Purple Heart
Sgt. Hoffman's Purple Heart.
Sgt. Leo E. J. Hoffman, 39112330, HQ Company, 1st Battalion, 361st Infantry Regiment, 91st Infantry Division.  Died of Wounds on 9 June 1944 at the 33rd Field Hospital near Velletri, Italy.  Born on 18 August 1921, he entered the service on 2 November 1942 from Watsonville, California.

It is not known exactly when Sgt. Hoffman was wounded, but it may have been on 3 June 1944 according to some of his records.  He was wounded by shrapnel to the back of his legs from waist to calf and died of these wounds on 9 June, 1944 at the Field Hospital.

He is buried at St. Francis Cemetery, Watsonville, California.  He was 21 years old.
Hoffman's headstone
Sgt. Hoffman's headstone at St. Francis Cemetery, Watsonville, California. (Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com.)
Hollis' medal
Lt. Hollis's Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. Charles L. Hollis, Jr., O-721757, Pilot, B-26 #41-31992, 454th Bomb Squadron,  323rd Bomb Squadron (M), 9th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 25 March 1945 when German flak shot down his aircraft on a mission to bomb Frankfurt, Germany.   Born on 10 October 1918, he entered the service on 15 April 1944 from Dallas, Texas.  

On 25 March 1945, Lt. Hollis and his crew were on a mission to bomb a target in Germany.  The occupied the #3 position in first box of the high squadron in the formation when German anti-aircraft fire hit the aircraft near the left wing root and set the aircraft on fire.  After flying for about 30 seconds, the aircraft dropped to the left and spun into the ground.  Only three crewmen made it out of the plane, and they believed that Lt. Hollis was badly wounded by the anti-aircraft fire as the co-pilot called for the crew to bail out of the aircraft.    

He is buried at Laurel Land Memorial Park Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.  He was 25 years old and married.  

Hollis's headstone
Lt. Hollis' headstone at Laurel Land Memorial Park Cemetery.
(Photo Courtesy of Robert Shaw.)

Pvt. Holt's Purple Heart.
Pvt. Holt's Purple Heart.

Pvt. Holt's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pvt. Holt's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pvt. Holt's Presidential Accolade

Pvt. Holt's Presidential Accolade.
Pvt. Charles E. Holt, 38662514, 423rd Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division.  Died of Wounds on 31 December 1944 while in Stalag 12A, a German Prisoner of War camp. Born on 7 March 1920, he entered the service on 17 March 1944 from Texarkana, Arkansas.

The 106th Infantry Division was virtually destroyed at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge on 16 December 1944.  Over 6,000 soldiers from the division were captured during the battle.  Pvt. Holt was captured on 21 December, already wounded.  German records indicate that he was transferred to Stalag 12A on 23 December.  A Royal Air Force (RAF) bombing raid took place that evening, killing at least 62 prisoners and wounding an unknown number.  Pvt. Holt was among the wounded.  He was transferred to the Reserve Hospital in Limburg/Lahn with a complex fracture of the lower and upper right leg where he died on 31 December.   The German's buried Pvt. Holt at the Prisoner of War Cemetery in East Dietz, Germany. His remains were recovered in 1946.

He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Texarkana, Arkansas.  He was 23 years old.
Pvt. Charles Holt
Pvt. Charles E. Holt.
Holzman's medal
Pfc. Holzman's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Emanuel Holzman, 42133955, Company K, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.  Died of Wounds on 18 January 1945 at the 91st Evacuation Hospital, Verviers, Belgium from a serious compound fracture of both legs and other injuries caused by gun shot wounds.  Born on 1 July 1918, he entered the service on 18 May 1944 from Brooklyn, New York.  

He is buried at the Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.  He was 26 years old and survived by a wife and son.  

Holzman's grave
Pfc. Holzman's headstone at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery.
Honsowetz medal
Sgt. Honsowetz's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
Sgt. Jack W. Honsowetz, 19127128, B-17 #42-102613, Ball Turret Gunner, 508th Bomb Squadron, 351st Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 27 May 1944 on a mission to bomb Ludwigshaven, Germany.  Born on 18 June 1924, he entered the service on 4 September 1942 from Venice, California.

Sgt. Honsowetz was a member of the crew of 1st Lt. Howard R. Evans.  They were a replacement crew assigned to the 508th Bomb Squadron in early November 1943.  They flew their first mission on 26 November 1943.  On 21 February 1944, Lt. Evans and crew flew in the famous aircraft named "Murder Inc."  It was their one and only flight in the aircraft, and as it turned out, the aircraft's final flight as well, as they lost an engine on take off and made a forced landing about 1 1/2 miles from the airfield.  Only the navigator was seriously hurt, but "Murder Inc" was destroyed in the subsequent explosion.

Sgt. Honsowetz's final mission was on 27 May 1944.  Just as the Squadron was turning for their I.P. over Alsace-Lorraine, the aircraft was attacked by German fighters.  Following several attacks which apparently killed Sgt. Honsowetz, Radio Operator T/Sgt. Ronald C. Pope, and Waist Gunner S/Sgt. Glen E. Joiner and set the No. 3 Engine on fire and caused a gas leak, a flight on fighters attacked from 1 o'clock.  The aircraft was racked with 20mm shells which killed the Navigator, Lt. Joseph P. Norton  (who was manning the machine guns on the right nose position), and wounded the Bombardier, Lt. Roger N. Peterson (who was operating the chin turret).  The 20mm shells went through the nose of the B-17 and shattered the pilot's control panel causing a large fire and the plane to go out of control.  With all of the electrical systems shot away, no one heard the alarm bell to abandon ship and the bomb load failed to salvo.  Both Lt. Evans and the co-pilot, 2nd Lt. James J. Duffy, managed to bail out of the aircraft before it exploded in mid-air.  Lt. Peterson, who was suffering from anoxia, only remembered coming to floating in the air, and then an hour later on the ground.  It appears that he, and the body on Lt. Norton, were blown free of the aircraft when it exploded and that both parachutes opened from the force of the explosion.  The only other crew member seen alive on the aircraft after the fatal attack was the Top Turret Gunner, S/Sgt. Donald G. Kopf.  He was seen heading for the escape hatch by Lt. Duffy, but realizing that he had forgotten his parachute he returned to his position to retrieve it.  He never made it out of the aircraft before it exploded.  The tail gunner, S/Sgt. Stephen Kovacs was not seen after the first attacks and died on board the aircraft.

The bodies of Sgt. Honsowetz, Sgt. Joiner and Sgt. Pope were not able to be separated from the remains of the aircraft.  They are buried together at the Jefferson Barracks Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.  Sgt. Honsowetz was 19 years old.  

Honozwetz photo
Jack Honsowetz in a pre-service photograph.

Honoswetz grave
The headstone for Sgt. Honsowetz and his crew at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. 
Howser's Purple Heart
1st Lt. Howser's Purple Heart.
1st Lt. Earl P. Howser, O-864127, Radar-Navigator, B-24 #42-51101, "Corky", 66th Bomb Squadron, 44th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force. Killed in Action on 28 January 1945, when his aircraft took a direct flak hit over Dortmund, Germany.  Born on 12 October 1922, he entered the service on 11 September 1942 from Kansas City, Missouri.

Lt. Howser served as the Radar-Navigator fir the crew of 1st Lt. Maurice D. Corwine on 28 January 1945 on B-24 "Corky." This was believed to be the crew's 11th mission.  The target of the day was the Coking Plant in Dortmund, Germany.  With bomb bay open and approaching Dortmund at 21,000 feet, "Corky" sustained a direct flak hit to the bomb bay.  On fire, the aircraft fell out of formation and began to rapidly loose altitude before exploding in mid-air.  Some reports claim that three parachutes were seen, but only two crewmembers, Lt. Corwine and the Radio Operator, T/Sgt. Patrick N. Colosimo, managed to escape the aircraft.  Both were captured by the Germans.  The remaining crew were all killed when the aircraft exploded.  The Germans buried the crew in the main cemetery in Dortmund, but it was not until December of 1945 that the graves were investigated by the Allies and Lt. Howser was identified. 

Lt. Howser is buried at the Floral Hills Cemetery, Raytown, Missouri.  He was 22 years old.
"Corky" in flight
"Corky" -- The B-24 on which Lt. Howser was killed.
(Photo courtesy of www.b24bestweb.com)

"Corky" dropping supplies durng Market Garden

"Corky" dropping supplies during Operation Market Garden, 18 Sept. 1944.

Nose Art of Lt. Howser's B-24, "Corky."
Nose art of "Corky."

Robert Taylor's painting of "Corky."

"Welcome Sight" a painting of "Corky" by famed aviation artist Robert Taylor.

Huber's medals
S/Sgt. Huber's Air Medal and Purple Heart.

S/Sgt. Huber's Purple Heart Certificate.

S/Sgt. Huber's Purple Heart Certificate.

S/Sgt. Charles H. Huber, 13108577, Radio Operator on a B-24, 758th Bomb Squadron, 459th Bomb Group (H), 15th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 18 September 1944 on a mission to bomb Budapest, Hungary.  Born on 1 March 1922, he entered service on 2 March 1943 from Charleroi, Pennsylvania.

S/Sgt. Huber was a radio operator on B-24J, #42-51524 on a mission to bomb Budapest, Hungary. Eyewitness reports from other aircraft report that at about 1200 hours, between the IP and the target, S/Sgt. Huber's aircraft took a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire between the #3 and #4 engines, "which tore a huge chunk out of the wing leaving a huge gaping hole. Immediately afterwards another direct hit of flak exploded in the radio compartment of the aircraft. It swerved sharply to the right" (and fell on fire).  S/Sgt. Huber was probably killed in the second flak hit as it exploded at his station and he was one of two crew members who did not escape from the burning aircraft.  He was buried in Budapest by the Germans or Hungarians and later returned to the United States.

He is buried at the Calvary Cemetery, Charleroi, Pennsylvania.  He was 22 years old. 

Huber photo
S/Sgt. Charles Huber at a
B-24 gun position.

Huber's grave

S/Sgt. Huber's headstone at Calvary Cemetery.

Hunley's medals
Pfc. Hunley's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Hunley's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pfc. Hunley's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pfc. Robert P. Hunley, 35872424, Anti-Tank Company, 66th Infantry Regiment, 71st Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 13 March 1945 near Enchenberg, France.  Born on 15 April 1925, he entered the service on 21 July 1943 from Dayton, Ohio.

Pfc. Hunley's combat tour was extremely short and tragic.  On 13 March 1945, only two days after arriving on the front lines for the first time, the Anti-Tank Company of the 66th Infantry Regiment was strafed by American P-47 fighters.  Pfc. Hunley was one of the two US soldiers killed by the friendly fire, making him one of the first two KIA's for the 71st Division in World War II. Its doubtful that he every fired his weapon at the enemy.

He is buried at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky.  He was 19 years old.

Hunley's heeadstone
The Hunley family marker at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery.

Hunley's grave

Pfc. Hunley's headstone at the cemetery.
Hutchins medal
Pvt. Hutchins' Purple Heart.
Pvt. Gilmer B. Hutchins, 36612845, 853rd Engineer Battalion, Aviation, U.S. Army Air Corps.  Killed in Action on 26 November 1943 on the H.M.T. Rohna when the ship was sunk in the Mediterranean Sea.  Born on 11 July 1923, he entered service on 6 January 1943 from Chicago, Illinois.

Pvt. Hutchins was killed in one of the worst maritime losses of the war and in the first successful guided-missile attack on a merchant ship in history.  Pvt. Hutchins was one of the 1,981 Americans and 281 Royal Indian crewmembers aboard the 461-foot-long British troopship, the HMT Rohna when it departed Oran, Algeria for India as a part of convoy KMF.26.   On the second day of the voyage at 5:25 PM, a German radio-controlled, rocket-boosted, HS-293 glide bomb, launched from a He-177 at a range of six miles, slammed into the port side of the ship, just above the waterline, and penetrated the No. 4 Hold and engine room. The 853rd Engineer Battalion bore the brunt of the initial explosion as it was berthed in the compartments just aft of the engine room.  Pvt. Hutchins probably died there

For those not killed in the initial blast, they struggled to free lifeboats from their rusted and nonfunctioning lowering devices after Captain T. J. Murphy gave the order to abandon ship.  Only eight lifeboats were ever launched and most of these capsized or broke apart in the rough seas.  The rest of the survivors had to jump into the sea and take their chances in the cold sea using life vests.  Many of these people never were seen again.  In all a total of 1,015 Americans died in the sinking making it the second costliest sinking of the war for the US in terms of lives lost.  Only the USS Arizona claimed more lives at 1,177.  

Despite the number of deaths, the US Government kept the sinking a secret for many years after the war and many people know nothing about the HMT Rohna's sinking even today. 

He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia. He was 20 years old.

HMT Rohna
The ship on which Pvt. Hutchins was killed; the H.M.T. Rohna.
Johnson's medal
Pfc. Johnson's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Kenneth E. Johnson, 32288744, HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 10 July 1943 during the Invasion of Sicily when it is presumed his LST was hit by enemy shell fire and swamped.  Born on 6 April 1921, he entered the service on 3 June 1942 from Kirkland, New York.

10 July 1943 was D-Day for the Invasion of Sicily.  The 3rd Infantry Division was coming ashore on the beaches of Licata, Sicily under enemy fire.  According to records, several American LSTs were hit by enemy shell fire and swamped as they approached their landing zones.  Pfc. Johnson apparently was on one of those LSTs.  No remains were ever recovered despite years of searching by the U.S. Army.  It was not until 1951 that the Army finally gave up hope of finding his remains and officially declared his remains to be unrecoverable.

He is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.  He was 22 years old.


Jones' medal
Cpl. Jones' Purple Heart.
Cpl. William E. Jones, 35007109, HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 27 June 1944 in the Golleville-Urville area of Normandy, France.  Born on 12 October 1916, he entered the service on 30 January 1941 from Warren, Ohio.

Cpl. Jones's Regiment was attached to the 4th Infantry Division as assaulted Utah Beach on 6 June 1944 during the D-Day landings.  They were engaged with the Germans throughout the Normandy Campaign and took up defensive positions in the Golleville-Urville area on 17 June 1944.  It was while in these positions that Cpl. Jones was killed.

He is buried at the Howland Cemetery, Trumbull County, Ohio.  He was 27 years old.

Jones' grave
Cpl. Jones' headstone at Howland Cemetery.

Footstone

Cpl. Jones' new marker at the cemetery.
Kauff's medals
Pfc. Kauff's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Carl F. Kauff, 13055597, Company A, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. Killed in Action at Nettuno, Italy on 1 June 1944 when he was severely wounded on his left side by what appears to be an artillery explosion.  Born on 12 March 1921, he entered the service on 20 January 1942 from Hawley, Pennsylvania.

Pfc. Kauff's company attacked with the rest of the 179th Infantry Regiment on 1 June 1944 on Hill K-9 southwest of Genzano, Italy as the 45th Division drove towards Rome.  The Germans fought fiercely as the 179th Infantry Regiment advanced up the hill.  American casualties were very heavy and the battle lasted throughout the night.  Pfc. Kauff was killed during this battle with multiple shrapnel wounds to his left chest and abdomen, and penetrating wounds to his left shoulder area and left hand.

He is buried at the Indian Orchard Cemetery, Honesdale, Pennsylvania.  He was 23 years old.

Kauff photo
Pfc. Carl Kauff.
Kauff's headstone

Pfc. Kauff's headstone at Indian Orchard Cemetery.
Keller's medals
Pfc. Keller's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Horace J. Keller, 33772775, 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 16 November 1944 in Germany.  Born on 30 April 1924, he entered the service on 7 March 1944 from West Chester, Pennsylvania.

On 16 November 1944, the 29th Infantry Division launched its assault for the Roer with the 115th and 175th Infantry Regiments leading.  Its unknown how long Pvt. Keller was with his Regiment, but giving the short time between his induction into the army and his death, he was probably a new replacement when he was killed.  This was the sad fate of many infantrymen in the winter of 1944 and spring of 1945.

He is buried at the Bradford Cemetery, Marshalton, Pennsylvania.  He was 19 years old.

Keller grave
Pfc. Keller's headstone at Bradford Cemetery.

Keller monument

Pfc. Keller's name on Marshalton, PA Memorial to World War II dead.
Kelly's medals
S/Sgt. Kelly's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. William E. Kelly, 35064295, Company E, 255th Infantry Regiment, 63rd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 11 April 1945 near Weissbach, Germany by a gun shot wound to his chest.  Born  on 20 June 1924, he entered the service on 28 May 1943 from Cleveland, Ohio.  

S/Sgt. Kelly was awarded a Bronze Star medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.  S/Sgt Kelly was wounded the first time on 7 April 1945 while clearing the Hardihauser Wald  near Lampoldshausen, Germany.  The 63rd Infantry Division continued to advance and by 11 August had established a bridgehead across the Kocher River near Weissbach, Germany, with the 2nd Battalion of the 255th Infantry Regiment repelling a number of enemy counter-attacks early in the day.  The largest German counter-attack took place at 0645 and consisted of 4 companies of infantry.  By 1415, the 2nd Battalion was able to begin its own attack out of the bridgehead with the regimental objectives being taken right away.  Company E was located on the battalion's left flank southeast of Hermersberg.  During the entire day, the 2nd Battalion was hit by German small arms, artillery and mortar fire.

S/Sgt. Kelly was posthumously awarded his first Bronze Star medal on 15 June 1945 for actions on 11 April 1945.  The award citation reads, "for heroic achievement in action on 11 April 1945, in the vicinity of Wellersench, Germany.  Sergeant Kelly volunteered to lead three men through enemy machine gun fire to rescue a severely wounded soldier lying seventy-five yards in front of friendly lines.  The mission was successfully accomplished despite the hazardous conditions.  Sergeant Kelly's courage and leadership are in keeping with the finest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States."  He was killed later in the day.

S/Sgt. Kelly made a habit of  exposing himself to enemy fire in order to save a wounded comrade.  The Oak Leaf Cluster to his Bronze Star medal was posthumously awarded on 21 June 1945 for actions on 9 April 1945.  The citation reads, "for heroic achievement in action on 9 April 1945, in the vicinity of Bieringen, Germany.  When Sergeant Kelly's platoon was forced to retire by a heavy concentration of enemy fire, one of the men from his squad fell wounded in front of the enemy position.  Sergeant Kelly, together with his platoon leader, left his position and crawled one-hundred twenty-five yards through and open field under intense machine gun fire in an attempt to rescue the wounded soldier.  Sergeant Kelly's bravery and devotion to duty, under hazardous conditions, reflect credit upon himself and upon the Armed Forces of the United States."

He is buried at the Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.  He was 20 years old.

Kelly's headstone
S/Sgt. Kelly's headstone at Calvary Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com.)
Kerr's medals
Pfc. Kerr's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Kerr's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pfc. Kerr's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pfc. Kerr's Presidential Accolade

Pfc. Kerr's Presidential Accolade.
Pfc. Ian H. Kerr, 39264545, HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, 262nd Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 25 December 1944 when the Belgian Troop Transport Leopoldville, in which he was traveling, was torpedoed and suck by the German submarine, U-486. Born on 13 September 1921, he entered service on 6 November 1942 from Los Angeles, CA.

He is buried at the Chapel of the Pines Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.  He was 23 years old.

Kerr and the Leopoldville
The ship on which Pfc. Kerr was killed; the Leopoldville.

Ian Kerr's grave

Pfc. Kerr remains at the cremation mausoleum at Chapel of the Pines Cemetery.

Closer view

Pfc Kerr's urn.

Urn's inscription

The inscription on Pfc. Kerr's urn.
Knight's medals
Lt. Knight's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
1st Lt. Jimmie S. Knight, O-518718, 44th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron.  Killed in Action on 27 February 1945 near Golkrath, Germany.  Born on 26 March 1920, he entered the service on 29 April 1943 from San Antonio, Texas.

After training at Ft. Riley, Kansas, 1st Lt. Knight arrived in France on 26 November 1944.  They entered combat in the Rhineland Campaign on 13 December 1944.  1st Lt. Knight was killed in action on 27 February 1945.  He was one of 19 people killed in action in the Squadron.

Lt. Knight was a graduate of Texas A&M University where he lettered in Track and Football.  He graduated in 1943 and was sent to Officer's Candidate School at Ft. Riley, Kansas shortly afterwards.  He shipped overseas in October 1944 right after being married.

On 27 February, Lt. Knight was riding in a jeep as he approached a German town.  Engaged by German troops, Lt. Knight was firing a machinegun mounted on the jeep when he was shot in the back by a German sniper while he reloaded the machinegun.  He continued to fire his machinegun allowing his men to pull back to safer positions.  Lt. Knight died from his wounds later in the day and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for this action. 

His last letter home was written on 20 February where he mentioned to his father that he had just returned from a 7 day R&R in London, which he received for being cited for bravery in action in January 1945.  He mentioned how nice it was to sleep in a real bed with clean white sheets. He also received news that he was the new father of a baby girl born on 25 January. 

He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.  He was 24 years old and survived by his wife and baby daughter.

Knight photo
Lt. Jimmie Knight in a pre-service photograph.

Knight grave

Lt. Knight's headstone at the Netherlands-American Cemetery.
KNipe medal
Pvt. Knipe's Purple Heart.
Pvt. Benjamin F. Knipe, 36473432, 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 8 February 1945 near Helenenberg, Germany by a shrapnel wound to the back of the head.  Born on 21 May 1921, he entered the service on 12 August 1944 from Mount Pleasant, Michigan. 

Pvt. Knipe and the 5th Infantry Division were assaulting the Siegfried Line on a drive to the Rhile River when he was killed.  Pvt. Knipe and 6 other American soldiers were buried in the cemetery of a Germany Orphanage in Helenengerg, Germany by the director of the orphanage.   Their remains were not recovered by US forces until 19 April 1945. 

He is buried at the Riverside Cemetery in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.  He was 23 years old and was married with a son and daughter. 

Pvt. Knipe's headstone,
Pvt. Knipe's headstone at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Betty Frank.)

Pvt. Knipe's headtone

Pvt. Knipe's marker at the cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Betty Frank.)
Kozlowski medals
Pfc. Kozlowski's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Frederick Kozlowski, 33597004, Company C, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division.  Killed in Action on 24 March 1945 during the initial airborne drop of Operation Varsity near Kamnankelm, Germany. Born on 16 September 1923, he entered the service on 30 March 1943 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It is still unclear as what happened to Pfc. Kozlowski on 24 March 1945, but it appears that he was killed in the parachute jump.  He was wounded once before this time, probably in January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge when the 17th Airborne Division took a large number of casualties.   

He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. He was 21 years old.

Kozlowski grave
Pfc. Kozlowski's headstone at the Netherlands-American Cemetery.
krempasanka medal
Pfc. Krempasanka's Purple Heart.
Pfc. John M. Krempasanka, 33619100, Service Company, 104th Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 22 October 1944 near Rechicourt, France by a shrapnel wound.  Born on 27 December 1922, he entered the service on 9 March 1943 from Reading, Pennsylvania.

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.  He was 22 years old.

Krempasanka's grave
Pfc. Krempasanka's headstone at the Lorraine-American Cemetery.
Lamon's medal
Pvt. Lamon's Purple Heart.
Pvt. James F. Lamon, 12127432, Sherman Tank crew member, Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Armored Division .  Killed in Action on 25 April 1945 in Italy. Born on 21 July 1923, he entered the service on 24 September 1942 from New York, New York.

Pvt. Lamon is shown to have been a part of Company B, from August 1944 until his death in April 1945.  It is unknown if he served with the unit before this time as the company's monthly reports do not contain a roster before this date.  Pvt. Lamon served in a crew of a Sherman Tank, and was serving in that role on 25 April 1945, when his Company attacked from Brescelle towards Sarbolo. Italy.  Heavy infantry and Anti-tank fire lashed out at Company B, with 2 tanks being destroyed, while knocking out 4 German anti-tank guns and capturing hundreds of German prisoners.  The bridge across the Enza River had been destroyed and the Company was forced to rebuild it before pushing on to Sarbole.  At noon the attacked continued from Sarbole towards Castle S. Martino where another Sherman was destroyed by bazooka and anti-tank gun fire.  During a flanking movement by Company B, they overran and captured a German Artillery Battalion.  By nightfall, the Company approached the main road north of Parma, Italy where they overran a German Division Command Post and captured the Division's commander and Staff, in which another Sherman Tank was destroyed. One of the four tanks destroyed in the day's actions was crewed by Pvt. Lamon and his comrades.

Pvt. Lamon's tank was #3010872 and has been confirmed to have been destroyed by anti-tank fire.  The other crew members of the tank were Lt. Raymond, J. Howard (tank commander), T/4 Charles West, Pvt. William L. Pollpeter, and Pvt. Leslie E. Fields.  T/4 West was the only crew member to survive, while Lt. Howard's body was found on the road beside the tank.  The other crew members remains were never able to be identified.  

He is buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri in a mass grave with his crew and that of another tank destroyed on the same day.  He was 21 years old.

Pvt. James Lamon
Pvt. James Lamon
(Photo courtesy of Maureen Lamon O'Donnell.)

Lamon's grave
The headstone for Pvt. Lamon and his tank crew at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Larkin's medals
Lt. Larkin's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. Richard J. Larkin, O-734933, Bombardier on B-17-F , serial #42-30493, 339th Bomb Squadron, 96th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 15 September 1943 when his aircraft took a direct flak hit over Paris, France.  Born on 24 July 1919, he entered service 21 February 1941 from Marion, Kansas.

2nd Lt. Larkin originally joined the army as an enlisted man.  He was discharged on 1 January 1943 to accept a commission in the Army Air Corps. He was the Bombardier on the B-17 commanded by 1st Lt. Cecil V. Reed on a raid to Paris, France to bomb factories.  The aircraft was in the tail end of the bomber formation as it approached the target at 23,000 feet at approximately 1800 hours.  The plane took a direct hit from German anti-aircraft fire and went into a spin.  Only one person, Radio Operator T/Sgt. Edgar Smith, managed to escape the spinning aircraft and spent the rest of the war as a POW. 2nd Lt. Larkin went down with his aircraft as it crashed near St. Germain, France.

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.  He was 23 years old.

Larkin grave
Lt. Larkin's headstone at the Lorraine-American Cemetery.
Larsen's Medals
Capt. Larsen's Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal's with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart.

Reverse of engraved medals

The engraving on Capt. Larsen's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
Capt. Harry E. Larsen, O-743347, Pilot, P-51D #44-14211 "Harvest Moon," 338th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 11 December 1944 when his P-51 was shot down by flak near Padberg.  Born on 7 August 1919, he entered the service on 11 April 1942 from Anaconda, Montana.

Capt. Larsen joined the 338th Fighter Squadron on April 1943.  He was credited with 2 kills during the war; a FW-190 destroyed over Frankfurt on 29 January 1944 and a FW-190 destroyed over Sens on 20 May 1944.  During his service, Capt. Larsen was awarded 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 7 Air Medals and a Purple Heart.

On 11 December 1944, Capt Larsen and his squadron had conducted a sweep near Frankfurt, Germany.  After hitting the target, the fighters dropped to the ground to search for targets-of-opportunity to strafe on the flight back to base.  Another pilot, 1st Lt. Kenneth Griffith reported that several bursts of flak exploded near the flight of P-51s as they were reforming at 18,000-19,000 feet.  Capt. Larsen immediately reported over the radio that his oil pressure dropped to zero, and Lt. Griffith observed jagged holes in the bottom of Capt. Larsen's Mustang.  After two minutes, Capt. Larsen's engine seized and his aircraft began to glide while losing altitude.  Capt. Larsen jettisoned his canopy and at 5,000 feet he attempted to bail out by rolling his aircraft over on it's back.  He was only partially out of the aircraft when the nose dropped and plummeted down from about 4,000 feet.  No one saw Capt. Larsen leave his aircraft and no parachute was sited, although the snow cover on the ground would have made this nearly impossible.  Capt. Larsen died when his plane struck the ground.

He is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium.  He was 25 years old and unmarried.

(Photos of Capt. Larsen and his headstone reproduced from www.55th.org.)
Capt. Harry Larsen
Capt. Harry Larsen.

Capt. Larsen
Capt. Larsen's passport photograph.
(Photo courtesy of Donna O'Donnell.)

Larsen's grave

Capt. Larsen's headstone at the Ardennes American Cemetery.
Lesko medals
Pfc. Lesko's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Pfc. John P. Lesko, 13048930, HQ Company, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.  Killed in Action on 6 June 1944 at Normandy, France.  Born on 16 March 1916, he entered the service on 10 February 1942 from Kulpmont, Pennsylvania.

Pfc. Lesko's military life has yet to be uncovered through research.  It appears that he served with another combat unit in North Africa before joining the 101st Airborne Division as he was awarded the Bronze Star and another Purple Heart outside of the 101st Airborne Division.  According to his family, he also fought with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a group of about 2,800 American socialists who volunteered to fight against Franco and the Nazis, during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s.  

What is known is that he was aboard a C-47aircraft over Utah Beach on D-Day near the town of Foucarville.  What happened to Pfc. Lesko after that point remains a mystery.  There are conflicting reports as to whether he landed in a flooded area and drowned, as so many Troopers did on that night, but when the area was drained in July 1944, only one body was discovered and it was not his.  He is also listed as having landed and been wounded.  The statement of witnesses in his "Missing Report" failed to indicate the correct status of Pfc. Lesko  as to if he was wounded, captured or evacuated by medics for hospitalization or return to the United States. Since no body was ever recovered, he was declared dead on 7 June 1945, which is the standard 1 Year and 1 Day after last being seen.

He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Normandy American Cemetery, St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France.  He was 28 years old.

 
Marshall medal
S/Sgt. Marshall's Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. William J. Marshall, 20823267, Nose Gunner, B-24-J, #44-48789, 759th Bomb Squadron, 459th Bomb Group (H), 15th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 28 February 1945 when his aircraft was hit by flack on a mission to bomb the Isarco Flask Alze Railroad Bridge near St. Petria, Italy. He entered the service from Harris County, Texas.

S/Sgt. Marshall was flying as a crew member of 1st Lt. Claude Schonberger on 28 February 1945.  On this day, the aircraft was flying as Deputy Lead aircraft for the squadron.  As they approached the target at about 23,000 feet, the aircraft received three almost simultaneous hits by German 88-mm Flak.  Two rounds struck the middle of the aircraft near the then open bomb-bay, causing flames to envelope the aircraft, and the third round hit near the flight deck.  The aircraft went into a spin and blew apart in an explosion that sheered the wings off the fuselage.  Lt. Schonberger and 2nd Lt. Robert A. Johnson, the Navigator, were blown clear of the aircraft in the explosion and were the only survivors.

He is buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

(The crew photo (and the blow up of S/Sgt. Marshall) were provided by Claude Schonberger.)

Marshall photo
S/Sgt. William Marshall.

Marshall crew photo

The enlisted members of S/Sgt. Marshall's crew.

MArshall grave

S/Sgt. Marshall's headstone at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
Martorello medal
Pfc. Martorello's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Anthony J. Martorello, 33595358, Company K, 168th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 4 December 1943 at Mt. Pantano, Italy by shell fragments in the lower abdomen.  Born on 6 February 1924, he entered the service on 24 March 1943 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.  He was 19 years old.

Martorello grave
Pfc. Martorello's headstone at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.
Marx medal
Cpl. Marx's Silver Star and Purple Heart.
Cpl. Herbert V. Marx, 35630814, Company D, 377th Infantry Regiment, 95th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 28 November 1944 during the assault on Merten, France by a gun shot wound to the chest.  Born on 25 September 1923, he entered the service on 27 February 1943 from Columbus, Ohio.

On the night of 8 November 1944, the 1st Battalion, 377th Infantry Regiment stood ready to make a bold assault across the Moselle River at Uckange to begin the drive towards Metz, France.  In addition to the cold, rainy weather, the men of the 1st Battalion had to deal with a fast current in the swollen river, as well as accurate German artillery, mortar and machine gun fire, mine fields and underwater demolition charges.  Desperatly holding onto a small bridgehead, the battle raged back and forth for seven days, with the river rising over the first three days, making the river over 400 meters across.  This was the worst flooding of the Moselle in 29 years. Engineers tried to build a footbridge across the river but were stoped by the weather and the Germans. The men of 1st Battalion were running out of ammunition, medical supplies, food, and were suffering from wounds and trench foot caused by standing for days in half flooded foxholes.  Despite the tactical advantage gained by the Germans, the enemy showed incredible kindness to boatloads of American medics trying to cross the river with medical supplies for the suffering wounded Americans.  On at least three occasions the small boat, displaying the Red Cross insignia, was meet at the banks of the river by German soldiers.  In broken English, they told the medics where the American lines were located and let them continue on their mission.  

On 13 November, the remaining elements of 1st Battalion managed to cross the Moselle River and reinforce the bridgehead.  The Germans launched a do-or-die attempt to wipe out the bridgehead that was so strong that exact information of the time between 13 - 15 November is difficult to find.  The Americans were short of anti-tank ammunition and the Germans attacked with at least 7 armored vehicles.  The Germans broke through the American lines at multiple points, overrunning Command Posts and severing communications. Fighting was desperate, fought house to house by individuals and small units with no contact with other American units until the situation was stabilized and the Germans beaten off.  The 95th Division turned to the offensive and drove towards the fortress city of Metz, taking the city when the Germans failed to blow a key bridge over the Seille River, leaving it guarded by only a machine gun.  The 1st Battalion continued to attack until Cpl. Marx was mortally wounded on 28 November 1944.  On this day, the 1st Battalion was reported as being in Regimental reserve having moved off the line the day before. 

Corporal Marx was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal on 13 June 1945 for his actions during the drive to capture Metz, France.  The citation reads, "for gallantry in action against the enemy, from 15 November 1944 to 28 November 1944, in the vicinity of Metz, France.  When the rifle platoon his machine gun section was supporting reached its objective near Fort de Feves leaderless and disorganized, Corporal Marx resolutely organized a defense deploying the riflemen and guns so skillfully that a powerful German counter-attack was repulsed.  During the following two weeks of fierce combat he served with unfailing courage until, on 28 November 1944, he was mortally wounded in the assault on Merten.  His gallant initiative and leadership exemplify the highest traditions of the military service and reflect lasting honor on Corporal Marx.

He is buried at the Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio.  He was 21 years old and married.

marx grave
Cpl. Marx's headstone at Greenlawn Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Traci Hurlbut.)

McCoy medal
S/Sgt. McCoy's Air Medal and Purple Heart.

S/Sgt. McCoy's Purple Heart Certificate.
S/Sgt. McCoy's Purple Heart Certificate.

S/Sgt. McCoy's Presidential Accolade

S/Sgt. McCoy's Presidential Accolade.
S/Sgt. Richard J. McCoy, 12165291, Flight Engineer aboard B-24-J, Serial #42-100373, 506th Bomb Squadron, 44th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 20 February 1944 on a mission to Oscherleben, Germany.  Born on 17 July 1920, he entered the service on 2 November 1942 from Jersey City, New Jersey.

As a member of the crew of 2nd Lt. Frederick H. Rawson, S/Sgt. McCoy manned the top turret guns on the aircraft.  At 14,000 feet altitude and just after finishing their bomb run, S/Sgt. McCoy's aircraft was hit by German flak at 1350 hours, causing the #4 engine to smoke and catch fire.  The aircraft quickly dropped out of formation and was attacked at least four time by German ME-109s between 1405 and 1410 hours causing the ship to ignite in the waist section and the pilot to sound the bail out alarm.  

The situation aboard the aircraft was very grave at this time.  The ball turret gunner was lying dead in the waist of the ship having been struck by the rounds of the ME-109s.  Several other crew members were wounded and burned in the fire, with the tail gunner parachute and reserve chute having been destroyed.  He was forced to jump on the back of the Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt. James Lewis, and fell to his death when he lost his grip in the jolt of the opening parachute. 2nd Lt. Lewis survived and was captured.  The situation was the worst in the waist of the ship, where the fire was the strongest and the  fighter attack was the strongest.  The right waist gunner, Sgt. Hoffman, managed to jump despite being badly wounded by 20 mm shells. His chute had opened inside the aircraft and he had to jump holding the ballooned parachute in his hands.  He was captured on the ground.  The left waist gunner was badly wounded in the legs and burned.  He managed to jump, on the personal order of 2nd Lt. Rawson, but died before reaching the ground.  

For the rest of the crew, the situation was equally dangerous. The navigator, 2nd Lt. Johnston, jumped safely from the aircraft through the nose well, but died when his parachute did not open.  2nd Lt. Rawson jumped from the bomb bay and survived as a POW. S/Sgt. McCoy also managed to jump from the bomb bay but his parachute failed to open.  He was found by a German wood-cutter in the forest near Oberrosphe, Germany. In all 5 crewmembers died and 5 were taken prisoners by the Germans.

He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.  He was 23 years old.

McCoy's grave
S/Sgt. McCoy's headstone at the Netherlands-American Cemetery.
Pvt. McMillon's Purple Heart
Pvt. McMillon's Purple Heart.
Pvt. James F. McMillon, 6924254, Battery B, 3rd Field Artillery Observation Battalion.  Died of Wounds on 17 April 1945 in Germany.  Born on 11 January 1915, he entered the service from Tennessee.

He is buried at the Raleigh National Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He was 30 years old.
Pvt. McMillon's headstone
Pvt. McMillon's headstone at the Raleigh National Cemetery, Raleigh, North Carolina.
(Photo courtesy of Marcus Stanley.)

Pfc. Meade's Purple Heart
Pfc. Meade's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Meade's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pfc. Meade's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pfc. Meade's Presidential Accolade

Pfc. Meade's Presidential Accolade.
Pfc. Richard J. Meade, 31073087, Anti-Tank Company, 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 11 March 1945 near the Remagen Bridge in Germany.  Born on 1 February 1913, he entered the service on 16 March 1942 from Hull, Massachusetts.

Pfc. Meade was wounded at least one time before his death and received an un-engraved Purple Heart.

He is buried at the Hull Village Cemetery, Hull, Massachusetts.  He was 32 years old.
 
Mecartea's medals
Lt. Mecartea's Purple Heart.
1st Lt. Rexford W. Mecartea, O-750811, Co-Pilot, B-24 #42-110086 "False Alarm," 329th Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 16 June 1944 when his aircraft crashed during landing while returning from a mission from Siracourt, France.  Born on 30 April 1921, he entered the service from Fresno, California.

1st Lt. Mecartea was the co-pilot in a crew lead by Capt. Stephen A Soviar.  On the day of the crash, they were apparently a pathfinder crew leading bombers over the target of Siracourt, France.  On returning to their airfield, Capt. Soviar reported that all four engines of the aircraft cut out and requested an emergency landing.  Capt. Soviar attempted to land with the gear down but touched down 3/4 of a mile south of the main runway.  The aircraft rolled through fields and lost it's landing gear before hitting a large tree and ditch where it caught fire.  Four of the twelve people on the aircraft were killed including Lt. Mecartea.  Capt. Soviar survived the crash.

He is buried at the Belmont Memorial Park Cemetery, Fresno, California.

Mecartea crash photo
Photograph of the crash site of Lt. Mecartea's B-24.

B-24 "False Alarm"

The Nose Art of Lt. Mecartea's B-24 "False Alarm."
(Photo courtesy of b24bestweb.com.)

Lt, Mecartea's headstone

Lt. Mecartea's headstone at Belmont Memorial Park Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of DC Volts.)
Mejer's medals
Pfc. Mejer's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Daniel F. Mejer, 35243646, Company "C," 222nd Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 2 May 1945 near Grafing, Germany.  Born on 24 October 1925, he entered the service on 2 March 1944 from South Bend, Indiana.

The 42nd Infantry Division arrived in Marseille, France on 8 - 9 December 1944and entered combat on Christmas Eve along the Rhine River near Strasbourg in Task Force strength.  The Germans hit the inexperienced Division with several heavy counter-attacks between 9 January 1945 and 27 January 1945 when the Division was moved into the army reserve.  During these attacks several American positions were overrun by the Germans and Pfc. Mejer suffered his first wound on 26 January.  It is not known when Pfc. Mejer returned to duty from his wounds, but the 42nd Infantry Division spent most of the time up to 15 March 1945 patrolling and conducting an active defense of the lines near Haguenau in the Hardt Mountains.  On 15 March 1945 the Division attacked the West Wall and moved into Germany on three days later and crossed the Rhine River on 31 March.  On 2 April 1945, the 22nd Infantry Regiment conducted a frontal assault on  Wuerzburg, Germany.  The Division advanced quickly over the rest of April moving against Schweinfurt, Fuerth and finally Nuremberg on 20 April. They then drove to the Danube River near Donauwoerth and through Munich on 30 April.

It was shortly after this time with the end of the war only one week away, that Pfc. Mejer was killed by a German sniper's bullet to the back of his neck  in the vicinity of Grafing and Unterbuch, Germany.

He is buried at the St. Joseph Polish Cemetery, South Bend, Indiana.  He was 19 years old.

Mejer's grave
Pfc. Mejer's headstone at St. Joseph's Polish Cemetery.
Mellendorf's Medal
S/Sgt. Mellendorf's Purple Heart.

S/Sgt. Charles D. Mellendorf, 35094509, Company G, 10th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 19 January 1945 near Bettendorf, Luxembourg.  He was awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.  Born on 14 April 1924, he entered service on 22 February 1943 from Marion, Indiana.

The Division landed on Utah Beach on 11 June 1944 and captured Chartes on 18 August 1944 and established a bridgehead across the Meuse River near Verdun at the end of August.  In September 1944, the Division assaulted Metz, France and continued the attack through November 1944.  With the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, the 5th Infantry Division relived the 95th Infantry Division near on the Saarlauten Bridgehead.  Positioned on southern shoulder of the Bulge, the 5th Infantry Division fought to reduce the Bulge.  They captured Waldbilling and Haller on 25 December 1944, and continued to advance through 4 Feb. 1945.

S/Sgt. Mellendorf was killed in action on 19 January 1945 when he was struck in the chest by a shrapnel fragment during this advance. 

He is buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.  He was 20 years old.

Charles Mellendorf's High School photo
Charles Mellendorf's 1942 High School Yearbook Photo.

Mellendorf's grave
S/Sgt. Mellendorf's headstone at the Luxembourg-American Cemetery.
Mencke's medals
Sgt. Mencke's Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Sgt. Harvey L. Mencke, 35062430, Company K, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 15 February 1945 in Germany.  Born on 28 August 1922, he entered the service on 13 May 1943 from Cleveland, Ohio. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star with OLC, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman's Badge and Good Conduct Medal.

As a rifleman in Company K, 18th Infantry Regiment, then Pfc. Mencke took part in the Normandy Invasion on Omaha Beach.  He was awarded two posthumous Bronze Stars for heroic actions in the face of the enemy, as well as a posthumous Silver Star.  His first Bronze Star was awarded for meritorious achievement against the enemy from 6 June 1944 to 25 July 1944, and the second Bronze Star was awarded for the time between 26 July 1944 and 14 September 1944.  He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action in the vicinity of Haaren, Germany for actions on 18 October 1944.  The citation reads, "When communication wires were severed by intense mortar and artillery bombardment, Sergeant Mencke fearlessly crossed hazardous terrain and repaired the lines.  Then, when a numerically superior German force supported by tanks launched a fierce counterattack, Sergeant Mencke repeatedly exposed himself to engage the foe and with accurate and rapid rifle fire held the opposition at bay until reinforcements arrived and repulsed the enemy thrust.  Sergeant Mencke's gallant actions and unselfish devotion to duty reflect great credit upon the Army of the United States."

Through his actions on 18 October 1944, Sgt. Mencke also contributed to the awarding of a Unit Citation to the 3rd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment.  The citation reads that the 3rd Battalion was holding the strategic, dominating ridge extending from Aachen, Germany to Crucifix Hill known as The Ravelsburg.  The Battalion had held this position since 8 October and had repulsed a German counter-attack on 16 October which consisted of 90 tanks (of which 63 were destroyed) and 60 half-tracks with infantry.  On 18 October, the counterattacking enemy force consisted of 22 enemy tanks and enemy riflemen supported by a heavy artillery barrage which overran the outer defenses of the Battalion before being repulsed by accurate machine gun and rifle fire from the 3rd Battalion.  This is one of two unit citations that were presented to Sgt. Mencke's unit while he served as a rifleman (the second citation was for the successful assaults made by the 3rd Battalion to reduce the northern shoulder of the German "bulge" into Belgium and secure the road net near Schoppen, Belgium).

Sgt. Mencke was fatally wounded in the opening attack of the 3rd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment against the West Wall in the forests near Hunningen, Belgium at 0500 hours on 31 January 1945.  During the winter action against what the 3rd Battalion's After Action Report calls "scattered opposition", Sgt. Mencke was severely struck in the face and head, apparently by a bullet  He was quickly evacuated to the Field Hospitals but never recovered from his wounds and died on 5 February 1945 at the 97th Evacuation Hospital, Malmedy, Belgium.

He is buried at the Brooklyn Heights Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.  He was 22 years old.

Mencke photo
Sgt. Harvey Mencke.

Mencke's grave

Sgt. Mencke's headstone at Brooklyn Heights Cemetery.
Miles Medals
T/Sgt. Miles' Air Medal and Purple Heart.
T/Sgt. Alan D. Miles, 36583470, Radio Operator on B-24-L, serial #44-49041-S "Red," 344th Bomb Squadron, 98th Bomb Group (H), 15th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 12 November 1944 on mission to bomb Avisio Viaduct, near Trento, Italy.  He entered the service on 19 March 1943 from Saginaw, Michigan.

T/Sgt. Miles was a crew member of the B-24 piloted by Capt. Frank E. DeBottis.  Capt. DeBottis was not flying this mission with his regular crew as they were all on leave or in the hospital, with the exception of his Co-Pilot, 1st Lt. Donald G. Stubbs.  Since Capt. DeBottis was assigned to fly "Group Lead" on this mission, his replacement crew was made up of experienced airmen as this was T/Sgt. Miles' 34th mission.

Just as the B-24 reached the bomb release point, it was struck with a direct burst of flank, shearing the tail section off of the aircraft.  It was last seen in an inverted position diving to the ground.  No one made it out of the aircraft.

The story of this crew doesn't end with their deaths in November 1944.  Twelve years later, Capt. DeBottis' brother traveled to Italy to search for his brother's body, which were never recovered, in May 1956.  In digging near the crash site with the help of locals and the American Battle Monuments Commission, the cockpit of the plane was discovered along with the partial remains of 6 members of the crew who were not recovered by the Germans immediately after the crash. All were returned to the United States.

T/Sgt. Miles is buried in a common grave with these 5 crew members at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. 

Miles photo
T/Sgt. Alan Miles in a newspaper photograph.

Miles' grave

The headstone for T/Sgt. Miles and his crew at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mitchell's Medals
S/Sgt. Mitchell's Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

S/Sgt. William E. Mitchell, 36565414, Company "A," 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 24 January 1945 in Konzen, Germany.  Born on 6 May 1923, he entered the service on 30 January 1943 from Detroit, Michigan. 

S/Sgt. Mitchell landed in France with the 9th Infantry Division across Utah Beach on 11 June 1944 and a Pfc.  He engaged in his first battle on 14 June in the Hedgerows.  During the Normandy Campaign, then Pfc. Mitchell was wounded in action for the first time.  It is unknown when he returned to action with his company, but he was back in the line on 10 October 1944 where he engaged in action in the Hurtgen Forest.  It was here that he received the Bronze Star Medal for "heroic achievement in action." On this day, Able Company was engaged in the heavy forest with German Tanks and several enemy pillboxes. 

S/Sgt. Mitchell continued to serve with the 60th Infantry Regiment until 24 January 1945 when he was killed in action in Konzen, Germany.  He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal for this action.  He additionally received the Combat Infantryman's Badge on 3 July 1944.

He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.  He was 22 years old.

Mitchell's grave
S/Sgt. Mitchell's headstone at the Netherlands-American Cemetery.
Moore's Purple Heart
Pvt. Moore's Purple Heart.
Pvt. Steve Moore, 34151753, Company K. 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 28 July 1944 in France.  Born on 29 September 1919, he entered the service on 2 October 1941 from Hayes, Louisiana. 

He is buried at Derouen Cemetery, Hayes, Louisiana.  He was 24 years old.
Moore's headstone
Pvt. Moore's headstone at Derouen Cemetery, Hayes, Louisiana. (Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com)
Morris' medals
S/Sgt. Morris' Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. Grady C. Morris, 38247702, Company "F," 334th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 22 January 1945 at Beho, Belgium.  Born on 30 June 1920, he entered the service on 24 November 1942 from Houston, Texas.

S/Sgt. Grady landed in France with his unit on 1 - 4 November 1944 across Omaha Beach.  The 84th Division took part in the battles for Wuerselen, Netherlands, and in the Geilenkirchen salient north of Aachen.  During the German's Ardennes Offensive, the 84th Infantry Division fought in the area of Hargimont and Rochefort.  After participating in the reduction of the German Bulge, the Division began an attack on Beho, Belgium on 22 January 1945.  S/Sgt. Grady was killed by small arms fire on his right side. He was awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

He is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.  He was 24 years old.

Morris' grave
S/Sgt. Morris' headstone at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery.

Pfc. Oliveira's Purple Heart
Pfc. Oliveira's Purple Heart.
Pfc. William S. Oliveira, 31163985, 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 19 July 1944 in France. Born on 30 October 1919, he entered the service on 7 September 1942 from New Bedford, Massachusetts.

He is buried at a Rural Cemetery in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  He was 25 years old.
 
Pvt. Owen's Purple Heart
Pvt. Owen's Purple Heart.
Pvt. James M. Owen, 34407374, Company A, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. Killed in Action on 6 June 1944 on D-Day, Normandy, France. Born on 29 November 1921, he entered the service on 21 October 1942 from Tampa, Florida.

Little is known about Pvt. Owens death on D-Day.  No information has been provided in the records about what specifically happened to him.  He cause of death is listed as Killed In Action (KIA) and that his remains were buried in a temporary American cemetery before his final internment at the Normand American Cemetery after the war.

He is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery, Normandy, France. He was 22 years old.
Pvt. Owen's grave
Pvt. Owen's headstone at the Normandy American Cemetery.
MM2c Pellegrino's Purple Heart.
MM2c Pellegrino's Purple Heart.
MM2c Vincent J. Pellegrino, Jr., 6425313, DD-640, USS Beatty, Gleaves-class Destroyer. Killed in Action on 6 November 1943 when the USS Beatty was hit by a German aerial torpedo off the coast of Algeria. Born on 14 November 1922, he entered the service on 14 September 1942 from New Haven, Connecticut.

The USS Beatty was part of convoy KMF-25A which had departed Liverpool, England for Alexandria, Egypt on 27 October 1943.  The Beatty was one of eight escort ships providing cover for 26 merchant ships, including 8 troop transports carrying over 28,000 US and Canadian troops.  On 6 November, a group of 35 German aircraft attacked the convoy.  One of the bombers closed within 500 yards of the Beatty which struck the destroyer near the stern, flooding the engine room, jamming gun mounts and cutting electrical power.  The destroyer quickly filled with water as crewmen tried to bail water using a bucket-brigade for over four hours.  The order to abandon ship was given and Beatty broke in two and sank at 2305 hours.  Twelve sailors died on the Beatty, mostly from the engine room spaces. 

He is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia.  He was 19 years old.
Vincent Pellegrino
MM2c Vincent Pellegrino.

DD-640 USS Beatty
DD-640, USS Beatty.
(Photo courtesy of maritimequest.com.)
Picard's medals
Sgt. Picard's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
Sgt. Norman J. Picard, 31286410, Tail Gunner, B-24 #42-95159, 755th Bomb Squadron, 458th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 27 May 1944 in a collision with another B-24 over the North Sea.  Born on 9 December 1922, he entered the service on 12 March 1943 from Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Sgt. Picard's aircraft, piloted by 1st Lt. Howard J. Lobo, collided with another B-24, piloted by 2nd Lt. Lester C. Martin over the North Sea on a mission to bomb Neunkirchen, Germany.  While over the North Sea, the formation made an unexpected turn and Lt. Lobo's aircraft skidded into the aircraft of Lt. Martin at 10,000 feet.  Lt. Lobo's aircraft went into a spin and crashed into the ocean.  No chutes were seen leaving the aircraft.  Two men from Lt. Martin's crew bailed out immediately and died in the North Sea.  The rest of the crew remained in the plane and returned to base when Lt. Martin managed to control the damaged aircraft.  Sgt. Picard's body was never recovered.

He is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England. He was 21 years old.

Picard grave
Sgt. Picard's name on the Tablet of the Missing at the Cambridge-American Cemetery.
Pigmon's medals
Lt. Pigmon's Silver Star Medal and Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. Sidney Pigmon, O-1998096, Platoon Commander, 410th Infantry Regiment, 103rd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 18 January 1945 while leading his platoon in attacking German positions near Sessenheim, France.  Born on 25 December 1915, he received a battlefield commission on 12 December 1944. He was from Colson, Kentucky.

2nd Lt. Pigmon was a Mustang, rising from the ranks during the course of the war.  While details are not yet known, he was a member of the 9th Infantry Division in 1941 and a Sgt. in the 2nd Infantry before shipping out to Europe.  2nd Lt. Pigmon was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart posthumously for actions on  the morning of 18 January 1945 when he led his platoon in an attack on a German held railroad line.  Despite machinegun wounds to the shoulder and leg, 2nd Lt. Pigmon rallied his men and led them in the attack.  He was last seen "advancing courageously over the fire-swept terrain in the direction of the objective."  

He is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Garden of Memories, Ft. Worth, Texas.  He was 29 years old.

Pigmon's photo
Lt. Sidney Pigmon and his wife.

Pimon's grave

Lt. Pigmon's headstone at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Queen's medal
T/5 Queen's Purple Heart.
T/5 Woodrow W. Queen, 35643380, Company C, 319th Combat Engineer Battalion, 94th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 22 February 1945 in Serrig, Germany  by a laceration wound to the throat.  Born  on 13 November 1916, he entered the service on 8 December 1942 from Ashland, Kentucky.

He is buried in The William's Cemetery, Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky.  He was 28 years old and survived by his wife and parents.

T/5 Queen's headstone
T/5 Woodrow's headstone at The William's Cemetery.
Rabinovitz's medals
Lt. Rabinovitz's Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart.
1st Lt. Frank W. Rabinovitz, O-707107, Navigator of B-24-J, serial #44-48828, "The Bells of St. Joe," 826th Bomb Squadron, 484th Bomb Group (H), 15th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 17 February 1945 near Sibenik, Yugoslavia.  Born in Pennsylvania on 6 December 1921 as the son of Russian immigrants, he entered the service on 15 January 1944 from Beverly Hills, California.  

On 17 February 1945, 1st Lt. Rabinovitz was on his final mission of his 35 mission tour as the navigator of the crew of Capt. Kenneth R. Larsen.  The mission for the day was the shipyards at Trieste, Italy  As the flight reached the Yugoslavian coast at 1405 hours, Capt. Larsen's plane moved up to take the lead from the aircraft of Major McDaniel's aircraft just above and to the left of the ship.  Capt. Larsen's plane then moved down and crashed into the left rudder and elevator, and knocked off the right elevator, left rudder and elevator off Major McDaniel's aircraft.  Capt. Larsen's aircraft  lost its tail assembly, spun off to the left and spun into the Island of Logorun just off the coast of Yugoslavia, exploding upon impact.

Only the Bombardier, 1st Lt. Edward M. Duke survived the crash.  He last saw Lt. Rabinovitz sitting on the floor next to the bomb sight.  He yelled at Lt. Rabinovitz, "Jim, lets got out of here" before jumping from the plane.  He believed that Rabinovitz had frozen and could not move.  The increasing forces of the aircraft's spin made it impossible for anyone else to jump from the aircraft.  Yugoslavian Partisans recovered and buried the bodies the next day.

He is buried at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.  He was 25 years old.

Rabinovitz's grave
The headstone for Lt. Rabinovitz and his crew at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

Riemenschneider's medals
Pvt. Riemenschneider's Soldier's Medal and Purple Heart.

Pvt. Riemenschneider's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pvt. Riemenschneider's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pvt. Riemenschneider's Presidential Accolade

Pvt. Riemenschneider's Presidential Accolade.
Pvt. Carl H. Riemenschneider, 32196188, Company I, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.  Killed in Action on 31 December 1944 near Bastogne, Belgium.  Born on 28 May 1915, he entered the service on 28 January 1942 from Bronx, New York.

Pvt. Riemenschneider made at least one combat jump with the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment during Operation Market Garden.  Following this operation, he, along with the rest of the 101st Airborne Division, was rushed into Belgium near Bastogne to hold this vital crossroad town during the German Ardennes Offensive which began on 16 December 1944.  Pvt. Riemenschneider was killed in action on New Year's Eve 1944 by shrapnel wounds to his head, hands and right leg.  Artillery fire was especially brutal at this time as many rounds exploded in the trees of the dense forest which caused tree splinters to be added to the shrapnel of the shell. 

He is buried at the Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, New York.  He was 29 years old.  

Riemenschneider's grave
Pvt. Riemenschneider's headstone at Long Island National Cemetery.
Pfc. Rigdon's Purple Heart
Pfc. Rigdon's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Francis W. Rigdon, 37016629, Loader, T-26E3 Pershing Tank, Company F, 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division.  Killed in Action on 27 February 1945 in Elsdorf, Germany during a battle with a Tiger I Tank.  He entered the service from Marshall County, Kansas. 

Pfc. Rigdon was the loader on "Fireball," one of the new T-26E3 Pershing Heavy Tanks.  Only 20 would see combat in the European Theater of Operations and only three were knocked out.  "Fireball" was the first Pershing Tank knocked out by the enemy in World War II.

On the night of  26 February 1945, "Fireball" was positioned at a roadblock outside of Elsdorf, Germany. Backlight by a burning coal pile, "Fireball" was engaged by A German Tiger I tank from 100 yards.  The first German round penetrated the turret coax machinegun aperture and killed Pfc. Rigdon and the tank's gunner.  The second German round hit "Fireball's" muzzle break causing the chambered round to explode.  The third German shell glanced off the top of "Fireball's" turret and and commander's hatch cover.  The Tiger I, Number 201 from German Heavy Tank Company "Hummel," attempted to back away following the third shot and became entangled in debris.  The crew abandoned the Tiger with the loader later being captured by American troops and confirming that they were the tank that knocked out "Fireball."

Since "Fireball" did not catch fire, the tank was repaired and later returned to action by 7 March 1945.

Pfc. Rigdon is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetry in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.
Tiger Tank which knocked out Fireball
The German Tiger I tank which knocked out "Fireball" and killed Pfc. Rigdon.
(Photo courtesy of www.3ad.com.)

Fireball
Pfc. Rigdon's Pershing Tank "Fireball."
(Photo courtesy of www.3ad.com.)

Penetrating Shot on Fireball
Penetrating shot on "Fireball's" turret which killed Pfc. Rigdon.
(Photo courtesy of www.3ad.com.)

Muzzle break shot
The second hit on "Fireball" which destroyed the main gun.
(Photo courtesy of www.3ad.com.)

Glancing Shot
The third hit on "Fireball."
(Photo courtesy of www.3ad.com.)

Rear view of German Tiger Tank 201

A rear view of German Tiger Tank Number 201, the tank that knocked out "Fireball."
(Photo courtesy of www.36thair3ad.homestead.com/
Rhineland.html)


Rigdon's grave
Pfc. Rigdon's grave at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium.
(Photo courtesy of Des Philippet.)
Riley's medals
S/Sgt. Riley's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. Howard W. Riley, 16150364, Radio Operator, B-17 "Full House," 563rd Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in action on 22 December 1943 on a raid to bomb the railroad yards at Munster, Germany.  Born on 11 October 1920, he entered the service on 12 November 1942 from Detroit, Michigan.

S/Sgt. Riley's aircraft was piloted by 2nd Lt. Webster M. Bull.  Their B-17 (shown during a raid in the photo on the right) was last seen dropping behind the formation about 5 to 10 minutes after dropping its bombs on the target.  Their #1 engine was feathered and the aircraft was seen being escorted by P-47s over Holland as it lost altitude and fell into the overcast.  

According to the casualty questionnaire filled out by Tail Gunner S/Sgt. Thomas G. Wesson, Jr.,  the crew attempted to lighten the aircraft by throwing all loose equipment overboard.  Somewhere over Holland, Lt. Bull ordered everyone to jump.  It appears that only S/Sgt. Wesson, and Waist Gunner S/Sgt. John F. Rogowski managed to jump from the aircraft.  All other crew members died with the aircraft.  S/Sgt. Wesson last reports seeing S/Sgt. Riley as he helped Riley on with his chute.

Apparently the B-17 crashed into the Ijsselmeer River near Enkhuizen, Netherlands on 22 December 1943.  It was not until 7 June 1944 that his body was found in the river by local fisherman and given a proper burial by the locals in the town. 

He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.  He was 23 years old.

Riley's aircraft
S/Sgt. Riley's B-17 "Full House" on a bomb run. A flak shell has exploded in front of the aircraft.

Riley's grave

S/Sgt. Riley's headstone at Arlington National Cemetery.
T/5 Roberts' Purple Heart
T/5 Roberts' Purple Heart.

T/5 George R. Roberts, 38072573, Medic, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 27 July 1944, at Notre Dame d'Elle, France during the Normandy Campaign. Born on 8 November 1916, he entered the service on 13 February 1942 from Mertens, Texas.

He is buried in the Roberts' family plot at the Milford Cemetery, Milford, Texas.  He was 28 years old and was married.

T/5 Roberts' Obituary
T/5 Roberts' photograph and newspaper obituary.

George and Horace Roberts

T/5 George Roberts (left) with his brother Horace.

Roberts' headstone

T/5 Roberts' headstone at the Milford Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Robert Shaw.)
Sandell's medal
Sgt. Sandell's Purple Heart.
Sgt. Floyd E. Sandell, 37118368, Company B, 315th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 11 October 1944 near Foret de Parroy, France by a shrapnel wound to the left side of his chest. Born on 24 September 1919, he entered the service on 19 March 1942 from Fairfield, Iowa.  

The Regimental History of the 315th Infantry Regiment indicate that the Regiment launched an attack at 0659 hours on 9 October 1944 in a driving rain and cold weather.  The 1st Battalion was initially held in reserve, but was committed in the afternoon to help 3rd Battalion capture its objectives around "Check Point 709."  On the 10th and 11th October 1944, the Regiment was in defensive positions with dense S-Mine Fields reported to their left flank.  Reports only tell of combat patrols being sent out at 0800 hours on 11 October and a slight amount of German artillery fire from 1900 to 1955 hours.  Despite reporting no damage, it is assumed that due to the nature of his fatal wounds, Sgt. Sandell was killed during one of these actions.   

He is buried at the Salina Cemetery, Salina, Iowa. He was 25 years old.

Sandell photo
Sgt. Floyd Sandell in a newspaper photograph.

Sandell's grave

Sgt. Sandell's headstone at Salina Cemetery.
Saxon's medals
Lt. Saxon's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
1st Lt. Rayford E. Saxon, O-1296751, Company F, 397th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 9 January 1945 near Rimling, France by shrapnel wounds to the right side of his head and shoulder.  Born on 6 January 1921, he entered the service on 15 October 1942 from Meadville, Mississippi.

1st Lt. Saxon is an interesting research case in that he is not listed in the 100th Infantry Division "Roll of Honor" nor is he listed in the Monthly Reports as being killed in action.  Other archival evidence clearly shows that he was a platoon commander in Co. F., 397th Inf. Reg. at the time of his death.  On 9 January 1945, the 2nd Battalion was defending harassed position in and around Rimling as the Germans launched a fierce attack at 0730 hours. The Company F Command Post was overrun at this time with 4 officers being listed as Missing in Action.  1st Lt. Saxon has to be one of these officers.  Over 30 members of Company F were cut off and surrounded as the survivors were forced to fall back to Guising after failing to recapture the old Command Post.

1st Lt. Saxon's IDPF reviles that his body was not identified until 1950.  It was through the persistent efforts of his father, that efforts to identify Lt. Saxon was continued for so long.  The US Army even goes so far as to acknowledge that the efforts of Mr. Saxon were one of the major factors in having his son's remains laid to rest under his own name. 

He is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium.  He was 24 years old.

Lt. Rayford Saxon.
Lt. Rayford Saxon.

Saxon's grave

Lt. Saxon's headstone at the Ardennes American Cemetery.
Scott's medals
Sgt. Scott's Purple Heart.
Sgt. Harold Scott, Jr., 14002671, Driver of Sherman Tank No. 17, Company "F," 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division.  Killed in Action on 25 May 1944 near Cisterna, Italy during the Anzio Breakout.  Born on 17 October 1917, he entered the service on 22 July 1940 from Rome, Georgia.  

Sgt. Scott was the driver of the Sherman Tank "Rosanne" (serial #3066304) during the Anzio Campaign.  It is not known when he joined the unit, but it is very possible that he was with the 1st Armored Division when it landed as part of Combat Command "B" in Oran, North Africa on 8 November 1942.  From North Africa, the Division went to Naples, Italy on 28 October 1943 and entered combat on the Rapido River in mid-December 1943.  The Division took part in the breakout of the Anzio Beachhead beginning on 23 May 1944.  Two days later, Sgt. Scott was killed when his tank was knocked out and engulfed in flames.  Only one other crew member was identified because a canteen bearing his name was found in the tank,  so it is not known if the rest of the crew survived the destruction of "Rosanne."

He is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.  He was 26 years old.

Scott's grave
Sgt. Scott's headstone at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.
Orval Scott's medals
S/Sgt. Scott's Air Medal and Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. Orval B. Scott, 16147911, Gunner, B-24H #41-29543, 706th Bomb Squadron, 446th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action 27 April 1944, when his aircraft exploded in the air near Clirtonville, Kent,  England while returning from a mission to bomb Blainville, France. Born on 19 June 1923, he entered the service on 19 October 1942 from St. Boyne City, Michigan.

S/Sgt. Scott was a gunner on board the aircraft piloted by 1st Lt. Harold J. Larson.  The aircraft has two engines knocked out on the mission and was trying to make it back to the field at Manqion, England when the order to bail out was given.  Only two crew members, T/Sgt. Carl M. Smith, the Radio Operator, and T/Sgt. Edward Hilgeman, the Engineer, were able to bail out before the aircraft exploded.  He was previously awarded the Air Medal.

He is buried at Maple Lawn Cemetery, St. Boyne City, Michigan.  He was unmarried and 20 years old.

Scott's grave
S/Sgt. Scott's headstone at Maple Lawn Cemetery.
Seay's medals
Pvt. Seay's Purple Heart.

Pvt. Cary W. Seay, 33887329, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Division.  Killed in Action on 14 April 1945 when the Casualty Clearance position he was defending was overrun by a German Panzer unit. Born on 6 June 1921, he entered the service on 4 May 1944 from Norfolk, Virginia.

Pvt. Seay, was apparently wounded and at the casualty clearance position of the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment near Elbenau, Germany on 14 April 1945.  According to a U.S. Army investigation about the death of Pvt. Seay, a German Panzer Division counterattacked and overran the casualty clearance position which was located in an open field.  Heavy small arms fire and light tank fire was heard around the position while it was captured by the Germans. It was the conclusion of the investigation that Pvt. Seay was killed while trying to evade capture by the enemy.  He was originally buried by the Germans with 2 other Americans and 14 Australian soldiers at a civilian cemetery at Elbanau, Germany.   

He is buried at the Fairview Cemetery, Buchanan, Virginia.  He was 23 years old.

Seay's grave
Pvt. Seay's headstone at Fairview Cemetery.

T/5 Seyfried's Purple heart
T/5 Seyfried's Purple Heart.
T/5 Donald O. Seyfried, 36116610, Anti-Tank Company, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 7 April 1944 by a shrapnel fragment wound to his abdomen and chest at Anzio, Italy.  Born on 30 September 1919, he entered the service on 3 June 1941 from Detroit, Michigan. 

He is buried at the Hurd Cemetery, Lansing, Michigan.  He was 24 years old and survived by a wife and parents. 
Seyfried's grave
T/5 Seyfried's headstone at his Michigan Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of James Trindel.)
Shraff's medals
Lt. Sharff's Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart.

2nd Lt. Alfred Sharff, O-1288635, Company E, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 8 November 1942 at Kasba-Mehdia, French Morocco. Born on 30 April 1914, he entered the service from Portland, Oregon. 

2nd Lt. Sharff was killed during the landing of Operation Torch in French Morocco, North Africa.  He landed with his company on Green Beach, 500 yards south of the Sebou River, just before dawn. The first French artillery shells landed among the boats when they were 700 yards off shore.  Easy Company pushed through the village of Mehdia Plage and moved quickly down the road leading to the Kasba.  Elements of Easy Company began to receive heavy French artillery fire from the Kasba and naval gun fire and drifted to the high ground east of the lagoon.  They then moved north against the French positions at the lighthouse capturing 30 French soldiers by noon.  Upon moving to the east of the Kasba towards the native village by 1400 hours where they were pinned down by French machine gun fire and were unable to advance or withdraw. It was at this time that 2nd Lt. Sharff moved forward in the action which cost him his life.  The citation for the Distinguished Service Cross reads:

"For extraordinary Heroism in Action.  On 8 November 1942 at Kasba-Mehdia, French Morocco, Lieutenant Sharff distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy.  When the advance of our troops was held up, Lieutenant Sharff went forward with a runner to reconnoiter enemy machine gun positions.  Attaining an exposed vantage position, he sent the runner back with the information obtained and remained in his position, despite being under heavy fire.  Although his position was untenable, Lieutenant Sharff engaged the enemy with fire and created a diversion that enabled our troops to capture the enemy position and take fifteen prisoners.  His gallant actions cost Lieutenant Sharff his life." 

He is buried at the Neveh Zedek-Rose City Lodge Cemetery, Portland, Oregon.  He was 28 years old.

Shraff's photo
Lt. Alfred Sharff.

Sharff's grave

Lt. Sharff's headstone at Neveh Zedek-Rose City Lodge Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of C. Carlson.)

Reverse of Lt. Sharff's headstone

The reverse of Lt. Sharff's headstone. (Photo courtest of C. Carlson.)
Shelton's medal
Pvt. Shelton's Purple Heart.
Pvt. Leighton F. Shelton, 6985071, 3rd Platoon, Company B, 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion, Combat Command B.  Killed in Action on 10 November 1942 near La Senia, Algeria.  Born on 4 February 1921, he entered the service from Providence, Kentucky.  

Pvt. Shelton landed in North Africa on the first days of the United States' war in Europe on 8 November 1942 after leaving the US five months before.  The 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion was part of Combat Command "B" which landed at St. Leu, near Oran, at about 0600 hours.  Pvt. Shelton's 3rd Platoon was the first off of the "Misoa." By 0845 hours they set forth in a flying column commanded by Lt. Col. Waters for the Tafaraoui Airport. The airport was easily captured, but as US fighters planes and paratroopers were ordered in, the airfield was attacked by French fighters and bombers.  Shortly before sundown, the 3rd Platoon neutralized a French 7 gun mixed battery from long range,  which had been shelling the airfield.

The 3rd Platoon saw more action on 9 November against a French Tank concentration near St. Barbe du Tlelat.  Later in the afternoon, the 3rd Platoon dealt with another group of 14 French Tanks without loss to themselves. Two of the French tanks were destroyed by the 3rd Platoon at ranges over 2000 yards.  On 10 November, the 3rd Platoon again preformed well. As they were moving against Le Senia from the south, a French artillery shell hit a self-propelled gun, killing Pvt. Shelton and his crew members, Sgt. Robinson and Pvts Dunham, Whipple and Landry.  Only Pvt. Stearns, the driver of the gun, survived although he was wounded.  He fought well for the rest of the day.

It is believed that Pvt. Shelton's Tank Destroyer was the first Tank Destroyer knocked out in World  War II.  This was the first Tank Destroyer knocked out in Europe and I know of know Tank Destroyer casualties in the Pacific before this time. 

Pvt. Shelton was originally laid to rest next to his crew at the American Cemetery at Arzew, Algeria before being moved back to Lakeview Cemetery, Providence, Kentucky.  He was 21 years old. 

Shelton's grave
Pvt. Shelton's headstone at Lakeview Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Debbie Howes.)
Shenk's medal
Pvt. Shenk's Purple Heart.
Pvt. Martin H. Shenk, 33802353, Company C, 407th Infantry Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 29 November 1944 while attacking in the vicinity of Baesweiler, Germany on the Roer River.  Born on 20 May 1915, he entered the service on 16 October 1943 from Manheim, Pennsylvania.

He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.  He was 29 years old.

Martin's brother, Henry H. Shenk, was killed in action in Korea in December 1950 as a US Marine.

Shenk's grave
Pvt. Shenk's headstone at the Netherlands-American Cemetery.
Simons' medals
Capt. Simons' Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart.

Capt. Simons' Purple Heart document

Capt. Simons' Purple Heart document.

Capt. Simons' Presidential Accolade
Capt. Simons' Presidential Accolade.
Capt. Harry R. Simons, O-795841, Pilot, B-17 #42-30128, "MOJO," 526th Bomb Squadron, 379th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 22 February 1944 over Germany when an anti-aircraft shell hit the aircraft's bomb-bay causing the B-17 to explode.  Born in 1922, he entered the service on 27 December 1941 from Charleroi, Pennsylvania.

On 22 February 1944, Capt. "Dick" Simons took off on his 23rd mission to bomb the Junkers aircraft motor factory in Halberstadt, Germany.  Due to bad weather, many of the aircraft of in the lead squadron of the 379th Bomb Group, diverted and dropped their bombs on Werngrade, Germany. Capt. Simons aircraft was among them.  His aircraft took a direct flak hit to the bomb bay.  Capt. Simons was able to give an order for the crew to check parachutes before the aircraft exploded, killing 7 of the 10 member crew.  Only 1st Lt. William Bonin (bombardier), S/Sgt. Rufus W. Till (right waist gunner) and T/Sgt. Raymond W. Veiders, Jr (tail gunner) survived.

He is buried at the Washington Cemetery, Charleroi, Pennsylvania.  He was married.
Harry Simons
Portrait of then Lt. Harry Richard "Dick" Simons.

Simons' crew and plane

Capt. Simons and his crew in front of his B-17 "MOJO." He is back row, second from the right.

Simons and the Chaplin

Photo sent to Capt. Simons' wife captioned, "Dick, Tex and myself getting a bit of fatherly advice from the chaplain about fifteen minutes prior to take off on a raid." Capt. Simons is on the far left.
Pfc. Sines" Purple Heart
Pfc. Sines' Purple Heart.
Pfc. Howard W. Sines, 35297892, Company H, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 20 December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge near Mageret, Belgium by a shrapnel wound to the back .  Born on 3 October 1913, he entered the service on 3 January 1944 from Blue Rock, Ohio. 

Pfc. Sines was killed in a opening days of the Battle of the Bulge.  He died when hit with shrapnel near the town of Mageret, Belgium and was buried by a local man named Mathieu Hinkels.  Mr. Hinkels stated that Pfc. Sines died on 18 December, but the official date of death was listed as 20 December.  No explanation is listed in the records as to why one date was chosen over the other. 

He is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.  He was 31 years old and survived by his wife and three children. 
Pfc. Sines
Pfc. Howard W. Sines.
Smittle's medals
Lt. Smittle's Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. Floyd D. Smittle, O-736733, Bombardier, B-24 #42-7481 "Ole Wiskers", 579th Bomb Squadron, 392nd Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 4 October 1943 when a German fighter crashed into his B-24 while on a diversion mission over the North Sea into Europe.  Born on 14 September 1917, he entered the service on 23 January 1943 from Portsmouth, Ohio.

 The mission of 4 October 1943 was the fifth mission for the Bomb Group. Thirty-two aircraft from the 392nd Bomb Group participated with twenty-eight flying the entire route.  For the first time, enemy fighters attacked the group and four aircraft were lost, including Lt. Smittle's.  The aircraft of Lt. Smittle, was piloted by 1st Lt. James A. Feurstacke, with the squadron commander, Major Donald A. Appert onboard.  According to eyewitnesses, a German fighter collided with the aircraft after it was damaged by the bomber's machine gun fire.  The B-24 lost control, collided with another B-24 piloted by 1st Lt. Orval S. Morphew, and was last seen burning and without wings as it exploded at 10,000 feet. None of the crewmembers of wither B-24 survived.  

His body was never recovered.  He is listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.  He was 27 years old and married.

Smittle photo
Lt. Floyd Smittle before going overseas in 1943.

Smittle photo
Lt. Floyd Smittle in 1943.

Smittle photo

Lt. Smittle in another 1943 photograph.

Smittle's listing on Tablet of the Missing

Lt. Smittle's name on the Tablet of the Missing, Netherlands American Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com)
Snyder's medal
Pfc. Snyder's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Andrew R. Snyder, 13069306, Rifleman, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 15 January 1945 when his battalion was overrun by German near Reipertsweiler, France.  Born on 22 March 1918, he entered the service on 10 February 1942 from Cumberland, Maryland.

The 45th Infantry Division participated in some of the earliest campaigns in the European Theater beginning with North Africa in June 1943.  It is not known when Pfc. Snyder joined the unit, but he was in the army early enough to have been with the Division for the beginning of combat.  He earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge on 11 July 1944 so he was with the Division at least when it fought in Italy at Anzio.  The 45th Infantry Division assaulted Ste. Maxime, southern France on 15 August 1944 and advanced across France throughout the remainder of the year.

By January 1945, the 157th Infantry Regiment was engaged near Bitche, France.  The 157th Infantry was dispatched to hold the line with the new German Offensive Northwind.  The 3rd Battalion and several companies from the 1st and 2nd Battalions were surrounded and overrun by elements of an SS Mountain Division. The 157th Infantry lost 159 killed, 350 wounded in action and  426 captured in this action.  Pfc. Snyder was one of those killed in this action.  His body was buried with 17 other soldiers by American prisoners of war by order of the Germans and not discovered until April 1946.

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.  He was 26 years old.

Snyder's grave
Pfc. Snyder's headstone at the  Lorraine American Cemetery.
Snyder's medals
Pfc. Snyder's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Pfc. Edward Snyder, 32944987, Company "K," 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division.  Killed in Action on 15 April 1945 during the assault on Mt. Croce, Italy by penetration wounds to the back and neck.  Born on 7 June 1915, he entered the service on 20 September 1943 from Schenectady, New York.

Pfc. Snyder joined the 10th Mountain Division while it was training at Camp Swift, Texan in June 1944 and served with HQ Company, 3rd Battalion before joining Company "K" as a rifleman.  After landing in Italy on 8 January 1945, the Division moved into the line and attacked German positions atop the steep Sarasiccia-Campania cliff and surprised the German defenders during a bold night attack on 18-19 February 1945.  The Division continued to advance through various Mountains through 9 March 1945. 

Pfc. Snyder was part of the bloodiest battle of the 10th Mountain Division during the Spring Offensive of 14 -16 April 1945 where it suffered 285 killed and 1,037 wounded in action.  As a member of "K" Company's 1st Platoon,  Pfc. Snyder took part in the assault on Mt. Croce.  On 15 April, Company "K" moved to the base of Mt. Croce after moving through the town of Vedetola after capturing Hill 834.  At 1600 hours, Company "K" began the Mt. Croce assault with 1st Platoon in the lead.  They moved out into an intense German mortar barrage and up the Tole road, bypassing buildings as they advanced.  The 1st Platoon reached the shoulder of Mt. Croce before being opened up on by German machine guns from a house to their right rear on the Locari Scula road.  1st Platoon pushed up the hill against rifle and machine gun fire with Pvt. Snyder being killed along with his Platoon Leader and four others as they led the advance. After a back and forth battle for the rest of the day, the Battalion was able to hold the hill and dig-in.

For his heroic actions in on 15 April 1945 at Mt. Croce, Italy, Pfc. Snyder was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star medal.

He is buried at the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery,  Schenectady, New York. He was 29 years old and married.

Edward Snyder's headstone
Pfc. Snyder's headstone at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Doug Tilton.)
Spleen medals
Pfc. Spleen's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Robert F. Spleen, 13184590, Company E, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Division.  Killed in Action on 17 September 1944 at Mausbach, Germany. Born on 15 November 1923, he entered the service on 24 November 1942 from Ridgway, Pennsylvania.  

At the time of his death, the 3rd Armored Division was engaged in fierce fighting piercing the German's West Wall defensive line.  Elements of the 3rd Armored Division had twice pushed into Mausbach, Germany only to be repelled by fierce German counter-attacks.  Pfc. Spleen was killed during the second attack on 17 September and his body remained behind German lines for several months, before being recovered by American forces.  The Army listed Pfc. Spleen as missing in action until that time.  

He is buried at the St. Leo's Cemetery in Ridgway, Pennsylvania.  He was 20 years old and not married.

Spleen photo
Pfc. Robert Spleen.
(Photo courtesy of Ridgway WWII Gold Stars.)

Pfc. Spleen's headstone

Pfc. Spleen's headstone at St. Leo's Cemetery, Ridgeway, Pennsylvania.  (Photo courtesy of Ken & Cecelia Hertzenrater.)
Stanislausky's medals
Pvt. Stanislausky's Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, European-Mediterianian-North African Campaign Medal and Victory Medal.
Pvt. John W. Stanislausky, 42010544, Company I, 338th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 25 September 1944 near Sambuco, Italy when an artillery shell exploded nearby, killing him as well as Pvt. David Bell.  Born on 2 October 1924, he entered the service on 20 August 1943 from Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  

He is buried at the Holy Trinity Cemetery, Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  He was 19 years old.

Pvt. Stanislausky's headstone
Pvt. Stanislausky's headstone at Holy Trinity Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Jessi Schnittchen.)
Stein's medals
Lt. Stein's Silver Star Medal and Purple Heart.
2nd Lt. John O. Stein, O-956167, Company B, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 8 October 1944 near Clemery, France.  Born on 2 June 1914, he entered the service on 20 July 1942 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

At the time of his death, 2nd Lt. Stein was officially a T/Sgt. having been awarded a battlefield commission which was to take effect 13 October 1944, retroactive to 4 October 1944. Through the efforts of his sister, the US Army granted T/Sgt. Stein's promotion to 2nd Lt. posthumously on 11 May 1948 retroactive to 7 October 1944 under provisions of Public Law 680, 77th Congress, which states that a posthumous promotion can be approved if the person had been duly appointed to a commissioned grade or his appointment was duly approved by the Secretary of War, but was unable to accept the appointment because of his death in the line of duty. 

Then T/Sgt. Stein was also posthumously awarded the Silver Star on 16 October 1945 for actions against the enemy.  His citation reads, "During a fierce attack near Clemery, France, T/Sgt Stein assumed command of his platoon and led the men through severe enemy fire to the objective.  While his platoon was taking positions, he dashed through a hostile mortar barrage to rescue a wounded comrade, and was mortally wounded.  Refusing medical aid, he gave further attack plans and ordered his platoon on.  T/Sgt. Stein's outstanding leadership and devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the armed forces of the United States."

He is buried at the Mt. Annville Cemetery, Annville, Pennsylvania. He was 30 years old.

Lt. Stein's High School photo
Lt. Stein's High School photograph from 1933 (West Philadelphia High School).

Stein's grave
Lt. Stein's headstone at Mt. Annville Cemetery.
T/4 Stewart's Purple Heart T/4 Stewart's Purple Heart.T/4 Oscar M. Stewart, 33092411, Driver, 191st Tank Battalion. Killed in Action on 26 August 1944.  Born on 27 November 1908, he entered the service from Abingdon, Virginia. 

T/4 Stewart served at Anzio in 1944.  While there, the famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle spent time with Stewart and his tank crew.  Plye's reports were sent back to the US and published in newspapers throughout the country.  His report about Stewart's tank was republished in the book "Brave Men" by Ernie Pyle. It reads:

"A medium tank crew carries a five-man crew. .... The driver was Sergeant Oscar Stewart of Bristol, Virginia.  They called him "Pop" because he was in his middle thirties. He used to work for the State Highway Department. ...

The men cooked in a big aluminum pot they took out of an abandoned house, and on a huge iron skillet the Carmichael (the gunner) got in a barter for the equivalent of $20.  They called it their '20 skillet,' and were careful of it -- even washed it sometimes." 

The pot and skillet can be seen in the photo's posted to the right. 

He is buried at the Rhone American Cemetery, Draguignan, France.  He was 35 years old and married.
Oscar Stweart with Ernie Pyle, Anzio, 1944
T/4 Oscar Stewart and crew with Ernie Pyle on Anzio. T/4 Stewart is standing at the right.

Picture of T/4 Stewart with Ernie Plye

T/4 Stewart with Ernie Plye. T/4 Stewart is sitting on the tank at the top right.

Pre-war picture of Oscar Stewart.

Oscar Stewart in an undated pre-war picture.
(Photo courtesy of Ancestory.com.)

T/4 Stewart's grave

T/4 Stewart's headstone at the Rhone American Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Dominique Potier.)

Stoneburner medal
Pfc. Stoneburner's Purple Heart.

Pfc. Stoneburner's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pfc. Stoneburner's Purple Heart Certificate.

Pfc. Stoneburner's Presidential Accolade

Pfc. Stoneburner's Presidential Accolade.
Pfc. Earl R. Stoneburner, 15125144, Rifleman, Company G, 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 8 April 1945 at Lichtenberg, Germany.  Born on 23 December 1923, he entered the service from Columbus, Ohio.

Pfc. Stoneburner was the second of three sons.  His older brother 1st Lt. William N. Stoneburner was Killed in Action on 17 October 1943 as a pilot of a B-17 in the 8th Air Force (see below for his Purple Heart and information).  Pfc. Stoneburner hoped to follow his brother into the Air Corps through the ASTP but when the program was discontinued, he was sent into the infantry.  He arrived in Germany one month before he was killed by a shell fragment wound that struck his right jaw.  

He is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery, Bucyrus, Ohio.  He was 21 years old.

***The family's youngest son, John, was too young to serve during W.W.II but followed his brothers into the Army through West Point.  He was killed in action in Vietnam in 1964 as a Major. ***

Stoneburner photo
Pfc. Earl Stoneburner.

Stoneburner grave

Pfc. Stoneburner's headstone at Oakwood Cemetery.

Stoneburner medals
Lt. Stoneburner's Air Medal and Purple Heart.

Lt. Stoneburner's Purple Heart Certificate.
Pfc. Stoneburner's first Purple Heart Certificate while he was still missing in action.

Lt. Stoneburner's first Presidenital Accolade
Lt. Stoneburner's first Presidential Accolade issued while he was still missing in action.

Lt. Stoneburner's second Purple Heart Certificate.
Lt. Stoneburner's second Purple Heart Certificate issued with his date of death.

Lt. Stoneburner's second Presidential Accolade

Lt. Stoneburner's second Presidential Accolade issued with his date of death.
1st Lt. William N. Stoneburner, O-793859, Pilot on B-17-F, serial #42-30365, "Rum Boogie III, 337th Bomb Squadron, 96th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force. Killed in Action on 17 October 1943 when his aircraft failed to return to base following a recall for bad weather on a mission to Duren, Germany.  Born on 26 May 1921, he entered the service from Columbus, Ohio.

Lt. Stoneburner had completed 15 missions by 17 October 1943.  The Bomb Group took off from their airbase in England to bomb targets in Duren, Germany.  Over the North Sea, the Bomb Group was recalled due to bad weather.  The Missing Air Crew Report #1019 states that, "In a word, the Crew simply disappeared."  The aircraft apparently crashed into the North Sea and the crew was never seen again.

Lt. Stoneburner's younger brother, Earl, later joined the Army and was killed in action on 8 April 1945 (see above for Earl Stoneburner's information and medals).  His youngest brother, John, was killed in action in Vietnam in 1964 as an infantry Major.

He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.  He was 22 years old.

Stoneburner photo
Lt. William Stoneburner.

William Stoneburner at flight school
Cadet William Stoneburner at Flight School in 1942.

Stoneburner grave

Lt. Stoneburner's family marker at Oakwood Cemetery.  His remains were never recovered.
Sullivan medal
Pvt. Sullivan's Purple Heart.

Pvt. Joseph F. Sullivan, 33888892, Company "F," 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 16 April 1945 near Nordenburg, Germany.  He was awarded the Purple Heart with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. Born on 27 May 1925 in Baltimore, Maryland, he entered service on 22 May 1944. 

He joined the 12th Infantry Regiment as a replacement around October or the beginning of November 1944 as the 4th Infantry Division was engaged in the Hurtgen Forest.  On 25 November 1944, Pvt. Sullivan was wounded in action for the first time, as the 12th Infantry Regiment fought there way to the end of the Hurtgen Forest for the second time in a month. 

The 12th Infantry Regiment continued to be engaged in the Hurtgen Forest until 8 December when it was moved to a quite sector in Luxembourg to refit. The rest did not last long as the Germans launched their surprise offensive to start the Battle of the Bulge on 16 December. A Battalion of the German 423rd Infantry Regiment slammed into Company "F" by 0945 hours.  By 18 December, Company "F" was down to 29 men near Berdorf.  Following the stabilization of the lines and the prolonged American counter-offensive to restore the original lines, the 12th Regiment continued to advance and breached the Siegfried Line and crossed the Prum River in February and March 1945.

Pvt. Sullivan was wounded for a second time on 8 March 1945 while crossing the Kyll River.  Pvt. Sullivan was killed on 16 April 1945 when he was hit by a shrapnel fragment in the throat just outside Rothenburg, Germany.  He was killed as the Regiment moved into the city and encountered light resistance as the Regiment sent a negotiating party into the city to ask for the German garrison's surrender.

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.  He was 19 years old.

Sullivan grave
Pvt. Sullivan's headstone at the Lorraine-American Cemetery.
Sweigard's medal
Pvt. Sweigard's Purple Heart.

Pvt. Harold H. Sweigard, 17011447, HQ Company and Company K, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 28 August 1944 near La Begude-de-Mazene, France by a shrapnel fragment wound to the head.  Born on 26 July 1917,  he entered the service on 23 September 1940 from Stranton, Nebraska.

Pvt. Sweigard was killed when his platoon moved through La Batie, France and established roadblocks near St. Gervais-sur-Roubion.  The Germans counterattacked with heavy machine-guns, 20-mm flak-wagons and artillery.  He was killed during these attacks.  In the book, "Combat Medic: Stories of a combat medic, Co. K, 7th Infantry Regiment, the Third Infantry Division, during World War II in Europe," the author Isador Valenti describes Pvt. Sweigard as his "little friend."  They served together through the Italian Campaign, surviving a German ambush in an Italian Wheatfield on 3 June 1944 where only 5 Americans survived for the entire patrol.   Valentri described Sweigard as an excellent man to have around in a fight, who carried a Tommy-gun and whose clothes hung off of him usually two sizes too big.    

He is buried at the Pleasant View - Winside Cemetery in Winside, Nebraska.  He was 27 years old.


Pvt. Sweigard's headstone
Pvt. Sweigard's headstone at Pleasant View Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Brad K.)
Swetz's medal
Pvt. Swetz's Purple Heart.

Pvt. Thomas Swetz, 32585275,Company E, 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 11 July 1944 in the Hedgerows, Normandy, France.  Born on 16 July 1922, he entered service on 9 December 1942 from Rochester, New York. 

The youngest of 10 children, Pvt. Swetz was raised by his oldest sister following his parents death when he was only a few years old.  Pvt. Swetz landed in France with the rest of the 8th Infantry Division on Utah Beach on 3 July 1944.  The 8th Infantry Division fought in the Hedgerows with Pvt. Swetz being killed one week after landing in France.

He is buried at the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, Rochester, New York.  He was 21 years old.

Swetz's grave
Pvt. Swetz's headstone at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery.
Tasker's medals
The Air Medal and Purple Heart of Lt. Tasker.
2nd Lt. Richard F. Tasker, O-826029, Pilot, B-17, Scorchy II, 359th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 21 January 1945 when his B-17 collided with another B-17 on a mission to bomb the Marshalling Yard at Aschaffenburg, Germany.  Born on 31 October 1920, he entered the service on 12 March 1944 from New Bedford, Massachusetts.  

On 21 January 1945, Lt. Richard Tasker took off on a mission to bomb the Marshalling Yards in Aschaffenburg, Germany.  This was the 19th mission for Lt. Tasker and most of his crew with his first mission taking place on 23 November 1944.  This mission was supposed to be a "milk run" meaning no serious German opposition was expected.  Lt. Tasker was piloting the lead aircraft of the 2nd flight with the B-17 of 1st Lt. Richard Duffield flying Squadron lead.  As the aircraft approached the turning point before starting the bomb run, Lt. Tasker did not adjust to the turn of the Lt. Duffield's aircraft and the left wing of Tasker's aircraft struck the right wing of Duffield's B-17.  Both bombers lost a wing and spun into the ground.  No parachutes were spotted by other crews of the 303rd Bomb Group although members of the nearby 39th Bomb Squadron reported seeing parachutes and bodies falling out of the aircraft.  Only one person from each aircraft survived the crash to become Prisoners of War: Sgt. Arthur H. Driver, the Tail Gunner on Lt. Tasker's aircraft, and 1st Lt. James C. Flemmons, the Bombardier from Lt. Duffield's crew.  The two aircraft crashed near the German city of Lossburg, where the remains of the 18 airmen were buried in a common grave.  Following the war, the remains were identified and permanently buried according to the wishes of their next-of-kin.

Lt. Tasker is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Massachusetts.  He was 24 years old and unmarried.
Lt. Richard Tasker
Lt. Richard F. Tasker.

Scorchy II

The B-17 Scorchy II.

Tasker Crew

Tasker crew photo from 4 December 1944.  Lt. Tasker is on the far left, back row.

Another crew photo

Another crew photo from 11 November 1944.  Lt. Tasker is on the front row, second from the left.
Trelawnet-Ansell medal
T/Sgt. Trelawney-Ansell's Purple Heart.
T/Sgt. Edward C. Trelawney-Ansell, 10600446, crew member on B-17 "Liberty Belle," serial #42-29659, 324th Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action of 22 March 1943 returning from a mission to bomb the "Admiral Scheer" and dock facilities at Wilholshaven, Germany.  Born on 17 January 1923, he entered the service on 25 November 1942 from Weston-Super-Mare, Devon, England.

T/Sgt. Trelawney-Ansell's aircraft was piloted by Capt. Hascall C. McClellan.  Most of the crew, including T/Sgt. Trelawney-Ansell, were on temporary duty with the 91st Bomb Group from the 92nd Bomb Group (H), 327th Bombardment Squadron.  These two groups commonly shared crews in the first days of the strategic bombing missions over Germany.

The B-17 carrying the crew of Capt. McClellan had completed their bomb run over Wihloslshaven, Germany and was returning to England over the North Sea.  They had encountered flak and 30 to 40 enemy fighters over the target area and the fighters continued to pursue and attack the formation out over the icy  North Sea.  The B-17 was last seen loosing altitude while under attack from a German FW-190 fighter about 115 miles off the European coast.  Because of the clouds, no one saw the aircraft go into the sea, but none of the crew was ever heard from again.

He is mentioned on the Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.  He was 19 years old. 

marker
T/Sgt. Trelawney-Ansell's name on the Tablet of the Missing at Cambridge-American Cemetery.
Trimmer medal
Pfc. Trimmer's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Norman L. Trimmer, 33498883, Company "C," 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division.  Died of wounds received in action on 2 January 1945 at Perle, Luxembourg.  Born on 16 May 1923, he entered the service on 27 January 1943 from York, Pennsylvania.  

Pfc. Trimmer was originally a member of the 100th Infantry Division, but was sent to the 6th Armored Division when the 100th Division was striped of personnel to fill the desperate need for replacements in line units in 1944.   

He was seriously wounded in the chest by machine gun fire on 2 January 1945 while he and other members of his company were making an attack on a wooded area in the vicinity of Wardin, Belgium.  Despite being evacuated to a field hospital, he died later that day.

He is buried at the Prospect Hill Cemetery, York, Pennsylvania.  He was 21 years old.

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Pfc. Norman Trimmer

Trimmer grave

Pfc. Trimmer's headstone at Prospect Hill Cemetery.
medal
Pfc. Van Buren's Purple Heart. 
Pfc. Rollin J. Van Buren, 20226258, Cannon Company, 324th Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 22 December 1944 near Hottviller, France.  Born on 22 October 1922, he entered the service on 23 October 1939 from Pennsgrove, New Jersey.

Pfc. Van Buren joined the Army the day after his 17th birthday, and had already received the Combat Infantryman's Badge before his death indicating that he had served in combat for several months before his death.  He died of wounds on 22 December 1944 at the 119th Clearing Station after being caught in high explosive artillery explosions which amputated both legs and lacerated his head.  He was able to be evacuated to the Clearing Station before succumbing to his serious wounds.  

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.  He was 22 years old.

grave
Pfc. Van Buren's headstone at the Lorraine-American Cemetery.
medal
Sgt. Vanderstraeten's Purple Heart. 
Sgt. Robert M. Vanderstraeten, 36358260, Ball Turret Gunner on B-17 "Up & At 'Em", serial #42-29773, 526th Bomb Squadron, 379th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 29 May 1943 over St. Nazaire, France.  Born on 9 May 1913 in Ghent, Belgium, he came to the U.S. with his parents at less then six months of age.  He entered the service from Chicago, Illinois.  

Sgt. Vanderstraeten was taking part in the first mission of the 379th Bomb Group on 29 May 1943, when they were ordered to bomb the submarine pens at St. Nazaire, France. The pilot of his ship was Capt. John O. Hall.   They were one of 140 B-17s in the 1st Wing which attacked the sub pens on that day between 1706 and 1711 hours from an altitude of 22,500 to 25,000 feet.  The 1st Wing was attacked by 20 to 40 German fighters, mostly FW-190s.  Light flak was reported at the I.P. with one aircraft believed to be total destroyed at this time: that aircraft was that of Sgt. Vanderstraeten.  The right engines were seen on fire at 1712 hours with the plane crashing in the ground before reaching the sea.

He was survived by his wife.

He is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery, St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France. He was 30 years old. 

grave
Sgt. Vanderstraeten's headstone at the Normandy-American Cemetery.
medals
S/Sgt. Vlahos' Silver Star Medal and Purple Heart. 
S/Sgt. Charles Vlahos, 32139763, Company M, 339th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 13 May 1944 near Hill 69, near Tremensuoli, Italy by a shrapnel wound to the right thigh. Born on 15 September 1912, he entered the service on 9 May 1942 from Rochester, New York.

S/Sgt. Vlahos was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism during the division's attacks on 11 May 1944.  His citation reads, "for gallantry in action on 11 May 1944, in Italy.  In the opening phase of the attack against strong enemy positions, Staff Sergeant Vlahos led his machine gun section over difficult terrain, through enemy mine fields and across a river, under heavy artillery fire to reach the objective without loss of men or equipment.  Despite the continuing barrage he selected positions and constantly supervises and checked the section in repulsing numerous enemy counter-attacks, deploying a gun crew as riflemen when their weapon was disabled by enemy fire.  His aggressiveness and determination to rout the enemy reflects great credit upon himself and the military service."

He is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy. He was 31 years old.

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S/Sgt. Vlahos' headstone at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery. 
medals
Lt. Vogel's Air Medal and Purple Heart. 
1st Lt. Victor L. Vogel, O-793969, P-47D Pilot, Aircraft #42-7904, "8 Gun Melody", 352nd Fighter Squadron, 353rd Fighter Group, 8th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 11 January 1944 when his aircraft plunged into the North Sea while returning from an escort mission.  Born on 6 November 1919, he entered service on 10 November 1942 from Sterling, Kansas.  He was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart.

Lt. Vogel was flying as the wingman for 1st Lt. Robert P. Geurtz at 25,000 feet over the English Channel at about 1230 - 1235 hours in P-47 #42-794, "8 Gun Melody" (which was usually flown by Clifford F. Armstrong).  With visibility only 250 - 500 yards, Lt. Vogel was last heard to ask if they could fly below the weather asking, "Can't we get below this stuff?"  About a minute later, Lt. Vogel was seen making a shallow diving turn.  No reply was received to calls asking if Vogel was OK.  His plane continued to dive and was last seen by another flight of P-47s at 9,000 feet as Vogel plunged below 4,000 feet.  No trace of Vogel or the P-47 was ever found.

He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England. He was 24 years old.

Photo of Lt. Vogel from "Jonah's Feet Are Dry: The Experiences of the 353rd Fighter Group during World War II" by G. E. Cross.

Other photos provided courtesy of Gerry Soeday.

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Lt. Victor Vogel in his P-47 cockpit. 

Vogel Photo
Photograph of Lt. Vogel (right) with 353rd Squadron Commander Bill Bailey (seated) and unidentified pilot (left).

Vogel's P-47
A photograph of "8 Gun Melody," the P-47 Lt. Vogel was flying when he crashed.
Ward's Purple Heart.
Pvt. Ward's Purple Heart.
Pvt. Virgil A. Ward, 34978301, Company A, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.  Died of Wounds on 17 January 1945 at the 36th General Hospital in Dijon, France  after being wounded on 1 December 1944 with a gun shot wound to the left chest.  Born on 29 June 1912, he entered the service on 10 April 1944 from Anniston, Alabama. 

He is buried at the Ohatchee Baptist Cemetery, Anniston, Alabama.  He was 32 years old and survived by his wife and three children. 
Newspaper photo of Pvt. Ward
Pvt. Virgil Ward from his obituary.

Pvt. Ward's headstone

Pvt. Ward's headstone at the Ohatchee Baptist Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Richard Finch.)
Pfc Ware's Purple Heart
Pfc. Ware's Purple Heart.
Pfc. Robert M. Ware, Jr., 32508457, HQ Battery, 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. Killed in Action on 6 June 1944 in Normandy, France. Born on 11 November 1921, he entered the service on 21 September 1942 from Crugers, New York.

Pfc. Ware departed for D-Day on Gliders with the rest of the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion with the first glider touching down on French soil at 0406 hours, 6 June 1944. Most of the battalion's guns were lost during the landings with 6 of the 8 gliders used by the HQ Battery being destroyed on landing and the 7th glider being damaged (2 soldiers were killed and 9 injured during the landings). It appears that all of the gliders landed within 5000 yards of the Landing Zone. Pfc. Ware was killed during the day's fighting by gun shot wounds to the head and body.

He is buried at the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Schenectady, New York. He was 22 years old.
Pfc. Ware
Pfc. Robert Ware.
(Photo courtesy of www.ww2-airborne.us.)

Pfc. Ware's grave

Pfc. Ware's headstone at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Schenectady, New York.
(Photo courtesy of Doug Tilton.)
Sgt. Weed's Purple Heart
Sgt. Weed's Purple Heart.
S/Sgt. Almond A. Weed, 38061118, Left Waist Gunner, B-17G, #42-31139, 423rd Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.  Died of Wounds on 25 February 1944 in a German jail in Osnabruck, Germany  after being shot down on 24 February on a mission to bomb Schweinfurt, Germany.  Born on 24 February 1915 in Oklahoma, he entered the service on 1 November 1941 from Texas.

S/Sgt. Weed, on his 29th birthday, was flying as the left waist gunner for the B-17 crew of 1st Lt. Norwood L. Garrett on 24 February 1944.  S/Sgt. Weed had already completed around 20 missions, but only the last three or four had been a part of Lt. Garrett's crew.  On 24 February, the 8th Air Force was participating in "Big Week," a maximum effort campaign into Germany to destroy the German's fighter aircraft capabilities.  The mission for the day was the infamous ball-barring plants at Schweinfurt, Germany. 

S/Sgt. Weed and his fellow crew men were flying lead bomber for the 423rd Bomb Squadron as 30 yellow-nosed German fighters were encountered just after noon northeast of Osnabruck, Germany.  The German fighters attacked head on, concentrating on the lead aircraft of each bomb squadron.  Weed's B-17 was raked with cannon fire, with the ball-turret gunner, Jim A. Glenn, being killed in his turret.  The rest of the crew immediately bailed out of the aircraft before it exploded in mid-air.

While the rest of the crew landed relatively unharmed, S/Sgt. Weed was mortally wounded by his parachute which ruptured his internal organs when it snapped open.  He was taken to the jail in Osnabruck, where Lt. Garrett and the planes Navigator, 1st Lt. Joseph Elgin were also being held.  Lt. Garrett later reported that the German's provided no medical aid for S/Sgt. Weed, who died of his wounded at 5 AM on 25 February. 

His remains were buried the next day at the Protestant Cemetery in Osnabruck.  It would be several years before his remains were discovered and reburied at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium.

He was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters.
S/Sgt. Weed's headstone
S/Sgt. Weed's headstone at the Ardennes American Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Dominique Potier.)
medals
Pfc. Whiteaker's Bronze Star and Purple Heart. 
Pfc. Lloyd Whiteaker, 37625793, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 20 February 1945 near Steinbruck, Germany. Born on 8 December 1912, he entered the service on 5 October 1943 from Salem, Missouri.  

Pfc. Whiteaker was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters.  His Bronze Star was awarded posthumously for actions on 8 February 1945 for action in the vicinity of Hollnich, Germany.  His citation reads, "From a dug in machine gun position on a hill overlooking the town, Private First Class Whiteaker provided covering fire for rifle companies attacking hostile positions within the town.  Though he was subjected to heavy artillery and machine gun fire from a tank, he remained at his post and placed effective fire upon the enemy which enabled the infantrymen to advance and capture their objective.  He was killed in a later action, but his courage and devotion to duty will be a lasting inspiration to his comrades."

Pfc. Whiteaker was killed by a shrapnel wound to the chest during an attack by the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 359th Infantry Regiment.

He is buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

grave
Pfc. Whiteaker's headstone at the Luxembourg-American Cemetery. 

Whittaker medal
Pfc. Whittaker's Purple Heart. 
Pfc. James E. Whittaker, 37372660, 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 26 July 1944 near St. Lo, France.  Born on 7 April 1921, he entered the service on 18 July 1942 from Granby, Missouri. 

Pfc. Whittaker landed across Omaha Beach at Normandy on 10 June 1944.  After two weeks of hard fighting in Normandy, the 30th Infantry Division launched an attack against St. Lo, France on 25 July 1944 as part of Operation Cobra.  Pfc. Whittaker was killed the next day when he was struck in the throat by small arms fire.

He is buried at Gramby Cemetery, Granby, Missouri.  He was 23 years old.

grave
Pfc. Whittaker's headstone at Gramby Cemetery.
(Photo courtesy of Robert Shaw.)
 
Wilcox medal
Pfc. Wilcox's Purple Heart. 
Pfc. Henry C. Wilcox, 39547209, Company I, 414th Infantry Regiment, 104th Infantry Division.  Killed in Action on 14 December 1944 at the Roer River, Inden, Germany.  Born on 25 March 1918, he entered the service on 4 December 1942 from Bell, California.

Pfc. Wilcox was killed by multiple shrapnel wounds to his body, either by artillery or mortar fire.

He is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.

Wilcox grave
Pfc. Wilcox's headstone at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery. 
Wilkins medal
T/Sgt. Wilkins' Air Medal and Purple Heart. 
T/Sgt. Thomas J. Wilkins, 36597985, Engineer, B-17G #44-8380, 342nd Bomb Squadron (H)  (crew was from the 340th Bomb Squadron), 97th Bomb Groups, 15th Air Force.  Killed in Action on 16 February 1945 while on a mission to bomb the Marshalling Yards in Bolzano, Italy.  Born on 27 July 1916, he entered the service on 19 April 1942 from Detroit, Michigan.

T/Sgt Wilkins was flying approximately his 25th mission on this raid.  1st Lt. Robert G. Foster piloted the aircraft.  As the aircraft completed her bomb run over the Marshalling Yards, she took a direct hit for flak.  With the left wing smoking badly, the aircraft dropped out of formation loosing altitude.  The bail out order was given, and all 10 crewmen managed to bail out of the aircraft.  It is not known if T/Sgt. Wilkins was wounded in the aircraft or while parachuting to Earth, but his body was located on the ground with a large wound in his groin area.  All of the crew except Wilkins and the co-pilot, 1st Lt. Gerald J. Flannick, survived the jump and were captured by the Germans.

He is buried at the White Chapel Cemetery in Royal Oak, Michigan.  He was married.

 
Willey medals
T/5 Willey's Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal. 

T/5 Willey's Presidential Accolade
T/5 Willey's Presidential Accolade.

T/5 Willey unit's Roll of Honor.

T/5 Willey unit's Roll of Honor.
Tech. 5 Joseph E. Willey, 35344474, 41st Reconnaissance Squadron, 11th Armored Division.  Killed in Action on 1 May 1945 in Peilstein, Austria by gun shot wounds to the head and chest. Born on 7 June 1914, he entered the service on 17 October 1942 from Corunna, Indiana.

He was killed by machine gun fire along with one other soldier as the unit quickly advanced to the Austrian border one week before the end of the war.  He was survived by his wife and two sisters.

He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.  He was 30 years old.

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T/5 Joseph Willey.

Willey grave

T/5 Willey's headstone at Lorraine-American Cemetery.