|Sgt. Cyril Curb and the crew of the B-17 "Pennsylvania Polka".|
Cyril Edward Curb never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on September 18, 1917 in Minnesota. His mother was born in North Dakota and his father was born in Holland. His father worked as a logging camp sawyer and later as a bar tender. Cyril had two younger brothers and one younger sister. During the war one brother was a pilot and the other was an army engineer. Cyril completed four years of high school.
He enlisted in the army on October 31, 1941, leaving a sawmill job. He became a tech sergeant radio operator in the 323rd Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group which was equipped with B-17s.
Sgt. Curb was on board the Pennsylvania Polka on his final mission on February 4, 1943. It was a mission to bomb the railroad marshaling yards in Hamm, Germany. On the return flight, Sgt. Curb's bomber was shot down by German fighter planes 12 miles northwest of Terschelling Island. The plane crashed into the North Sea with no survivors.
His cenotaph grave is at Evergreen Cemetery in Gemmell, Minnesota.
Also born on September 18, 1917 was Clinton Rossiter who became a well-known historian. He grew up in New York and graduated from Cornell University. In 1942 he earned a PhD from Princeton University. Shortly thereafter he joined the navy and served three years as a gunnery officer, mostly on the USS Alabama, and attained the rank of lieutenant.
He became a professor of history after the war and a prolific writer. His best known book 1787: The Grand Convention is one of the best accounts of the Constitutional Convention. If you studied the Federalist Papers, there is a good chance the version you read was put together by Rossiter.
Rossiter died an early death at his own hand at age 52 attributed to depression brought on by student unrest at Cornell.
We will never know what great books remained unwritten by the 400,000+ 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!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100