Monday, March 18, 2019

WW2 Okinawa Fallen - Peter Genovese, 193rd Tank Battalion

Pvt. Peter Genovese served with the 193rd Tank Battalion in Okinawa.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/71099634/peter-s-genovese
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/6th-tanks-use-of-a-remanuactured-m4a3-t94205-s50.html 
Peter S. Genovese never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on March 18, 1919 in Rochester, New York. His parents Cosimo and Rosalia were both born in Italy. They came to America in 1903. His father worked as a tailor. He died in 1926. Peter had four older sisters and one older brother. By 1930 Peter and his widowed mother were living with his older brother who worked as a garage mechanic. Peter completed three years of high school. He got married to a woman named Pauline by 1943. I was not able to find her last name.

He was drafted into the army on May 19, 1944. He became a private in Company B, 193rd Tank Battalion. While the 193rd TB was in action in the Pacific earlier in the war, Pvt. Genovese joined his unit in time for its participation in the invasion of Okinawa, where it supported the 27th Infantry Division. 

On April 20 the 165th Infantry Regiment of the 27th ID was assigned to attack the Japanese at the Gusukuma defenses. The Japanese were well prepared to defend this position with multiple criss-crossing fields of artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire supported by entrenched caves, tunnels and tombs. Daily loses were heavy but the Americans would not give up. Pvt. Genovese was killed on the final day of this part of the battle on April 27, 1945.

His grave is at Holy Sepluchre Cemetery in Rochester, New York. I don't know what happened to his widow.

Thank you Pvt. Genovese for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Peter.

Last year on this date I profiled B-26 Donald Field and his brother Ernest, 36th Infantry Division. You can read about Donald here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100

WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

Sunday, March 17, 2019

WW2 Fallen - Distinguished Service Cross hero Frank Bradley, 5th Infantry Division + 1st woman Purple Heart

Captain Frank Bradley served with the 5th Infantry Division from France, across Germany and into Czechoslovakia.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5601153/frank-lucas-bradley
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538672805402571520/?lp=true 
Frank Lucas Bradley never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on March 17, 1919 in West Virginia. His parents Orville and Zola were also both born in West Virginia. His father worked as a salesman and later owned a dry goods store. Frank was an only child. By 1940 Frank had completed two years of high school and was living with his parents. He graduated from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1941.

He enlisted in the army in 1941. He rose to the rank of captain in Company F(?), 10th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division (nicknamed "Red Diamond"). The 5th ID arrived in Normandy on July 9, 1944. It participated in the breakout from Normandy and seized Rheims at the end of August. It was part of the assault on Metz in September. In early December, the 5th ID attacked into Germany. Captain Bradley was wounded stopping a counterattack (he was wounded twice during the war), an action that would earn him the Distinguished Service Cross. In 1945 the 5th ID fought all the way across Germany and was in Czechoslovakia by May 1. During his time with the 5th ID, Captain Bradley also earned the Bronze Star twice.

Captain Bradley was killed on May 5, 1945, three days before Germany surrenderedSome documents claim he was killed in Cannes, France. My guess is that it is a typo, since his unit was in Czechoslovakia at the time.

He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. His citation reads as follows:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Infantry) Frank L. Bradley (ASN: 0-423387), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 10th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 4 December 1944, in Germany. 


During a strong enemy counterattack near Karlsbrunn, Germany, Captain Bradley courageously exposed himself to intense enemy artillery fire and ran approximately 300 yards to contact friendly tank destroyers. Although painfully wounded by shell fragments just as he reached his objective he gallantly refused to be evacuated, led the tank destroyers against the enemy and succeeded in repulsing the counterattack. 

Captain Bradley's heroic actions and indomitable fighting spirit are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.


His grave is at Sunset Memorial Park in Charleston, West Virginia.

Thank you Captain Bradley for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Frank.

CORDELIA COOK
Born in Kentucky, on the same day as Frank Bradley, was Cordelia Cook. She received training as a nurse and graduated in 1940. She joined the US Army Nurses Corps and became a first lieutenant and surgical nurse. Assigned to field hospitals in the European Theater, she was often close to the fighting. She was wounded by shrapnel in 1943 when her hospital in Italy was bombed by the Germans. For her service she was awarded the Bronze Star. She was the first woman to earn both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordelia_E._Cook
Cordelia Cook continued working as a nurse after the war. She died in 1996.

Last year on this date I profiled another Distinguished Service Cross hero, Joseph Pomber, 2nd Infantry Division. You can read about Joseph here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100

WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

Saturday, March 16, 2019

WW2 Iwo Jima Fallen - Navy Cross hero Thor Thostenson, 5th Marine Division

Sgt. Thorborn Thostenson earned the Navy Cross on Iwo Jima with the 28th Marine Regiment.
 https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/63877098
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/399694535672739567/?lp=true
Thorborn Milo “Thor” Thostenson never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

Thor was born March 16, 1919 in Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota. His parents Ole and Anna were also born in Minnesota, both to parents who emigrated from Norway. His father was a farmer. Thor had two younger brothers and four younger sisters. In 1940, Thor had graduated from high school and was attending college while living at home with his parents in Wood Lake, Minnesota. He was a Gold Gloves boxer.

Thor was inducted into the USMC in March 1942 and served in the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion (aka “Carlson’s Raiders”) in the battles of Guadalcanal and Bougainville. After Bougainville, he was returned to the States and married the former Alice Crane. Thor was reassigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment of the 5th Marine Division, which took part in the amphibious invasion of Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. Thor was awarded the Navy Cross, the US military's second-highest decoration awarded for valor in combat, for his actions that day. His citation reads:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant Thorborn M. Thostenson (MCSN: 371063), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Squad Leader, serving with Company C, First Battalion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 19 February 1945. 

With his squad pinned down by heavy rifle and machine-gun fire emanating from a hostile pillbox manned by eleven Japanese, Sergeant Thostenson boldly advanced alone against the enemy position, throwing hand grenades and proceeding through devastating barrages to the entrance of the emplacement. Placing a demolition charge inside the fortification, he succeeded in destroying the pillbox and in killing all the Japanese occupants, thereby enabling his unit to resume its advance cross the island. 

By his daring initiative, fearless leadership and gallant devotion to duty in the face of certain peril, Sergeant Thostenson contributed materially to the success of our forces in the bitter fighting on Iwo, and his indomitable fighting spirit and heroic conduct throughout were inspiring to those with whom he served, and reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

Sgt. Thostenson was shot and killed by a sniper only ten days later on March 1, 1945 while leading his squad of riflemen against the enemy. One month after his death, his daughter Diana Lea Thostenson was born.

Thorborn Milo Thostenson is buried in East Yellow Medicine Lutheran Cemetery in Hanley Falls, Minnesota. His Navy Cross was presented posthumously to his daughter, who died in 2011.

Thank you Sgt. Thostenson for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Thor.
_____
This profile was written by Bob Fuerst. "I’m a NASA engineer, B-17 Flying Fortress enthusiast, and amateur genealogist so this kind of research is an ideal outlet for me. But more than anything, it’s a way to express my sincere appreciation for The Greatest Generation and the sacrifices that they made, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They should never be forgotten and I’m grateful to Don for allowing me to play a small part in honoring them."

Last year on this date I profiled James Starr of the 70th Infantry Division. You can read about James here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100

WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by
The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation
“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

Friday, March 15, 2019

WW2 Pearl Harbor Fallen - Medal of Honor hero Francis Flaherty, USS Oklahoma

Medal of Honor hero Francis Flaherty served on the USS Oklahoma during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5783769/francis-charles-flaherty
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324259241910804300/ 
Francis Charles Flaherty never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on March 15, 1919 in Charlotte, Michigan. His parents Francis and Gertrude were born in New York and Michigan, respectively. His paternal grandparents were from Ireland. His maternal grandfather was from Germany. His father worked as a grain dealer. Francis had an older brother, older sister and a younger sister. 

The 1930's census records show that Francis's father was a patient at the Kalamazoo State Hospital Michigan Asylum for the Insane. His wife took over his job and supported the family as a grain elevator manager. In June of 1932, Gertrude was also sent to a sanatorium. One month later her husband Francis committed suicide by hanging at the Kalamazoo asylum. Tragically, Gerturde was released from the sanatorium and then committed suicide by drowning three months after her husband.

Despite the difficult circumstances of losing both his parents at age 13, Francis completed high school and enrolled in the University of Michigan, graduating in 1940. He joined the Navy Reserve which led to him becoming an ensign assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma. Meanwhile his older brother John, who was already in the Navy, was in charge of the recruiting department for the Manhattan Project.

Oklahoma steamed from San Fransisco to Hawaii in October 1941. On the morning of December 7, 1941 Oklahoma was one of the first ship attacked by the Japanese bombers when three torpedoes struck the ship between 0756 and 0800. An inspection was scheduled for the next day so many of the watertight doors were opened to allow easy access for the crew getting ready for the inspection. It made the ship take on water much quicker than otherwise. 

As the ship began to rollover, instead of diving off and swimming clear, Ensign Flaherty headed for his duty station in one of the turrets. With electric power knocked out, the interior of the ship was totally dark. Ensign Flaherty found a flashlight and pointed it at the corridor exit and guided his men off the ship. Over a ten minute period the ship completely rolled over. While Ensign Flaherty's efforts saved the lives of many others, he stayed behind to shine his flashlight as long as possible to allow others to escape. For his actions he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

After the ship capsized, rescue efforts were able to save 32 men. Ensign Flaherty was not one of them. His remains were never identified. He was one of 415 men from Oklahoma killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.

Ensign Flaherty's Medal of Honor citation reads as follows:

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Ensign Francis Charles Flaherty (NSN: 0-95690), United States Naval Reserve, for conspicuous devotion to duty and extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. 

When it was seen that the U.S.S. OKLAHOMA (BB-37) was going to capsize and the order was given to abandon ship, Ensign Flaherty remained in a turret, holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life.

The destroyer escort USS Flaherty was commissioned in 1943 and named in his honor.

His cenotaph grave is at Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte, Michigan.

Thank you Ensign Flaherty for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Francis.

Last year on this date I profiled B-24 waist gunner Edward Yurka who became a prisoner of war who died in the Black March. You can read about Edward here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100

WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

Thursday, March 14, 2019

WW2 Fallen - Arthur Sprick, 1st Armored Division and one of the Band of Brothers

Private Arthur Sprick served in the 1st Armored Division in Tunisia.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/64285457/arthur-j_-sprick
https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/tank-battle-in-happy-valley-1st-armored-division-in-the-run-for-tunis/
Arthur Sprick never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on March 14, 1919 in Madison, Illinois. His parents Oscar and Elizabeth were born in Illinois and Missouri, respectively. I don't have any more information about his father. His mother worked as an embroidery factory presser. Arthur was an only child. He and his mother lived with his maternal grandmother. By 1940 Arthur had completed two years of high school and was working as a leather factory creaser.

He was drafted into the army on February 26, 1941. He served as a private in the 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division.

After landing in Algeria in November 1942, the 1st Armored took a central role in the advance across North Africa. By late March it was in Tunisia, advancing through German positions barring the road to Gabes. Pvt. Sprick was killed in action on April 1, 1943.

His grave is at St. Jerome Catholic Cemetery in Troy, Illinois.

Thank you Private Sprick for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Arthur.

JOSEPH TOYE
Born in Hughestown, Pennsylvania on the same day as Arthur Sprick was Joseph Toye. He might not be a household name, but he became well-known as one of the paratroopers portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

Joseph dropped out of high school to work in the coal mines after his father died. He joined the army four days after Pearl Harbor and then volunteered for the paratroopers to make more money. 

On D-Day he injured his hand when it got caught wrong in his chute cords. He was part of the group that Lt. Dick Winters put together to take out the guns at Brecourt Manor. Joe survived being concussed by a German grenade and an errant American grenade. He was awarded the Silver Star for this action.


Sgt. Joseph Toye
http://www.marcusbrotherton.com/an-unimagined-success/
Joe was wounded by an artillery bombardment in Holland during Operation Market Garden. He was evacuated to England but returned to his unit in time for the Battle of the Bulge. While on the front lines, he was wounded by shrapnel and sent back to an aid station in Bastogne. He decided not to stay and snuck back to Easy Company's front line position. During another artillery bombardment on January 3, he was caught in the open and took more shrapnel in the back and then had his right leg blown off. 

Joe spent nine months in hospitals recovering. After the war he worked as drill bit grinder. He died in 1995. Colonel Dick Winters delivers his eulogy.

Last year on this date I profiled one of the Normandy fallen, Robert Taylor, 28th Infantry Division. You can read about Robert here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100

WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

WW2 Fallen - DFC hero and engineer/gunner Donald Fitzmaurice, Doolittle Raiders

Sgt. Donald Fitzmaurice was part of the sixth bomber crew to take off on the Doolittle Raid.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3574467/donald-e-fitzmaurice
https://childrenofthedoolittleraiders.com/crew-members/team-members/fitzmaurice/ 
Donald E. Fitzmaurice never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

Donald was born March 13, 1919 in Lincoln, Nebraska. His parents William and Margaret were born in Missouri and Kansas, respectively. His father was a farmer. Donald had two younger brothers and two younger sisters. In 1940, Donald was living at home with his parents and had completed one year of college.

Donald enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on August 13, 1940 and was trained as an aircraft mechanic at Chanute Field, Illinois, graduating in March 1941. His first assignment was to the 95th Bomb Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group at McChord Field, Washington, where he served as a mechanic and flight engineer on B-25 Mitchell bombers. In February 1942, Sgt. Fitzmaurice and other members of the 95th volunteered for a secret mission that eventually became the famous Doolittle Raid.

Sgt Fitzmaurice was the engineer-gunner on B-25 Mitchell bomber 40-2298, nicknamed Green Hornet, piloted by 1Lt. Dean Hallmark. The Green Hornet was the sixth to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on April 18, 1942 and after skimming across the Pacific Ocean, encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire on reaching the Japanese coast. After crossing the coast, the Green Hornet climbed to 1,500 feet and dropped its bomb load on a military target in Tokyo, then proceeded southwest off the southeastern coast of Japan and across the East China Sea toward eastern China. Running low on fuel, Lt. Hallmark was forced to ditch the plane in darkness in the waters off the coast. Lt. Hallmark and two of the crew were able to make it to shore, but the next morning the bodies of Sgt. Fitzmaurice and bombardier Sgt. William Dieter were found washed up on the beach.

After burying their two crewmembers, Lt. Hallmark and the other survivors of the Green Hornet, Lt. Robert Meder (co-pilot) and Lt. Chase Nielsen (navigator), were hidden by Chinese soldiers but were later betrayed by a Chinese officer and turned over to a Japanese patrol. Lt. Hallmark was eventually executed on October 15, 1942 in Shanghai, China. Lieutenants Meder and Nielsen were imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese. Lt. Meder died of dysentery in a prison camp December 1, 1943. Lt. Nielsen remained imprisoned until his release in August 1945 and passed away in 2007.

Sgt. Fitzmaurice was originally interred in Shatow, China. His remains were later returned to the United States and he was buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Chinese Breast Order of Yung Hui.

Thank you Sgt. Fitzmaurice for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Donald.
_____
This profile was written by Bob Fuerst. "I’m a NASA engineer, B-17 Flying Fortress enthusiast, and amateur genealogist so this kind of research is an ideal outlet for me. But more than anything, it’s a way to express my sincere appreciation for The Greatest Generation and the sacrifices that they made, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They should never be forgotten and I’m grateful to Don for allowing me to play a small part in honoring them."

Last year on this date I profiled Pfc James Potts of the 113th Cavalry Group. You can read about James here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100

WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

WW2 Fallen- B-24 pilot Endicott Lovell and his B-17 pilot brother James

Brothers Endicott and James Lovell were both bomber pilots for the 8th Air Force.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/159724982/endicott-remington-lovell
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/140345676/james-macnaughton-lovell
Endicott Remington Lovell, Jr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on March 12, 1919 in Calumet, Michigan. His parents Endicott and Martha were born in Mexico and Michigan, respectively. His father worked as a copper smelter assistant supervisor and later was the president of Calumet and Hecla Consolidated Copper Company and a board of control member at Michigan College of Mining and Technology. Endicott had two younger brothers. By 1940 he had completed one year of college at Yale University.

After completing a second year at Yale, he enlisted in the Army Air Forces on January 12, 1942. He was accepted to officers candidate school and was trained to become a pilot as a first lieutenant in the 755th Bombardment Squadron, 453rd Bombardment Group, which was equipped with B-24 Liberators. Younger brother James also became a bomber pilot, serving with the 545th Bombardment Squadron, 384th Bombardment Group, which was equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses.

James started flying combat missions in December 1943. On March 19, 1944, Lt. Lovell took off on his fifteenth and final mission, flying a B-17 nicknamed Lovell's Hovel. The target that day was V-1 and V-2 launch sites in France. His plane was hit by flak after releasing its bombs. While some of the crew survived and ended up prisoners of war, Lt. Lovell and three others did not.

Endicott would have heard that his brothers plane was lost, but he may not have learned of his death. On May 8, 1944 he was flying a B-24 nicknamed Gypsy Queen on a mission to Germany. His plane was attacked by a German fighter and exploded in midair. Five men managed to survive as prisoners of war, but Lt. Lovell was killed in action.

Endicott and James are buried side by side at Lake View Cemetery, Calumet, Michigan.

Thank you Endicott and James for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for the Lovell brothers.

Last year on this date I profiled escaped POW Wesley Jordan. You can read about Wesley here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100

WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”