Robert Earl Laws was born on January 18, 1921 in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was living there and had completed college when he was drafted at age 21 for service in the United States Army during World War II on July 1, 1942.
By January 1945, Laws was a Staff Sergeant and a squad leader in Company G, 2nd Battalion, 169th Infantry Regiment, 43rd Infantry Division.
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Robert E. Laws, USA (January 12, 1945)
William Arthur Shomo was born in Jeannette, Pennsylvania on May 30, 1918. He was working as a mortician when he volunteered and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet. He completed his flight instruction and earned both his pilot’s wings and an officer’s commission. Shomo flew reconnaissance aircraft in the Pacific theater against the Japanese.
Continue reading Major William A. Shomo, USAAF (January 11, 1945)
The Nazi Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, nicknamed by its makers as the Königstiger and by the Allies as the “King Tiger” or “Royal Tiger”, was one of the most intimidating presences on late World War II battlefields. Weighing nearly 77 tons with near-impregnable armor (for the day), an 88mm main cannon, and two machine guns, it was an unmatched force on the battlefield.
There’s no way one could be beat back by a single American infantryman, right?
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Archer T. Gammon, USA (January 11, 1945)
Vito R. Bertoldo was born on December 1, 1916 in Decatur, Illinois. On January 9-10, 1945 as a Master Sergeant in Company A, 1st Battalion, 242nd Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division, when his unit’s positions were beset by a massed counter-attack of Nazi armor and infantry, his single-handed courage under fire turned the tide of the battle, and is best left to his citation for the Medal of Honor to tell the tale.
Continue reading Master Sergeant Vito R. Bertoldo, USA (January 9-10, 1945)
Charles F. Carey, Jr. was born on December 23, 1915 in Canadian, Oklahoma. He was living in Wyoming when he entered the United States Army. By the winter of 1944-1945, he was fighting in western Europe with the 397th Infantry Regiment of the 100th Infantry Division.
Continue reading Technical Sergeant Charles F. Carey, Jr., USA (January 8-9, 1945)
Day G. Turner was born on September 2, 1921 in Berwick, Pennsylvania. He was drafted for wartime service in the United States Army on September 16, 1943. Turner was an infantryman, and served in Company B, 1st Battalion, 319th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division. The division arrived in Europe for combat via Utah Beach in Normandy on August 5, 1944.
Continue reading Sergeant Day G. Turner, USA (January 8, 1945)
Russell E. Dunham was born in East Carondelet, Illinois on February 23, 1920. He held just a grammar school education and was a farmhand when he volunteered for the United States Army and enlisted on August 16, 1940.
Dunham fought across North Africa and Europe with the 3rd Infantry Division. By January 8, 1945, he was a Technical Sergeant and acting as a platoon leader in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment.
Continue reading Technical Sergeant Russell E. Dunham, USA (January 8, 1945)
Curtis F. Shoup was born January 11, 1921 in Napenoch, New York. He graduated from high school in Oswego, NY and was inducted for wartime service in the United States Army at age 21 on August 12, 1942 at Syracuse, NY.
Shoup was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 346th Infantry Regiment in August of 1944. The regiment was part of the 87th Infantry Division and was comprised mainly of draftees. They arrived for combat in Europe when they landed in France in early December, 1944.
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Curtis F. Shoup, USA (January 7, 1945)
Ralph George Neppel was born on October 31, 1923 in Willey, Iowa. He entered the United States Army in March 1943, and by December of the following year he was fighting in the area of Birgel, Germany as a Sergeant and machine gun squad leader with Company M, 3rd Battalion, 329th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division.
Continue reading Sergeant Ralph G. Neppel, USA (December 14, 1944)
As a member of the United States Naval Academy class of 1934, George Fleming Davis assuredly learned the immortal words of Captain James Lawrence of the frigate USS Chesapeake in 1813: “Don’t give up the ship!”
Davis was born on March 23, 1911 in Manila, the Philippines. His first service with the fleet was on destroyers. In mid-1941 he was promoted to Lieutenant and posted to the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37). In the opening moments of the United States in World War II, Davis had to give up his ship as she capsized and sank from multiple strikes from Japanese torpedoes at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Oklahoma took 429 of her more than 1,300 crew with her.
Continue reading Commander George F. Davis, USN (January 6, 1945)