Maurice Granger never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on March 23, 1918 in Vermont. His parents Joseph and Yvonne were both born in French speaking Canada. His father worked as a farmer and later as a shoe-maker. Still later he worked in the lumber industry. Maurice had three older brothers, four older sisters, two younger brothers, and three younger sisters. Four of the five brothers served in the armed forces during the war. By 1940 he had completed six years of schooling and worked as a machinist. He and his wife Ruth lived in Massachusetts.
He was drafted into the army on August 4, 1942 and volunteered to serve in the Army Air Forces. He became a staff sergeant and bombardier in the 486th Bombardment Squadron, 340th Bombardment Group, Twelfth Air Force which was equipped with B-25 Mitchells. It began flying missions in the Mediterranean Theater in March 1943. It specialized in destroying bridges. No doubt, Sgt. Granger joined the unit as a replacement.
While Maurice was serving in the Army Air Forces, brother Albert, five years his junior, was an airman flying TBM-1C Avenger torpedo bombers on the USS Cabot. His plane went missing during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944. He remains missing in action.
On March 20, 1945 Sgt. Granger was the bombardier on The Devil's Helper with a mission to bomb the Vipiteno railroad bridge at Campo, Italy near the Austrian border. As it neared the target the bomber took a direct hit from an 88 mm shell, taking it down. Only the pilot survived. Sgt. Granger was one of the five men who did not make it.
His grave is at St Patricks Cemetery in Newport, New Hampshire. I don't know what happened to his widow.
Last year on this date I profiled Walter Sowinski, 35th Infantry Division, who was also a POW. You can read about Walter 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.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100