Sunday, September 24, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Lester Taylor, 101st Airborne / National Gold Star Mother's Day

Cpl. Taylor, 101st Airborne, was killed in a successful attack near Best, Holland
that netted more than 1,000 prisoners and captured one of the needed bridges.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=17313845&ref=acom
http://www.ww2marketgarden.com/battleatbest101stairbornedivision.html 

Today is National Gold Star Mother's Day, created by Congress in 1936 to recognize and honor the mothers who lost a son or daughter while serving in the US Armed Forces. 

Lester A. Taylor never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on September 24, 1917 in Tennessee. His parents were also both born in Tennessee. His father worked as a farmer. Lester had an older sister, six younger sisters, and a younger brother.

While in California, he enlisted in the army on January 30, 1942. He had been working as a farmhand. He decided to volunteer for the Airborne and ended up as a corporal in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

Cpl. Taylor was with his unit when they jumped into Normandy in the dark early hours of D-Day. He survived that battle and jumped into Holland on September 17, 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden. Its mission was to capture the railroad and road bridges at Best. The Germans destroyed the railroad bridge just as the paratroopers were getting close. The highway bridge remained in German hands for two days until the 502nd successfully captured the bridge leaving more than 300 enemy dead and taking more than 1,000 prisoners. Cpl. Taylor was killed during this battle.

His grave is at Restview Cemetery in Loretto, Tennessee.

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

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
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Saturday, September 23, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Doolittle raider Edwin Bain

Sgt. Edwin Bain and his crewmates flew this B-25 on the famous Doolittle raid to bomb Japan.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56305660&ref=acom
https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/27-march-1942/
Edwin V. Bain, Jr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on September 23, 1917 in North Carolina. His father was also born in North Carolina while his mother was from up north in New York, but just one generation away from Ireland. Edwin Jr. had a younger sister. His father worked as a garage mechanic and later as a real estate salesman after moving to Chicago. Edwin Jr. stayed in North Carolina and lived with his sister at the home of his dad's father. His mom died of pellagra in 1934. 

Edwin joined the Army Air Corps on August 20, 1936. He was originally trained as a radio operator and repairman. When the war started he was a sergeant and trained gunner on B-25s. Early in 1942 he volunteered for a secret mission which turned out to be the Doolittle raid on Japan.  He was the upper turret gunner on the 14th plane to take off from the USS Hornet on April 18, 1942. His plane bombed Yokohama and safely made it to China where the crew all bailed out and evaded Japanese capture. 

After returning to America, Sgt. Bain's next assignment was the Mediterranean. By December 1942 he was flying missions as a gunner on B-26 Marauders.

He was killed in action on July 19, 1943. After a combat mission near Rome, his plane crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea. His remains were not recovered.

His death is memorialized at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial.

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

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
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Friday, September 22, 2017

WW2 Fallen - B-29 airman Frank Crane

Sgt. Frank Crane last mission was on the 497th Bomb Group's B-29 Pacific Union.
http://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/b-29/
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=151480146&ref=acom
Francis Joseph Crane never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on September 22, 1917 in Wisconsin. His mother was born in Indiana. His father was born at sea (Frank's grandparents were German immigrants).  His father worked as a planing mill woodworker and later an automobile repairman. Frank had a twin sister (Frances Josephine). He also had an older brother and younger brother who served in the navy during the war. 

Frank completed 4 years of high school and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in November 1940. He became a staff sergeant in the 869th Bombardment Squadron, 497th Bombardment Group, Twentieth Air Force which was equipped with B-29 Superfortresses. Sgt. Crane arrived with his fellow airman on Saipan in September 1944. They flew missions over Iwo Jima and Truk and eventually focused on Japan.

On January 14, 1945 Sgt. Crane was onboard the B-29 Pacific Union with a mission to bomb the Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Nagoya through heavy overcast. There were 73 B-29's on the mission. Five did not return, include Pacific Union which ditched in the ocean near Saipan. Four of the crew survived, but the rest, including Sgt. Crane, went down with the plane.

His cenotaph grave is at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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

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
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Thursday, September 21, 2017

WW2 Fallen - B-17 engineer/gunner Albert Beyke

Sgt. Albert Beyke was the flight engineer on the B-17 Dear Mom.
http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/4380
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37205286
http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/08/18/Belgian-town-honors-crew-of-Dear-Mom-a-U-S-bomber-shot-down-in-WWII/stories/201308180169 

Albert V. Beyke never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on September 21, 1917 in Ohio. His mother also born in Ohio and his father was born in Tennessee. His father worked as a farmer. Albert had two older brothers and an older sister. He also had three younger brothers and a younger sister. By 1940 Albert had completed one year of high school. He lived at home working on the family farm.

He enlisted in the army on April 14, 1942. He became a tech sergeant in the 331st Bombardment Squadron, 94th Bombardment Group, Eighth Air Force which was equipped with B-17s. The 94th arrived in England in April 1943 and flew its first mission in June. Sgt. Beyke was a flight engineer / top turret gunner.

On August 17, 1943 Sgt. Beyke was on the B-17 Dear Mom on a mission to bomb the Messerschmitt factory at Regensburg. Once over Belgium the 146 B-17s on the mission were expecting to pick up a P-47 escort. The Thunderbolts never showed up, but German fighters did. Dear Mom had the misfortune to be the first B-17 to go down. A FW-190 shot up Dear Mom's oil tanks and the plane flipped over on one side. The front of the plane exploded, killing six airmen, including Sgt. Beyke. The back part of the plane survived the explosion and four men jumped. Two of the crew were captured but two evaded capture and escaped safely. The plane crashed near Lummen, Belgium. Only half of the bombers on the mission returned relatively unscathed. More than 50 sustained heavy damage and aside from Dear Mom, another 23 were lost.

The Belgians built a memorial to honor the men from this plane. You can read more here.

His grave is at St. Mary Cemetery, Fort Recovery, Ohio. Three of his brothers served in the army during the war. All came home.

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

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
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WW2 D-Day Fallen - William Evans, 101st Airborne + NBA tie-in

Cpl. William B. Evans jumped into Normandy on D-Day with these men of the 3rd Battalion, 502nd PIR.
http://www.americandday.org/D-Day/Airborne_Division-Pathfinder-Plane_19.html
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=139703139&ref=acom  
William B. Evans never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on September 20, 1917 in Kentucky. His parents were also both born in Kentucky. His father worked as a coal wagon driver. William had an older brother. By 1940 William had married and was living with his wife and his in-laws while working as a laborer. They had at least one son.

He enlisted in the army on May 13, 1942. At some point after that he volunteered to serve in one of the new parachute regiments. He became a corporal in the headquarters company, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

Bad weather made it difficult for the 502nd to land in its designated drop zones on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Despite having fewer troops than anticipated, Corporal Evans' 3rd Battalion was able to take the two causeways linking up with Utah Beach. I don't know if Cpl. Evans was killed while achieving these objectives or earlier during the day.

His grave is at Park Cemetery, Greenfield, Indiana. His widow never remarried and died in 1987. I don't know what happened to his son.

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

Red Auerbach

Also born on September 20, 1917 was Red Auerbach, one of the most success coaches in NBA history. He was raised in Brooklyn and quickly found a talent for basketball. He attended George Washington University on a basketball scholarship and graduated with a master degree in 1941. He got a job as a high school basketball coach but after two years he joined the navy for three years of service. Among his navy duties was coaching basketball.


http://www.celticsbeagle.net/redtribute.html
After the war Auerbach continued his coaching career eventually becoming the legendary coach of the Boston Celtics where he became the winningest coach of all time (as of then) and won nine NBA championships. Auerbach died in 2006.

The lost sports accomplishments of the 408,000 fallen will forever remain unknown. Though their names are missing from the record books, let us still remember their names for the more significant accomplishments they achieved in sacrificing their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

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
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WW2 Fallen - B-24 bombardier Richard Hanford

Lt. Dick Hanford was a B-24 bombardier for the 762nd Bombardment Squad
and was killed on the mission when this photo was taken.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=92031446&ref=acom
http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~webermd1/wwII.html 

Richard "DIck" A. Hanford never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on September 19, 1917 in Nebraska. His mother was also born in Nebraska while his father was born in New York. His father worked as a clothes merchant and later as a laundry dry cleaner when the family moved to Oregon. Still later he worked as a salesman. Richard had a older sister and a younger sister. By 1940 Richard had completed four years of high school and was still living at home while working as a salesman.

He enlisted in the Army Air Forces on October 19, 1943. Dick would serve for less than one year. He became a second lieutenant in the 762nd Bombardment Squadron, 460th Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force which was equipped with B-24 Liberators. Lt. Hanford was trained as a bombardier.

On October 16, 1944 Lt. Hanford's plane, White K for Knight, took off from Spinazzola Airbase with a mission to bomb the aircraft factory in St. Valentine, Austria. Anti-aircraft fire over the target was intense and accurate. Lt. Hanford's B-24 exploded in mid-air. Eight of the crew were able to jump out, but Lt. Hanford and one other man did not and died when it crashed.

His grave is at Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland, Oregon.

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

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
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Monday, September 18, 2017

WW2 Fallen - B-17 radio operator Cyril Curb + famous historian

Sgt. Cyril Curb and the crew of the B-17 "Pennsylvania Polka".
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=33274627 

Cyril Edward Curb never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on September 18, 1917 in Minnesota. His mother was born in North Dakota and his father was born in Holland. His father worked as a logging camp sawyer and later as a bar tender. Cyril had two younger brothers and one younger sister. During the war one brother was a pilot and the other was an army engineer. Cyril completed four years of high school.

He enlisted in the army on October 31, 1941, leaving a sawmill job. He became a tech sergeant radio operator in the 323rd Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group which was equipped with B-17s.

Sgt. Curb was on board the Pennsylvania Polka on his final mission on February 4, 1943. It was a mission to bomb the railroad marshaling yards in Hamm, Germany. On the return flight, Sgt. Curb's bomber was shot down by German fighter planes 12 miles northwest of Terschelling Island. The plane crashed into the North Sea with no survivors.

His cenotaph grave is at Evergreen Cemetery in Gemmell, Minnesota.

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

Clinton Rossiter

Also born on September 18, 1917 was Clinton Rossiter who became a well-known historian. He grew up in New York and graduated from Cornell University. In 1942 he earned a PhD from Princeton University. Shortly thereafter he joined the navy and served three years as a gunnery officer, mostly on the USS Alabama, and attained the rank of lieutenant. 

He became a professor of history after the war and a prolific writer. His best known book 1787: The Grand Convention is one of the best accounts of the Constitutional Convention. If you studied the Federalist Papers, there is a good chance the version you read was put together by Rossiter.


https://www.slideshare.net/atrantham/presidency-60928534

Rossiter died an early death at his own hand at age 52 attributed to depression brought on by student unrest at Cornell.

We will never know what great books remained unwritten by the 400,000+ fallen who never came home.

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
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100