Sunday, July 31, 2016

PFC William Howard Byers

PFC William Howard Byers was born n 1916 in Washington, D. C. to John Garfield and Mollie Ann (Wade) Byers.  The third child of his father and his first wife, William had a total of 7 siblings.  His father was from North Carolina and worked as a carpenter in the district as did William..  His mother died in 1933.  His brother, George Harden Byers, also served in the Army during the war.

PFC Byers was assigned to L Company 116th Infantry on D-Day and apparently wounded on 22 Jun 1944.  He went to hospital, was dropped from the rolls and then returned to the unit on 25 Jul 1944.  William was promoted to PFC on 26 Jul 1944.  He was killed in action on 31 Jul 1944.  PFC Byers rests forever in the Normandy American Cemetery

Saturday, July 30, 2016

1LT Stephen Beskid

courtesy of Bessie Savery
1LT Stephen Beskid was born 6 Feb 1917 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to John and Mary (Feckso) Beskid.  His father worked for the railroad.

Stephen entered the service in March 1942.  On 5 Aug 1943 he married Dorothy Virginia Graff in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Sometime after that he was sent overseas and on 6 Jul 1944 he was assigned from the replacement depot to H Company 116th Infantry as a platoon leader.  1LT Beskid was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944.

1LT Beskid is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.  Dorothy remarried in 1946.  They had no children.

Stephen had one brother, Thomas Beskid, who served in the U.S. Army during the war attaining the rank of PFC.  

PVT Arlie Lemuel Hopkins

PVT Arlie Lemuel Hopkins was born 2 Sep 1923 in Crawford County, Arkansas to Andrew John and Minnie Mae (Pannell) Hopkins. His father worked on a farm.

Arlie was also working on a farm when he was drafted in September 1943. He was sent to Europe and on 22 Jun 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to C Company 116th Infantry. On 24 Jul 1944 he was sent to hospital with a non-battle injury.  He returned to the unit on 30 Jul 1944 and was killed in action that same day.

PVT Hopkins was repatriated in 1949 and is buried in Bryant Cemetery in Cove City, Arkansas. From a local newspaper:
The body of Pvt. Arlie L. Hopkins was returned to the Fentress Mortuary in Fort Smith, Arkansas Friday, April 22, 1949 for re-burial. Pvt. Hopkins, a 20 Year old resident of Natural Dam, Arkansas, entered service at Camp Fannin, Texas, in 1942. He was killed in France during World War II on July 30, 1944. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Hopkins, of Natural Dam four sisters, Mrs. Cleda Jones of Van Buren, Mrs. May Franklin of Natural Dam, Misses Florence and Tressie Hopkins of the home; six brothers, Ransford, Clifford and Argyle Hopkins, all of National Dam, Cleburn Hopkins of Tulsa, Ray and Raymond Hopkins, both of the home. Funeral service and burial was held at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon at the Bryant cemetery. Rev. Glenn G. Dipboye was the officiating minister with Fentress Mortuary in charge.

TSGT Roy A. Gift

TSGT Roy A. Gift was born 27 Feb 1921 in Topeka, Kansas to Clarence and Ida Ann (Burris) Gift. His father drove trucks and taxis.

Roy was married and living in Monterey County, California when he was drafted in September 1942.  This was the same month that the 116th boarded the Queen Mary for England.  It wasn't long before Roy followed them and was assigned to C Company 116th Infantry.  He was with the unit on D-Day, participating in the amphibious assault on Omaha Beach.  On 20 Jun 1944 he was promoted from PVT to SGT.  On 9 Jul 1944 he was promoted to SSG. Sometime between then and 30 Jul 1944, Roy was promoted to TSGT.  TSGT Gift was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944. 

TSGT Gift was repatriated and buried in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California. We know nothing about Roy's wife or possible children. 

PVT Thomas H. Kilchenmann

PVT Thomas H. Kilchenmann was born 13 Sep 1925 in Dickey County, to Alfred and Emma (Williams) Killchenmann.  Alfred's parents were natives of Switzerland. The family of 7 farmed in Dickey county. 

After entering service, Thomas was sent to Europe and transferred from the replacement depot to I Company 116th Infantry on 23 Jul 1944.  PVT Kilchenmann was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944.

PVT Kilchenmann was repatriated and is buried in Oakes View Cemetery in Oakes, South Dakota. 

Older brother Charles E. Kilchenmann served in the army from 1942-1945.

PVT Roland J. Love

PVT Roland J. Love was born 30 May 1922 in Massena, New York the youngest of ten children of Daniel Peter and Mary E. "Minnie" (Demo) Love. His father was a carpenter. After graduating from high school, Roland worked as a clerk at the ALCOA plant. 

Roland was drafted in November 1943.  He came home on leave and took the opportunity to marry Pauline S. Demers on 16 May 1944. Roland almost immediately left for Europe and on 25 Jul 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to G Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Love was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944 just 2½ months after being married.  

PVT Love was repatriated and buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Massena, New York.  Pauline re-married in 1950, the couple had no children.

PVT Aldie Justice Jr.

courtesy of Bessie Savery
PVT Aldie Justice Jr was born in 1919 in McDowell County, West Virginia.  He was working as a miner when he was drafted in January 1941. We don't know what happened in the interim but on 13 Jul 1944 PVT Justice was transferred from the replacement depot to E Company 116th Infantry.  Aldie was a non-battle casualty the very next day (14 Jul 1944) and evacuated to hospital. Aldie returned to his unit from the hospital on 26 Jul 1944.  PVT Justice was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944.

PVT Justice is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery

PFC Charles Kogan

PFC Charles Kogan was born in 1911 in Grdno, Poland.  His mother was named Florence and both parents were natives of Poland as was his younger brother, Aaron. Charles Kogan was working at the Broadway Fruit Shop in Detroit when he entered the service. He was a graduate of a technical school in Grodno, Poland where he displayed special talents in mechanics and desired to become an engineer.

After entering the service, Charles was sent to Europe and transferred from the replacement depot to G Company 116th Infantry on 19 Jun 1944.  PVT Kogan was promoted to PFC on 24 Jul 1944.   PFC Kogan was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944.

PFC Kogan was repatriated and was re-interred in Machpelah Cemetery in Ferndale, Michigan.

A 2LT navigator and radar operator on a B-24 in the US Army Air Corps, Charles' brother Aaron had served 3 years. Although he had met his quota, he volunteered for a flight over Germany in March 1945 during which he was killed at the age of 25. His body was not recovered. His name is on the tablets of the missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery.

SSG Larry Wayne Curry

SSG Larry Wayne Curry was born 11 Nov 1924 in Gatesville, Texas the oldest child of James Malcolm and Annie Viola (Williams) Curry.  The family of 6 farmed in Coryell County. 

When Larry was drafted in June  1943 he had only 3 years of high school.  At the time of the D-Day landings he was a PFC assigned to L Company 116th Infantry.  He was promoted to SGT on 20 Jun 1944.  He was further promoted to SSG on 27 Jul 1944.  SSG Curry was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944. 

SSG Curry was returned to the U.S. in 1948 and buried in the Restland Cemetery in Gatesville, Texas. 

2LT Mike Kennon Minter

2LT Mike Kennon Minter, b. 7 Nov 1920 - d. 30 Jul 1944. Son of Joseph Jackson and Ruby Elizabeth (Prillaman) Minter of Henry County, Virginia. Mike attended Chapman College in Orange, California. 2LT Minter was assigned to G Company, 116th Infantry. He is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PVT John Brewster Harris

PVT John Brewster Harris was born 23 May 1925 son of Pearl Brewster and Laura Ann (Shatswell) Harris.  His father had moved from his birthplace in Texas to Cedarville, Arkansas. The family of 7 then lived in Wister and McIntosh County, Oklahoma and finally in Oakdale, California.

John was working as a fruit picker/packer for DiGiorgio Farms when he was drafted in September 1943.  He was sent to Europe and on 14 Jul 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to K Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Harris was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944.

PVT Harris is buried in the Oakdale Citizens Cemetery in Oakdale, California

PFC Francis Hanson Cary

PFC Francis Hanson Cary was born 1 Sep 1911 in Flint Hill, Virginia to Frank Hezekiah and Virginia E. (Ferguson) Cary.  His grandfather, Alexander Cary, served as a private in Company E, 43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion.  Father Frank was a dry goods salesman, perhaps working for his father then owned his own store.  Francis was working as a laborer and living with his Aunt Margaret in 1940.

Francis entered service in May 1941.  He was eventually assigned to G Company 116th Infantry and was assigned to that unit on D-Day and made the landing with that unit.  For a time he was missing in action but was returned to duty on 22 Jul 1944.  Where he was in the interim is unknown.  On 30 Jul 1944 he was killed in action.

PFC Cary rests forever with much of his family in Flint Hill Methodist Cemetery in Flint Hill, Virginia.

CPL James Edward Clark Jr

courtesy of Bessie Savery
CPL James Edward Clark Jr was born abt 1925 in Detroit, Michigan to James Edward and Beatrice Sarah (Huff) Clark. His father was an electrical engineer who had a 1939 reported income of $3000.  James attended Southeastern High School.

After entering the service James was sent overseas.  James was already a CPL when he was transferred from the replacement depot to B Company 116th Infantry on 13 Jun 1944. He was again transferred from B to A Company 116th Infantry on 15 Jun 1944, likely to help in replacing the many men that unit lost on 6 Jun 1944 in the D-Day landings.  On 30 Jul 1944 he was seriously wounded and evacuated to a hospital.  CPL Clark died of his wounds on that same day.

CPL Clark is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery

PVT George M. Langford

courtesy of Frogman
PVT George M. Langford was born 7 Jun 1922 in Liberty, Kentucky to Isaac Thomas and Florence Emma (Hughett) Langford.  The family farmed. George married a local girl, Jewell Eugenia Allen.

George was drafted in September 1943.  After his training he was sent to Europe and transferred from the replacement depot to E Company 116th Infantry on 19 Jun 1944. PVT Langford was killed in action on 30 Jul 1944.

PVT Langford is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery. Jewell re-married after the war.

Friday, July 29, 2016

PVT Ponto Bebe

PVT Ponto Bebe was born in Albania (probably in or near Plasa) on 2 May 1907 to George and Despa (Dima) Bebe.  In 1940 Ponto was supporting the family as a truck driver. 

Ponto was drafted in December 1942.  After being shipped overseas. It was in 1943, in England, that he applied for naturalization. He was assigned to M Company 116th Infantry and was with the unit on D-Day.  On 9 Jun 1944 he was thought to be missing in action but was returned to duty (found?) on 12 Jun 1944.  On 26 Jul 1944 he was transferred to L Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Bebe was killed in action on 29 Jul 1944. 

PVT Ponto Bebe is buried in Saint John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Cemetery in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. 

Younger brother Michael was also drafted, served in the US Army then returned home.

PFC John A Bauer

PFC John A Bauer, b. 1 Jan 1923 - d. 29 Jul 1944. Son of Charles Peter and Annie (Bunn) Bauer of Douglas, Pennsylvania. John entered service in March 1943 and was assigned to A Company 116th Infantry on 4 Jul 1944 and was serving with that unit at the time of his death. He rests in Holy Cross Cemetery in East Greenville, Pennsylvania.

PFC Herman Joseph Bania

PFC Herman Joseph Bania b. 23 oct 1924 - d. 29 Jul 1944. Herman was the only son of Joseph Anthony and Sophia (Orzembowska) Bania who had immigrated from Bohemia. Herman was survived by his parent and his sister, Josephine Theresa (Bania) Tambor. Herman came to D Company 116th Regiment from the replacement depot on 15 Jul 1944, was reported MIA on 1 Aug and then reported to have been KIA as 26 Jul (in the morning reports).  PFC Bania is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery.

PFC Clarence J Benton

PFC Clarence J. Benton was born 8 Aug 1919 in Union City, Pennsylvania to Frank Clyde and Ivy Wilhelmina (Strickland) Benton.  His father had served in the Army from 29 Oct 1913 and during the first World War in Machine Gun Company 10th Infantry and worked in a chemical factory shortly after Clarence was born. His parents divorced in 1926 and both remarried. Clarence had a total of 5 siblings.  Clarence lived with his mother and step-father, graduated from high school and attended 1-year of college. He worked as a salesman.

In February 1942 Clarence was drafted.  He was shipped overseas in October 1942.  He was assigned to B Company 116th Infantry on D-Day.  He may have been wounded on 20 June when he was thought to be missing in action but he is recorded as having died of wounds on 29 Jul 1944.

PFC Benton rests forever in the Evergreen Cemetery in Union City, Pennsylvania. 


PVT Roland Shelby Landrum

PVT Roland Shelby Landrum was born 24 Oct 1924 in Breathitt County, Kentucky the seventh of eight children born to Albert Sidney and Laura (Back) Landrum.  The family farmed.  His mother died of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1942.

Roland entered the army in December 1943.  He was sent to Europe after basic training and on 26 Jul 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to L Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Landrum was killed in action on 29 Jul 1944.

PVT Landrum was repatriated in 1948 and re-interred in the Landrum Family Cemetery in Noctor, Kentucky.

3 of his 4 rothers also served: Albert Augustus Landrum served in the Army from 1942 to 1945. Robert Melvin Landrum also entered the Army in 1942. Ollie James Landrum was drafted in 1944 and served in the Army.

PFC Marsh Julian Jones

PFC Marsh Julian Jones was born as "Morse Julian Jones" on 17 Aug 1913 in Rainswood, Virginia to Eppa George and Anna Mirteen (Allison) Jones.  The family of 6 farmed in Richmond County. 

Marsh was drafted in April 1941.  At some point after his initial training, Marsh was assigned to Anti-Tank Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with that unit in England for the amphibious assault on "fortress Europe" and was with the unit on 6 Jun 1944.  Marsh fought with the unti until 29 Jul 1944 when he was killed in action.

PFC Jones is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.  His father died 1 Oct 1944. His brother, George Wesley Jones served in the Army during the war. 

PVT Adam Dutchover

PVT Adam Dutchover was born in 1918 in Fort Davis, Texas to Joseph and Francisca Anna (Nieto) Dutchover.  The family farmed.  His mother died in 1933.

When drafted in July 1942 Adam was already married.  After his training Adam was sent overseas and on 24 Jul 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to L Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Dutchover was killed in action on 29 Jul 1944.

PVT Dutchover rests forever in the Brittany American Cemetery

Thursday, July 28, 2016

PVT Herbert Frederick Chinn

PVT Herbert Frederick Chinn, b. 10 Sep 1912 - d. 28 Jul 1944. Son of John Frederick and Annie R (Shifflett) Chinn in Beltsville, MD. He married Pauline Bessie Collins in 1933 and worked as a jockey before being drafted in 1943. He was assigned to A Company 116th Infantry 28 Jun 1944, sick and to the hospital on 21 Jul 1944 and returned to his unit to be KIA. He is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

PVT Milard C. Foresee

PVT Milard C. Foresee was born 14 Oct 1910, 2nd child and eldest son of L. B. and Vestia Almeda (Timbrook) Foresee.  The family farmed.

Milard went into the army in March 1943.  Sent overseas he was assigned to F Company 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 22 Jun 1944. He was wounded on 11 Jul 1944 and evacuated to hospital.  He died of his wounds in the hospital on 27 Jul 1944.

PVT Foresee is buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Harrison, Arkansas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SGT Albert L. Johnson

SGT Albert L. Johnson was born 15 Nov 1910 in Crooksville, Ohio to William Finley and Minnie (McKnight) Johnson.  His father worked as a coal miner. In 1930 Albert was working as a cashier in Athens, Ohio.

Albert entered the service in November 1942.  After his basic training at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, he was sent to England and assigned to G Company 116th Infantry with which he trained for the amphibious invasion of "fortress Europe". It was in that training that he was burned by an explosion and spent some time recovering in hospital in England. PFC Johnson took part in the assault on the Normandy beach code-named Omaha. Surviving, he was promoted to SGT on 20 Jun 1944. SGT Johnson was seriously wounded on 30 Jun 1944 and evacuated to hospital.  He died of his wounds on 26 Jul 1944. 

SGT Johnson was repatriated in 1949 and re-interred in West Union Street Cemetery in Athens, Ohio. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

2LT Chester S. Cabaj

courtesy of Bessie Savery
2LT Chester S. Cabaj was born 1915 in Dunkirk, New York to Stanislaus and Josephine Cabaj.  Both his parents were Polish immigrants.  Stanislaus worked as a locomotive mechanic.  In 1940, Chester was working as a shipping clerk in a steel mill with a reported income of $1300 in 1939.

Chester was drafted in Jan 1941.  He must have exhibited good leadership qualities to have been selected for Officer Candidate School.  After commissioning he was assigned to L Company 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 17 Jul 1944.  He was killed in action 3 days later on 20 Jul 1944.

2LT Cabaj is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery

PVT Jesse J. Bledsoe

PVT Jesse J. Bledsoe was born in 1922 in Rogersville, Tennessee to Mack D and Liza (Deskins) Bledsoe. His father farmed.  In 1940, Jesse was at the State Training and Agriculture School for Boys. 

Jesse was drafted in June 1941.  Assigned to Headquarters 3rd Battalion 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 19 Jun 1944, PVT Bledsoe was probably serving as a runner/messenger for his battalion.  Wounded on 19 Jul 1944 and evacuated to the hospital, he died of his wounds on 20 Jul 1944.

PVT Bledsoe is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery

SSG Andrew Kostechak

SSG Andrew Kostechak was born 15 Dec 1920 in Cairnbrook, Pennsylvania the fourth of ten children born to John and Susan (Havarilla) Kostechak. His father was a coal miner and by 1940, so was Andrew.

Andrew was still working as a miner when he was drafted in August 1942. He was sent to England and assigned to K Company 116th Infantry. He trained with that unit for the amphibious assault that was to take place at the French beach code-named "Omaha".  He did make that assault with that unit and, surviving, he was promoted from PFC to SSG on 20 Jun 1944.  SSG Kostechak was wounded on 25 Jun 1944 and evacuated to hospital.  He was likely in hospital in England when he died of his wound(s) on 20 Jul 1944.

SSG Andrew Kostechak was repatriated and now rests forever with his family in Saint John the Baptist Cemetery in Central City, Pennsylvania.

Andrew's older brother, Michael, served as a TSGT in the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Michael was killed 19 Aug 1944. The brothers are buried side-by-side.

Youngest brother, Robert, served in the Army from 1953 to 1955.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

PFC Howard E. Lee

PFC Howard E. Lee was born 31 Oct 1916 in East Prairie, Missouri the second of six children of Willie Wesley and Dovia (Brooks) Lee.  His father was a carpenter and worked as a farm hand. Howard was also working as a farm hand.  On 16 Dec 1939 he married Vivian Asalee Henson.

Howard entered the service in Jan 1943.  He and Asalee would have a son in June 1943.  After completing basic training, PVT Lee was sent to Europe and on 4 Jul 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to G Company 116th Infantry.  PFC Lee was wounded on 18 Jul 1944, evacuated to hospital and died of his wound(s) on 19 Jul 1944.

PFC Lee was repatriated and is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in East Prairie, Missouri. Asalee would re-marry in 1945.

PVT Walter Koliga

PVT Walter Koliga was born 26 Jan 1910 in Breslau, Pennsylvania one of six children of Frank and Fanny (Maciako) Koliga.  Both of his parents were natives of Poland.  Three of his siblings would die of pulmonary tuberculosis before they were 32 years old. Frank worked in a steel mill but by 1930 was dependent on his sons including Walter who, in their turn, worked in the steel mill.  However, the family owned their home which was valued a $6000 in 1930. By 1940, Walter was still living at home supporting his parents but was now working in a coal mine. The family home was now valued at $1000.

Walter married Leona Katilus on 13 May 1940.  They would have one daughter. Frank died 1 Mar 1942 of an apparent heart attack.

Walter was drafted in April 1943. He was again working in a mill at that time. After his initial training he was sent to England and assigned to B Company 116th Infantry. He trained with that unit for and participated in the amphibious assault that took place on 6 Jun 1944.  PVT Koliga fought with that unit through to Saint Lo and was killed in action on 19 Jul 1944. 

PVT Koliga is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.  His brother, Michael, served in the U.S. Army (G Company 31st Infantry) from 1932-1934 and died of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1943. His youngest brother, Alexander James Koliga attained the rank of TSGT, serving in the Army from 1940 to 1945. Leona apparently never re-married and died in 1986.  Their daughter married and had a child. 

PVT Harlie Winslow Knox

PVT Harlie Winslow Knox was born 15 Oct 1912 in Shapleigh, Maine to Raymond Burton and Delina (Grassi) Knox.  The family farmed and Raymond worked in a bed factory.  On 26 Aug 1935, Harlie married Sarah Jane Marston.  Harlie was working in a shoe factory.

Harlie was still working in the shoe/boot manufacturing business when he was drafted in October 1943. After his training he was sent to Europe and on 25 Jun 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to L Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Knox was wounded on 19 Jul 1944 and evacuated but died of his wound(s) that same day. 

PVT Knox was repatriated and interred in the Notre Dame Cemetery in Springvale, Maine. Brother, Ralph Leon Knox, served from 1942 to 1945. Harlie and Sarah had no children. 

PVt Claude Fant Lee

courtesy of J. Whitley
PVT Claude Fant Lee was born 4 Nov 1915 in Norwood, North Carolina the second of four children (two boys, two girls) born to Fant Moore and Beulah Jane (Gallimore) Lee. His father worked in a cotton mill. In 1931 his father was in an automobile accident which damaged his spine making him an invalid, and he died 8 Oct 1931 at age 42. In 1940 Claude his mother and and younger brother were all working as spinners in a cotton mill (probably Norwood Manufacturing Company) in Norwood, North Carolina.  Their combined reported income for 1939 was $1306 and from that they paid $4 a month in rent.

Claude was married by October 1943 when he was drafted.  After basic training he was sent to Europe and transferred from the replacement depot to H Company 116th Infantry on 19 Jun 1944.  Claude fought with H Company for a month before being killed in action on 19 Jul 1944.

PFC Lee was repatriated and re-interred with family in the Norwood Cemetery in Norwood, North Carolina.

Grandfather, George T. Lee was a PVT in A Troop, 4th North Carolina Cavalry during the Civil War.

PFC Frederick J Graf

PFC Frederick J Graf was born in 1922.  We think his parents were John Frederick and Mary (Wolf) Graf and he was likely born in New Jersey.

We know that he enlisted (was not drafted) in April 1941 originally to enter the Army Air Corps.  At some point in time before D-Day he was assigned to L Company 116th Infantry and was among those who landed on 6 June.  On 19 Jun 1944 he was killed in action.

PFC Graf is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery

PVT Joe Cephas Joyce

PVT Joe Cephas Joyce was born 29 Sep 1919 in Stokes County, North Carolina to Jess Clyde and Maggie (Gunter) Joyce.  The family farmed including tobacco.  On 28 Nov 1941, Joe married Naomi Elizabeth Hopper. 

Joe was working as a weaver in a textile factory when he was drafted in November 1943.  After his basic training he was sent to Europe and on 17 Jul 1944 was transferred from the replacement depot to A Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Joyce was killed in action on 19 Jul 1944.

PVT Joyce is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery. Naomi re-married after the war. 

2LT James Watson Elder

2LT James Watson Elder, b. 23 Feb 1916 - d. 19 Jul 1944. Son of Harry and Margaret (Woods) Elder of New Castle, PA. He attended New Castle HS and Washington Jefferson College. In 1941 he married Evelyn Jewell Raney also of New Castle and they had one daughter born in 1943 who still lives. 2LT Elder was assigned to A Company 116th Infantry on 18 July 1944. He is buried in Oak Park Cemetery, New Castle, PA.

Monday, July 18, 2016

PFC Stephen Albert Kalata

on his wedding day...
PFC Stephen Albert Kalata was born 20 Aug 1918 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to John and Mary Kalata.  His parents were natives of Czechoslovakia.  His father was a coal miner.  His father died in an apparent mine accident in 1934. In 1940, Stephen was working in road construction and reported a 1939 income of $500. 

Stephen gave his occupation as being a machinist on his marriage license. He married Margaret Janesko on 13 Aug 1942.  They would have a son on 3 Jun 1943.

Stephen was drafted in June 1943.  After his training as a infantryman he was sent to England and assigned to K Company 116th Infantry prior to the D-Day landings on Omaha Beach in which he apparently took part.  On 1 Jul 1944 Stephen was promoted to PFC.  PFC Kalata was killed in action on 18 Jul 1944.

PFC Kalata was repatriated in 1948.  He was buried in the Visitation Parish Cemetery in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Brother, Joseph John Kalata also served in the Army during the war as a CPL in the 706 Anti-Aircraft Machinegun Battery. Margaret did re-marry after the war.  Their son became a successful dentist. 

PVT Horace V. Florio

courtesy of Bessie Savery
PVT Horace V. Florio was born 6 Jul 1926 in West Warwick, Rhode Island to John and Anna Marie (De Palma) Florio. "Mary" was his father's second wife and Horace had 8 half-siblings.  Both of his parents were Italian immigrants. His father and several half-brothers worked at a cotton mill.

Horace had only one year of high school when he was drafted in September 1943.  Horace was transferred from the replacement depot to L Company 116th Infantry on 15 Jul 1944.  He was killed in action just 4 days later on 18 Jul 1944.

PVT Florio is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

PFC Teresio C. Garrone

PFC Teresio C. Garrone was born 20 jan 1923 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts the only child of Giovanni Batiste and Luigina (Pia) Garrone. His mother had 2 daughters by her first husband. All of his immediate family members were natives of Italy.  His father was a moulder in an "electric factory" and reported a 1939 income of $1160. 

Teresio was working as a messenger when he was drafted in March 1943.  After his initial training, Teresio was sent to Europe.  He was transferred from the replacement depot to C Company 116th Infantry on 6 Jul 1944 and killed in action 12 days later on 18 Jul 1944. 

PFC Garrone was repatriated and is buried in Saint Josephs Cemetery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

PFC Roy E Buck

PFC Roy E Buck was born 24 Apr 1920 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania to Hubert Kenneth and Leah I. (McBride) Buck.  There were 2 boys and 6 girls born to this couple.  In 1940, Hubert was working for the WPA but in 1920 he worked in a car shop. 

Roy was drafted in February 1942.  At about that same time, on 19 Feb 1942, he married Mildred A. Splain.  It appears that he was assigned to K Company 116th Infantry prior to D-Day and participated in the landing on Omaha Beach with that unit.  PFC Buck was killed in action on 18 Jul 1944.

After the war PFC Buck was brought back to the U.S. and is buried in New Rosemont Cemetery in Espy, Pennsylvania. 

Only brother, Harold Kenneth Buck, also served during the war.  Mildred remarried in Jan 1946. 

2LT Samuel Greene Licklider Jr.

2LT Samuel Greene Licklider Jr. was born 21 Aug 1913 in Belle, Missouri to Samuel Greene and Agnes A. (Allison) Licklider. His father was a cashier in a bank. Young Samuel, "Sammy", attended the University of Missouri graduating in 1937. In the midst of his college education he taught school in the local public schools. In 1940 he was working as a "secretary" for the Social Security administration reporting a 1939 income of $1200. He married a local school teacher, Lyda Frances Halstead, on 1 Jun 1940. He resigned from the SSA to attend law school and was a Junior there in November 1942.

"Sammy" entered the Army in December 1942. He took basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas and then attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia from which he graduated on 14 Jul 1943.  He then served at Camp Croft, South Carolina and Camp Butner, North Carolina and finally Camp Pickett, Virginia before being ordered to go overseas.  He was sent to England and assigned to the Casualty Officers Replacement Depot and thence to A Company 116th Infantry on 4 Jul 1944.  His son had been born on 17 Jun 1944. 2LT Licklider was a platoon leader of the machine gun platoon and fought with the unit until killed in action on 18 Jul 1944 (although the family believed he was more likely killed sometime between 4 and 6 July).  2LT Licklider had been shot in the lower stomach and was immediately treated but died before he could be evacuated.

2LT Licklider was repatriated in 1948 and now rests forever with family members in Liberty Cemetery in Belle, Missouri. Lyda would remarry in 1949 and she passed away in 1999.  Their son is still living. 

Grandfather, James Columbus Licklider, had served as a CPL in the H Company 10th Missouri Infantry (CSA).

PVT Milo Edwin Buehler

PVT Milo Edwin Buehler was born 27 Feb 1911 in Dodge County, Minnesota to Edwin and Elizabeth Ann (Stafford) Buehler.  The family farmed.  In 1940, Milo was working as a salesman in a department store and he reported an income in 1939 of $960. 

Milo was drafted in September 1943.  He was sent overseas after his training and on 16 Jun 1944 he was transferred from the replacement depot to C Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Buehler was killed in action on 18 Jul 1944.

PVT Buehler was buried in the Normandy American Cemetery

SGT Kyle Jackson Halsey

SGT Kyle Jackson Halsey, b. 8 Oct 1918 - d. 18 Jul 1944. Son of Andrew Jackson and Sena (Hash) Halsey of Grayson County, VA. Drafted in May 1941 Kyle was ultimately assigned to K Company 116th Infantry. He rests forever with his parents in Potato Creek Cemetery in Mouth of Wilson, VA.

PVT Joseph G. Hemak

courtesy of Bessie Savery
PVT Joseph G. Hemak was born in 1912 in Mayfield, Pennsylvania to Paul and Antoinette L. (Musial) Hemak.  Both parents had immigrated from Poland/Galicia. His father was a coal miner and died before 1940.

Joseph was likely mining in September 1943 when he was drafted. After his initial training, Joseph was sent to Europe and the inevitable replacment depot.  He was transferred to D Company 116th Infantry on 15 Jul 1944.  PVT Hemak was wounded on 17 Jul 1944 and died of his wound(s) on 18 Jul 1944.

PVT Hemak is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery. Brother John Joseph Hemak attained the rank of SGT during the war and Frank Stanley Hemak was an MSG.

PVT Michael P. Dziuma

PVT Michael P. Dziuma was born 26 Nov 1912 in the Bronx, New York to Nicholas and Apalonia (Mohylowska) Dziuma.  Both parents immigrated from Galicia i. e. southern Poland.  His father worked as a carpenter and furrier. 

Michael was drafted in February 1943. We don't know when but Michael was assigned to A Company 116th Infantry, apparently prior to the D-Day landings.  The only entry in the morning report is that he was killed in action on 18 Jul 1944.

PVT Dziuma was repatriated and is buried in Long Island National Cemetery in East Farmingdale, New York.

Michael's brother Edward also served during the war but lived until 1987. He is buried next to his brother.   

PVT John Arminio

PVT John Arminio was born 20 Apr 1918 in New Haven County, Connecticut to Salvatore Joseph and Carmella (Marchetta) Arminio.  Both parents were Italian immigrants and Salvatore worked for many years as a tailor.  John was also working as a tailor probably in his father's shop. 

Drafted in August 1941, John was assigned to B Company 116th Infantry on 14 Jul 1944.  PVT Arminio was wounded, evacuated and died in the hospital on 18 Jul 1944. 

PVT Arminio was repatriated in 1948 and is buried in the Saint Lawrence Cemetery in West Haven, Connecticut. 


PVT Leonard V. Appleby

PVT Leonard V. Appleby was born 30 mar 1910 in West Friendship, Maryland to Thomas Lee and Olivia Florence (Ridgely) Appleby.  The family farmed.  Leonard married Helen E. Gray before 1940.  Leonard was working as a welder by 1943.

Leonard was drafted in October 1943.  Assigned to B Company 116th Infantry on 16 Jun 1944, he was not wounded until 17 Jul 1944. He was evacuated to the hospital and died of his wounds there on 18 Jul 1944. 

PVT Appleby is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-mer, Department du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France.

PFC Daniel Richard DeJarnette

PFC Daniel Richard DeJarnette was born 7 Oct 1920 in Halifax County, Virginia to Henry Coleman and Virginia Diane (DeJarnette) DeJarnette.  The family farmed in Halifax County.

Daniel was a PVT in the South Boston unit of the National Guard when it was federalized in February 1941.  As a member of F Company 116th Infantry he trained with the unit in the U.S. and England and made the D-Day landing with that unit on 6 Jun 1944.  Surviving the assault on Omaha Beach, PVT DeJarnette was transferred to A Company 116th Infantry on 11 Jun 1944 to make up for some of the losses that unit had suffered on the 6th.  He was killed in action on 18 Jul 1944.

Repatriated in 1948, PFC DeJarnette is buried in Childrey Baptist Church Cemetery in Nathalie, Virginia next to his parents. 

PVT Joseph Leslie LaRue

courtesy of Anne Cady
PVT Joseph Leslie LaRue was born 20 Mar 1922 in Ogdensburg, New York the sixth of eight children of Alfred John "Fred" and Ida Bernice (Forsythe) LaRue.  His mother was born in Ontario, Canada. Fred worked as a chef and later as a carpenter. Before 1942 at least some of the family moved to Richmond, Virginia where Fred was working in the James River shipyard.

Joseph (he apparently was known as Leslie in the family) entered Army service in December 1942. Sent to Europe after basic training, he was assigned to K Company 116th Infantry from the replacement depot on 19 Jun 1944. PVT LaRue was killed in action on 18 Jul 1944.

PVT LaRue was repatriated in 1949.  Although his parents were still alive, it was his brother George who signed the headstone application.  Joseph was re-interred in Ogdensburg Cemetery in Ogdensburg, New York.

Brothers also served. George A. LaRue served in the U.S. Army 1942-1946, Lawrence Walter LaRue served in the U.S. Army 1940-1945.

SGT Aaron J Bowling

SGT Aaron J Bowling was born in 1917 in Gills Creek, Virginia to James Otey (or Otis) and Francis Edna (Hairfield) Bowling.  The family of 13 was supported by the family farm.  Later, the 3 oldest worked at local businesses to help support the family.  In 1940, Aaron was clerking at a drug store.

Aaron, like many other young men in the depression, joined the National Guard for the benefit of the drill pay.  He was a member of the Roanoke infantry unit when it was federalized in February 1941.  He went with the unit as it moved throughout the U.S. in training and then overseas to England to prepare for the invasion of Hitler's "fortress Europe".  Assigned to D Company 116th Infantry, PFC Bowling landed with his unit, survived and on 20 Jun 1944 was promoted to SGT.  He was killed in action on 18 Jul 1944.

SGT Bowling is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery at Collville-sur-mer. 

His brothers, Davis Edward Bowling and Edgar Garrett Bowling also served, Edgar in the same Roanoke National Guard armory.  

SGT Harold Herbert Fick

SGT Harold Herbert Fick was born 17 Dec 1920 to Charles Henry and Friederike (Richter) Fick of Otter Tail County, Minnesota.  Farming supported the family of 10. 

After entering service Harold was sent overseas and assigned to E Company 116th Infantry prior to the amphibious assault on D-Day, 6 Jun 1944.  He survived that and on 20 Jun 1944 was promoted to SGT.  On 18 Jul 1944 he was killed in action. 

Repatriated in 1947, SGT Fick now rests forever in Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

His only brother, 2LT Walter R C Fick, was killed in action on 8 Apr 1945 serving with the 603rd Tank Destroyer Battalion.  He was twice awarded the Silver Star and is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery

SGT John Wise Hall

SGT John Wise Hall was born 28 Apr 1917 in Carroll County, Virginia to Joseph Benjamin and Rachel Miriam (Jenkins) Hall.  The family farmed.  In 1940, John was working as a hired hand on a farm. 

He was still working as a farm hand when he was drafted in May 1941.  After training he was sent to England and assigned to C Company 116th Infantry.  He trained with that unit for the amphibious assault on the French beaches of Normandy and then participated in that assault with that unit.  On 17 Jun 1944 he was wounded and evacuated to hospital where he died of his wound(s) on 18 Jul 1944.

SGT Hall was repatriated and buried in the Hardy-Jenkins Cemetery in Carroll County, Virginia.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

MSG John Wesley Dean

MSG John Wesley Dean was born 8 Mar 1920 in Bedford County, Virginia to James Frank and Pinkie Estelle (Creasey) Dean.  The family farmed in Bedford County. 

Assigned to F Company 116th Infantry at the time of the invasion of France, MSG Dean was killed in action on 17 Jul 1944. 

MSG Dean was returned to the U.S. and buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Bedford, Virginia.

Two of his brothers also served.

PVT William Francis Kelly

PVT William Francis Kelly was born 19 Dec 1910 in Boston, Massachusetts to John H. and Mary Jane (Lyons) Kelly.  His father worked as a packer in a market, his mother worked as a waitress but by 1930, neither parent was employed and William's brother John was supporting the family as a chauffeur. We are not sure when, but he married a woman named Sarah.

William entered the service in October 1943. After his training he was sent to Europe and on 13 Jul 1944 he was transferred from the replacement depot to F Company 116th Infantry.  PVT Kelly was killed in action on 17 Jul 1944.

PVT Kelly was repatriated in 1950 and was re-interred in Oak Grove Cemetery in Medford, Massachusetts. 

MAJ Thomas Dry Howie

MAJ Thomas Dry Howie was born in Abbeville County, South Carolina the 5th of 7 children of Torrance Victor and Cora Ann (Dry) Howie.  His father was a railroad engineer. After high school, Thomas attended The Citadel where he was an all state halfback on the football team, captain of the baseball team, a Rhodes Scholar finalist and President of the Senior Class (1929). After graduation he moved to Staunton, Virginia where he was an English Teacher, Athletic Director and coach at Staunton Military Academy. Thomas met and married Elizabeth James Payne in 1932 and in 1938 they had a daughter, Sally Elizabeth Howie.

After graduating from The Citadel Thomas was commissioned a 2LT in the Army Reserve. After he had moved to Staunton he transferred to the Virginia National Guard in 1932 serving with the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division. The regiment was mobilized/federalized in Febraury 1941 and reported to Fort George Meade, Maryland.  They then moved to Camp Blanding, Florida for more training and then overseas to England in September 1942.  In England they trained for the amphibious assault on the French beaches of Normandy, particularly the beach at Vierville-sur-mer.  MAJ Howie was the operations officer when he landed with COL Canham on D-Day in the first of two boats assigned to the Headquarters 116th Infantry. The other boat and all aboard were killed by artillery in the landing. MAJ Howie took command of the 3rd Battalion 116th Infantry on 13 Jul 1944. He led the battalion in the relief of 2nd Battalion 116th Infantry which was surrounded by enemy forces.  MAJ Howie had just presented his case for his battalion to lead the regiment into Saint-Lo when he was struck by fragments from an artillery shell and killed in action on 17 Jul 1944. His unit carried him into Saint-Lo and laid his body on the rubble of the Saint Croix Cathedral and covered it with a U.S. flag.  The press called him the "Major of Saint-Lo" and his fame was ensured. 

MAJ Howie is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery. A cenotaph has been erected in the Upper Long Cane Cemetery in Abbeville, South Carolina. The National Guard armory (now "Readiness Center") in Staunton, Virginia was named for him.  Memorials to his memory have been placed in Saint-Lo and Abbeville. The Howie Bell Tower is next to the chapel at the Citadel. He has also been memorialized on TV and in film. His daughter continues to actively support the 116th Infantry Regiment Foundation.

Tom's grandfather, Robert James Howie, had served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 48th Regiment of North Carolina Infantry during the Civil War.