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.


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 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.


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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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.


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Friday, March 17, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Franklin Rogers, 10th Armored Division, Battle of the Bulge

Pvt. Rogers was part of the 10th Armored Division, as was this GI and Sherman tank.
http://www.lonesentry.com/features/f35_3rd-tank-battalion-10th-armored.html

FDR could have been 100 years old today, Franklin D. Rogers that is. 

He was born on March 17, 1917 in Kansas. His parents were both born in Iowa. His father was a farmer. Franklin had three older brothers and two older sisters. 

When Franklin enlisted in the army on December 17, 1943 he reported he was working as a farm hand with a grammar school education. He became a private in Company A, 61st Armored Infantry Battalion, 10th Armored Division.

The 10th Armored Division landed in Europe in September 1944. The unit was involved in the reinforcement of Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge. On December 24, 1944 elements of the 61st AIB were advancing over open ground as they pushed the Germans back. They came under heavy rocket fire and suffered heavy casualties, including the team commander and, most likely, Pvt. Rogers. 

Pvt. Rogers unit was part of the defense of Bastogne shown on this map.
http://following10th.blogspot.com/2014_12_01_archive.html

His remains were returned to be buried at Ft. Scott National Cemetery in Kansas.

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


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

WW2 Fallen - James Benjamin B-25 Flyboy

This painting depicts a B-25 mission over Taiwan. Lt. Benjamin was likely lost on another mission near Taiwan.
https://airwarworldwar2.wordpress.com/author/inthistrsrchassc/page/3/

James Joseph Benjamin could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 16, 1917 in Missouri. His mother was also born in Missouri. His father was from Kansas and worked as a farmer on his own land. James had two older sisters. By 1940 Joseph had completed high school. He was still living with his parents while working as a salesman.

James became a 2nd lieutenant in the 405th Bombardment Squadron, 38th Bombardment Group which flew B-25 Mitchell bombers. Lt. Benjamin's unit had just moved from Pitoe Airfield in Morotai, Netherlands East Indies to Lingayen Airfield in Luzon, Philippines when he died on January 31, 1945. On that day the 38th Bomb Group sent a flight of B-25's to attack a destroyer convoy near Taiwan. If Lt. Benjamin was on this mission, he never made it back to base. Lt. Benjamin is counted among the missing whose remains never returned home.

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


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WW2wrecks.com Profiles the WW2 Fallen Project

Thanks to Pierre Kosmidis from ww2wrecks.com for profiling the WW2 Fallen 100 Project.

http://www.ww2wrecks.com/portfolio/ww2-fallen-100-project-remembering-the-400000-americans-who-lost-their-lives-during-ww2/

WW2 Fallen - Tony Shubat, B-25 Tail Gunner

Sgt. Shubat was a tail gunner in a B-25 bomber when he was fatally wounded.
http://photos.ahlzen.com/40-Events/2008-09-23%20War%20Birds%20at%20New%20Bedford/

Tony Shubat could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 15, 1917 in Michigan. His Croatian parents were both born in Yugoslavia when it was part of Austria-Hungary. They came to America in 1908. His father was an iron miner. Tony had three older sisters, an older brother, and a younger brother.

Tony joined the Army Air Corps and rose to the tank of tech sergeant in the 17th Bombardment Group which flew B-25 Mitchell bombers. This is the same unit that executed the famous Doolittle raid on Tokyo, although Sgt. Shubat was not on that mission. He was active with the unit beginning in North Africa in December 1942.

According to information shared at findagrave.com, Sgt. Shubat was a tail gunner on a mission over Sicily on July 9, 1943. It was his 37th mission and slated to be his last, after which he would return home. Sadly, he was wounded on this final mission and lost a lot of blood on the flight back to Tunisia. Efforts to save Sgt. Shubat's life were unsuccessful and he died two days later.

His remains were returned to be buried at Stambaugh Cemetery, Iron River, Michigan.

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


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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Leo Eminger, B-17 Navigator

Lt. Leo Eminger, B-17 navigator.
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-17/41-2420/1942/paul-eminger.html#axzz4aaxvf8FZ

Leo M. Eminger could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 14, 1917 in New Mexico. His parents were both born in Missouri. His father was a railroad welder and later a farmer. Leo had two older brothers and three older sisters. He had a twin sister named Cleo. 

On December 31, 1940 Leo joined the Army Air Corps. as an aviation cadet. He had completed four years at New Mexico State College and was working as an actor (if that is possible to work as an actor). He became a 1st lieutenant.

Lt. Eminger was a navigator on one of the B-17s that landed on Pearl Harbor at the same time as the December 7, 1941 Japanese surprise attack. One of the reasons the Japanese surprised the Americans was because those who raised the early warning were told by mistake that it was this flight of B-17s.

During the war he served in the 42nd Bombardment Squadron, 11th Bombardment Group. On September 24, 1942, Lt. Eminger's B-17, named Bessie the Jap Basher, was on a mission with three other bombers to attack surface ships at anchor in Shortland Harbor. His plane was badly damaged when attacked by around 20 Zero fighters. Bessie limped away for another 290 miles but ditched near Guadalcanal. The pilot and one other airman swam ashore but later died. The other men on the plane, including Lt. Eminger never made it. The plane's wreckage was found a couple of years later, but no bodies were found.

For more details see Pacific Wrecks.

Divers have found the remains of Lt. Eminger's B-17. This is the cockpit.
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-17/41-2420.html

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


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Monday, March 13, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Lloyd Naugle, 2nd Infantry Division

Staff Sergeant Lloyd I. Naugle, 2nd Infantry Division.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=50674368

Lloyd I. Naugle, Jr. could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 13, 1917 in Pennsylvania. His parents were also both born in Pennsylvania. His father was a coal miner. Lloyd had an older brother and sister, another three younger sisters and five younger brothers, including one named Lemon and one named Orange! By 1940 Lloyd had completed six grades of school and was working as a laborer.

Before enlisting in the army on January 23, 1941, Lloyd worked as a structural and ornamental metal worker. At 5'3" he was shorter than most soldiers. He served in the 2nd Infantry Division where he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. The 2nd Infantry Division landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day +1. 
Troops from the 2nd Infantry Division leave Omaha Beach.
https://www.britannica.com/place/Omaha-Beach

By June 10, Sgt. Naugle's unit had liberated Trévières on the road to Saint-Lô. Sgt. Naugle was wounded on June 13, 1944 as his unit fought in the Normandy hedgerows, and died the next day. 

The 2nd Infantry Division's position was near the center of this map when Sgt. Naugle died.
http://tothosewhoserved.org/usa/eto/usaeto04/chapter09.html

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

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


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Sunday, March 12, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Joseph Skapik, B-24 Tail Gunner

Cpl. Skapik was a tail gunner on a B-24 in the 494th Bombardment Group such as this one.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/494th_Air_Expeditionary_Group

Joseph W. Skapik could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 12, 1917 in Maryland. His Slovak speaking parents were both born in Bohemia (Czechoslovakia) and immigrated in 1905. His father was a tailor. Joseph had three older sisters and an older brother. He also had a younger sister. By 1940 Joseph had completed three years of high school and was working as a craftsman mechanic.

Joseph enlisted in the Army Air Corp on February 3, 1943 and became a corporal in the 866th Bomber Squadron, 494th Bombardment Group which operated in the Pacific Theater.  This was the last Bombardment Group formed to fly B-24s. He served as a tail gunner.

Cpl. Skapik was killed on January 25, 1945. He was originally buried in Leyte.

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

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


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Saturday, March 11, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Cpt. Leon Chabot, Marine, Philippines POW

Captain Leon Chabot's photo while at the U.S. Naval Academy.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=513391&GRid=56759445&

Leon Edmond Chabot could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on March 11, 1917 in Massachusetts. His parents were both born in Canada. His French speaking father was a barber his whole working life. Leon had an older sister and a younger sister, plus two younger brothers. By 1940 Leon was a cadet at the US Naval Academy. where he excelled in track including holding the Naval Academy 100 yard dash record (9.6 seconds).

Upon graduating, he was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment which was deployed in China. As the situation between the United States and Japan deteriorated and China became more unstable, the marines were moved to the Philippines shortly before the Japanese invaded. The 4th Marine Regiment was assigned the duty of defending Corregidor Island. Leon was likely a junior officer, but rose to the rank of captain. Perhaps this was of necessity if those who were the original captains became casualties.

When Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, The Japanese were able to concentrate all their forces on the last American holdout on Corregidor. The marines held out until May 6 and all survivors became POWs.
  
When the Americans threatening to invade the Philippines in the fall of 1944, the Japanese decided to move prisoners to Japan. Captain Chabot was one of 750 Americans who embarked on the cargo steamer Shinyo Maru.  

Shinyo Maru

It was part of a convoy of Japanese ships that was attacked on September 7, 1944 by the submarine USS Paddle which was unaware that it was carrying prisoners. Although many prisoners died when the ship sank, others were killed by the Japanese who shot them in the water rather than rescue them. Eighty-two did manage to swim away to Sindangan Bay and were later rescued by another US submarine.

Captain Chabot was one of the 687 prisoners who were killed that day. His remains were never recovered.

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

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


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Friday, March 10, 2017

WW2 Fallen - George Keathley, Medal of Honor Hero, 85th Infantry Division

Sgt.George Keathley, posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
http://www.homeofheroes.com/photos/6_ww2/keathley.html

Congressional Medal of Honor Winner George D. Keathley could have been 100 years old today. Actually, it is more likely that he would be ten years older than that.

According to his military records, George was born on March 10, 1917 in Texas. However, census records show he was born in 1907 or 1908. Did he understate his age so it would be easier for him to enlist in the army? The army would not hesitate to take a 25 year old, but might think twice about taking a 35 year old enlisted man.

His mother was also born in Texas. His father was from Tennessee and worked as a farmer. George had an older brother and sister and he had two younger sisters and two younger brothers, one of whom served as a Marine. By 1940 George was married to his wife Geneva. They had two daughters.

He served as a staff sergeant in the 338th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division. He died on September 14, 1944 on Mt. Altuzzo, Italy.

Sgt. Keathley's Congressional Medal of Honor Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, in action on the western ridge of Mount Altuzzo, Italy. 

After bitter fighting his company had advanced to within 50 yards of the objective, where it was held up due to intense enemy sniper, automatic, small arms, and mortar fire. The enemy launched 3 desperate counterattacks in an effort to regain their former positions, but all 3 were repulsed with heavy casualties on both sides. All officers and noncommissioned officers of the 2d and 3d platoons of Company B had become casualties, and S/Sgt. Keathley, guide of the 1st platoon, moved up and assumed command of both the 2d and 3d platoons, reduced to 20 men. 

The remnants of the 2 platoons were dangerously low on ammunition, so S/Sgt. Keathley, under deadly small arms and mortar fire, crawled from 1 casualty to another, collecting their ammunition and administering first aid. He then visited each man of his 2 platoons, issuing the precious ammunition he had collected from the dead and wounded, and giving them words of encouragement. 

The enemy now delivered their fourth counterattack, which was approximately 2 companies in strength. In a furious charge they attacked from the front and both flanks, throwing hand grenades, firing automatic weapons, and assisted by a terrific mortar barrage. So strong was the enemy counterattack that the company was given up for lost. 

The remnants of the 2d and 3d platoons of Company B were now looking to S/Sgt. Keathley for leadership. He shouted his orders precisely and with determination and the men responded with all that was in them. Time after time the enemy tried to drive a wedge into S/Sgt. Keathley's position and each time they were driven back, suffering huge casualties. Suddenly an enemy hand grenade hit and exploded near S/Sgt. Keathley, inflicting a mortal wound in his left side. However, hurling defiance at the enemy, he rose to his feet. Taking his left hand away from his wound and using it to steady his rifle, he fired and killed an attacking enemy soldier, and continued shouting orders to his men. 

His heroic and intrepid action so inspired his men that they fought with incomparable determination and viciousness. For 15 minutes S/Sgt. Keathley continued leading his men and effectively firing his rifle. He could have sought a sheltered spot and perhaps saved his life, but instead he elected to set an example for his men and make every possible effort to hold his position. Finally, friendly artillery fire helped to force the enemy to withdraw, leaving behind many of their number either dead or seriously wounded. S/Sgt. Keathley died a few moments later. 

Had it not been for his indomitable courage and incomparable heroism, the remnants of 3 rifle platoons of Company B might well have been annihilated by the overwhelming enemy attacking force. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.

His last words were "Please write my wife and tell her I love her, and also I did everything I could for her and for my country. So long, Dozier, give 'em hell for me, I'm done for." 

His widow never remarried and died in 1993 at the age of 81. His daughters would be in their 80's if still alive today.

His remains were buried at Florence American Cemetery and Memorial in Italy.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9635892

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


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