Saturday, August 19, 2017

WW2 Saipan Fallen - Donald Mikeles, 27th Infantry Division

Soldiers of the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division gaze upon Purple Heart Ridge
around the time Pfc. Donald Mikeles was killed on Saipan.
http://www.avalanchepress.com/Saipan8.php
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3785295&ref=acom
Donald Mikeles never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on August 19, 1917 in Indiana. His parents were also both born in Indiana. Donald had a younger sister who died when one year old. By 1940 Donald was no longer living at home. He worked as a hired farm hand in Union, Indiana. He married his wife Verl Elkins on June 28, 1941.

He travelled from Indiana to Louisville, Kentucky and enlisted in the army on September 17, 1941, giving up a job as a driver. He became a private first class in the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division.

The 27th Infantry Division was the first division to be deployed in World War 2. It was in Hawaii by May 1942 and fought in battles at Makin Atoll and Eniwetok Atoll. On June 16, 1944 it was part of the initial landing on Saipan. By June 24, the Marine divisions on the flanks of the 27th ID were critical that is was not able to keep up the advances being made by the Marines. It precipitated the removal of the general commanding the 27th ID. The new leadership got the troops to probe and attack strongly held enemy positions colorfully named as Hell's Pocket, Death Valley, and Purple Heart Ridge.  Pfc. Mikeles died in the process of these attacks on June 27, 1944. The Americans lost more than 3,400 soldiers and marines during the 24 days of the Battle of Saipan.

His grave is at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. His widow remarried after his death and died in 2011.

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

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=vXt8QA481lYNow more than 200 fallen have been profiled with more than 200,000 visits. Is there interest in seeing a video highlighting those from the group of second 100?

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

WW2 Fallen - B-17 Bombardier Orin Christenson + Cold War Victor

Lt. Orin Christenson was the bombardier on a B-17 in the 327th Bombardment Squadron.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=88553076&ref=acom 
Orin E. Christenson never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on August 18, 1917 in Minnesota. His parents were also both born in Minnesota. All four of his grandparents were born in Norway. His father worked as a harness maker and later worked repairing horse gear. Orin had three older sisters. By 1940 Orin had completed four years of high school. He was married and worked on a farm he rented.

He enlisted in the army on April 23, 1942, later volunteering for the Army Air Corp. He became a second lieutenant and bombardier in the 327th Bombardment Squadron, 92nd Bombardment Group. The 92nd Bomb Group was equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses. It was engaged in bombing missions over Germany and elsewhere over continental Europe by May 1943.

On September 13, 1944 Lt. Christenson's B-17 was shot down by enemy aircraft and crashed near Brandiz, Germany. Two of the crew survived and became POWs. The other eight, including Lt. Christenson, were killed.

His grave is at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Madelia, Minnesota. I am not sure what happened to his widow.

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

Casper Weinberger

On the same day Orin was born in Minnesota, a California couple had a second son they named Casper. His poor health as a child did not affect his schooling and he excelled enough to be accepted to Harvard where he edited the student newspaper and graduated in 1938. He stuck around and earned a law degree from Harvard in 1941.

Casper joined the army as a regular private after finishing law school. His skills were noticed and he was sent to Officer Candidate School and ended up as a captain. He served in the 41st Infantry Division in the Pacific but by the end of the war he was on General Douglas MacArthur's intelligence staff.


Casper Weinberger as Secretary of Defense and as a captain working intelligence for General MacArthur.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspar_Weinberger
http://corregidor.org/gallery/gallery2/g2_07.htm
After the war he focused on law and politics. He had increasing important roles serving California governor Ronald Reagan and then President Richard Nixon. When Reagan became president, he called on Weinberger to serve as his Secretary of Defense. Weinberger oversaw the massive rebuilding of America's military strength which led to the demise of the Soviet Union.

Weinberger died in 2006.

The 400,000 fallen who died between 1941 to 1945 were denied the opportunity to further serve our country as Weinberger. Our country is better for their wartime sacrifice but also poorer for what they were not able to do since then.

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, August 17, 2017

WW2 D-Day Fallen - Bedford Boy Clifton Lee, 29th Infantry Division

Pvt. Clifton Lee, 29th Infantry Division was in the first wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day,
commemorated at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56646817&ref=acom
https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/national-d-day-memorial-set-to-mark-70th-anniversary-of-wwii-normandy-landings-1.286562#.WYTShcaZNmA
Clifton G. Lee never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on August 17, 1917 in Virginia. His parents were also both born in Virginia. His father worked as a farmer. Clifton had five older brothers (including one named Robert E. Lee) and two older sisters. He also had one younger sister. By 1940 Clifton had completed six years of education and was working as a spinner and also served in the National Guard. It was a popular thing to do among the underemployed young men in Bedford, Virginia since it paid them $1 a day - much needed money in a rural town still suffering from the lingering effects of the Great Depression.

On February 3, 1941 Clifton's National Guard unit was activated in the regular army. He became a private in Company A, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. 34 other men from Bedford were also in the 1st Battalion, most in Company A.

The 29th Infantry Division arrived in England at the early date of September 1942. Other units were sent to fight in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, but the 29th Infantry Division stayed in England, training for 21 months and then being selected to be the first to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day at section Dog Green, June 6, 1944. Company A was the tip of the spear -- its men went in on the very first wave divided among seven landing craft.

Pvt. Lee was likely on the same landing craft with Company A commander Captain Taylor Fellers (also from Bedford), a total of 30 men. As soon as the ramp went down Pvt. Lee and the others surged for the beach. The pre-landing bombing and naval bombardment did nothing to take out the enemy in this sector. They faced at least three German MG-42 machine guns that fired more than 1,000 rounds per minute and at least two dozen snipers. All 30 men, including Pvt. Lee, were killed within yards of each other.

By the end of D-Day only 18 of Company A's 230 men were unhurt. The small 3,200 strong community of Bedford lost 22 men in Normandy, 19 on D-Day. It was the greatest loss per size of home town from all of the war. The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford commemorates this sacrifice.

His grave is at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France along side many of the other Bedford Boys.

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


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=vXt8QA481lYNow more than 200 fallen have been profiled with more than 200,000 visits. Is there interest in seeing a video highlighting those from the group of second 100?

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WW2 Fallen - P-47 pilot John Jerue

Lt. John Jerue flew P-47s in the 347th Fighter Squadron in Italy.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=78825926&ref=acom
http://www.lonesentry.com/images/2014/10/p-47s-of-347th-fg.html 
John P. Jerue never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on August 16, 1917 in New York. His parents were also both born in New York. His father worked as a wood mill carpenter. John had two older sisters and one older brother.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corp in September 1942. He became a first lieutenant and pilot in the 347th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group. The 12th Air Force, 350th Fighter Group flew P-39 Airacobras which operated in the Mediterranean theater.The 350th FG planes performed patrol and interception missions, sortied to protect convoys, escorted aircraft, flew recon, engaged in interdictions and provided close air support to ground forces. Later in the war some of the pilots were switched to P-47 Thunderbolts, including Lt. Jerue.

On October 31, 1944 Lt. Jerue flew a mission to bomb the railroad marshaling yard at Isola del Scala, north of the Po River. His plane was hit by AA fire. Rather than bailing out, Lt Jerue attempted to crash land his damaged plane. He was unsuccessful and died in the crash at Canolo, near Correggio, Italy.

His grave is at St Josephs Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleums in Toms River, New Jersey.

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=vXt8QA481lYNow more than 200 fallen have been profiled with more than 200,000 visits. Is there interest in seeing a video highlighting those from the group of second 100?

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

WW2 Okinawa Fallen - Harvard grad Charles Ruch, 6th Marine Division

Lt. Charles Ruch served in the 6th Marine Division in Okinawa.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=55926820&ref=acom
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-P-Okinawa/USA-P-Okinawa-6.html 

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

He was born on August 15, 1917 in Rhode Island. His mother was born in Ireland and his father was born in New Jersey. His father worked as a lawyer. Charles had a younger sister. Charles graduated from Harvard in 1938.

Charles enlisted in the Marines in December 1942. He became a first lieutenant in the 6th Marine Division. He arrived in the Pacific in January 1944. The 6th Marine Division took part in the amphibious landing on Okinawa on April 1, 1945. Within two weeks it had advanced 55 miles. With the northern part of the island cleared, the 6th Marine Division turned south to help the army break through the Machinato line where the Japanese had focused much of their defensive efforts.  Lt. Ruch was wounded and died from his wounds on April 23, 1945, the day before the Machinato line was finally breached.

His grave is at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

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


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=vXt8QA481lYNow more than 200 fallen have been profiled with more than 200,000 visits. Is there interest in seeing a video highlighting those from the group of second 100?

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Fred Bigbee, 78th Infantry Division

Cpl. Fred Bigbee, 78th Infantry Division was one of the first Americans to cross the Rhine River
after taking the bridge at Remagen.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=20585205&ref=acom
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d1/d0/d7/d1d0d7bf49bfb819a20698de805129ec---mars-division.jpg 

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

He was born on August 14, 1917 in Missouri. His parents were also both born in Missouri. His father worked as a retail grocery salesman and later as a meat cutter. Fred had two younger sisters. By 1940 Fred had completed four years of high school and was still living with his parents, working as a sales clerk.

He enlisted on September 16, 1940 in the Coast Artillery Corps. He became a corporal in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 310th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division. The 78th arrived in France in late 1944. It was in combat in the Hurtgen Forest and attacking the Siegfried Line by December. The 310th Infantry Regiment took part in the successful capture of the Ludendorff Bridge that spanned the Rhine at Remagen on March 8, 1945, making Cpl. Bigbee one of the first Americans to cross the Rhine River.

The 78th ID was assigned to clear up the Ruhr Pocket which took from April 2 to May 8. There were over 300,000 German soldiers surrounded but not ready to surrender. Cpl. Bigbee was killed in action on April 6, 1945.

His grave is at Forest Park Cemetery in Joplin, Missouri.

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


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, August 13, 2017

WW2 in the Pacific Fallen - Charles Robinson, USS Luce

Storekeeper Third Class Charles Robinson was killed when a kamikaze plane sunk the USS Luce.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3790546&ref=acom
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Luce_(DD-522).jpg 

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

He was born on August 13, 1917 in North Dakota. His mother was born in Illinois and his father was born in Canada. His father worked as as a barber. Bennie had one older sister. He probably had no younger siblings. By 1940 Bennie was married to his wife Florence and they had one daughter. He had completed four years of high school and was still living in North Dakota where he worked as an automotive assistant manager. His mother was single at the time, likely due to widowhood. She lived in a nearby boarding house and worked as a hotel chamber maid.

I was unable to determine when Bennie joined the Navy but he became a storekeeper, third class on the USS Luce.

The Luce began its service in World War 2 in the fall on 1943. She first operated in the Alaska area. By the fall of 1944 it was operating in the South Pacific including the return to the Philippines.

On March 24, 1945 Luce left Leyte as part of Task Force 51 on a mission to bring heavy artillery to support the landings on Okinawa. On May 4, Japanese kamikaze planes spotted the Luce on radar picket duty. Two planes got through the flak and American fighter planes. The first was finally shot down by Luce but not before the bomb it was carrying exploded which resulted in a power failure that silenced her guns. The second kamikaze then crashed into the aft section of the ship. The port engine was knocked out, the rudder was jammed, and the engineering spaces were flooded. She sunk within minutes that caused the death of 126 of her crew, including SK3 Robinson.

His cenotaph grave is at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. His widow remarried after Bennie died and she passed away in 1991.

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


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, August 12, 2017

WW2 Fallen - John Phipps, 6th Infantry Division

S. Sgt. John Phipp's 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment approaching Sansapor in July 1944.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=29375588&ref=acom
http://www.unithistories.com/units_index/default.asp?file=../units/6th%20inf.div%20history.asp 
John F. Phipps never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on August 12, 1917 in Missouri. His parents were also both born in Missouri. They lived on his grandfather's farm which was managed by John's father. His father had the interesting name Seward Sherman Phipps, suggesting his family's support for the North during the Civil War since it looks like he was named for Lincoln's Secretary of State and for General William Sherman. Seward Phipps was born in 1864. He was 29 years older than his wife and died in 1937. John had an older brother and sister. By 1940 he had completed eight years of schooling. He was living with his widowed mother working on the family farm with his older brother.

He enlisted in the army on June 14, 1941. He rose to the rank of staff sergeant in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division.

The 6th Infantry Division arrived in Hawaii in August 1943 where it was trained in jungle warfare. In June 1944 it was in combat in New Guinea. The division landed at Lingayen GulfLuzon, in the Philippines on D-day, January 9, 1945. For the next 100 days Sgt. Phipps was in combat as the 1st Infantry Regiment advance through Luzon, including the Battle of Manila in February.

On April 18, Sgt. Phipps led an assault on Mt. Mataban. The Japanese held strongly fortified positions at the top of the hill. He was felled by machine-gun fire.

His grave is at Hebron Cemetery in Macon, Missouri.

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Taskel Evans, 9th Infantry Division + Hagar the Horrible

Tech Sergeant Taskel Evans was killed in action in the Hurtgen Forest
while serving with these men from the 47th Infantry Regiment.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=161597441&ref=acom
http://wwarii.com/blog/archives/a-dark-and-bloody-ground-the-hurtgen-forest-and-the-roer-river-dams-1944-45/
Taskel Harry Evans never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on August 11, 1917 in Alabama. His parents were both born in Tennessee. In 1920 Taskel was living with his widowed mother and older brother at his mom's parents home in Tennessee. 

His mom remarried in 1923 and had another boy and a girl. His stepfather worked as a retail merchant.

He enlisted in the army on March 10, 1939, listed under military intelligence. Prior to enlisting he had completed one year of high school. He eventually reached the rank of tech sergeant in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.

The 9th Infantry Division first saw action in North Africa in 1942. It also took part in the invasion of Sicily. It was then moved to England to participate in the invasion of France. The 47th IR landed on Utah Beach on D+4. It helped capture Cherbourg by the end of June. By October, despite being understrength it was involved in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest where for weeks the unit endured repeated counter attacks and regular artillery and mortar fire. Sergeant Evans was killed on October 8, 1944.

His grave is at Somerset City Cemetery in Kentucky.

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

Hagar the Horrible Illustrator Dik Browne

Also born on August 11, 1917 was Richard Arthur "Dik" Browne in New York. He joined the army on August 27, 1937. He was in an engineering unit and used his drawing skills to draw Jinny Jeep, a comic about the WACs.


https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7950595

In the 1950s he created the comic strip Hi and Lois and in the 1970's he started drawing Hagar the Horrible. Both comics are still being drawn by family members. Browne died in 1989.

When we remember the fallen we should mourn the many talents that were lost when they 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!

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, August 10, 2017

WW2 Normandy Fallen - Cary Blackburn, 79th Infantry Division

Cary Blackburn was a private in the 79th Infantry Division.
He was killed in action at Fort de Roule a couple of days before the photo on the right was taken.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=64478493&ref=acom
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/356206651756280191/
Cary H. Blackburn never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on August 10, 1917 in Mississippi. His parents were also both born in Mississippi. His father worked as a farmer. Cary had a older sister, two younger brothers, and three younger sisters. By 1940 Cary had completed seven years of schooling and was stilling living at home working on the family farm. He married Juanita Crane on March 1, 1941.

He enlisted in in the army on June 10, 1942. He was a private in the service company of the 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division. The service company managed the two dozen plus trucks that moved the regiment.

The 79th Infantry Division joined the Normandy campaign on June 19, 1944. The Division was involved in a heavy engagement with the enemy at Fort de Roule, just before entering Cherbourg. 
It was during this engagement on June 24, 1944 that Pvt. Blackburn was killed in action.

A son he never knew was born in December 1944.

Pvt. Blackborn's grave is at Conehatta Methodist Cemetery in Conehatta, Mississippi. His widow never remarried and died in 1969 and was buried next to her husband. His son died in 2010.

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


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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Lawrence Duncan, 4th Infantry Division

Pfc. Lawrence Duncan served in the 4th Infantry Division with these soldiers in Normandy.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=21256251&ref=acom
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538672805412478668/ 

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

He was born on August 9, 1917 in Pennsylvania. Both of his parents were also born in Pennsylvania. His father worked as limestone quarry truck driver. Lawrence had two older sisters, an older brother, a younger brother (who served in the US Navy during the war), plus younger twin siblings - a boy and girl. By 1940 Lawrence had completed eight years of school. He was still living with his parents and worked as a laborer.

He enlisted in the army on June 4, 1941. He became a private first class in Company F, 2nd Battalion,12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Pfc. Duncan arrived in England with his unit in January 1944. He landed at Utah Beach on D-Day. Three days later he was slightly wounded when the 12th IR attacked the main enemy line of resistance near Emondeville. It was an all-day battle with both sides attacking and counterattacking. The Germans eventual retreated. Pfc. Duncan returned to his unit and killed in action on June 12, 1944 while his unit was in a defensive position. The Normandy campaign was costly to the 4th Infantry Division -- Pfc. Duncan was one of 800 plus men from this division lost in three weeks.

His grave is at Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren Cemetery.

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


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, August 8, 2017

The stories of those who served in the Guadalcanal Campaign and never came home

Since the start of this year, I have profiled a number of men who were involved in the pivotal Guadalcanal campaign. Yesterday was the 75th Anniversary of the Marine landing on Guadalcanal.

Here are the stories of some of those who served in the Guadalcanal campaign but never made it home:

Former Cornel University boxing team captain Ira Wilson served on the USS Atlanta at its final battle near Guadalcanal:  http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/2017/02/ww2-fallen-ira-wilson-uss-atlanta.html


B-17 navigator Leo Eminger's plane crashed near Guadalcanal. http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/2017/03/ww2-fallen-leo-eminger-b-17-navigator.html


Sgt. Frank Winterling was killed during a night naval bombardment of Henderson Field. There is a touching story about his brother and father. 


Lt. Harold Taylor fought with the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal and earned the Navy Cross. (no photo)

Naval Academy grad Thomas Roddy was a lieutenant on the USS Juneau, sunk after fighting against Japanese naval forces off Guadalcanal.
http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/2017/04/ww2-fallen-thomas-roddy-uss-juneau.html

Sgt. William Hammack was on the first American plane lost in the Guadalcanal Campaign. (no photo)
http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/2017/04/ww2-fallen-william-hammack-b-17-crewman.html

Americal Division private Lester Purcell died fighting on Guadalcanal. (no photo)
http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/2017/04/ww2-fallen-lester-purcell-americal.html

Navy Wildcat fighter pilot Ensign William Wileman fought at the Battle of Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, and then joined the Cactus Air Force at Henderson Field. A navy ship was named after him.
http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/2017/05/ww2-fallen-wildcat-pilot-william-wileman.html


US Naval Academy grad Lt. Ray Penrod was on the USS Meredith when it was sunk near Guadalcanal by Japanese carrier planes.
http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/2017/07/ww2-fallen-lt-ray-penrod-uss-meredith.html


USS New Orleans Shipfitter Second Class Gust Swenning earned the Navy Cross for helping to save his ship from sinking near Guadalcanal. A ship was named for him in his honor.
http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/2017/08/ww2-fallen-navy-cross-hero-gust.html

There were actually more than twice as many men lost at sea than on land in the effort to take Guadalcanal. Overall it cost more than 7,000 men to start the American's long island hopping campaign to end the war in the Pacific.

Share these stories with those who want to remember and honor these fallen. So far these stories of the WW2 Fallen have been read more than 200,000 times. Thanks for your interest!

Don Milne
Bountiful, UT



WW2 Fallen - Jack Roark, 80th Infantry Division

Lt. Jack Roark served in the 319th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division
with these men during the Battle of the Bulge.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=62990893&ref=acom
https://www.sofmag.com/day-g-turner-and-the-battle-of-am-astert/ 
Jack Mason Roark never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on August 8, 1917 in Texas. His parents were also both born in Texas. His father worked as a tailor and later as a furniture store assistant manager. Jack had one older sister. His mother died of cancer on the day after Christmas in 1939 at age 46. By 1940 Jack had completed three years of high school while living at home with his father and sister and working as a truck driver. It appears that he was married but I was not able to find out who his wife was.

He enlisted in the army on September 25, 1941, specifically the Philippines Department. It is unlikely that he would have reached the Philippines before the war started, but a newspaper article claims that he served 10 months in the South Pacific as an enlisted man before returning home to attend officer's training school. He became a first lieutenant in the 319th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division. 

The 80th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach in early August 1944 and became of favorite of General George Patton who time and again gave the 80th ID important assignments which included creating the Falaise Pocket. When the Germans launch their surprise winter offense, the 80th ID helped the 4th Armored Division to break through the Germans surrounding the 101st Airborne in Bastogne. Lt. Roark was taken out of action when a shell fragment penetrated his right lung on December 27, 1944. He was out of action for more than a month but the wound did not keep him from rejoining his unit. 

On 7 February 1945, the division stormed across the Our and Sauer Rivers at Wallendorf (Eifel), with a mission to break through the Siegfried Line. Lieutenant Roark was killed in action on February 9, 1945.

His grave is at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas.

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


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