Sunday, May 20, 2018

WW2 Normandy Fallen - George Lewis, 35th Infantry Division + kid brother William

This painting by Keith Rocco depicts the 35th Infantry Division fighting in Normandy
where both George and William Lewis were killed in battle.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalguard/4100337639
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/58909507/george-e.-lewis
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/58909436/william-r.-lewis
George E. Lewis never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 20, 1918 in Missouri. His parents Harold and Anna were also both born in Missouri and Kansas, respectively. His mother died in 1937. His father worked as a farm laborer and later as a laborer for the New Deal Work Projects Administration. George had two younger brothers and a younger sister.

He enlisted in the army (date unknown) and became a private first class in the 137th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division (nicknamed "Santa Fe Division"). 

Younger brother William was drafted into the army on June 30, 1942. He became a private in the 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division (nicknamed "Indianhead"). It landed on Omaha Beach the day after D-Day. He was killed less than two weeks later on June 18, 1944 while his unit was fighting in the Normandy hedgerows.

The 35th ID arrived in Normandy a month after D-Day. I don't know if George was aware that his brother had been killed nearby. His unit became part of the effort to breakout of Normandy. On August 4, 1944 the 137th IR completed its advance from St. Lo to Vire. They faced lighter than expected resistance, but losses mounted regardless. The after action report for this day counted 130 casualties, including nine killed. Pvt. Lewis was one of those killed in action, just miles away from where brother William lost his life.

On March 31, 1949 their father filled out the paperwork for their headstones.

The Lewis brothers are buried at Iconium Cemetery in Iconium, Missouri.

Thank you George and William for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for the Lewis brothers.

Last year on this date I profiled Walter Kreklow, 88th Infantry Division. You can read about Walter 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, May 19, 2018

WW2 Battle of Santa Cruz Islands Fallen - Glen Miller, USS Porter + Band of Brothers officer

Glen Miller was a fireman first class on the USS Porter at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/38073635/glen-allen-miller
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Porter_(DD-356) 
Glen Allen Miller never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 19, 1918 (or perhaps May 9) in Iowa. His parents Abram and Mildred were born in Illinois and Iowa, respectively. His father worked as a farmer. He died in 1928 of meningitis at age 36. Glen had two younger sisters and a half-brother from his mother's second marriage. He completed four years of high school.

Glen joined the Navy on January 20, 1940. He became a fireman first class on the destroyer USS Porter. It missed being in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by two days.

Porter was part of the task force protecting the carrier USS Enterprise during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, 1942. By 9:30 am Enterprise could no longer land more planes, her deck was full with planes from both her squadrons and those from damaged Hornet. Planes began ditching into the sea and destroyers picked up the fliers. A damaged TBF ditched near Porter. Moments later Porter was struck by a torpedo. Later investigation concluded that it was likely from the TBF, an unlucky, and unindented hit. The torpedo fatally damaged the destroyer so it was sunk by gunfire from the destroyer Shaw to keep it out of enemy hands. Fireman Miller was one of 15 sailors killed by the tragic accident.

His cenotaph grave is at Fontana Cemetery, Hazleton, Iowa.

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

NORMAN DIKE

Also born on the same day as Glen Miller was Norman Dike, best known to the millions who watched the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers as the ineffectual commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge. He was replaced by Lt. Ronald Spiers when Lt. Dike froze up during the attack on Foy.


https://alchetron.com/Norman-Dike
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/53208215/norman-staunton-dike
Lt. Dike was the son of a New York State Supreme Court justice. His mother was from a rich well known New York family. Dike could have found a safer position than the volunteer airborne.

Perhaps by the time depicted in Band of Brothers Lt. Dike had reached the breaking point. He had already been twice awarded Purple Hearts for combat wounds and had also received two Bronze Stars -- for leading men in the defense of a vital road junction in Holland and or rescuing three wounded men while under fire during the Battle of the Bulge (not shown in the miniseries).

After being removed from command of Company E, Lt Dike went back to serve in a staff position and was eventually chosen to serve as the aide-de-camp to the Division commander. He served in the Korean War. Dike retired as a Lt. Colonel, became a lawyer, and died in 1989.

Last year on this date I profiled Robert Putnam, 35th 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”

Friday, May 18, 2018

WW2 Normandy Fallen - John Parker, LST 314, sunk by German E-boat

Cpl. John Parker was killed off of Omaha Beach when LST-314 was sunk by a German E-boat.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9386013/john-a-parker#view-photo=54571736
https://www.navsource.org/archives/10/16/160314.htm 
John A. Parker never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 18, 1918 in North Carolina. His parents Greenberry and Nora were also both born in North Carolina. His father worked as a blacksmith. John had an older brother and a younger sister. By 1940 he had competed two years of high school and was living at home, working as a laborer.

He was drafted into the army on November 23, 1941. He became a TEC 5 in the 3422nd Ordnance Maintenance Company. His unit was part of the effort of handling the massive supplies delivered onto Omaha Beach to support the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Corporal Parker was listed as missing in action on June 9, 1944. In all likelihood he was killed when LST 314 was sunk in the English Channel by a German E-boat torpedo. By September his status was changed to killed in action with a date of June 21, 1944. 

His cenotaph grave is at Rutherfordton City Cemetery in North Carolina.

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

Last year on this date I profiled Audrey Harris, 37th Infantry Division. You can read about Audrey 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, May 17, 2018

WW2 Fallen - Bronze Star hero Tadashi Kijima, 442nd Infantry Regiment

Sgt. Tadashi Kijima served in the 442nd Infantry Regiment in Italy and France.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/53113490/tadashi-kijima
https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/442nd_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States) 
Tadashi Kijima never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 17, 1918 in Hawaii. His parents Seichi and Hina were both born in Japan and came to Hawaii in 1906. His father worked as a salesman. Tadashi had three brothers and a sister. After completing high school he worked at a tinsmith shop and spent his free time diving and fishing.

He was drafted into the army on February 24, 1942. After basic training he volunteered for the all Nisei 442nd Infantry Regiment. He became a sergeant in the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion. He was sent overseas in May 1944. During June through August he saw action in the Rome-Arno Campaign. The 442nd IR was next sent to be part of the invasion of Southern France and the advance to the Vosges Mountains.

Sgt. Kijima was at the 2nd Battalion command post when it came under artillery fire on October 18, 1944. He was killed by a deadly fragments from a tree burst above. During his service he earned a Bronze Star. I was not able to determine the details for this.

The 442nd IR was a 4,000 man unit. Over the course of the war 14,000 men served in this regiment. Purple Hearts were earned by 9,486. It was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in American history.


Sgt. Kijima's grave is at Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao, Hawaii.

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

Last year on this date I profiled Edward Gill, 3rd Marine Division, who lost his life on Iwo Jima. You can read about Edward and true love 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, May 16, 2018

WW2 Normandy Fallen - Rufe Tipps, 90th Infantry Division

S/Sgt. Rufe Tipps served with these men from Company K, 359th Infantry Regiment when they fought in Normandy.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/101873848/rufe-eldridge-tipps
http://www.90thdivisionassoc.org/History/Yardlongs/RegTroops/359th/CoK/359%20K%20DC%20783p62.jpg
http://abmc.nomadmobileguides.com/Normandy.php?page=narrative&id=cont-2303
Rufe E. Tipps never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 16, 1918 in Tennessee. His parents Rufus and Tabitha were also both born in Tennessee. His father worked as a farmer and later as a barber. Rufe had two younger sisters and two younger brothers. By 1940 Rufe had completed two years of college at Middle Tennessee State and was working on the family farm.

He was drafted into the army on October 8, 1941. He became a staff sergeant in Company K, 3rd Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division.

The 90th ID arrived in England in April 1944 and immediately began training for the invasion of France. It was in action in Normandy the day after D-Day.  A week later, Sgt. Tipps was killed on June 14, 1944 when his regiment was attacking the village of Orglandes. The 90th ID would lose more than third of its men during the fighting in Normandy.

His grave is at Riverview Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

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

Rufe is the 500th of the fallen I have profiled so far. That accounts for only 5 of the 4,048 stars on the Freedom Wall at the WW2 Memorial. I plan to continue this project through September 2, 2020, the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2. Thanks to all those that are sharing this project with others so more people can learn of these men (and women) who should not be forgotten.

Last year on this date I profiled Seeber Crawford, 101st Airborne Division. You can read about Seeber 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, May 15, 2018

WW2 Fallen - P-38 pilot Robert Crosswait

Lt. Robert Crosswait served in the 431st Fighter Squadron in the South Pacific.
This squadron is represented in this painting by John Shaw.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/39738110/robert-lincoln-crosswait
http://www.aviationarthangar.com/nosatobyjosh.html 
Robert Lincoln Crosswait, Jr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 15, 1918 in South Dakota. His parents Robert and Elizabeth were both born in Iowa. His father worked as a school superintendent. Robert had three older sisters, one older brother, and two younger brothers who both served in the army during WW2. By 1940 Robert, known as Bobby, was living at home and had completed one year of college. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps.

He enlisted in the army on February 10, 1941 and qualified for flight school. He was originally trained to fly B-25 Mitchells He became a first lieutenant in the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group where he flew P-38 Lightnings.

He married Kathleen Bushnell in January 1943 and was sent overseas in August 1943. During his career as a fighter pilot he completed 35 missions and was credited with one victory. On June 30, 1944 his plane was shot down over New Guinea and he was reported as missing in action. New Guinea has some of the densest jungles in the world. Lt. Crosswait and his plane have never been found.

His cenotaph grave is at Eventide Cemetery in Woonsocket, South Dakota. His widow remarried after his death and she died in 2012.

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

Last year on this date I profiled Earl Charbonneau, 90th Infantry Division. You can read about Earl 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”

Monday, May 14, 2018

WW2 Fallen - Silver Star hero Howie Smith, 34th Infantry Division

Captain Howard Smith led an artillery unit in the 34th Infantry Division from Algeria to Italy.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6747860/howard-a.-smith
http://ww2awartobewon.com/wwii-archives/edisons-soldiers-34th-infantry-division/
Howard A. Smith, Jr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 14, 1918 in New York. His parents Howard and Emily were also both born in New York. His father worked as a fireman and later was the treasurer for American Express and was the president of the Ridgewood Country Club. Howard, who went by Howie, had a younger sister and two younger brothers. He was captain and star of the football team in high school. He attended college at Princeton University and graduated in 1941 with a degree in economics.

He likely had some ROTC experience from college and became an artillery officer in the summer of 1941. He became the executive officer an artillery battery in the 168th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division. He took part in the first combat against the Germans in Algeria in November 1942 and the fighting that continued into Tunisia. He was transferred to the 168th IR Cannon Company and also was part of the Italian campaign from Salerno to Naples to Casino. He rose to the rank of Captain.

In October 1943 he earned the Silver Star ...

... for gallantry in action in October 1943 in the vicinity of Italy. When the attack of this 2nd Battalion, Infantry was stopped on low ground, observation upon enemy positions was nil except in places covered by enemy automatic weapons fire. 

In the absence of an artillery observer, Captain Smith, with utter disregard for his own safety and on his own initiative went forward and established an observation post. He exposed himself to enemy machine-gun fire to secure the much-needed observation and brought the fire of his Cannon Company to bear on the enemy position, neutralizing their fire. Later, when one platoon was making an attack upon enemy positions, Captain Smith went forward through intense enemy machine gun, small arms and mortar fire to gain better observation. 

By doing this, he was able to locate several enemy machine gun emplacements, direct the fire of his Cannon Company on them and destroy them. Captain Smith's initiative, courage and devotion to duty were exemplary and are a credit to the Armed Forces of the United States.

On November 1, 1943, while his unit was engaging the enemy at Prata, Captain Smith left his command post to establish an observation post and was killed by a bomb fragment during an air raid.

His grave is at Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah, New Jersey

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

Last year on this date I profiled King Gunther, who was among over 1,300 men killed by a German cruise missile that sunk the HMT Rohna. This is a story few people have read even though it claimed more lives than the sinking of the USS Arizona. You can read about King 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”