Wednesday, May 31, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Robert Buchanan, B-17 radio operator

Tech Sergeant Robert Buchanan B-17 radio operator, standing second from left.
http://95thbg.org/j3migr/crews-p-r/view-image/284eb75538519bb1e8eb29195e03c568/jpg
Robert Bowers Buchanan never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 31, 1917 in Utah. His mother was also born in Utah while his father was born in Scotland. His father worked as a newspaper reporter and later a county clerk. Robert had two older brothers and an older sister. By 1940 Robert was working as a clerk, having completed one year of college while living with his parents.

He was inducted into the army on May 20, 1942. He was assigned to the Army Air Corp and served in the 334th Bombardment Squadron, 95th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force where he rose to the rank of tech sergeant. Sgt. Buchanan was a radio operator flying B-17s.

On January 29, 1944, the B-17 Lizbeth II, with Sgt. Buchanan as part of the crew, took off from their airbase in England for a major bombing mission totaling 863 bombers. The target was the industrial areas and railroad yards of Frankfurt. Lizbeth II sustain damaged from fighter attack during the mission. On the return leg it crash landed near Ghent, Belgium.  Five of the crew survived but Sgt. Buchanan was not one of them.

The crew of Lizbeth II
http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/19222 

His grave is at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

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


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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Creed Carter, 38th Infantry Division

Staff Sergeant Creed Carter, 38th Infantry Division
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13787002&ref=acom

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

He was born on May 30, 1917 in Kentucky. His mother was also born in Kentucky. His father was born in Tennessee and worked as a farmer. Creed had three older brother, three older sisters, and one younger brother. By 1940 Creed was still living with his parents and attending college.

He enlisted as a private in the army on April 9, 1941, leaving a teaching job. At some point after entering the service he married his wife Juanita. He was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant serving in the medical department, 149th Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division (nicknamed Cyclone).

The 38th arrived in Hawaii for additional training in January 1944. It continued training in New Guinea until November 1944. It joined the Battle of Leyte in early December. Sgt. Carter was one of its first casualties. He was killed on December 4, 1944. The Cyclone Division lost another 644 men before the war ended.

His remains were returned to be buried at Old Soldiers Cemetery in Tompkinsville, Kentucky. I don't know what happened to his widow.

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


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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Monday, May 29, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Medal of Honor Hero Jack Knight + JFK tie in

Lt. Jack Knight commanded an infantry unit in Burma that included two younger brothers.
http://www.cbi-theater.com/knight/knight.html 

On this Memorial Day we honor Medal of Honor recipient Jack L. Knight who never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 29, 1917 in Texas. His parents were also both born in Texas. His father worked as a farmer. Jack had five younger brothers (three of whom served during the war) and one younger sister. By 1940 Jack had graduated from Weatherford Junior College and was working on the family farm.

On November 18, 1940, Jack and his brother Curtis both enlisted in the Texas National Guard.

He served as a first lieutenant and was the commander of F Troop, 124th Calvary Regiment, Mars Task Force. His brother Curtis was in the same unit and was it's First Sergeant. Brother Loyd, if you can believe it, also joined the unit. Brother Hershel broke the pattern by serving in the Navy during the war.

In a age of armor and air power, the army didn't know what to do with a calvary regiment. It stayed in Texas until June 1944 when it turned in it's horses and became an infantry unit. In July, it was sent to serve in India. By December 1944 it was part of Mars Task Force, a special unit tasked with the mission of removing the Japanese from North Burma. It required a 200 mile march through mountainous jungles and streams. It must have been quite an adjustment for the three Knight brothers used to dry Texas. Normal resupply was impossible -- they had to get everything delivered by airdrop.

His is the only Medal of Honor earned by someone in the ground forces of the US Army in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War 2.

Carl W. Weidenburner did an outstanding job describing Lt. Knight's last battle. It reads like a scene from a John Wayne movie. The decision to award him the Congressional Medal of Honor was an easy decision. You can read his full article at http://www.cbi-theater.com/knight/knight.html

On the morning of February 2, 1945, Knight and his men started out at 6:20 a.m. Following a barrage, Knight's troop "F" moved 1,500 yards through the Hosi Valley jungle, then up a 250-foot slope towards the objective. Only two Japanese were met on the way. Knight killed them both with his carbine.

Knight and his men reached their objective after 35 minutes. The men began to dig in. Knight reconnoitered the slope at the end of the hill. He spotted an enemy pillbox and grenaded it. He found two more pillboxes and gave them the same treatment.

Knight called to his men, "Come on up. There's a whole nest of them here." His men obeyed. Knight found himself in the center of a horseshoe formation of pillboxes. He threw a grenade into his fourth pillbox, then fired his carbine into it.

Men who later described the scene said Knight acted as if he were out to get every pillbox himself. A Japanese soldier tossed a grenade at the lieutenant. He backed away but the burst caught him full in the face. As he turned around and walked back to Lt. Leo C. Tynan to get more carbine ammunition, the men saw blood dripping from his face.

Another enemy soldier tried to bayonet Knight as he walked past a pillbox. Lt. Tynan killed him. Knight took half of Tynan's ammunition and started forward again. As he broke into a run, he muttered to Tynan, "I can't see."

The troop had caught up with him by then. Concentrated fire came from the pillboxes. Men were falling all around Knight. He regrouped his squads by arm motions and went out in front again.

He grenaded his fifth Pillbox. An enemy grenade landed nearby and wounded him a second time. This time he went down. But as he lay there, he kept shouting encouragement to his men. Lt. Knight's brother, 1st Sgt. Curtis Knight, saw his brother fall and ran forward to lead the troop. But he was dropped by a bullet under the heart.

The lieutenant asked one of the men to get his brother back to an aid station. He continued to encourage his men. Then, on his hands and knees, he started to crawl towards another enemy pillbox. He was hit by a bullet. It was the end for Lt. Jack Knight. His men went on to take the objective. His brother, flown to an evacuation hospital, recovered.


Brother Curtis earned the Silver Star and the Bronze Star (died in 2013 at age 94). Brother Loyd died in 1987.

His remains were returned to be buried at Holders Chapel Cemetery in Cool, Texas.

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


JOHN F. KENNEDY TIE IN
John F. Kennedy was also born 100 years ago on May 29, 1917. Hundreds of books have been written about JFK including many about his service as a PT boat skipper in the South Pacific. 

His brother Joseph, whom his father had groomed to run for president one day, was one of the fallen. We will never know if others of the fallen may have also run for president had they survived.

In remembering the fallen on Memorial Day, we can do well to reflect on President Kennedy's words: 

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them."

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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Remember the Fallen of WW2 By Telling Their Stories

Memorial Day was not created for mattress sales and waterskiing.

Over 408,000 Americans never came home from World War 2.

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



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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Sunday, May 28, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Floyd Klemme, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima

Image may contain: 1 person
5th Marine Division marines on Iwo Jima where Sgt. Klemme and his brother were both killed.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/210613720055379851/ 
Floyd Albert Klemme never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 28, 1917 in Oklahoma. His mother was also born in Oklahoma while his father was born in Missouri. His father worked as a farmer and later a bakery truck driver. Floyd had two younger brothers Lloyd and Howard who both also served in World War 2. By 1940 Floyd's mother was single and living with her parents.

Floyd left home before that, joining the Marines in February 1937. He qualified as a Marine parachutist in September 1941. Prior to the war he saw duty in Asia and during the war he served in the South Pacific. He was wounded on September 13, 1942.

Floyd rose to the rank of sergeant in Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division. Howard Klemme, who was five years younger than Floyd, followed his brother's footsteps. He also became a qualified parachutist and he also was in the 26th Marine Regiment (3rd Battalion, Company I). 

The 5th Marine Division was part the first wave that landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1944. Within eight hours 904 men were either killed or wounded. 

Sgt. Klemme was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, in part for this action on D+2: 

Ordered to fill a gap in the front lines to consolidate his company's defensive position on 21 February, Sergeant Klemme gallantly led his men forward and placed them in strategic positions to guard against counterattack by the Japanese during the night. Subsequently detecting enemy activity a short distance to the front of his position, he hurled illumination grenades into the area and, after determining the presence of two hostile Japanese, charged forward and killed them with grenades as friendly and hostile fire swept the field.

On D+3 the 26th Marine Infantry engaged in the worst combat so far during hard rain and poor visibility. Sgt. Klemme's brother was killed and he wrote home to tell his mother about it. The next day, 5th Division marines raised the famous flag on Mt. Suribachi.

His Silver Star award also recognized his fatal actions on March 3:

With one of his men lying helpless in an enemy fire lane during furious action on 3 March, he fearlessly risked his life to attempt a rescue and, while carrying the wounded man to safety, was fatally struck down by a Japanese sniper's bullet. 

The surviving brother Lloyd was immediately discharged from the Navy after Sgt. Klemme's death and sent home.

His remains and those of his brother were returned to be buried at Clinton Cemetery, Clinton, Oklahoma.

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

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

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!

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
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Saturday, May 27, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Hellcat Fighter Pilot Robert Stimson

Hellcat pilot Lt. Robert Stimson was a Naval Academy graduate.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=stimson&GSfn=robert&GSby=1917&GSbyrel=in&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=73196817&df=all
http://www.newenglandaviationhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/hellcat-fighters.jpg 

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

He was born on May 27, 1917 in Ohio. His parents were also both born in Ohio. His father worked as a bank teller and later as an assistant cashier. Robert had one older sister and one younger sister. By 1940 Robert was completing his final year as a midshipman at the US Naval Academy.

His first assignment was the assistant navigator for the battleship USS Idaho. While on leave in October 1940 he married Antonia Skiles in Arizona. He transferred to the new battleship USS Washington which was commissioned in May 1941. He saw duty escorting convoys in the Atlantic. A highlight of his service on the Washington was meeting the king of England during an inspection. In October 1942 he transferred to the air arm of the navy and earned his wings on his 26h birthday in 1943. I am not sure where he served for the next year of the war. Most likely he would have been a carrier based pilot in the Pacific Theater.

In early April 1944 Lt. Stimson transferred from Daytona Beach, Florida where he was a divebomber pilot trainer to Charleston, Rhode Island. On the night of April 17 he was practicing formation night flying in his F6F-3 Hellcat fighter when his plane crashed into another plane. Both pilots were killed. He had a 2 1/2 year old daughter and a 2 month old son, Robert Charles Stimson, Jr.

His remains were returned to be buried at Shelby-Oakland Cemetery in Shelby, Ohio.

Thank you Robert for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Robert. His wife remarried after Robert died. She died in 1956 and their son died in 1961. I am not sure what became of his daughter who would be 76 years old now.

Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Robert 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

Friday, May 26, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Army Cook Harry Weber, 3rd Infantry Division

Private Harry Weber, 3rd Infantry Division.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=14529456&PIpi=79185947 

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

He was born on May 26, 1917 in Montana. His German speaking parents were both born in Russia and came to America in 1913. His father worked as a carpenter in a car shop and later was a farmer. Harry had an older sister, two older brothers, three younger sisters, and two younger brothers. By 1940 Harry had moved off of the family's Montana farm. He wanted more education and his father was only interested in his ability to work the farm. 

He enlisted on December 2, 1941 and was no doubt sobered by his decision when five days later the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He did his training in Washington state and he had his girlfriend Frieda Miller come visit him to get married on the day he shipped out in 1942.

Harry became a private first class in the Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. His normal role was that of a cook. The 3rd Infantry was one of the first US Army units to see action in the war. It helped free French Morocco in late 1942. Pfc. Weber would also have participated in the invasion of Sicily and Salerno. Things only got tougher when the 3rd Infantry took part in the fighting in Italy. 

On October 13, 1943 the 3rd Infantry attacked across the Volturno River. Once on the other side of the river the 15th Infantry Regiment went on to take the high ground. That evening, Pfc. Weber was asked to accompany a night patrol because he could speak German. The goal was to take prisoners and question them for intelligence. During the patrol Pfc. Weber has tragically killed by a direct hit from an incoming round.

His remains were returned to be buried at Laurel Cemetery, Laurel, Montana. His widow remarried and was still alive in 2013.

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


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, May 25, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Ensign Craig Spowers, Killed by Germans before Pearl Harbor

Naval Academy graduate Ensign Craig Spowers was on the first US Navy ship sunk by the Germans.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56294577&ref=acom 

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

He was born on May 25, 1917 in New Jersey. His parents were both born in New York. His father worked in an ad agency and later was a consulting engineer. Craig had one older brother. By 1940 Craig was a midshipman at the US Naval Academy. He graduated in the class of 1941.

Ensign Spowers was assigned to serve on the USS Reuben James, a WWI era destroyer which was engaged as a convoy escort  from America to Iceland, for ships taking supplies to England. 

On October 23, 1941, the Reuben James and four other destroyers departed Newfoundland with a convoy to escort to Iceland. Eight days later, the convoy came under U-boat attack. A torpedo fired by U-552 was meant for an ammunition ship, but the Reuben James was in its path. The torpedo blew off the destroyer's bow and five minutes later the ship was gone. Other ships were able to rescue 44 men from the sea, but 100 men did not make it, including Ensign Spowers. The Reuben James was the first US Navy ship lost to the Germans in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The USS Reuben James sinks after torpedoed by U-552.
https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/uss-reuben-james-sunk-october-31-1941/ 

Although Ensign Spowers remains lost at sea, his death is memorialized at the East Coast Memorial in Manhattan.

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

Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Craig 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
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Elmo Olson, 7th Armored Division

1st. Lt. Elmo Olson, 7th Armored Division died in the Battle of the Bulge.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=34071674
http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-8/7-8_17.HTM

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

He was born on May 24, 1917 in Arkansas. His mother Estella was also born in Arkansas. His father Ole was born in Illinois and his parents came from Norway. Ole worked as a farmer. Elmo had five older brothers. By 1930 Ole had died and Estella was living in Oklahoma with four of her boys and was supported by one of her sons who worked for a service station. By 1940 his mother had remarried and Elmo was in the third year of college at what is now Oklahoma Wesleyan University where he worked in the library.

Elmo enlisted in the US Army on January 28, 1942 as a private. Having completed college by this point, he was recommended for officer candidate school. Upon graduation, he was assigned to serve as a tank commander in Company C, 17th Tank Battalion, 7th Armored Division and held the rank of first lieutenant.

Lt. Olson and the rest of the 7th Armored Division landed on Omaha Beach in mid August 1944. He fought in battles at Chartres, Chateau Thierry, and Verdun in France and Maastricht in Holland for Operation Market Garden.  When the Battle of the Bulge broke out, The 7th Armored was sent to block the advance of the Germans near St. Vith. For nearly a week Lt. Olson helped delay the German advance despite the enemy outnumbering the Americans. By December 23, the American position became untenable. The 7th Armored was ordered to withdrawal over frozen roads, still targeted by enemy artillery.  Lt. Olson was wounded during the withdrawal near Jevigne, Belgium. He died five days later on December 28, 1944.

His remains were returned to be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

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


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, May 23, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Ney Wagner, 35th Infantry Division + Butterfly Effect

Pfc. Ney Wagner served in the 35th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=33670610
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkYqIvhz8JM 

Ney Cecil "Buddie" Wagner never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 23, 1917 in Texas. His mother was born in Arkansas. His father was born in Texas and worked as a farmer. Buddie had two older sisters and a younger sister. By 1940 he had completed two years of high school and was still living with his parents while working as a laborer. His parents probably planned on pass their farm on to him.

Buddie was married to his wife Gracie by the time he enlisted in the US Army on March 17, 1944. 

Gracie Wagner.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=42914738 

He became a private first class in Company L, 3rd Battalion, 320th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division (Santa Fe Division). The 35th Division suffered 15,822 casualties during the war so it was in constant need of replacements and Pfc. Wagner was one of them. 

Pfc. Wagner participated in the Battle of the Bulge when the 35th Infantry Division was part of the American effort to relieve Bastogne. It got there the day after Christmas 1944. Specifically, the 35th Infantry Division was tasked with pushing the Germans out of nearby Villers-la-Bonne-Eue. It took 13 days, but the Germans were forced out by January 10, 1945. Throughout the battle Pfc. Wagner and the rest of Company L had to deal with zero degree temperatures, waist deep snow, and fanatic SS panzer troops in excellent defensive positions. Every house, hill, and wood had to be taken separately. Captured SS troops were found with vials of acid they were suppose to throw on the faces of the Americans if captured. The brutal nature of the fighting resulted in many killed G.I.s. Pfc. Wagner was one of them. He was killed on January 7, 1945.

His remains were returned to be buried at Blanco Cemetery in Blanco, Texas. His widow never remarried and died in 1999. She is buried next to her husband. They had one son who is probably still living.

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


THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
Also born on May 23, 1917 was Edward Norton Lorenz. He was a gifted student of mathematics at Dartmouth College and Harvard University before the war who enlisted in the army in 1942. He put his math genius to work by serving as an army meteorologist. 


http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-when-a-butterfly-flutters-its-wings-in-one-part-of-the-world-it-can-eventually-cause-edward-norton-lorenz-107-79-51.jpg

After the war he earned two degrees from MIT. He became a pioneer in chaos theory and coined the term butterfly effect to describe how small causes can have large effects. He died in 2008.

The accomplishments of Lorenz serve as a reminder of the missed accomplishments of all the 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!

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

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Robert Burrows, 42nd Infantry Division

Pfc. Robert Burrows served in the 42nd Infantry Division with these troops.
http://www.mywarhistory.com/browse/printPreview.aspx?serviceHeroId=2 

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

He was born on May 22, 1917 in South Carolina. His parents were also both born in South Carolina. His father was a farmer. Robert had six older sisters and one older brothers, plus one younger sister and one younger brother (who also served during the war). By 1940 Robert had completed high school (where he was valedictorian) and moved from his parent's farm to Charleston where he worked as a salesman and lived with his wife Ruth and daughter.

Robert enlisted in the US Army on March 25, 1944. He shipped out for Europe in January 1945. He became a private first class in the 142nd Engineers Combat Battalion attached to the 42nd Infantry Division.

On March 15, 1945 the 42nd Infantry Division launched an attack in the Hardt Forest to break through the Siegfried Line that would last seven days. Pfc. Burrows died on the first day of the advance.

His remains were returned to be buried at Williamsburg Presbyterian Cemetery in Kingstree, South Carolina. I don't know what happened to his widow or daughter.

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!

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

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


Sunday, May 21, 2017

DRAFT: WW2 Fallen - Jack Knight 5/29

This profile will be shared on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017. It is published here as a draft so organizations interested in highlighting this for Memorial Day can see it in advance.

Lt. Jack Knight commanded an infantry unit in Burma that included two younger brothers.
http://www.cbi-theater.com/knight/knight.html 

On this Memorial Day we honor Medal of Honor recipient Jack L. Knight who never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 29, 1917 in Texas. His parents were also both born in Texas. His father worked as a farmer. Jack had five younger brothers (three of whom served during the war) and one younger sister. By 1940 Jack had graduated from Weatherford Junior College and was working on the family farm.

On November 18, 1940, Jack and his brother Curtis both enlisted in the Texas National Guard.

He served as a first lieutenant and was the commander of F Troop, 124th Calvary Regiment, Mars Task Force. His brother Curtis was in the same unit and was it's First Sergeant. Brother Loyd, if you can believe it, also joined the unit. Brother Hershel broke the pattern by serving in the Navy during the war.

In a age of armor and air power, the army didn't know what to do with a calvary regiment. It stayed in Texas until June 1944 when it turned in it's horses and became an infantry unit. In July, it was sent to serve in India. By December 1944 it was part of Mars Task Force, a special unit tasked with the mission of removing the Japanese from North Burma. It required a 200 mile march through mountainous jungles and streams. It must have been quite an adjustment for the three Knight brothers used to dry Texas. Normal resupply was impossible -- they had to get everything delivered by airdrop.

His is the only Medal of Honor earned by someone in the ground forces of the US Army in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War 2.

Carl W. Weidenburner did an outstanding job describing Lt. Knight's last battle. It reads like a scene from a John Wayne movie. The decision to award him the Congressional Medal of Honor was an easy decision. You can read his full article at http://www.cbi-theater.com/knight/knight.html

On the morning of February 2, 1945, Knight and his men started out at 6:20 a.m. Following a barrage, Knight's troop "F" moved 1,500 yards through the Hosi Valley jungle, then up a 250-foot slope towards the objective. Only two Japanese were met on the way. Knight killed them both with his carbine.

Knight and his men reached their objective after 35 minutes. The men began to dig in. Knight reconnoitered the slope at the end of the hill. He spotted an enemy pillbox and grenaded it. He found two more pillboxes and gave them the same treatment.

Knight called to his men, "Come on up. There's a whole nest of them here." His men obeyed. Knight found himself in the center of a horseshoe formation of pillboxes. He threw a grenade into his fourth pillbox, then fired his carbine into it.

Men who later described the scene said Knight acted as if he were out to get every pillbox himself. A Japanese soldier tossed a grenade at the lieutenant. He backed away but the burst caught him full in the face. As he turned around and walked back to Lt. Leo C. Tynan to get more carbine ammunition, the men saw blood dripping from his face.

Another enemy soldier tried to bayonet Knight as he walked past a pillbox. Lt. Tynan killed him. Knight took half of Tynan's ammunition and started forward again. As he broke into a run, he muttered to Tynan, "I can't see."

The troop had caught up with him by then. Concentrated fire came from the pillboxes. Men were falling all around Knight. He regrouped his squads by arm motions and went out in front again.

He grenaded his fifth Pillbox. An enemy grenade landed nearby and wounded him a second time. This time he went down. But as he lay there, he kept shouting encouragement to his men. Lt. Knight's brother, 1st Sgt. Curtis Knight, saw his brother fall and ran forward to lead the troop. But he was dropped by a bullet under the heart.

The lieutenant asked one of the men to get his brother back to an aid station. He continued to encourage his men. Then, on his hands and knees, he started to crawl towards another enemy pillbox. He was hit by a bullet. It was the end for Lt. Jack Knight. His men went on to take the objective. His brother, flown to an evacuation hospital, recovered. 


Brother Curtis earned the Silver Star and the Bronze Star (died in 2013 at age 94). Brother Loyd died in 1987.

His remains were returned to be buried at Holders Chapel Cemetery in Cool, Texas.

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


JOHN F. KENNEDY TIE IN
John F. Kennedy was also born 100 years ago on May 29, 1917. Hundreds of books have been written about JFK including many about his service as a PT boat skipper in the South Pacific. 

His brother Joseph, whom his father had groomed to run for president one day, was one of the fallen. We will never know if others of the fallen may have also run for president had they survived.

In remembering the fallen on Memorial Day, we can do well to reflect on President Kennedy's words: 

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them."

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!

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

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.