Wednesday, April 26, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Charles Hedrick, Lost At Sea

Seaman Charles Hedrick was on the USS Jacob Jones when it was sunk by a German U-boat.
http://destroyerhistory.org/flushdeck/ussjacobjones/ 

Charles M. Hedrick never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on April 26, 1917 in West Virginia. His parents were also both born in West Virginia. His father was a farm laborer and later a farmer. Charles had two younger sisters and four younger brothers. By 1940 Charles had completed four years of high school.

Charles became a Seaman 2nd Class serving on the USS Jacob Jones, a Wickes class destroyer built in 1918 that had a crew of 149 on it's final patrol.

When the war started, the Jacob Jones acted as convoy protection for ships travelling from Argentina to America and Europe. In February, it was reassigned to anti-submarine duty to find the German subs that were wrecking havoc along the Atlantic coast. Jacob Jones departed New York on the morning of February 27, 1942.  Later that day it searched for survivors from a tanker that had been torpedoed by the U-578.

http://destroyerhistory.org/flushdeck/ussjacobjones/

The next day, in the dark of the early hours, the U-578 surprised Jacob Jones and hit her with two torpedoes. At least 30 men survived the sinking, but many of these were killed when depth charges exploded as the ship dropped to the bottom of the sea. A patrol craft was only able to rescue 12 survivors. Seaman Hedrick was not one of them.

Seaman Hedrick is remembered with a cenotaph memorial at Wallace Memorial Cemetery in Clintonville, West Virginia.

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


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!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Stanley Bennett, 24th Infantry Division

Pvt. Stanley Bennett.
from the book World War II Young American Patriots 1941-1945

Stanley W. Bennett never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on April 25, 1917 in West Virginia. His parents were also both born in West Virginia. His father was a coal miner. Stanley had two older brothers, three younger brothers and two younger sisters. By 1940 Stanley had moved to Pennsylvania. He had a wife named Virginia and had a 4 year old girl and 2 year old boy, also named Stanley. A third child was born after the 1940 census. He had an 8th grade education and was working as a laborer.

Stanley entered the service on June 8, 1944 and became a private in Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Pvt. Bennett was likely a replacement soldier since the 34th IR was already in the South Pacific when he joined the army. 

He was no doubt already part of Company K when it took part in the invasion of Leyte in October 1944. By January 1945 it was on to the task of retaking Luzon. The 3rd Battalion was given the specific assignment of eliminating the Japanese on Corregidor Island. With the aid of paratroopers who dropped in on the high ground, the 3rd Bn landed on February 16 and found the island to be well defended. 

This map shows the attack on Corregidor that Pvt. Bennett participated in.
http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/rock-force-assault-macarthurs-invasion-of-corregidor/ 

It took 11 days to dislodge the 6,700 Japanese defenders, 6.600 of which were killed. The Japanese conducted repeated banzai attacks. Pvt. Bennett was killed on February 17, the second day of the battle. He was one of 207 troops that were lost retaking Corregidor. 

His remains were returned to be buried at Grafton National Cemetery in Grafton, West Virginia.

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


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!

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Monday, April 24, 2017

WW2 Fallen - James Burnett, 29th Infantry Division

Pvt. James Burnett
https://116thregimentrollofhonor.blogspot.com/2016/09/pfc-james-earley-burnett.html#comment-form 

James E. Burnett never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on April 24, 1917 in Virginia. His parents were also both born in Virginia. His father was a farmer. James had three younger sisters and four younger brothers. By 1940 he had completed a 6th grade level of school and worked as a farm laborer.

James enlisted in the army on April 14, 1941. He became a private in the Headquarter's Company, 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, nicknamed "The Blue and Gray."

Pvt. Burnett would have participated in the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach where the troops of the 116th Infantry Regiment were the first men on the beach. He would have been involved in the battle for St. Lo and the Normandy hedgerows. Pvt. Burnett was one of the more fortunate G.I.s by the end of the Normandy Campaign. The 29th Infantry Division in Normandy suffered more than 2,500 dead and 8,000 wounded. His luck did not hold out. His unit was next ordered to assault Brest. This lasted from August 25 to September 18. Pvt. Burnett died on September 4, 1944, one of four Blue and Gray men who died that day and one of 624 who lost their lives in the battle for Brest. 

His remains were returned to be buried at White Rock Cemetery in Floyd,Virginia.

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


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!

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Harold Nussman, P-47 Pilot

Lt. Haorld Nussman posses next to a previous P-47 he flew.
http://hjmarseille.tumblr.com/page/2

Harold C. Nussman never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on April 23, 1917 in North Carolina. His parents were also both born in North Carolina. His father was a brick burner manager and later a carpenter. Harold had an older brother and an older sister, plus a younger brother and a younger sister. By 1940 he had completed high school and was working as a motor vehicle mechanic.

He was still living at home with his parents when he decided to enlist in the Army Air Corps on July 28, 1941 as a private. Over the next few years he advanced in ranks to 1st lieutenant. He was in the 328th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, 8th Air Force and flew P-47 Thunderbolts.

On February 8, 1944 Lt. Nussman was flying his P-47 Blondie  with four other P-47s in escort of a disabled B-17 returning from a mission to Frankfurt when four German FW-190s surprised them from out of the sun. His plane, and three others, were shot down and crashed near ChaCharlesville-Mezieres in France. Lt. Nussman and the other three P-47 pilots were all killed.

His remains were returned to be buried at Salisbury National Cemetery in North Carolina.

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


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!

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Lester Purcell, Americal Division

Troops from 132nd Infantry Regiment on Mt. Austen where Pvt. Purcell was killed attacking Japanese.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Woundet_Soldier_at_Guadalcanal.jpg
Lester W. Purcell never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on April 22, 1917 in Illinois. His parents were also both born in Illinois. His father was a farmer who also worked as a garage mechanic. Lester had an older sister and one younger brother. 

By 1941 Lester had completed one year of high school and was working as a farm hand. Lester enlisted in the army on April 25, 1941.

He was a private in the 132nd Infantry Regiment, Americal Division. This was one of the first army regiments sent overseas. It left New York in January 1942 and arrived in Australia by February. By May it was attached to the Americal Division in New Caledonia which was assigned to augment and then relieve the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal.

Pvt. Purcell and the 132nd Infantry Regiment landed on Guadalcanal on December 8, 1942. By the second week on island the 132nd was ordered to drive the Japanese off of Mt. Austen. This hill was high ground that allowed the Japanese to keep an eye on Henderson Field. The Japanese position was their strongest on the island and it took more than a month to clear them off the hill. Pvt. Purcell was killed on December 27, 1942 when the Americans unsuccessfully combined a frontal assault with a flanking maneuver. He was one of 250 troops killed taking Mt. Austen.

His remains were returned to be buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

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


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Friday, April 21, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Stephen Monson, 8th Air Force

Lt. Monson (third from left) is standing with the officers of his B-17 crew.
https://www.fold3.com/document/32148491/ 

Stephen M. Monson never had a chance to be 100 years old today. Instead, he lost his life in the service of his country during World War 2.

He was born on April 21, 1917 in Utah. His parents were also both born in Utah. His father was an oil company laborer and later a sheep herder. Stephen had three younger brothers. By 1940 Stephen had completed four years of high school and was working as a filing clerk.

Stephen enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 23, 1942 as an aviation cadet.

He was a second lieutenant in the 323rd Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force where he had the position of bombardier. 

On September 6, 1943, Lt. Monson's B-17 ditched in the English Channel after running out of gas on the return flight from it's bombing mission. Three crewmen died but Lt. Monson and seven other were rescued to return to duty.

On October 4, 1943 Lt. Monson was not so lucky. He was part of a mission with five planes from his squadron to bomb Frankfurt, Germany. Two planes aborted and two planes returned, but Lt. Monson's plane crash landed in Belgium. The nine other crewmen were captured by the Germans, but Lt. Monson was killed.

His remains were returned to be buried at the American Fork City Cemetery.

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


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

WW2 Fallen - William Hammack, B-17 Crewman

Sgt. William Hammack was an engineer on B-17s in the 26th Bomb Squadron such as these.
http://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/b-17-flying-fortress/b-17f-of-the-26th-bs-11th-bg-enroute-to-raid-on-buka-airfield/ 

William L. Hammack could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on April 20, 1917 in Indiana. His parents were also both born in Indiana. His father was a farmer and later a bus driver. William had two younger brothers and two younger sisters.

William became a sergeant in the Army Air Corp. He was part of a B-17 crew in the 26th Bombardment Squadron, 11th Bombardment Group.

On August 4, 1942 Sgt. Hammack was the engineer on a B-17 that took off from Espiritu Santo on a bombing mission against Tulagi in support of the Guadalcanal invasion. Japanese fighters intercepted the B-17s. One damaged Japanese fighter collided with Sgt. Hammack's bomber sending both planes crashing into the sea below. There were no survivors. This was the first US plane lost in the Guadalcanal campaign.

Sgt. Hammack is memorialized at Deer Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Tell City, Indiana. The year after his death, his father died at age 50.

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


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!

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