Friday, March 31, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Harold Shoe

Sgt Harold Shoe, killed in airplane accident in Hawaii on October 13, 1942.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3792264&ref=acom

Harold Shoe could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 31, 1917 in Michigan. It is unclear if his parents divorced when he was young or if his father died, but by 1920 his Canadian born mother had remarried. His stepfather was twenty years older than his mother and worked as a farmer. They raised one girl and three boys who were children of his stepfather. Harold's mother brought Harold and an older brother and sister to the new marriage. They had two more boys and two more girls of their own. By 1940 Harold's stepfather had died and his mother had remarried again. By then Harold had moved out and was a private in the Army stationed in Nebraska.

He was killed in an airplane accident in Hawaii on October 13, 1942, but it is not clear if he was on the ground or in the plane when it happened. Internment records indicate that he was in the 58th Bombardment Squadron, but there is no record of such a unit in the Army Air Corps. If anyone has more information about Sgt. Shoe, let me know and I will provide more details about his service.

His remains are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

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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Thursday, March 30, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Leo Plude, USS Houston

Seaman 2nd Class Leo Plude, lost with the USS Houston.
http://www.usshouston.net/stor/pludeleo/pludeleo.htm 

Leo E. Plude could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 30, 1917 in Michigan as was his father. His mother was born in Indiana. His father was a farmer. Leo was the oldest of thirteen children. He had eight younger sisters and four younger brothers. By 1940 he had completed four years of high school where he was vice president of his senior class and was working in construction. 

Leo joined the Navy in 1939 and became a Seaman 2nd Class on the heavy cruiser USS Houston.

The USS Houston was in the Philippines when war broke out with Japan. It was sent to Australia to join forces with British, Australian and Dutch warships. In late February 1942, this group of Allied ships were tasked with stopping the Japanese invasion of Java but were outnumbered by the enemy. One by one the allied cruisers and destroyers were sunk. The Houston lasted until February 28 when it found itself low on ammunition and surrounded by enemy destroyers and cruisers in Sunda Strait. Hit by multiple torpedoes, the Houston sunk. Among it's compliment of 1,061, just 368 survived, only to become POWs for the duration of the war. Seaman Plude was among those who died. 

Painting depicting the final minutes of the USS Houston at the Battle of Sunda Strait
http://flattopshistorywarpolitics.yuku.com/topic/3417/Navy-Divers-Survey-USS-Houston-CA30-in-Sunda-Strait#.WIWZaYgrLnA 

The fate of the Houston remained unknown for nine more months and it wasn't until after the war that the details of the Houston's fate became known. The remains of the Houston were discovered by divers in June 2014.


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

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Harold Taylor, 1st Marine Division, Guadalcanal

Marines near the Matanikau River where Lt. Taylor started his patrol that earned him a posthumous Navy Cross.
http://worldwar2database.com/gallery/wwii1080

Harold Kirby Taylor could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 29, 1917 in Ohio. His parents were also both born in Ohio. By 1940 Harold was likely attending Union College in Schenectady, New York as a senior studying accounting.

He became a lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division which surprised the Japanese when it landed on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942 and captured Henderson Air Field. On October 29, Lt. Taylor volunteered to lead a patrol into the area west of the Matanikau River. In direct view of the enemy, his patrol was able to destroy two enemy field pieces and withdrawal without injury. Two days later he lead another patrol, this time he was engaged by a dug-in, numerically superior Japanese force. He was able to get his men back safely, but lost his own life in the process. 

Lt. Taylor was posthumously award the Navy Cross for this action.

His remains were returned to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Hugh Wallace, P-47 Pilot, India

Lt. Hugh Wallace flew a P-47, such as this one, for the 81st Fighter Group.
http://raf-112-squadron.org/images/91FS_81FG_Hsian_China.JPG

Hugh L. Wallace, Jr. could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 28, 1917 in Texas. His mother was born in Louisiana and his father was born in Mississippi. The elder Hugh Wallace worked as pipe fitter for an oil company and later as a yard foreman. Hugh junior had an older sister, a younger sister and two younger brothers. By 1940 Hugh had completed four years of high school and was working as a fitter helper.

Hugh was a prewar enlistee, having joined the Army Air Corp on June 23, 1941. He became a first lieutenant in the 93rd Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.

The 93rd Fighter Squadron was active in North Africa through the Anzio landings during 1943 and early 1944 flying P-38 Lightnings. The unit was transferred to India in February 1944 and switched to flying P-47 Thunderbolts.

Lt. Wallace operated out of Lalmonirhat Air Base in India. On May 28, 1944, Lt. Wallace's P-47 crashed due to engine failure.

His remains were returned to be buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3056651

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


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Monday, March 27, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Frank Winterling, Guadalcanal Cactus Air Force

Sgt. Frank W. Winterling, Marine Air Group 23 (Cactus Air Force), Guadalcanal.
http://www.uwstout.edu/news/articles/1941-After-Pearl-Harbor-students-enlisted-Hawaiians-concerned.cfm

Frank E. Winterling could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 27, 1917 in Montana. His mother was born in Kansas and his father was born in Wisconsin. His father was a farmer. Frank had a brother Joe, one year younger and two younger sisters. By 1940 he had completed three years of college at the University of Wisconsin and was in his final year when the war began.

Brother Joe had enrolled in the Marines in 1939 and was serving with the 4th Marine Division in China. It was moved to the Philippines just before the war started and Joe was there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and then on the same day attacked the Philippines. Two days after Pearl Harbor, Frank decided to join his brother in the Marines and enlisted. Joe was killed a few months later while defending Corregidor Island.

Frank rose to the rank of Sergeant with the headquarters of Marine Air Group 23. This unit became the core of the renowned Cactus Air Force, operating from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal Island beginning in August 1942.

On October 14, 1942 Sgt. Winterling was killed when Japanese warships conducted a nighttime naval bombardment of Henderson Field. Over 750 shells hit the airfield that night. Apart from Sgt. Winterling, another 40 men were killed.
B-17 at Henderson Field destroyed in same naval bombardment that killed Sgt. Winterling.
http://www.daveswarbirds.com/cactus/deadb-17.jpg

Having lost both of his sons, 54 year old father Frank W. Winterling also joined the Marines. He had the rank of private and was assigned guard duty in North Carolina.

After the war, Sgt. Winterlings' remains were returned to be buried at Salisbury National Cemetery in North Carolina.

Thank you Frank (and Joe and Frank, Sr.) for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Frank. 


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Sunday, March 26, 2017

WW2 Fallen - John Sauber, P-40 Pilot

Lt. Sauber in his P-40 Warhawk
http://www.ozatwar.com/nt52-03.jpg

John S. Sauber could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 26, 1917 in Minnesota. His mother was also born in Minnesota. His father was born in Wisconsin and worked as a wholesale silks salesman. John had an older brother. He had completed four years of college and his occupation was manufacturing automobiles.

John enrolled in the Army Air Corp on December 27, 1940 before the war started. He became a second lieutenant in the 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force flying P-40 Warhawks.

On July 12, 1942 Lt. Sauber and three other P-40 pilots took off from Livingstone Airfield near Darwin, Australia for a training mission. During a simulated dogfight, Lt. Sauber's plane struck one of the other planes. The other pilot survived the collision, but Lt. Sauber did not and his plane crashed.
Lt. Sauber's wingman drew a picture of Sauber's midair collision.
http://www.ozatwar.com/ozcrashes/nt52b.jpg

His remains were returned to be buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3497661&ref=acom

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


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Saturday, March 25, 2017

WW2 Fallen - William Pallesen, 2nd Marine Raiders, POW

Pvt. William Pallesen, Marine raider.
http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/pallesen-w-e.htm

William E. Pallesen could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 25, 1917 in Utah. His mother was born in Wyoming and his father was born in Denmark. His father worked as farmer and later as the postmaster in Manila, Utah. William had an older brother and sister as well as two younger brothers and a younger sister. By 1940 William had completed three years of high school and had a wife (Gertrude Pallesen).

Three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, William traveled to Salt Lake City and joined the Marines on December 28, 1941. He ended up being a private in Company B, 2nd Marine Raider Battalion. This was a special unit that was trained for special operations behind enemy lines.

Pvt Pallensen participated in one of the first offensive actions by Americans on land in the Carlson raid on Makin Island on August 17, 1942.  

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-C-Raiders/maps/USMC-C-Raiders-1.jpg

Up to that point America had lost to the Japanese Army at Wake Island, Guam, Bataan and Corrigedor. The purpose of the raid was to destroy enemy installations and divert attention from the main action on Guadalcanal. 222 raiders dropped off on Makin by two submarines attacked the island defended by 43 Japanese soldiers. The offloading did not go as planned and the Americans were scattered when they landed. The raid did destroy Japanese supplies, but the extraction was equally difficult and took longer than anticipated. In the chaos, nine Marines were left behind, including Pvt. Pallesen. Nevertheless, the home front was heartened by the daring raid and it made big headlines and was even the basis for the movie Gung Ho. (The movie can be found on YouTube.)

http://images.fan-de-cinema.com/affiches/large/cb/73360.jpg

The stranded Marines held out for nearly a month before being captured. The Japanese transferred them to Kwajalein. Japan informed the leadership there that no transfer of prisoners to Japan was practical. Rather than keep them prisoners there, the commanding officer had Pvt. Pallesen and the others beheaded on October 16, 1942. The commander was hanged for this war crime after the war.

Pvt. Pallesen's sacrifice is honored at the Honolulu Memorial.

I do not know what happened to his wife, Gertrude.

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

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


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Friday, March 24, 2017

WW2 Fallen - John Mazzone, USS Nelson

Fireman John Mazzone served on the destroyer  USS Nelson.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Nelson_(DD-623)

John Anthony Mazzone could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 24, 1917 in New York. His parents were both born in Italy and came to America in 1907. John had an older brother and sister and a younger brother and two younger sisters. By 1940 he had completed high school and was working as a printer. His mother was a widow by then.

He was married to Mildred Mazzone.

John Mazzone served as a Fireman 2nd Class on the destroyer USS Nelson which became part of the Atlantic fleet. The Nelson saw action in the invasion of Sicily and was a late arrival to support the D-Day Invasion on D+2. The Nelson's duty was to screen out German submarines and E-boats from threatening the ships supporting the landing. On the evening of June 12-13 the Nelson was hit by a torpedo that blew off her stern. Twenty four sailors were killed, including Fireman Mazzone

Fireman Mazzone was originally buried in North Ireland. His remains were returned after the war to be buried at Long Island National Cemetery. I don't know if his wife ever remarried.

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


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Walter Sowinski, 35th Infantry Division, POW

Keith Rocco's painting of 35th Infantry Division in Normandy where Pvt. Sowinski was captured by the Germans.
https://sites.google.com/site/chg35th/

Walter J. Sowinski could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 23, 1917 in New York. His parents were both born in Russia and came to America in 1907. His father was a farm laborer. Walter had an older brother and a younger brother.

Walter joined the army on April 8, 1943. He indicated that he had completed three years of high school and had worked as a furrier in the fabrication of fur goods. He was a private and was a replacement soldier sent to the 137th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division.

The 35th Infantry Division joined the front lines in Normandy on July 8, 1944 and immediately suffered heavy casualties in the Battle of Saint-Lo and more than 2,400 during the Normandy campaign. By late July, Pvt. Sowinski's unit was actively part of Operation Cobra to break out of the Normandy position. He went missing on August 4 and became a prisoner of war held by the Germans near St. Avold-Metz.  On August 25 he wrote a note to his mother that in part said:

"I'm not wounded or sick. I'm being fed well and had a good taste of German beer. It's swell. Don't worry about me."

However, a few weeks later he succumbed to diphtheria and died on September 20, 1944.

His remains were returned to be buried at Long Island National Cemetery.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=82601487&ref=acom

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


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Leroy Cooper, 26th Infantry Division

TEC 5 Leroy Cooper, 26th Infantry Regiment.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=16932519

Leroy Gilbert Cooper could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 22, 1917 in Missouri. His mother was also born in Missouri. His father was from Arkansas and worked as a carpenter. Roy had one older sister and four older brothers, plus a younger brother. By 1940 Roy had completed an 8th grade level of education and was working as a camp laborer.

Roy enlisted in the army on December 7, 1942, one year to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He indicated he had completed three years of high school and had been working as a shipping clerk. He became a TEC 5 in the 104th Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division.

The 26th Infantry Division arrived in France in September 1944. By early December it had advanced across the Saar River as part of General Patton's Third Army. It was called on to help repel the German attack during the Battle of the Bulge where it was engaged in actions against determined German resistance. Cpl. Cooper died on January 5, 1945, likely while his unit was involved in advancing on the Wiltz River.

Cpl. Cooper 104th Infantry Regiment was in the southeast position on this map just before his death.
http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-8/7-8_24.HTM
More detailed map provided by Fern Weis

His remains were returned to be buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

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


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Harrison Wittee, B-29 Bombardier, POW

Nose art from the B-29 Lt. Wittee flew on his final mission over Japan.
http://www.497thbombgroupb29.org/nose_art.htm

Harrison K. Wittee could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 21, 1917 in Illinois. He had completed high school, was working as a manager of some type and was married (Helen K. Wittee) before he joined the army.

Harrison joined the Army Air Corps on February 10, 1943 as an aviation cadet. He because a first lieutenant and navigator/bombardier assigned to the 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group. This group flew B-29 Superfortresses operating out of Saipan. Lt. Wittee's squadron conducted bombing missions over Japan in 1945.

The American Maid on an earlier mission when a crewmate of Lt. Wittee
was sucked out but survived tied to a safety harness.
http://b-29.org/73BW/497BG/bartlett/bartlett1.html

This photo of the crew of the American Maid in Spetember 1944 likely includes Lt. Wittee.
http://b-29.org/73BW/497BG/bartlett/bartlett1.html

Lt. Wittee was the bombardier in the American Maid when it was shot down on a daylight fire mission over Osaka on June 1, 1945, Lt. Wittee became a prisoner of war at the Osaka Main Camp, Chikko, Osaka in Japan. A July 21, 1945 report listed him as dead. It appears he was executed by his Japanese guards for unknown reasons.

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

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


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Monday, March 20, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Ernest Carey, 2nd Marine Division

Marines on Saipan carry a dead soldier during the month of June 1944 when Cpl. Carey was killed.
https://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2016/01/photo-of-the-day-660/
Ernest Marion Carey could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 20, 1917 in Indiana. His parents were also both born in Indiana. His father was a farmer in Indiana, but later moved to Texas with his family where he worked as a carpenter. Ernest had an older brother and sister and a younger brother and sister. By 1940 Ernest had completed four years of high school, was married, and was working as a stock man.

Ernest rose to the rank of corporal in the 29th Marine Regiment attached to the 2nd Marine Infantry Division during the Battle of Saipan.

Cpl. Carey died on June 18, 1944. On that day the 29th Marine Regiment was on its fourth day of fighting. By the time Cpl. Carey died, the Americans had suffered over 5,000 casualties. It would take more than a month more to clear the enemy from the island.

This map shows the 2nd Marine's position on the north flank of the American lines on the date Cpl. Carey died.
http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-C-Saipan/index.html
His valor was recognized by a Silver Star Medal.

His remains were returned to be buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. His wife died in 1999. It does not appear that she remarried.

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


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Sunday, March 19, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Wilbur Bledsoe, 8th Infantry Division

8th Infantry Division troops advance between Normandy hedgerows around the time Pvt. Bledsoe was killed.
http://www.fatherswar.com/8thinfdiv/WW2/WW2index.html

Wilbur O. Bledsoe could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 19, 1917 in Missouri. His parents were also both born in Missouri. His father was a farmer and later a laborer in a fire clay mine. Wilbur had an older brother and three older sisters plus three younger brothers. By 1940 Wilbur had completed an 8th grade education and was working as a shoe worker.

Wilbur became a private in Company F, 28th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. His unit landed on Utah Beach on July 4, 1944. Fighting through the Normandy hedgerows, the 8th ID crossed the Ay River on July 26, 1944. Two days later Pvt. Bledsoe was killed.

There is a memorial to Pvt. Bledsoe at Owensville City Cemetery in Owensville, Missouri.

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


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Saturday, March 18, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Edward DeGarmo, Decorated Torpedo Bomber Commander

Edward DeGarmo at US Naval Academy in 1940.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=76388221&PIpi=129086430

Edward Emmet DeGarmo could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 18, 1917 in Wisconsin. His mother was born in Tennessee and his father was born in Missouri. His father worked as a sales manager for a cement company and later a commercial traveler for a shirt company. Edward had two younger sisters. 

Despite his humble beginnings, Edward was accepted to the US Naval Academy out of Ohio. He graduated in 1940. The academy yearbook noted that midshipman DeGarmo was fond of playing bridge and had a reputation as a walking dictionary with unmatched debating skills. After graduating from Annapolis, Edward was commissioned as an ensign and went to aviation school. He also married Beatrice Kirk and the couple had two children.

Edward became a Lieutenant Commander and torpedo bomber pilot on the carrier USS Bennington. He flew TBM-3 Avengers and commanded the Bennington's torpedo bomber squadron known as the Devil's Diplomats. 
Avengers from Lt Cmdr DeGarmo's squadron.
http://www.uss-bennington.org/Robert_J_Cosbie/index.htm

During his flying career, he was a highly decorated pilot with the Navy Cross, a Silver Star, and 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses. His final award was a Gold Star awarded posthumously for actions that led to his death. For details on the other actions that led to these awards, see here.

This is his Gold Star citation:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander Edward Emmet DeGarmo (NSN: 0-85002), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while participating in aerial flights as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron EIGHTY-TWO (VT-82), attached to the U.S.S. BENNINGTON (CV-20), engaged on special missions in close support of ground operations on Okinawa on 3 June 1945. 

He materially assisted in sustaining the progress of the ground forces by dropping needed supplies and equipment to forward elements in repeated minimum level glides over advance positions. These missions were accomplished during the advance of our forces against determined enemy resistance and in the face of concentrated anti-aircraft fire. 

As he completed his final mission of the day his plane was struck by enemy anti-aircraft fire which engulfed the engine in flames. In spite of the flames which quickly enveloped the cockpit and of the progressively severe burns he suffered therefrom, he crash-landed his plane within friendly territory so skillfully as to save his aircrewman from all but minor burns and injuries. 

His cool courage and determination despite his own severe wounds and his superb airmanship were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Lt. Cmdr. DeGarmo's remains were returned and buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. I was unable to find additional information about his wife and children.

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

Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Edward 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!

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