Friday, June 22, 2018

WW2 Vosges Forest Fallen - Bronze Star hero Cike Kawano, 442nd Infantry Regiment

Pfc. Cike Kawano served in Company E of the 442nd Infantry Regiment in the Vosges Mountains.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/76704114/cike-c-kawano
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/565905509419312426/?lp=true 
Cike Kawano never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 22, 1918 in Nebraska. His parents Yonosuke and Anna were both born in Japan. His father came to America in 1910 and his mother came in 1914. His father worked as a farmer. Cike had nine younger brothers and three younger sisters. By 1940 Cike had finished four years of high school and was working on the family farm.

He was drafted into the army on February 27, 1941. He became a private first class in Company E, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment. His unit fought the Germans in Italy at Salerno, Monte Cassino, Anzio, and Rome to the Arno River. Transferred to France, his unit fought across Southern France to the Vosges Forest.

Pfc. Kawano was killed in action on November 6, 1944 while he was fighting in the Vosges Forest near Belmont, France.

Pfc. Kawano was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star. His citation reads as follows:

When the success of an attack launched by his platoon depended upon contacting the company commander for reinforcements, Private First Class KAWANO, a radio operator, volunteered to deliver the message and unhesitatingly set out through intense enemy machine gun and mortar fire. 

After reaching his objective, he immediately took it upon himself to lead the reserves to the forward positions. Although he was fatally wounded by enemy machine-gun fire, his inspiring performance enabled the reserves to arrive in time to aid in the successful completion of the mission. Private First Class KAWANO's devotion to duty and exemplary conduct are in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Armed Forces.

Pfc. Kawano's unit was awarded an amazing number of Bronze Stars - 4,000. That's how many men were in the regiment at full strength. There were actually about 14,000 men who served in the 442nd, because so many were killed or wounded.

His grave is at Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell, Wyoming.

Thank you Cike for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Cike.

Last year on this date I profiled Paul Yohannan, 88th Infantry Division. You can read about Paul 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.

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

WW2 Battle of the Bulge Fallen - Donald Chamberlain, 4th Infantry Division

Pfc. Donald Chamberlain fought with the 4th Infantry Division from D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/159025274/donald-r-chamberlain
http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/ernest-hemingway-and-the-ivy-leaguers-in-world-war-ii/ 
Donald R. Chamberlain never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 21, 1918 in New York. His parents Franklin and Ada were both born in Pennsylvania. His father worked as a handle factory manager and later as a acid plant laborer. Donald had two older sisters, three older brothers (two became WW2 army vets), one younger sister, and one younger brother (a WW2 navy vet). By 1940 Donald had completed four years of high school. He was still living at home and worked in the grocery business with one of his older brothers.

He was drafted into the army on March 3, 1941. He became a private first class in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. 

The 4th ID arrived in England in January 1944. It landed on Utah Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Pfc. Chamberlain was wounded four days later. He rejoined his unit on August 10. After taking heavy casualties in the Hurtgen Forest, the 4th ID was sent to the low action Ardennes Forest only to be involved in the thick of the Battle of the Bulge. Pfc. Chamberlain survived these two horrendous battles until the Americans were on the offensive in January 1945. Pfc. Chamberlain was wounded on January 7, 1945 and died later that day. 

His grave is at Riverview Cemetery in Hancock, New York

Thank you Donald for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Donald.

Last year on this date I profiled PBY-5 officer John O'Leary. You can read about John 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.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WW2 Fallen - B-24 co-pilot Linwood Perkins

Lt. Linwood Perkins, 43rd Bombardment Group, was killed
when his B-24 crashed on takeoff at Port Moresby, New Guinea.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/147756884/linwood-w-perkins
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peacelovescoobie/5626919480
https://picclick.com/WW-2-US-Army-Air-Force-43rd-Bombardment-351992909379.html
Linwood W. Perkins never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 20, 1918 in Maine. His parents Blaine and Ethel were born in Maine and Massachusetts, respectively. His father worked as a house carpenter. Linwood had a twin brother. By 1940 Linwood had completed four years of high school and was working as a bookkeeper while living at home.

He enlisted in the army on January 13, 1941. He attended flight school and was trained to fly bombers. He became a second lieutenant in the 403rd Bombardment Squad, 43rd Bombardment Group, 5th Air Force which was originally equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses. It was sent to Australia and began operations in September 1942. In 1943 the 43rd BG transitioned from B-17s to B-24s. Its main targets were enemy shipping.

On November 1, 1943 Lt. Perkins' B-24 took off at 2:00 am from its Port Moresby airbase for a planned recon mission over Rabaul. The bomber crashed at the end of the runway killing all of the crew. The cause was attributed to fuel fumes that ignited in the fuselage, an unfortunate common occurrence with Liberators.

His grave is at Pine Grove Cemetery in Bangor, Maine.

Thank you Linwood for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Linwood.

Last year on this date I profiled Dale Modrell, 28th Infantry Division. You can read about Dale 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

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

WW2 Okinawa Fallen - Navy Cross hero David Doerr, 6th Marine Division

Gunnery Sergeant David Doerr earned the Navy Cross with the 6th Marine Division in Okinawa.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/40474304/david-donald-doerr
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/470344754820092169/?lp=true
http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/orders-medals-decorations/us-navy-cross-105924/ 
David Donald Doerr never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 19, 1918 in Ohio. His parents William and Jennie were also both born in Ohio. His father worked as a farmer and later as a weaver. The family moved to Florida in the 1930s and William worked as a blanket maker. David had two older brothers, one younger brother, and two younger sisters. At least one of his brothers also served in the military during the war. David completed two years of high school.

He enlisted in the Marines on April 19, 1938. He became a gunnery sergeant in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 29th Marine Regiment, 6th Marine Division. The 29th MR fought in the Battle of Saipan in June 1944. It landed on Okinawa on April 1, 1945.

Sgt. Doerr was killed in action on April 12, 1945. He was recognized with the Navy Cross as follows:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to David D. Doerr (264610), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving as Gunnery Sergeant of a Machine Gun Platoon of Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-Ninth Marines, SIXTH Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces at Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, on 12 April 1945. 

Acting without orders when his company was viciously fired upon by a strong Japanese force, Gunnery Sergeant Doerr immediately charged forward despite the relentless shellfire and established a firing line on the crest of a ridge. Then, further exposing himself, he moved about among his men, directing their fire against the emplacements and encouraging them to hold fast despite the extreme odds. 

Wounded by enemy small-arms fire, he gallantly elected to remain with his men and, when one of his gunners became a casualty, promptly seized the weapon and dragged it to an open position on top of the ridge to obtain more accurate firing range. Braving the devastating machine-gun, mortar and artillery barrage laid down by the enemy, he promptly set up his machine gun and trained his accurate fire against the positions, killing ten of the Japanese and providing effective cover for his men. 

Struck down by a bursting artillery shell, he again refused evacuation and, continuing his selfless efforts, manned his weapon with deadly effect until he lost consciousness. 

By his forceful leadership, indomitable fighting spirit and great personal valor, maintained through the fierce action, Gunnery Sergeant Doerr served as an inspiration to all and contributed materially to the success of his company's mission. His valiant conduct and unrelenting devotion to duty reflect he highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Commander in Chief, Pacific Forces: Serial 52124 (February 7, 1946)

His grave is at Oak Grove Cemetery, Lake Alfred, Florida.

Thank you David for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for David.

Last year on this date I profiled Glenn Erickson, an 8th Air Force airman. You can read about Glenn 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

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“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

Monday, June 18, 2018

WW2 Fallen - B-25 co-pilot Joseph Metzger

Lt. Joseph Metzger was a B-25 co-pilot in the 447th Bombardment Squadron in Italy.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/106276537/joseph-earl-metzger
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:B-25J-10-_43-27425_447th_Bomb_Squadron_-_111_-_1944.jpg
WW2Fallen100 has exceeded 800,000 views. Thanks to all those who read and share these stories with others so the fallen are not forgotten. Keep reading. Keep sharing.

Joseph Earl Metzger never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 18, 1918 in Ohio. His parents Jacob and Anna were also both born in Ohio. His father worked as a window trimmer. Joseph had an older sister.

Joseph enlisted in the Army Air Corps on September 4, 1939. He achieved the rank of second lieutenant and co-pilot in the 447th Bombardment Squadron, 321st Bombardment Group, 12th Air Force which was equipped with B-25 Mitchells. This unit bombed operational targets from North Africa, to Italy and the Balkans.

On April 28, 1944 Lt. Metzger was part of a seven ship mission to bomb the railroad bridge at Orvieto, Italy. The bombers avoided any enemy fighters but a flak shell killed Lt. Metzger. He was the only casualty on that mission.

His grave is at St. Johns Cemetery, Canton, Ohio.

Thank you Joseph for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Joseph.

Last year on this date I profiled B-24 bombardier Adolph Ornstein and the actor Richard Boone. You can read about Adolph 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, June 17, 2018

WW2 Fallen - B-24 gunner Louis Kne and his brother Joseph, 3rd Armored Division

Sgt. Louis Kne was the tail gunner on the B-24 Chug-a-Lug in China.
His brother Cpl. Kne served in the 3rd Armored Division.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/118165611/louis-kne
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/117953153
https://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=17760
Louis Kne never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 17, 1918 in Minnesota. His parents Frank and Marija were both born in Slovenian speaking Austria-Hungry and came to America in 1909. His father worked as a grocery clerk and later as an iron miner. Louis had an older sister, an older brother, and nine (yes, nine) younger brothers. At least five of the Kne brothers served in the Army or Navy during WW2. By 1940 Louis had completed four years of high school and was working as an interior decorator while living at home. 

He was drafted into the Army in June 1942 and he volunteered for the Army Air Forces. He became a staff sergeant in the 425th Bombardment Squadron, 308th Bombardment Group, 14th Air Force which was based in Kweilin, China. Sgt. Kne was trained as a B-24 tail gunner.

Sgt. Kne volunteered to substitute as the tail gunner on the mission aboard the B-24 Chug-a-Lug on August 24, 1943. During the mission, a head-on attack from Japanese fighters grievously damaged the bomber with over 200 cannon and machine-gun holes. Four of the crew were seriously injured. Sgt. Kne shot down a Japanese plane, but he was wounded by a shot from its tail gunner as it went down. Sgt. Kne gave up his oxygen mask to a crew mate with a severed air line. 

Chug-a-Lug escaped into cloud cover and managed to return to base relying on the memory of the navigator since the maps had blown out of the plane. The pilot made a successful high speed crash landing. Sgt. Kne was the only one who died.

Sgt. Kne's older brother Joseph joined the army a year earlier that Joseph and served in the 3rd Armored Division in the European Theater as a TEC 5. On October 20, 1944, Cpl. Kne was driving some supplies to front line near Aachen, Germany when he was killed by a German artillery barrage.

Louis's grave is at Calvary Cemetery in Chisholm, Minnesota. His brother is buried in Belgium.

Interestingly, their family home still has a gold star displayed outside.

google maps
Thank you Louis and Joseph for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for the Kne brothers.

Last year on this date I profiled Clyde Boyd, USS St Louis kamikaze victim. You can read about Clyde 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

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“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

Saturday, June 16, 2018

WW2 Guadalcanal Fallen - Gerald Roberts, Americal Division

Pvt. Gerald Roberts served with the 164th Infantry Regiment on Guadalcanal.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/63213389/gerald-william-roberts
http://www.shotinthedark.info/wp/?p=13440
Gerald William Roberts never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 16, 1918 in South Dakota. His parents John and Anna were born in Iowa and South Dakota, respectively. His father worked as a farmer. Gerald had a twin brother (who became an army WW2 vet), three younger sisters, and a younger brother (who died in 1938). He lived in Pleasant Lake, South Dakota and probably watched the work to carve Mount Rushmore. By 1940 Gerald had completed four years of high school and was living at home.

Gerald was drafted into the Army on April 28, 1941 and became a private in Company M, 3rd Battalion, 164th Infantry Regiment, Americal Division. The 164th IR was one of the first army units deployed overseas in WW2. It was sent to New Caledonia in the South Pacific in January 1942. With two other regiments they combined to form the uniquely named Americal Division. 

The 164th IR arrived on Guadalcanal on October 13, 1942 to reinforce the Marines defending Henderson Airfield from the Japanese. Two weeks later they turned back a major Japanese attack to breakthrough and retake the airfield.

Japanese cruisers bombed Henderson Field on the night of November 30 / December 1. Pvt. Roberts died December 1, 1942. I am not sure if he was a casualty of this attack, or if his death was from some other cause.

His grave is at Lakeview Cemetery, Atkin, Minnesota.

Thank you Gerald for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Gerald.

Last year on this date I profiled Battle of Midway DFC hero Robert Brazier. 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”