Jose F. Valdez was born in Gobernador, New Mexico on January 3, 1925. He entered the United States Army in 1943, likely as a draftee, and fought in Europe as a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.
James Lindell Harris was born on June 27, 1916 in Hillsboro, Texas and was 24 years old when he was drafted into the United States Army on March 20, 1941 prior to the United States’ entry into World War II. By October 7, 1944, Harris had risen to the rank of Second Lieutenant, having received a battlefield commission in March of that year. He was a tank platoon commander with the independent 756th Tank Battalion.
Robert Dale Maxwell was born in Boise, Idaho on October 26, 1920. He joined the United States Army from Colorado during 1942, and after his initial training, was sent to North Africa to join the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment which was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division.
Upon arriving in North Africa Maxwell, who had been trained as a heavy weapons crewman for mortars and machine guns, was reassigned to be a “wireman”, responsible for setting up communications lines between the battalion headquarters and other units. These soldiers weren’t considered “combatants”, so instead of having rifles or carbines to defend themselves with, they had only their Colt M1911 .45 caliber pistols.
Over four and one-half years later, Bender was a Staff Sergeant with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment which had landed in Southern France as part of the 3rd Infantry Division and Operation DRAGOON.
James Phillip Connor was born on January 12, 1919 in Wilmington, Delaware. He possessed only a grade-school education, and was employed as a leatherworker when he was drafted into the United States Army on January 27, 1941 just after his 22nd birthday.
Connor was an infantryman with the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. I wasn’t able to confirm when he joined that regiment, but it is likely that he was a veteran of three assault landings made by the 3rd Infantry Division: Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio.
On August 15, 1944, the 3rd Infantry Division made its fourth landing on a hostile shore.
Rudolph B. Davila was born in El Paso, Texas on April 27, 1916. His enlistment record indicates he was a high school graduate and working as a carpenter in Los Angeles, California when he was drafted for service in the United States Army on March 6, 1941.
Truman O. Olson was born on October 13, 1917 in Christiana, Wisconsin. He was drafted for service in the United States Army for World War II on June 19, 1942 at age 24 and according to his enlistment record, had spent his entire life around Christiana and nearby Cambridge and was working as a farm hand having only completed one year of high school.
After completing his training as an infantryman he was sent to Europe to join the 3rd Infantry Division as a replacement. He was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. By late January 1944, he had attained the rank of Sergeant and was a machine gunner.