Thursday, June 22, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Paul Yohannan, 88th Infantry Division

Pfc. Paul Yohannan served in the 350th Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division.
 1937 New Britain High School Yearbook
http://www.military.com/unitpages/unit.do?id=715928
Paul Yohannan never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 22, 1917 in Connecticut. His parents were both born in Persia. His father worked as polisher in a lock factory. Paul had two younger sisters. By 1940 Paul had completed four years of high school and was still living with his parents.

He enlisted in the army on June 20, 1942. He became a private first class in Company A, 1st Battalion, 350th Infantry Division, 88th Infantry Division.

The 88th Infantry Division arrived in Italy in February 1944. It was on the line at the Garigliango River on March 4. No plans were made to advance forward along the front in this area during the spring. Engagement with the enemy was limited to patrols and reconnaissance. Nevertheless, Pfc. Yohannan was killed in action on April 24, 1944.

His grave is at Saint Thomas Cemetery, New Britain Connecticut.

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


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WW2 Fallen - John O'Leary, PBY-5 Officer

Ensign John O'Leary, PBY-5 officer, flew PBYs out of Jacksonville, Florida.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=54156942&ref=acom
http://www.wikiwand.com/de/Consolidated_PBY
John James O'Leary never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 21, 1917 in South Dakota. His mother was born in Iowa of Canadian parents. His father was born in Ireland and came to America as a baby in 1880. His father worked as a carpenter and later a building contractor. John had an older sister, four younger sisters and one younger brother. By 1940 the family had moved from South Dakota to Montana but John had already moved out.

John's enlistment date is unknown, but he became an ensign who served as part of a PBY-5 crew.
On January 28, 1945 the pilot attempted a single engine water landing on the St. Johns River in Florida, The plane made a turn too close to the water. The wing struck the water and was torn off while the plane's hull was crushed. There were eleven men on board and six were killed including Ensign O'Leary.

His grave is at Mountain View Cemetery, Billings, Montana.

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


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Dale Modrell, 28th Infantry Division

Pvt. Dale Modrell, 28th Infantry Division.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13923464&ref=acom 

Dale Doyle Modrell never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 20, 1917 in Nebraska. His parents were also both born in Nebraska. His father worked as a farmer. Dale had two older brothers, two younger sisters and one younger brother. By 1940 Dale had completed four years of high school and had moved to Colorado where he worked as a hired hand on a farm. He married his wife Anna on August 21, 1941 in Kansas. They had one daughter.

Dale enlisted in the armed services on March 18, 1943. He had been working in a meatpacking business. Dale arrived in Europe in September 1943 and became a private first class in Company B, 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. Pvt. Modrell first entered combat on July 22, 1944. The 28th Infantry was active in Operation Cobra to break out of Normandy. One month later, the 28th Infantry marched in the parade to mark the liberation of Paris.

The 28th Infantry played a major role in the Battle of Hurtgen Forrest, the longest single battle ever fought by the US Army for nearly three months. The Americans lost 33,000 men killed and wounded during this battle.

Pvt. Modrell went missing in action on October 2, 1944 in Bleialf, Germany where his unit was attacking against the Siegfried Line. 

In the mid-1950s his remains were discovered by workmen installing a new power line.

His grave is at Twin Oaks Memorial Gardens in Albany, Oregon. After his death, his wife remarried and died in 1999.

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


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
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Monday, June 19, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Glenn Erickson, 8th Air Force

Pvt. Glen Erickson was an airman flying B-24s for the 701st Bombardment Squadron like this plane.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:701st_Bombardment_Squadron_-_B-24_Liberator.jpg 

Glenn K. Erickson never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 19, 1917 in North Dakota. His father was also born in North Dakota and his mother was born in Minnesota. Three of Glenn's grandparents were born in Norway. His father worked as farmer. Glenn had an older brother, a younger brother and two younger sisters. By 1940 Glenn had completed four years of high school and was living with his uncle while working as a truck driver.

He was a private in the 701st Bombardment Squadron, 445th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force.
On August 26, 1944 the 701st Bomb Squad was part of a 109 bomber mission to bomb the chemical works at Ludwigshafen and marshaling yards at Ehrang and Kons/Karthaus. Despite an escort of 77 P-51s, 53 B-24s returned damaged and seven were lost, including Pvt. Erickson's plane.

His grave is at Kindred Cemetery in Kindred, North Dakota.

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

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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

WW2 Fallen - B-24 Bombardier Adolph Ornstein + famous actor born on the same day

Lt. Adolph Ornstein was a B-24 bombardier in the 719th Bombardment Squadron.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=95438726
http://www.americanairmuseum.com/unit/4012 

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

He was born on June 18, 1917 in New York. His father and mother were both born in Austria Hungary in what became Czechoslovakia after WWI. They came to America in1892 and 1900. His father worked in real estate. Adolph had one older brother.

Adolph had completed three years of college when he decided to enlist in the army on October 10, 1941. At some point he was assigned to the Army Air Corp. He became a 2nd lieutenant on July 11, 1942 and a B-24 bombardier in the 719th Bombardment Squad, 449th Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force.

The 449th Bomb Group arrived in the Mediterranean in December 1943. It set up its airbase near Taranto, Italy. On April 4, 1944 twenty eight planes from the 449th bombed the marshaling yards in Bucharest, Romania. There was no fighter escort and the Germans attacked the American bombers with numerous fighters. The Americans claimed shooting down 40 enemy fighters, which was likely an overstatement. They lost seven planes of their own. Lt. Ornstein was killed in action on this mission. For this mission the 449th was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation.
  
His grave is at Mount Ararat Cemetery, East Farmingdale, New York.

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

RICHARD BOONE

Also born on June 18, 1917 was the actor Richard Boone. Boone was primarily known for his work in westerns such as the TV show Have Gun Will Travel which aired for six years, and John Wayne's final movie, The Shootist. During World War 2 Boone served in the Navy which included flying as a gunner in Avenger torpedo bombers. Boone died in 1981.


Richard Boone in the navy and later as an actor.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/126593439500693934/ 

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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
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Saturday, June 17, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Clyde Boyd, USS St. Louis, kamikaze attack

Petty Officer Clyde Boyd, seen with his bride Virginia, was on the USS St. Louis when it was hit by a kamikaze plane.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=52817529
http://www.worldwarphotos.info/wp-content/gallery/usa/us-navy/USS_St._Louis_CL-49_being_hit_by_Japanese_kamikaze_Plane_off-of_LEYTE_Island.jpg

Clyde Roe Boyd never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 17, 1917 in Texas. His parents were also both born in Texas. His father worked as a farmer. Clyde had an older brother, two older sisters, and one younger brother. By 1940 Clyde had completed four years of high school and was working as a government foreman of laborers while still living with his parents.

He enlisted in the US Navy on January 23, 1941. Muster rolls show he was serving on the light cruiser USS St. Louis in December 1941 which means he was probably at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese bombed the Pacific Fleet. He rose to the rank of radioman 2nd class.

Muster rolls show he was serving on the light cruiser USS Honolulu in March 1944, likely transferred there while the St. Louis was undergoing repairs caused by damage from Japanese dive-bombers in January. He was again serving on the St Louis by September when it was back in California for an overhaul. It was during these repairs that Petty Officer Boyd married his wife Virginia on September 30, 1944.

By November 16 the St. Louis was on station in Leyte Gulf. On November 27 the St. Louis came under attack of kamikaze planes. Most missed but two of them hit, killing 16 men. Boyd was one of 21 men who were seriously injured. He was evacuated to receive better medical attention but he succumbed to his wounds on December 9, 1944.

His grave is at Oakwood Cemetery, Waco, Texas. Clyde had one daughter who was born after he died. His wife remarried after Clyde's death and she died in 2000.

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


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Friday, June 16, 2017

WW2 Fallen - DFC Hero Robert Brazier, Battle of Midway

Aviation Radioman Second Class Robert Brazier and painting depicting his plane by Robert D. Fiacco.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=173284106
http://www.aviationarthangar.com/fiasbyrodfit.html

Robert Boyd Brazier never had a chance to reach 101 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom. I normally profile the fallen on their 100th birthday, but I am making an exception for Robert for reasons that will be clear below.

He was born on June 16, 1916 in Tooele, Utah. By 1920 he was being raised by his mother who was living with her widowed sister who worked at the county infirmary. His father was living in Arizona. Robert was a single child. Ten years later his mom was living and working as a cook in a boarding house in Tooele and claimed to be a widow in the census. Robert was not living with her. His mom was working as a housekeeper in Salt Lake City in 1940. At that point in the census she claimed to be divorced. Robert's father had remarried and was living in California. 

Meanwhile, Robert was living in San Diego, at the time of the 1940's census, where he was a seaman at the US Naval Training Station. Prior to joining the Navy on October 6, 1939 he had completed four years of high school. Robert married Helen Squire on November 28, 1941 while his ship the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga was being refitted in Seattle.

By early 1942 Petty Officer Brazier was an aviation radioman second class who along with the pilot flew obsolete Douglas TBD Devastators for the Saratoga's Torpedo Squadron 3 (VT-3). When the Saratoga was torpedoed on January 11, 1942 and sent stateside for repairs, VT-3 was transferred to the USS Yorktown

The Yorktown was damaged at the Battle of Coral Sea but was patched up sufficiently at Pearl Harbor to participate in the Battle of Midway. This month we recognize the 75th anniversary of this pivotal battle that ended any chance for the Japanese to defeat the Americans. That is why I chose to honor one of the heroes from this battle.

On the morning of June 4, 1942 the Americans located the Japanese carriers first, giving them the advantage of a first strike. Petty Officer Brazier was the gunner on the Devastator piloted by Captain Wilhelm Esders. VT-3 spotted the Japanese carrier Soryu and the 12 planes flew in at low  altitude to drop their torpedoes. VT-3 had an escort of six F4F Wildcats, but it was not sufficient to ward off a couple dozen Japanese Zeros or more. The Devastators were too slow and too lightly armored. The torpedo bombers were shot down one after another until only two were left. Because the Japanese fighters were engaged with the torpedo planes, the American dive bombers were able to take out three of the Japanese carriers within 20 minutes.The fourth was disabled later that day.

Petty Officer Brazier was in one of the two Devastators that dropped their torpedoes (both missed) and got away. Cpt. Esders asked Brazier to switch the radio signal to pick up the homing beacon to the Yorktown. Brazier replied he was too wounded to do it but he somehow summoned the strength and switched the radio signal. Esders was able to fly them back to the Yorktown, but it was under attack from Japanese bombers so he turned away to try landing on the Enterprise. He ran out of fuel before he could get there and ditched in the ocean. Esders was able to pull Brazier out of the plane before it sank and the two waited in a raft to be rescued. Brazier died of his wounds before Esders was picked up the next day.

Brazier was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism during the Battle of Midway. The destroyer escort Robert Brazier, launched on January 22, 1944, was named in his honor.

Destroyer Escort Robert Brazier.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Robert_Brazier

Robert is remembered at the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. I don't know what happened to his wife after his death.

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


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Thursday, June 15, 2017

WW2 Fallen - George Marcum, 7th Armored Division

Troops with the 87th Calvary Reconnaissance Squadron where Pvt. George Marcum served.
http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/62425-87th-cavalry-mechanized-recon-7th-armored-division/ 

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

For most of the country the big news for June 15, 1917 was the passage of the Espionage Act, two months after America entered World War I. However, for Rebecca and Sherman Marcum the big news for June 15 was the birth of their son George in Tennessee. Both parents were also both born in Tennessee. George's father worked as a farmer. George had three older brothers and an older sister. His mother died when he was 10 years old. His father, who was 52 years his senior, died in May 1941. George completed a grammar school level of education.

He went to Georgia and enlisted in the army on March 1, 1942. He served as a private in A Troop, 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron attached to the 7th Armored Division.

The 7th Armored Division arrived on Omaha Beach in mid-August 1944. By mid-September most of the division had crossed the Moselle River, but was repulse when attacking across the Seille Rive near Sillegny. It was at this time that Pvt. Marcum was fatally wounded. Pvt. Marcum died on September 18, 1944, probably one mile southeast of Marieulles, France or at a nearby aid station.

The 87th CRS lost 112 men during the war.

Pvt. Marcum's grave is at the Marcum-Kidd Cemetery in Oneida, Tennessee.

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


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Elmer Wald, Malmedy Massacre

These troops survived the infamous Malmedy Massacre. Pfc. Elmer Wald did not.
http://www.nww2m.com/2012/12/oral-history-spotlight-ted-paluch-malmedy-massacre-survivor/

On this Flag Day we honor Elmer Wald. Elmer never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 14, 1917 in Pennsylvania. His father was also born in Pennsylvania while his mother was born in Michigan. His father worked as machinist and died when Elmer was 10 years old. Elmer had two older sisters, one older brother and one younger sister. After Elmer's father died, his older brother helped support the family by working in a silk mill.  By 1940 Elmer had completed two years of high school and was still living with him family and worked as a laborer.

He enlisted in the army on January 13, 1941 after serving in the National Guard. He became a private first class in the 190th Field Artillery Battalion where he served as a medic. The 190th FAB was an independent unit that landed in Normandy on either D-Day or D+1. 

Pfc. Wald was captured by the 1st SS Panzer Division on December 16, 1944, the first day of the Battle of the Bulge. Rather than moving Pfc. Wald and fellow prisoners to the rear, The SS soldiers led the prisoners to a field near the Baugnez crossroads. They were machine-gunned with the survivors executed. The Germans left the bodies of the 84 dead in the snow. Pfc. Wald was one of those who was instantly killed. This atrocious action became known in history as the Malmedy Massacre. Pfc. Wald's frozen body was found a month later with his hands still raised above his head.

His grave is at Trinity Church Cemetery in Dalmatia, Pennsylvania.

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


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Bomber Pilot Arthur Friesz and Brother

Captain Arthur Friesz and his brother Robert both died in WW2 and are buried side by side.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=93419761&ref=acom
University of North Dakota 1942 Yearbook.

Arthur Ralph Friesz never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 13, 1917 in North Dakota. His mother was also born in North Dakota and her parents were from Austria. Arthur's father was born in Russia, though his parents were German speaking. His father came to America when he was 8 years old. His father worked as a dry goods clerk and later as a commercial traveler for a wholesale fruits company. Arthur had one older brother, two younger brothers and one younger sister. At the time of the 1940's census Arthur had completed four years of high school and was attending the University of North Dakota in his third or fourth year where he was studying commerce. 

I was unsuccessful at determining which unit he served in. Even searching for other airman who died on the same day yielded no clues.  What we do know from a short hometown article is that Captain Friesz died on November 7, 1944. He was flying a four-engine bomber based out of Rome Army Airfield in New York and crashed into a hill near Troupsburg, New York, 160 miles away.

Arthur's younger brother Robert also attended the University of North Dakota where he was a student in 1942. He achieved the rank of 2nd lieutenant in Company I, 3rd Battalion,116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. He died on August 25, 1944 during the first day of the assault on Brest, France.

Arthur and Robert have side-by-side graves is at Mandan Union Cemetery in Mandan, North Dakota.

Thank you Arthur and Robert for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for the Friesz brothers.


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Monday, June 12, 2017

WW2 Fallen - James Garris, 9th Infantry Division

Pfc. James Garris (left) served with the 9th Infantry Division in Normandy with the  troops shown on right.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=32590068&PIpi=98358053
https://9thinfantrydivision.net/cutting-the-peninsula/

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

He was born on June12, 1917 in North Carolina. His parents were also both born in North Carolina. His father worked as garage machinist and later an auto mechanic. James had three older sisters and one older brother. His mom died when James was 10 years old. 

James travelled to Georgia to enlist in the army on July 20, 1941. He had completed four years of high school and was working in a textile mille before he enlisted. He became a private first class in Company A, 1st Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.

The 47th Infantry Regiment saw action in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Sicily. It was then sent to England to prepare for the invasion of Europe. Pfc. Garris and the 47th IR walked onto Utah Beach on D+4. Within a few days it cut off the last escape route for the Germans to leave the Cotentin Peninsula. Pfc. Garris died on June 23, 1944 during the 47th Infantry Regiment's next assignment to capture the port of Cherbourg. 

His grave is at Berea Baptist Church Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina.

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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Sunday, June 11, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Twins Edwin and Erwin Steege

Erwin Steege served on the submarine USS Capelin
while twin brother Edwin served in Italy with these 34th Infantry Division troops.
http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-capelin-289-loss.html
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538672805420732600/ 

Edwin and Erwin Steege never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, these two twin brothers sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

They were born on June 11, 1917 in Iowa. Their parents were also born in Iowa. Their mother's parents were both from Germany. Their father worked as a farmer. Edwin and Erwin had two older brothers and one older sister, plus four younger brothers and two younger sisters. By 1940 Edwin had completed 8 years of school and was working on the family farm. His brother Erwin had moved out and joined the Navy in 1936.

In July 1939, Erwin was serving on the light cruiser USS Honolulu as a seaman first class. By June 1941 he was a torpedoman's mate third class serving on the submarine USS Seadragon. He was still there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He renewed his enlistment the next year and by June 1943 he was a torpedoman's mate first class on the newly commissioned submarine USS Capelin. The Capelin left Darwin, Australia for her second cruise on November 16, 1943. She was last seen on December 2 but never returned to port. The best guess is that she was sunk by a mine in the Celebes Sea.

Edwin enlisted in the army on May 3, 1941. He rose to the rank of sergeant in Company G, 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment (nicknamed "Ironman"), 34th Infantry Division (nicknamed "Red Bull"). The 34th ID saw combat in French Algeria, Tunisia, and Italy. Sergeant Steege was probably there for all of it, including 12 straight hard-fought months from Salerno to the Volturno to Monte Cassino to Anzio to Livorno. During this time Sgt. Steege would have heard that his brother's submarine was missing. On September 9, 1944 the 133rd IR attacked the Gothic Line near Florence. Resistance was light for a few days, but the troops lost quite a few men to mine fields and enemy fire when they approached the main German defensive position on September 12. Sgt. Steege was killed on September 13. 

The 34th ID suffered 16,401 battle casualties, including 2,866 men like Sgt. Steege who were killed in action.

Erwin is still lost at sea. Edwin's grave is at Harlington Cemetery in Waverly, Iowa.

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


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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

Saturday, June 10, 2017

WW2 Fallen 100 - Bennie Polidori, USS Shark

Petty Officer Bennie Polidori served on the USS Shark from before the war until it was sunk.
http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-shark-174.htm

Bennie John Polidori never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on June 10, 1917 in Colorado. I could find no census data with more information about Bennie or his family, though he was likely of Greek heritage.

He enlisted in the US Navy on June 26, 1940. By August he was serving on the oiler USS Kanawha. He transferred to the submarine USS Shark by February 1941 where he served as an electrician's mate, first class. The Shark was Porpoise class submarine with a complement of 5 officers and 49 enlisted men. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor the Shark was stationed out of Manila. It was sent out to sink Japanese ships but was not very successful due in large measure to the poor design of the American torpedoes.

The Shark was lost on February 11, 1942, sunk by gunfire by the the Japanese destroyer Yamakazi east of Menado, Celebes. It was the first American submarine sunk by the enemy in World War 2.

Petty Officer Polidori sacrifice is recognized at the USS Shark Memorial in Oklahoma City.

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

Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Bennie 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!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY


Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100