Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WW2 D-Day Fallen - William Evans, 101st Airborne + NBA tie-in

Cpl. William B. Evans jumped into Normandy on D-Day with these men of the 3rd Battalion, 502nd PIR.  
William B. Evans never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on September 20, 1917 in Kentucky. His parents were also both born in Kentucky. His father worked as a coal wagon driver. William had an older brother. By 1940 William had married and was living with his wife and his in-laws while working as a laborer. They had at least one son.

He enlisted in the army on May 13, 1942. At some point after that he volunteered to serve in one of the new parachute regiments. He became a corporal in the headquarters company, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

Bad weather made it difficult for the 502nd to land in its designated drop zones on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Despite having fewer troops than anticipated, Corporal Evans' 3rd Battalion was able to take the two causeways linking up with Utah Beach. I don't know if Cpl. Evans was killed while achieving these objectives or earlier during the day.

His grave is at Park Cemetery, Greenfield, Indiana. His widow never remarried and died in 1987. I don't know what happened to his son.

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

Red Auerbach

Also born on September 20, 1917 was Red Auerbach, one of the most success coaches in NBA history. He was raised in Brooklyn and quickly found a talent for basketball. He attended George Washington University on a basketball scholarship and graduated with a master degree in 1941. He got a job as a high school basketball coach but after two years he joined the navy for three years of service. Among his navy duties was coaching basketball.
After the war Auerbach continued his coaching career eventually becoming the legendary coach of the Boston Celtics where he became the winningest coach of all time (as of then) and won nine NBA championships. Auerbach died in 2006.

The lost sports accomplishments of the 408,000 fallen will forever remain unknown. Though their names are missing from the record books, let us still remember their names for the more significant accomplishments they achieved in sacrificing their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project:

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

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