Saturday, November 18, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Richard Thew, USS Shark

Richard Thew served on the USS Shark, the first submarine sunk by the enemy in WW2.
http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/thew-r-r.htm
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/SS/SS-174_Shark.html
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=10303537&PIpi=14186834 
Richard Ridley Thew never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on November 18, 1917 in California. His mother was born in Michigan and his father was born in Minnesota. His father worked as a telephone company lineman and later as a farmer. Still later he worked as an electrician. Richard had an older brother and sister.

He enlisted in the navy and became a fire controlman first class on the submarine USS Shark. When the war started, Shark was on station in the Philippines. Sent out to sea, it had no success in sinking any enemy vessels and dodged a couple of close calls when engaged with enemy warships. After reporting in on February 7, 1942 Shark was never heard from again.

Records obtained from the Japanese Navy after the war suggest that Shark was sunk by the Japanese destroyer Yamakaze on February 11, 1942. Fire Controlman Thew was one of 54 officers and crew that were killed in this attack. It was the first American submarine sank by the enemy in World War 2.

There is a memorial to the crew of the USS Shark located at Seal Beach, California. There is another memorial in Oklahoma.

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

Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Richard be profiled.

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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Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Friday, November 17, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Porter Marple, Battle of Dutch Harbor

Pvt. Porter Marple was killed when the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DutchHarborRaid_map.svg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dutch_Harbor
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=113324884&ref=acom 
Porter Marple never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom. He might have made it since his older sister lived to be 99.

He was born on November 17, 1917 in Kentucky. His parents Hubert and Maud were also both born in Kentucky. His father worked as a farmer and later as a carpenter. Porter had an older sister and a younger sister. By 1940 Porter had completed one year of high school and was still living at home while working as a carpenter. 

He enlisted in the army on November 27, 1941, ten days before the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. He became a private in Company A, 151 Engineer Battalion which was stationed in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

On June 3, 1942, a sortie of carrier based Japanese bombers and fighters unexpected appeared over Dutch Harbor at 4 am. The attack was to destroy communication and oil storage targets to support the landing of Japanese troops in the Aleutian Islands. Among the targets hit, bombs struck two barracks including the one where Pvt. Marple slept. He was one of 78 Americans killed in the two day attack.

His grave is at Ryder Cemetery in Lebanon, Kentucky. The VFW post in Lebanon is named in his honor.

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

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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Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Thursday, November 16, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Two time DSC hero Sheldon Dannelly, 32nd Infantry Division

Captain Sheldon Dannelly commanded a company in the 127th Infantry Regiment in the Philippines with these troops.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=92262305&ref=acom
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/ww2/32ww2-11.html 
Sheldon M. Dannelly never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on November 16, 1917 in South Carolina. His parents Joseph and Delula were also both born in South Carolina. His father worked as a farmer. Sheldon had two older brothers, one older sister, and one younger brother. Two of his brothers also served in the army during the war. By 1940 Sheldon had completed four years at Wofford College and was living at home working as a school teacher and later as a school principal. 

He enlisted in the army on February 11, 1942. He rose to the rank of captain and commanded Company A, 1st Battalion, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division (nicknamed Red Arrow Division). The 32nd Division saw action in New Guinea and Luzon.

Three of his enlisted men were recognized with the Medal of Honor. Captain Dannelly himself twice earned the Distinguished Service Cross.

On April 25, 1945 Captain Dannelly was killed in Luzon while trying to rescue some of his men trapped in a cave-in.

Here are the citations for his two DSC:

“for extraordinary heroism in action March 4 and 5, 1945. Capt. Dannelly, commanding Co. A, 127TH Infantry, skillfully attacked a heavily defended enemy position over open terrain defeating the enemy snipers and machine gunners. Throughout the engagement which lasted for 2 days, Capt. Dannelly, with utter disregard for his own safety, and in the face of heavy enemy artillery, mortar, and sniper fire, went from fox-hole to fox-hole giving encouragement and direction to his men.”

“for extraordinary heroism in action along the Philippine Islands April 25, 1945. As an infantry company was preparing to attack, a bomb suddenly smashed into the perimeter, burying 5 men with its explosion. The enemy immediately concentrated machinegun and rifle fire on the area where the bomb had landed. Capt. Dannelly, the company commander, seized an entrenching shovel and with complete disregard for his own safety, rushed forward across the 50 yards of open ground with bullets striking all about him. Although the enemy fire grew in intensity, he rose to his feet and, fully exposed, began digging into the rock and sand beneath which men were buried. As he undertook his self-imposed task, he was hit and killed by enemy fire. Capt. Dannelly, through gallant sacrifice of his own life, provided a lasting inspiration for the men with whom he served.”

His grave is at Ehrhardt Cemetery in South Carolina.

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

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, November 15, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Wildcat ace Francis "Cash" Register

Lt. Francis Register became an ace in the skies over Guadalcanal.
http://acesofww2.com/USA/aces/register/
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:F4F-4_Wildcat_of_VF-5_near_Guadalcanal_1942.jpg
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=35340152&ref=acom 
Francis Ronald Register never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on November 15, 1917 in North Dakota. His father was also born in North Dakota while his mother was born in Wisconsin. His father worked as a post office clerk. Francis had two younger brothers (the youngest served in the Navy near the end of WW2) and a younger sister. He spent part of his youth living with his father's mother. By 1940 Francis had completed two years of college and was living with his grandmother while working as a civil engineer. He learned to fly before the war started as part of the Aviation Cadet Program.

Francis married Ruth Christianson on February 7, 1942. Sadly, they perhaps drew apart as reflected in Francis's diary of June 20, 1942: Seems odd Ruth doesn't write more often. Have been gone three weeks and have received only one letter. My friends have received as many as ten. It kind of hurts not hearing from her.

He enlisted in the navy on March 17, 1941. Be became a lieutenant, junior grade and fighter pilot. He became an ace flying F4F Wildcats. From 1942 to 1943 he saw duty on the USS Saratoga until it was torpedoed. He was then sent to Guadalcanal. Later he served on the USS Enterprise, and the USS Nassau. Lt. Register was credited with 8 enemy kills and twice earned the Distinguished Flying Cross.

He was serving on Guadalcanal during the crucial September-October weeks when the Japanese were close to defeating the Americans.  

A sample from Lt. Register's diary from September 13:

Later next morning. We were shelled last night as if hell broke loose. Eight of us were in a bomb crater digging like gophers. Shells whistling and bursting all around, with heavy fire from the hills around us. Lost 4 VB pilots last night with a direct hit on the bomb shelter. Many more gone. We are standing by now for a carrier attack. 

I have never seen, and I don't think this has occurred any other place, the terrific courageous fight the men are making here at Guadalcanal. We have the worst jungle conditions here with the Marines striking out into it hunting out Japs. We only hold a 10 mile radius from the beach. The island is 80 miles long and 30 miles wide and the rest of it is full of Japs. Over 5,000 and more coming in every day and night. They shoot at us on takeoff and landing. Our strategy and leadership has been very poor on this whole invasion. It has been very disheartening and has discouraged the men terribly. So many mistakes have been made. They have sent us no equipment or reinforcements. For two weeks they ate Jap rice on the island. If the people back home only knew the truth instead of what is put out to them. 
Don't know how much longer I can last. 

Flew over 4 hours and most of the time at 26,000 feet. Zero's came over this morning with us losing many pilots. Two very good friends were killed, one on the field. This afternoon we intercepted 26 VB and 20 VF. I got 1 VB, ran out of gas and just made the fie1d. Two were killed like this yesterday. God, I never knew life could be like this; we are like rats in a trap fighting every minute for our lives and knowing it's just a matter of time before we will all go. Very few of my friends I started with are left. We are taking a terrible toll on the Japs, but can't stop them.

You can read Lt. Register's fascinating war diary here.

On May 16, 1943 Lt. Register was flying with Composite Squadron Eleven (VC-11) from the escort carrier USS Nassau. He was attacking Japanese positions near Holtz Bay on the Island of Attu, Alaska when his plane was shot down and he was killed.

His grave is at St Mary's Cemetery in Bismarck, North Dakota. His widow remarried in 1946 and died in 2011.

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

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, November 14, 2017

WW2 Fallen - B-24 bombardier Donald Schwerin

Lt. Donald Schwerin was a bombardier-navigator in B-24s in the 5th Bomb Group such as the one above.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41243043&ref=acom
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/571886852660484032/ 
Donald Charles Schwerin never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on November 14, 1917 in Washington. His parents were also both born in Washington. His father, a child of German immigrants, worked as a wheat farmer. Don had one younger brother and one younger sister. By 1940 Don had completed two years of college at Washington State and was working on the family farm.

He enlisted in the Army Air Forces on 1942. There were more volunteers than could be trained so Don was not called into active service until February 1943. He became a second lieutenant and bombardier-navigator in the 23rd Bombardment Squad, 5th Bombardment Group, 13th Air Force which was equipped with B-24 Liberators. Lt. Schwerin was sent to New Guinea in December 1944 to join the 23rd BS as a replacement. For the next four months Lt. Schwerin participated in bombing Japanese targets in the Philippines.

On April 2, 1945, Lt. Schwerin's plane took off for an observation mission over Negros Island in the Philippines. The plane went missing. Later it was discovered that all eleven men onboard were killed when the plane crashed into a mountain.

His grave is at Ritzville Memorial Cemetery in Washington.

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

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, November 13, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Johnnie Culak, 90th Infantry Division

Staff Sergeant Johnnie Culak served in the 358th Infantry Regiment with these men and was killed in Normandy on D+6.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/us-army/advance.html
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=69652308&ref=acom 
Johnnie J. Culak never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on November 13, 1917 in Texas. His father was also born in Texas (one generation from Czechoslovakia) while is mother was from Czechoslovakia. His father worked as a farmer. John had three older sisters and one younger sisters. By 1940 John had completed eight years of schooling and was working on the family farm.

He enlisted in the army on March 21, 1942.  One year later he married Leonitta Krejci on May 27, 1943. Johnnie became a staff sergeant in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division (nicknamed Tough 'Ombres).

Some men for the 90th ID saw action on D-Day June 6, 1944 on Utah Beach, the rest, including Sgt. Culak, were all in Normandy by June 10.

On June 12, 1944 the 358th IR attacked Pont l'Abbe on the way to take the high ground past the town. Sgt. Culak was killed during the successful attack.

His grave is at St. Josephs Catholic Cemetery in Moulton, Texas. His widow never remarried and died in 1988. They are buried side by side.

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

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Shelley Bolton, Bataan Death March POW

Pvt. Shelley Bolton was in an AA battery in the Philippines at the start of WW2.
http://argonautsand40niners.blogspot.com/2011/06/
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=21419416
http://www.angelfire.com/nm/bcmfofnm/history/200thdetails.html 
Shelley L. Bolton never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on November 12, 1917 in Kansas. His mother was also born in Kansas while his father was born in Missouri. His father worked as a farmer. Shelley had a younger sister and four younger brothers. By 1940 Shelley had completed eight years of schooling and lived at home, working on the family farm.

For some reason he was in New Mexico in the spring on 1941 where he enlisted in the army on March 22, 1941. He served as a private in Battery C, 515th Coast Artillery Regiment. The 515th was originally part of the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment which was sent to the Philippines in August 1941 from New Mexico for what was to be a one year posting. Pvt. Bolton was disappointed in the mail service in the army. He had written 45 letters to friends and family and had not received any correspondence back.

Pvt. Bolton's unit provided anti-aircraft defense when the Japanese bombed Philippine targets a few short hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The anti-aircraft units were credited with shooting down 85 Japanese planes in the next four months. 

Pvt. Bolton fought on the Bataan Peninsula until the Americans surrendered and endured the April 9, 1942 Bataan Death March to the Camp O'Donnell prison camp. He was in better shape than most and carried a fellow soldier too weak to walk on his own.

Pvt. Bolton contracted malaria which caused his death on May 15, 1942. At the end of the war only half of the original 1,800 men from the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment remained alive to be liberated from Japanese prison camps.

His grave is at Park Cemetery in Columbus, Kansas.

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

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