Thursday, June 30, 2016

PFC Fred Bryant

PFC Fred Bryant was born 6 Jul 1920 in Fayette County, Kentucky to Arthur B. and Amanda (Hoskins) Bryant.  The family farmed.  In 1940, Fred was working as a carpenter as was his father. Together, they made $670 in 1939.

After entering the service and attending training, Fred was sent overseas.  On 19 Jun 1944 he was transferred from the replacement depot to G Company 116th Infantry.  On 30 Jun 1944 PFC Bryant was killed in action.

PFC Bryant was repatriated and now rests forever in Hillcrest Memorial Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

PVT Joseph Denes Hosszu Jr

PVT Joseph Denes Hosszu Jr was born 29 Aug 1916 son of Joseph Denes and Theresa (Balogh) Hosszu in Hungary.  The immigrant family settled in Hammond, Indiana.   About 1937 Joseph Jr married Violet Alice Biksey with whom he had several children. 

Joseph was drafted 22 Sep 1943 and was assigned to G Company 116th Infantry on 19 Jun 1944. 
He is recorded as being seriously wounded on 30 Jun 1944 and transferred to hospital.  It was there that he died of his wounds.  

He was repatriated in 1948 and now rests forever in Oak Hill Cemetery in Hammond, Indiana.   


PVT Wendell P. Lewis

courtesy of Mike & Bushy Hartman
PVT Wendell P. Lewis was born 29 Jul 1912 in Mattoon, Illinois the only son of four children of David Morgan and Marion (Phillips) Lewis. His father was a machinist.  Wendell attended college and got a 4-year degreeIn 1940 Wendell was a teacher in a private school and reported a 1939 income of $800.  He was still living at home with his father who was working for a medical company, still as a machinist and reported a 1939 income of $3000. 

Wendell was drafted in July 1943. After his basic training he was sent to the European theater in August 1943 and on 22 Jun 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to G Company 116th Infantry.  He served in that unit as a rifleman until killed in action on 30 Jun 1944.

PVT Lewis was buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PFC Cecil C. Cassidy

courtesy of Fred Day
PFC Cecil C. Cassidy was born 1920 in Middletown, Ohio to Oliver Pierce and Eva (Brewer) Cassidy. The family had moved to Middletown from Menifee County, Kentucky. His father worked in a paper mill.  In 1940 Cecil was married to Juanita and working for the railroad.  He reported an income in 1939 of $144.

After Cecil was drafted in December 1942 he was sent overseas and assigned to G Company 116th Infantry. He was with the unit on D-Day, participating in the amphibious assault.  PFC Cassidy was wounded on 30 Jun 1944, evacuated and died of his wounds that same day. 

PFC Cassidy is buried in Woodside Cemetery in Middletown, Ohio.

Brother, Herbert William Cassidy, also served (1941-1945) during the war. 

PVT Alvis Russell Francis

PVT Alvis Russell Francis was born in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas to Alvis Celler and Edith Grace (Newall) Francis. 

Alvis was drafted in November 1943.  He was assigned to F Company 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 22 Jun 1944.  He was killed in action 8 days later, on 30 Jun 1944.

PVT Francis rests forever in the Normandy American Cemetery.  


PVT Robert J. Jones

courtesy of Bessie Savery
PVT Robert J. Jones was born in 1917 in Wichita Falls, Texas to Standiford Burkett and Lula Bertha (Helms) Jones.  His father was working as a laborer for the city in 1920 but was unemployed according to the 1930 census.  By 1940 his parents had separated, each claiming to be widowed on the 1940 census. In 1940 his mother was working as a seamstress and had a reported 1939 income of $412 and paid $8 a month rent for their house.  In 1940, Robert was working as farm labor but had no income for 1939.

Robert was augmenting his income by being a member of a local National Guard unit.  He was activated/federalized in November 1940.  His reported occupation there was that he was a carpenter.  We have been unable to trace Robert's military career but we know that he was likely assigned to G Company 116th Infantry prior to the amphibious assault on D-Day, 6 Jun 1944 and that he participated in that mission.  PVT Jones was killed in action on 30 Jun 1944.

PVT Jones is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.  


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

TSGT Ernest W Bishop

TSGT Ernest W Bishop was born 23 Sep 1916 to Robert Lee and Queen Victoria (Robertson) Bishop of Albemarle County, Virginia.  This family of 14 was supported by the family farm.

Ernest entered the service 15 Nov 1940.  Assigned to K Company 116th Infantry he participated in the assault on Omaha Beach on D-Day.  He was killed in action on 29 Jun 1944 (D+23). 

His body was returned in 1948 and TSGT Bishop is buried in Monticello Memorial Park in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

PVT William Lee Burk

PVT William Lee Burk was born about 1925 in Antlers, Oklahoma to Thomas Robert and Betty Mahala (Parrott) Burk.  His father worked in a lumber mill and in road construction. 

After entering the service, William was assigned to B Company 116th Infantry.  He probably participated in the D-Day landings.  On 29 Jun 1944, PVT Burk was killed in action. 

PVT Burk is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

PVT Paul Dotson Killebrew

Paul in 1942
PVT Paul Dotson Killebrew was born 27 Oct 1924 in Stewart County, Tennessee to David Brunson and Cynthia Francis (Parker) Killebrew. His father managed a store and farmed.

Paul may have been working in aircraft manufacture when he was drafted in October 1943.  After basic training he was sent to Europe and on 19 Jun 1944 he was transferred from the replacement depot to G Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Killebrew was killed in action 10 days later on 28 Jun 1944.

PVT Killebrew is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.  There is a cenotaph for Paul in the Powell Cemetery in Lafayette, Kentucky.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

PFC Mario James Capano

PFC Mario James Capano was born 12 Apr 1924 in Calabria, Italy to Joseph and Michelena (Rizzo) Capano.  The family came to New York in November 1929.  In 1940 the family was doing well, Joseph was working as a bricklayer as was one son and another son was working as a plumber.  Mario was not working yet.  The family took in $3800 in 1939, pretty good for the time.

When Mario was drafted in February 1943 he was living in Delaware and working as a welder.  Assigned to K Company 116th Infantry on D-Day, he survived the assault.  On 19 Jun 1944 he died of wounds. 

PFC Capano is buried in Cathedral Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware.


PVT Orin Dewahe

PVT Orin Dewahe was born 4 Apr 1922 to Don and Lucy (Chemesie) Dewahe.  The place of birth is given as "Hopi Res 93", Navajo County, Arizona.  On the 1930 census his father's employment is given as "home gardening" and his mother's as "baskets at home".  The family was living in Winslow, Arizona. By 1937 they had adopted a daughter, Winona.  

Orin was transferred from the replacement depot to C Company 116th Infantry on 22 Jun 1944.  He was again transferred, this time to L Company 116th Infantry on 23 Jun 1944.  PVT Dewahe was killed in action on 25 Jun 1944.

In 1948 he was repatriated and buried in the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Friday, June 24, 2016

PVT Whitsel R. C. Brown

PVT Whitsel R. C. Brown was born in Tennessee.  His mother's first name was Vena (by 1946 she had remarried a man with the last name of Sexton).  PVT Brown was serving with C Company 116th Infantry on 24 Jun 1944 when he was killed in action.  PVT Brown was buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PVT Gerald Edward Brock

PVT Gerald Edward Brock was born 12 Dec 1912 in Du Quoin, Illinois.  He married Jessie Irene Summers. 

Entering service in September 1943, he was assigned to C Company 116th Infantry on 19 Jun 1944.  PVT Brock was killed in action on 24 Jun 1944.

PVT Brock was repatriated and is buried in the IOOF Cemetery in Du Quoin, Illinois. Jessie did not remarry. 

PVT Harvey J. Baril

PVT Harvey J. Baril was born in 1922 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Adrian Joseph and Eva (Poisant) Baril.  His father was an assembler at a typewriter plant and, later, as a watchman for the W.P.A.  His mother died in 1933.

Harvey was drafted in December 1942.  Assigned to C Company 116th Infantry on D-Day, PVT Baril was killed in action 24 Jun 1944. 

His younger brother, Arthur Joseph Baril, was drafted in April 1943 and served for the rest of the war.  


PFC Blane Avery

courtesy of Frogman
PFC Blane Avery was born 8 Oct 1920 in Hart County, Kentucky to William Curtis and Annie (Brown) Avery. The family farmed. 

Blane was drafted in January 1943, trained and sent overseas.  On 13 Jun 1944 he was transferred from the replacement depot to B Company 116th Infantry.  On 23 Jun 1944 he was wounded and evacuated to the hospital where he died on 24 Jun 1944.

PFC Avery is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery. 

PVT Roy Calvin Ireland

PVT Roy Calvin Ireland was born 15 Aug 1923 in Oak Forest, Pennsylvania the only son of Charles Albert and Sara Jane (Taylor) Ireland. His father supported the family as a road maintenance/construction worker and farm labor. The family's reported 1939 income was $324.

Roy was drafted in February 1943.  After basic training he was sent to England and assigned to E Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with that unit for the amphibious assault on the French beach code-name Omaha and participated in that action on 6 Jun 1944.  PVT Ireland was killed in action on 24 Jun 1944. 

PVT Ireland was repatriated and is buried in Greene County Memorial Park in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

PFC Robert Arthur Bruick

PVT Robert Arthur Bruick, b. 1923 - d. 23 Jun 1944. Middle son of Llewelyn Fred and Hilda (Linnemeier) Bruick, Robert was born in Fort Wayne Indiana and graduated from North Side High School in June 1943. On 16 Jun 1944 he was assigned to C Company 116th Infantry in which unit he served until killed. Robert was finally laid to rest in the Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-mer, France.

2LT George F. Hofmann

courtesy of Bessie Savery
2LT George F. Hofmann was born 18 Oct 1916 in Chicago, Illinois to George Philip Lawrence and Edna Rose (Wooley) Hofmann.  His father was born in Bavaria and worked as a carpet layer for over 20 years and as a carpet sewer.  In 1940, George was himself working as an apprentice carpet layer. The family reported a 1939 income of $1520. George married early, about the time he was 16, but was not living with his wife, Ruth E. Phillips Hofmann or their son, Kenneth Ralph Hofmann in 1940.  His wife and son were living with her parents. 

When drafted in April 1941, George was apparently still working in the carpet laying trade.  After his initial training, selection as an officer candidate and then commissioning, George was sent to Europe and assigned to A Company 116th Infantry on 16 Jun 1944.  George was killed in action on 23 Jun 1944. 

2LT Hofmann is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PVT Frederick J. Aniello

PVT Frederick J. Aniello was born in 1925 in Hartford, Connecticut to Orlando Frank and Ellen J. (Maher) Aniello.  His father was a barber.  Frederick graduated from high school in 1942.

He had been working as a file clerk when he was drafted in July 1943.  Sent overseas, he was already assigned to F Company 116th Infantry on D-Day and participated in the amphibious landing with that unit.  PVT Aniello was killed in action on 23 Jun 1944. 

PVT Aniello is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

SSG William M. Abernathy

SSG William M. Abernathy was serving with B Company 116th Infantry when he was killed in action on 22 Jun 1944.  He was serving with that unit when it made the amphibious assault on D-Day.

We don't currently know anything else about SSG Abernathy. 

PFC Ezra L. Hubbard

courtesy of Doug Illsley
PFC Ezra L. Hubbard was born in 1909 in Wise County, Virginia to James Monroe and Matilda Jane (Mullins) Hubbard. The family farmed near Roberson, Virginia. By 1940, James had to take some work with the Works Project Administration (WPA) and reported $180 income for 1939.

Ezra was drafted in May 1941. After completing his initial training he may have been assigned to C Company 116th Infantry before the regiment departed for England in September 1942.  He trained with the unit for the amphibious assault that was to take place on 6 Jun 1944 and took part in that action.  PFC Hubbard was killed in action on 22 Jun 1944.

PFC Hubbard is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PVT Monte Carlo Barnes

PVT Monte Carlo Barnes was born 21 May 1924 in Chicago, Illinois to John Charles and Myrtle Barnes.  His father worked as a conductor and then guard on the el-train. 

After entering the service, Monte was assigned to A Company 116th Infantry on 13 Jun 1944.  Monte was wounded and captured on 20 Jun 1944.  He was held in a dressing station and died of his wounds on 22 Jun 1944.

PVT Barnes is buried in Brittany American Cemetery

PVT Harry Kopko

PVT Harry Kopko was born 25 Jul 1925, most likely in Detroit, Michigan to Dymnian "Dan" and Anna Kopko.  His father worked as a machinist for Ford.

After entering the service, Harry was sent to Europe and transferred from the replacement depot to A Company 116th Infantry on 13 Jun 1944.  PVT Kopko was killed in action on 22 Jun 1944.

PVT Kopko was repatriated and is buried in White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery in Troy, Michigan.

2LT Anthony James Kukis

courtesy of Lena and David
2LT Anthony James Kukis was born 29 Mar 1915 in Kingston, Pennsylvania the youngest of seven children of Andrew and Felixa (Orlowski) Kukis. His parents were both natives of Poland. His father was a coal miner.  Andrew died in 1932.

Anthony entered service in October 1941 while living in California.  Married to Gladys Mildred Barisano on 29 Aug 1942. Anthony was certainly exceptional in some way to be selected for officer training before he was sent to England.  He was noted on the morning as "on duty" with K Company on 1 Jun 1944.  2LT Kukis was killed in action on 22 Jun 1944.

2LT Kukis was repatriated in 1948 and is buried near his parents in Saint John's Cemetery in Dallas, Pennsylvania.

His wife married Ernest Wayne Smith on 1 May 1946 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brother, Edmund Chester Kukis, served in the Army from 1941 to 1945.

SGT Julius Franklin Abernethy

SGT Julius Franklin Abernethy was born 22 Oct 1919 in Hickory, North Carolina to Albert Edwin and Helen (Graham) Abernethy.  Julius was named for his paternal grandfather.  He married Marguerite Mae Merrill in Macon, Georgia on 22 Sep 1943.

SGT Abernethy was assigned to B Company 116th Infantry on 16 Jun 1944 from the replacement depot.  He was killed in action 22 Jun 1944. 

SGT Abernethy is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

Marguerite remarried in 1949. 

PVT Clifford H Charter

PVT Clifford H Charter was born 28 Mar 1924 to Henry Oriel and Bessie Grace (Tannery) Charter.  A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Clifford was the eldest of 2 children.  His father worked as a baker.

Clifford entered service on 8 Feb 1943 and was assigned to B Company 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 16 Jul 1944.  2 days later, on 18 Jul 1944, he was reassigned to C Company 116th Infantry.  He was killed in action 22 Jun 1944.

He now rests forever in Sperry Rest Haven Cemetery, Sperry, Oklahoma.

PFC Stanley W. Keister

PFC Stanley W. Keister was born 30 Dec 1922 in New Haven, Connecticut the only child of William Joseph and Grace L. Keister.  His father worked for many years for Winchester Repeating Arms.

In February 1943, Stanley was working as an apprentice machinist when he was drafted.  Sent to Europe after his initial training, he was transferred from the replacement depot to M Company 116th Infantry on 19 Jun 1944.  PFC Keister was wounded on 21 Jun 1944 and evacuated but died of his wound(s) the next day, 22 Jun 1944.

PFC Keister was repatriated in 1948 and is buried in East Lawn Cemetery in East Haven, Connecticut. 

PVT Joseph Wilburn Davis

PVT Joseph Wilburn Davis was born 21 Feb 1911 in Violet, North Carolina to James Mattiason and Rosana Davis.  The family farmed.  About 1935 he married Mary Jo Rose and in 1936 they had a son.  In 1940, Joseph was working on construction for the Tennessee Valley Authority.  He reported a 1939 income of $380 and his father an income of $280.

When Joseph was drafted in September 1943 he was divorced.  Sent overseas, on 16 Jun 1944 he was transferred from the replacement depot to D Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Davis was killed in action on 22 Jun 1944. 


PVT Davis was repatriated and is buried in Unaka Cemetery in Unaka, North Carolina.

Joseph's son had at least 2 sons who are still living. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

PFC Maurice Joseph Ott

PFC Maurice Joseph Ott born 8 Oct 1918 the 8th child of Reverend Joseph Warren and Id Myrtle (Haight) Ott of Altoona, Pennsylvania. His father was also a Chiropractor. He married Mary Stavana. In 1940 his employment is given as Corporal in the National Guard.

Maurice was drafted in December 1942 after being discharged from the National Guard.  He was assigned to K Company 116th Infantry on D-Day and then on 11 Jun 1944 reassigned to B Company 116th Infantry.  On 21 Jun 1944 PFC Ott was killed near Couvains, France.  He is now buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Clearfield, Pennsylvania.

Monday, June 20, 2016

PVT William Franklin Ford

PVT William F Ford

The following is a transcription from his obituary that was clipped from a newspaper and contained in a hand written genealogy compiled by his wife, Florine. There is no date or mention of the newspaper.

Pvt. William F. Ford Dies While German Prisoner

Eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Clee Ford. Reported Missing Since June 27, Dies July 20 Red Cross Reports Pvt. William F. Ford, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Clee Ford, died as a result of wound July 20 according to word received from the Germans through the Red Cross.
The message was delivered to his wife in Wichita, August 17. A telegram from the War Department July 29 had reported Pvt. Ford missing in action since June 27.
Mr. and Mrs. Clee Ford went to Wichita to be with their daughter-in-law as soon as word was received. They brought her to the Hillsboro hospital Sunday where she remains suffering from nervous shock.
Pvt. Ford, who was born August 24, 1914, on a farm east of Lincolnville, moved with this parents when four years of age to a farm west of Aulne where the family made its home until 1934. They now lived miles northeast of Marion. Pvt. Ford attended the New Hope school and Marion High School for one year. After that he worked on the city delivery wagon, for several years at the Home Oil Station and for a time as a driver for Abe Reh’s Trucking Service. For a time prior to his enlistment he was with the Security Oil Company in Wichita.
He was married August 15, 1937 to Florine Rains of Fairfield, Iowa, at his parent’s home. They have no children.
On October 13, 1943, he was inducted into military service and entered training in the infantry at Camp Wolters, Texas. In March of this year he went overseas to be first in Ireland, then transferred to England. Mrs. Ford received a letter dated June 21 saying he was in France. Another written June 25 was the last received from him.
Pvt. Ford was a member of the Bethel Methodist church of Wichita.
Survivors include his wife, his parents, six brothers and sisters, Delphas and Jerome of Marion, Mrs. Boyd Linnens and Miss Fern Ford of Lincolnville, Elizabeth Ann of the home, and Pvt. Leslie Ford of Ft. McClellan, Alabama. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Blankley and Mrs. Martha Ford are his grandparents.
PVT Ford was assigned to F Company 116th Infantry.  According to the morning report he was wounded, captured and died on 27 Jun 1944.   He rests forever in the Brittany American Cemetery.

CPL Clarence Lamar Coates

CPL Clarence Lamar Coates was born in 1924 in Casa, Arkansas to Jerry Anderson and Ada (Tanner) Coates.  Jerry supported the family by farming. 

We don't know when Clarence began his military service.  The morning report is a bit unclear on when or to which unit he was assigned but he may have been assigned first to B Company 116th Infantry and then D Company.  This occurred on 10 and 13 Jun 1944.  CPL Coates was killed in action on 20 Jun 1944.

CPL Coates is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery and has a cenotaph in Casa Cemetery in Casa, Arkansas.

PVT Albert R Bryan

PVT Albert R Bryan the son of James Lewis and Goldie L Bryan of Williamsport, MD. His mother, Goldie, died three years after he was born. He was raised by his grandparents Frederick and Barbara E (Marks) Byron.He had settled in Camden New Jersey, and lived at 1043 Princess Avenue, in the Parkside section. A welder at New York Shipbuilding, he was engaged to be married to Miss Nicoline Valentino of 1152 Haddon Avenue when he was drafted in August 1943.

Albert Bryan was sent overseas and assigned to the 29th Infantry Division in April of 1944. Assigned to C Company 116th Infantry, he was wounded in the fighting in Normandy on June 19, 1944. He died as a result of these wounds the following day, June 20, 1944. Albert Bryan was survived by his grandmother, of Williamsport, MD. His father, James Bryan was killed in a car accident the same day Albert Bryan died. Albert is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

PVT Leonard C. Krugis

PVT Leonard C. Krugis was born 15 Mar 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio the youngest of four children of Andrew George and Mary Krugis.

Leonard was drafted in August 1943.  He might have been assigned to A Company 46th Infantry before he was shipped overseas. Sent to England, Leonard was assigned to F Company 116th Infantry.  He might not have had much time to train with the unit for the amphibious assault that took place on 6 Jun 1944 but he survived that and fought on with the unit until killed in action on 19 Jun 1944 (D+13).

PVT Krugis was repatriated in 1948 and is buried Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.  Leonard's older brother, Alfred, served in the Marine Corps during the war.

2LT Joseph John Lesczynski

2LT Joseph John Lesczynski was born 8 Sep 1918 in Plains, Pennsylvania to John and Sophie (Arcizewski) Lesczynski.  His parents were both natives of Poland. His father was a coal miner.  In 1940, Joseph was working as a clerk for an insurance underwriter and reported a 1939 income of $900 from working an average of 40 hours a week.  His father was working an average of 21 hours a week and reported a 1939 income of $700. 

Joseph was drafted in March 1941.  He was sent overseas in November 1943 and had completed Officer Candidate School some time before that. 2LT Lesczynski is recorded in the morning report as being on duty with M Company 116th Infantry on 1 Jun 1944.  This was a plus up to hopefully ensure that there would be officers who survived the amphibious landing scheduled for the 5th. Weather delayed the landings until the morning of  6 Jun 1944 and he landed with M Company and served as a platoon leader.  2LT Lesczynski was killed in action on 19 Jun 1944.

2LT Lesczynski was repatriated in 1949 and re-interred in Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Plains, Pennsylvania.

PVT Walter B. Baumgartner

PVT Walter B Baumgartner was born 7 Oct 1909 in Iron County, Michigan to Berthold and Elizabeth (Verville) Baumgartner.  His father worked in an iron mine. Walter married Mildred Cameron on 12 Jul 1941.

Walter was drafted in  September 1943. Trained as a rifleman and sent overseas, on 13 Jun 1944 he was transferred from the replacement depot to A Company 116th Infantry.  On 18 Jun 1944 he was wounded and evacuated to the hospital where he died of his wounds on 19 Jun 1944. 

Repatriated in 1948, PVT Baumgartner is buried in Holy Sepluchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

PFC Marvin R. Herrman

PFC Marvin R. Herrman was born 25 Apr 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland to Frank and Sue E (Davis) Herrman.  His father was a "bolter" in a shipyard and a house painter. In 1940 Marvin was working as an aircraft mechanic. 

Marvin was drafted in March 1943.  Sent overseas, he was assigned to I Company 116th Infantry prior to D-Day and participated in the amphibious assault on "fortress Europe". PFC Herrman was wounded on 17 Jun 1944 and evacuated to hospital where he died of his wounds on 18 Jun 1944. 

PFC Herrman was repatriated in 1948 and is buried in Baltimore National Cemetery

Although Marvin is noted on his enlistment record as being married we have not found any further information about his wife. 

PFC James Oscar Kesler

PFC James Oscar Kesler Jr was born 2 Jun 1924 in Roanoke, Virginia, the 4th of 9 children born to James Oscar and Lealar Mae (Arthur) Kesler.  His father worked as a hired hand on a farm and in 1940 for the W.P.A. and James Jr. was working for the county school system.  The family had a total reported 1939 income of $733.

James was drafted in May 1941. After his initial training he was sent to England and assigned to H Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with that unit and was with the unit for the amphibious assault on Omaha Beach, 6 Jun 1944.  PFC Kesler was killed in action on D-Day +12.

PFC Kesler was repatriated and is buried in Tombstone Cemetery in Roanoke County, Virginia.  James' sister, June Phyllis Kesler, enrolled in the United States Cadet Nurse Corps.

PFC Calvin Earl Luckham

PFC Calvin Earl Luckham was born 1 Mar 1918 in Irvington, Virginia one of six children of Cadmus Carter Jr and Bonnie Belle (Jones) Luckham. His father worked in a ship yard. By 1940 Calvin was a waterman or oysterman, harvesting oysters from the oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay.  He might have been working with his brother, Hiram, who was doing the same work. Calvin reported a 1939 income of $208.

Calvin was drafted in May 1941.  Like many others from this draft period he was assigned to a relatively local unit, E Company 116th Infantry and trained with that unit at Fort George Meade, Maryland, Camp A. P. Hill, Virginia and Camp Blanding, Florida before shipping with the unit to England in September 1942. In England the regiment trained incessantly for the coming invasion of Hitler's "fortress Europe" and Calvin was part of that.  On 6 Jun 1944, the regiment landed on Omaha Beach.  PFC Luckham survived that ordeal and continued to fight with his unit until D+12 when he was killed in action.

PFC Luckham was repatriated and is buried in the Irvington United Methodist Church Cemetery in Irvington, Virginia. Brother, Hiram Luckham, served with the Army in New Guinea.

PFC George James Eichhorn

photo by Joyce (Martin) OConnell
PFC George James Eichhorn was born in Richmond Hill, New York to Charles and Mary Elizabeth (Hoffman) Eichhorn on 5 Nov 1919.  Charles worked as a bank teller/clerk and later as a timekeeper for the Work Projects Administration. In 1940, George was working as an upholsterer in a furniture factory.  He reported an income of $800 for 1939.  On 17 Jun 1940 George married Doris Tomlins.

George was drafted in December 1942.  He had previously served in the National Guard.   Assigned to H Company 116th Infantry, he was with that unit on D-Day and survived the amphibious assault.  PFC Eichhorn was killed in action on 18 Jun 1944. 

PFC Eichhorn is buried in the Fishkill Rural Cemetery in Fishkill, New York. 

Doris remarried before 1954.  She died in California in 1994.

PVT Eugene Pearl Leach Jr.

courtesy of Evelyn Bobo Housum
PVT Eugene Pearl Leach Jr. was born 4 Aug 1924 probably in Washington Court House, Ohio the second of seven children of Eugene Pearl and Urtha Rayne (Cox) Leach. The senior Eugene worked as a truck driver in road construction and maintenance with a reported 1939 income of $160. The family rented their home for $10 a month and sister Betty contributed $32 to the family income in 1939.

Eugene was working as a roofer when he was drafted in April 1943.  Completing basic training he was sent to England and assigned to B Company 116th Infantry.  He probably did not have enough time with the unit in England to undergo much of the intense amphibious training the unit had experienced since it arrived there in 1942.  PVT Leach landed on 6 Jun 1944 on Omaha beach with his unit and fought with them until he was killed in action on 18 Jun 1944.

PVT Leach was repatriated in 1948 and re-interred in Washington Cemetery in Washington Court House, Ohio.

PVT Jerry Cook

PVT Jerry Cook was transferred from 104th Medical Battalion to Medical Detachment 116th Infantry on 11 Jun 1944.  On 12 Jun 1944 he was attached to C Company 116th Infantry.  On 18 Jun 1944 he was killed action. 

We know nothing else about PVT Cook except that he was probably repatriated and is likely buried in Kentucky.  That means that he might have been born in Kentucky but beyond that we know nothing. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

PFC Reece H. Baker

PFC Reece H. Baker was born 13 Sep 1921 in Sevier County, Tennessee to Hubert Turner and Stella Esther (Rogers) Baker.  The family farmed. 

Reece was drafted in July 1942.  Assigned to I Company 116th Infantry, he participated in the D-Day landing.  PFC Baker was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944.

PFC Baker is buried in Zion Hill Cemetery in Sevier County, Tennessee.

PFC Linden Ellis Lutz

PFC Linden Ellis Lutz was born 13 Nov 1907 in Canton, Ohio the third of six children of William Samuel and Sarah Elizabeth (Fadely) Lutz.  His parents had been born in Shenandoah County, Virginia.  The family farmed. His father would later work as a millwright. Linden would later be employed by Eaton Manufacturing Company in Detroit, Michigan. 

Linden was drafted in July 1943.  His basic training was conducted at Camp Fannin, Texas and he was sent to England and assigned to E Company 116th Infantry in January 1944. Linden trained with the unit for the amphibious landing that took place on 6 Jun 1944 and in which he took part.  He continued to fight with the unit until 15 or 16 Jun 1944 when he was wounded.  He died of his wounds on 17 Jun 1944.

PFC Lutz rests forever in the Normandy American Cemetery. Esta re-married, the couple apparently had no children.

Maternal grandfather, Joseph Samuel Fadely, served in both C Company 7th Virginia Cavalry and K Company 33rd Virginia Infantry during the Civil War. The 33rd was one of the regiments making up the Confederate era Stonewall Brigade. Paternal grandfather, William C. Lutz, served in the 10th Virginia Cavalry.

PFC Ellis Holbrook

PFC Ellis Holbrook was born in Dickenson County, Virginia to Walter James and Louise Ann (McCoy) Holbrook on 2 Oct 1920.  His father was a miner. 

Ellis was farming when he was drafted in November 1942.  Trained as a rifleman and sent to England he was assigned to C Company 116th Infantry and participated in the amphibious landing on D-Day with that unit.  Wounded on 17 Jun 1944 and evacuated, he died of his wound(s) that same day. 

PFC Holbrook was repatriated and is buried in McCoy Cemetery in Saint Paul, Virginia. Brother, Robert C. Holbrook, served from 1943 to 1946.

PFC Leonard Dickey

PFC Leonard Dickey was born 17 Feb 1921 in Connersville, Indiana to Willard and Ruth Ann (Lloyd) Dickey. Willard supported his family of 13 by farming.  Undoubtedly Leonard helped his father.  In 1940 Leonard apparently worked on playground maintenance for the city.

Leonard was drafted in February 1941.  He was with B Company 116th Infantry on D-Day but was apparently uninjured in the amphibious assault.  However, on 17 Jun 1944 PFC Dickey was killed in action.

He was repatriated in 1948 now rests forever in Dale Cemetery in Connersville, Indiana.

Older brother Walter served in the Navy during the war.

SSG Wesley Earl Hardiman

SSG Wesley Earl Hardiman was born in Dillwyn, Virginia on 2 Sep 1918 to Luther Wilfred and Mary Susan (Wright) Hardiman. Luther worked on the railroad and farmed. 

Wesley was a PVT in the National Guard unit in Farmville, Virginia when the unit was federalized and called to active duty in February 1941.  As a member of G Company 116th Infantry he stayed with the unit through training at Fort Meade, Maryland and Camp Blanding, Florida and shipped out for England with the regiment in September 1942.  He trained with and made the landing on 6 Jun 1944.  On 11 Jun 1944 he was transferred to A Company 116th Infantry after that unit's terrible losses on D-Day.  SSG Hardiman was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944. 

SSG Hardiman was repatriated and is buried in the Cedar Baptist Church Cemetery in Dillwyn, Virginia. His brother Luther also served during the war.

PVT Wilmer Edsel Jacobs

PVT Wilmer Edsel Jacobs was born 22 Dec 1924 in Etowah County, Alabama to General Ismeral and Alma Arbaner (Bearden) Jacobs.  His father worked as a wire drawer in a steel mill.  His reported 1939 income was $1300. 

Known as "Crickett" to his family, Wilmer was working as a farm hand when he was drafted in June 1943.  After basic training he was sent to England and assigned to K Company 116th Infantry.  He trained for and participated in the D-Day amphibious assault on the French beach code-named "Omaha".  PVT Jacobs was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944. 

PVT Jacobs was repatriated in 1952 and is buried with many family members in Whitesboro Cemetery in Whitesboro, Alabama. His brother, Curtis Leon Jacobs, served in the U.S. Navy during the war.

PFC Harry J DeWitt

PFC Harry J. DeWitt was born in 1921, son of Harry H. DeWitt of Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

Drafted in December 1942.  Assigned to B Company 116th Infantry on 13 Jun 1944. Killed in action 17 Jun 1944.  Buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

This is all we know about Harry. 

PFC David Thomas Hayes

courtesy of Frogman
PFC David Thomas Hayes was born in Brookland, Virginia on 4 Aug 1919 to Robert and Annie Elmira (Roach) Hayes. His father was a house painter.  In 1940 David was also working as a house painter, most likely with his father.

David was drafted in April 1942.  After his training he was sent to England and prepared for the amphibious assault that would take place on 6 Jun 1944 with his assigned unit, I Company 116th Infantry.  PFC went ashore with that unit and was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944.

PFC Hayes is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PFC Thomas M. Kane

courtesy of Bessie Savery
PFC Thomas M. Kane was born 31 Jan 1925 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to Patrick Francis and Sarah Bolger (Fasick) Kane. His father worked as a gardener and laborer.

Thomas was drafted in May 1943.  After his initial training he was sent to Europe and assigned to B Company 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 13 Jun 1944. PFC Kane was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944.

PFC Kane is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PFC Adrian M. Holt

PFC Adrian M. Holt was born 30 May 1924 in Maryland the son of Inez (Abigill) Holt.  His father, name unknown to us, apparently left the family shortly after his birth.  His mother remarried and his step-father, Glenn Forrest Anderson, was a carpenter. 

Adrian had only completed 2 years of high school when he was drafted in April 1943.  He was sent to England and assigned to B Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with that unit for the amphibious assault on the French beaches and made the assault with that unit.  PFC Holt was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944.


PFC Holt is buried in Baltimore National Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. Adrian's uncle, PFC Melvin L. Abigill, was died of a non-battle related injury in Italy in 1945 and is also buried in the Baltimore National Cemetery.

PFC Leo P. Cosimini

PFC Leo P. Cosimini was born 17 Nov 1922 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Ubaldo and Daria Cosimini. His father was a butcher and later worked in a textile plant. 

When drafted in December 1942, Leo was apparently working as a shipping clerk.  After training he was sent to England and assigned to M Company 116th Infantry and was with the unit on D-Day.  PFC Cosimini was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944.

PFC Cosimini is buried in Mount Saint Mary's Cemetery in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

PVT Rudolph Antonio Cantara

PVT Rudolph Antonio Cantara, b. 23 Aug 1911 - d 17 Jun 1944. Son of Joseph and Exire Marie (Fannis) Cantara of Pembroke, Allentown and Suncook, New Hampshire. Rudolph married Victoria Paquin 27 Sep 1941. Victoria was killed in an auto accident in 1946. They apparently had no children. PVT Cantara was drafted in October 1943 and ultimately assigned to B Company 116th Infantry. He is buried in Saint John the Baptist Cemetery in Allentown, New Hampshire.

PFC Joseph Anthony Lubak Jr.

courtesy of Diane Rawa Bronakowski
PFC Joseph Anthony Lubak Jr. was born 26 Jul 1920 in Erie, Pennsylvania the fifth of nine children of Joseph Anthony and Frances Catherine (Wasikowski) Lubak.  The senior Joseph was a native of Poland and worked in a factory.  In 1940, Joseph Jr. was working for a casket manufacturer and reported a 1939 income of $364.

Joseph was working as an apprentice machinist when drafted in October 1942. After attending his initial training he was sent to England in June 1943 and assigned to C Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with the unit for the anticipated amphibious assault on occupied France at what would be code-named "Omaha beach".  He was with the unit in that effort and fought with the unit until killed in action on 17 Jun 1944 (D+11).


PFC Lubak was repatriated and now rests forever in Trinity Cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

PFC William J. Kasperwicz

PFC William J. Kasperwicz was born in 1916 in New Jersey.  We think that his parents were William Stephen and Mary Vincenta (Janoelvicz) Kasperowicz.  Both parents were natives of Poland, his father being born in Vilna (Vilnius).

William was drafted in February 1942.  He was sent to England after his training and assigned to G Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with that unit for the amphibious assault in which he took part on 6 Jun 1944.  He survived the landing but went missing and it was later determined that he had been killed in action on 17 Jun 1944. 

PFC Kasperwicz's body was not recovered.  He is memorialized at the Normandy American Cemetery.

PVT George W Crandall



PVT George W Crandall, b. 1910 - d. 17 Jun 1944. Son of William Ezekiel and Ida Mae (Herminover) Crandall. George was assigned to C Company sometime prior to the landings.PVT Crandall is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

TSGT William Thomas Lemon

TSGT William Thomas Lemon was born 12 Oct 1918 in Purcellville, Virginia to Walter Henry and Frances Newton (Pelton) Lemon.  His father worked as farm labor and as a carpenter.

William was working as a plumber or steamfitter when he was drafted in May 1941.  He was likely assigned to C Company 116th Infantry soon after and trained with the unit at Camp Blanding and in England. TSGT Lemon was serving as a platoon sergeant on 6 Jun 1944, D-Day, when the unit participated in the amphibious landing that began the invasion of Hitler's "fortress Europe" in France.  He survived that day but was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944.

TSGT Lemon was buried in Normany American Cemetery.

PFC William V Cooper

PFC William V Cooper was born in Ohio in 1914, 4th child of Joseph and Theresa (Kast) Cooper.  His parents were both Italian immigrants.  Married to Emma Louise Nerone whose parents were also Italian immigrants.  Drafted in Akron in August 1943.  Assigned to B Company 116th Infantry prior to D-Day.  Killed in action 17 Jun 1944.  Buried in Normandy American Cemetery.

After the war Emma re-married and had 2 sons.

PVT Douglas T. Harris

courtesy of Bessie Savery
PVT Douglas T. Harris was born 10 Jan 1925 in Brodhead, Kentucky to Arthur David and Susie Emeline (Cash) Harris.  His father worked in a lumber mill and farmed.  The family of 7 had a 1939 reported income of $60.

After Douglas entered the service, probably in 1943, he was sent to England and assigned to A Company 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 13 Jun 1944.  PVT Harris was killed in action 4 days later, on 17 Jun 1944.

PVT Harris is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

SSG Robert Dorton

SSG Robert Dorton was born 17 Sep 1918 in Gate City, Virginia to William Allen and Ella Amanda (Jenkins) Dorton.  The family farmed.

When drafted in April 1941, "Bobbie" was apparently driving for a living and had graduated high school.  On 16 May 1942 he married Vonda Madelene Stallard. Assigned to M Company 116th Infantry on D-Day, "Bobbie" survived until 17 Jun 1944 when he was killed in action.

Repatriated in 1948, SSG Dorton is buried in Holston View Cemetery in Weber City, Virginia. 

Vonda did not remarry until 1958. 

SSG Lombardo E. Coppola

SSG Lombardo E. Coppola was born 14 Nov 1917 in Bergen County, New Jersey to Joseph and Josephine (Tufano) Coppola. His father worked as a bricklayer's helper and later had a job with the W.P.A. In 1940, Lombardo was working as labor in a sugar plant with a reported income in 1939 of $1000.

When drafted in May 1942, Lombardo was probably still working in that same sort of work.  Sent overseas, he was assigned to E Company 116th Infantry and trained with the unit for the D-Day amphibious assault on "fortress Europe".  He landed with the unit and survived until 17 Jun 1944. 

SSG Coppola is buried in Madonna Cemetery in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

SSG Clyde Hugh Harris


courtesy of Bessie Savery
SSG Clyde Hugh Harris was born 13 Jun 1916 in King George County, Virginia to Edward Berkely and Nellie Virginia (Olive) Harris.  His father worked as a driver and as a diesel engineer for an ice manufacturer.  Clyde drove for that ice producer.  Clyde had a 1939 reported income of $1040.

Clyde was drafted in April 1941.  He was probably assigned to I Company 116th Infantry not long after his initial training and likely before they went overseas in September 1942.  He was assigned to the unit on 6 Jun 1944 when the unit participated in the amphibious assault on the Norman French beaches.  SSG Harris was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944.

SSG Harris is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PFC Mario P. Iannarilli

PFC Mario P. Iannarilli was born 11 Jan 1924 in Elizabeth, New Jersey the son of Luigi and Anna Iannarilli.  Both parents were born in Italy.  His father worked in an oil refinery and his mother worked as a dress cutter.  Together they had a reported 1939 income of $2000. 

Mario had completed high school and was working as a machinist when he was drafted in April 1943. After his initial training he was sent to Europe and transferred from the replacement depot to B Company 116th Infantry on 13 Jun 1944.  PFC Iannarilli was killed in action just 4 days later on 17 Jun 1944.

PFC Iannarilli was repatriated in 1948 and is buried in the Rosedale and Rosehill Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey. 

PFC John Edward Minnigh Jr

PFC John Edward Minnigh Jr, b. 1 May 1893 - d. 17 Jun 1966. Son of John Edward and Annie Elizabeth (Warner) Minnigh. His name is spelled "Mennigh" in some Army records. His brother George Luther Minnigh also served. John married Mildred Penn after the war and they lived in Alexandria, VA. They had one son, Morton Llewellyn Minnigh who served during WWII. A member of C Company 116th Infantry, PFC Minnigh is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery, Alexandria, VA.

PFC Merrill B. Conrad

PFC Merrill B. Conrad was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on 17 Apr 1920 to Vernon Ralph and Pearl Evelyn (Hertle) Conrad.  The family moved to Massachusetts in 1925.  His father worked as a carpenter.

When Merrill was drafted in February 1942 he was working in the printing industry.  Sent overseas, he was assigned to G Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with that unit for and participated in the amphibious assault on the Normandy beaches code named "Omaha".  PFC Conrad was killed in action on 17 Jun 1944.

PFC Conrad is buried in Highland Cemetery in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

PVT Peter Franklin Bessesen Jr.

PVT Peter Franklin Bessesen Jr. was born 2 Apr 1916 to Peter Franklin and Maude Mayotto (Calkins) Bessesen of Yakima County, Washington.  His parents operated a boarding house in 1920 but by 1930 his father was supporting the family working as a carpenter.  Peter Senior's parents were Norwegian immigrants. Only 2 other of Peter Jr's 5 siblings lived to adulthood and his mother died in 1928 when he was 12 years old.  His father re-married soon after.

On 27 Jun 1940 Peter Jr married Gladys Francis Elizabeth Hoffman.  

Peter entered the service in October 1943, went overseas in April 1944 and was assigned to A Company 116th Infantry on 13 Jun 1944 just 7 days after the unit was decimated in the D-Day landing.  PVT Bessesen was wounded and died of those wounds on 19 Jun 1944 according to the morning report but other records indicate that he died on 16 Jun 1944.

PVT Bessesen is buried in the Tahoma Cemetery in Yakima, Washington.

Both of Peter's surviving, younger, brothers served in the Army during the war. Brother Junior Orville Bessesen was a TSGT in the Army Air Corps and was awarded the Air Medal 4 times. 

PVT Jerry A. Greene

PVT Jerry A. Greene was born in Pennsylvania on 16 Oct 1921, the only child of Louis M. and Lillian Greene.

Jerry entered active service in June 1942.  He was sent to England and assigned to Headquarters 116th Infantry.  He made the landing with the unit but was wounded on 6 Jun 1944.  It is probable that he was on the same boat as COL Canham as all those on the second Headquarters boat were killed when it was hit by shellfire.  He was evacuated to England and died there on 16 Jun 1944. 

PVT Greene was repatriated and is buried in Hillside Cemetery in Fairfield, New Jersey.

PVT Alton A. Inman

PVT Alton A. Inman was born 21 Jul 1923 in Frankfort, New York the only son of Wallace J. and Ella Janet (Dausman) Inman.  His father worked as a carpenter.

Alton was drafted in June 1943 immediately after his high school graduation.  After his training he was sent to England and assigned to C Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with that unit and landed with that unit on Omaha Beach on 6 Jun 1944.  PVT Inman was killed in action 10 days later, on 16 Jun 1944.

PVT Inman is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery

SGT Robert Bleecker

SGT Robert Bleecker, b 21 Jan 1918 - d. 16 Jun 1944. Son of Albert and Bessie Bleecker, he was born in Akron, Ohio. His father was a native of what is now Latvia, his mother of Louisiana and the family had moved to New Jersey before he enlisted. This photo is his high school graduation photo. He went on to attend Rutgers (class of 1942) and enlisted in May 1942. Assigned to B Company 116th Infantry, his date of death is confused being variously given as 16, 17, 18, or 19 June 1944, his unit not correcting the date to 16 June 1944 until February 1945! We believe he was married to Selma but she apparently was not notified of his death until much later for some reason as she had to ask for help in discovering his fate. He rests today with his brother and mother in Riverview Cemetery, Saddle Brook, New Jersey.