Robert Pete Araujo never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on February 7, 1918 in California. His parents Ben and Julia were also both born in California. His father worked on a sheep ranch (census records say he was a "sheep shining" contractor - that's got to be wrong!). Robert had an older sister and two younger brothers who both served in the war.
Younger brother Leonard was drafted into the army in November 1942. He served in the 3rd Infantry Division as a sergeant and fought in North Africa, Sicily (where he was wounded), and Italy. He was killed in action on January 25, 1944 during the fourth day of the Battle of Anzio. He may have left a widow.
Robert was drafted into the army on August 30, 1944. He left behind a wife and two children. He served as a private in Company B, 19th Armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored Division (nicknamed "Liberators"). The 14th AD arrived in southern France in October 1944. Private Araujo likely joined later as a replacement. The 14th AD fought in the Vosges Mountains throughout the fall and early winter. It crossed the Rhine on April 1, 1945 and liberated a number of prison camps. On April 17 it arrived at Nuremberg where the Germans resisted in house-to-house fighting for five days. Pvt. Araujo was killed on April 20, 1945, two weeks before the 14th AD ended fighting.
Younger brother George fought in the Battle of Okinawa and came home, the last Araujo brother.
Robert's grave is at Lemoore Cemetery in Lemoore, California. His brother Leonard is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Hanford, California. I don't know what happened to his widow and children.
Last year on this date I profiled P-51 pilot Emerson Cyphers. You can read about Emerson here.
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