Bernard Pious Bell was born in Grantsville, West Virginia on December 29, 1911. He was living in New York when he joined the United States Army in 1942. He fought in Italy and Southern France as a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division.
Charles Patrick Murray, Jr. was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 26, 1921. He moved with his family to Wilmington, North Carolina as a toddler, and was in his third year of studies at the University of North Carolina when he was drafted into the United States Army on September 7, 1942. He was commissioned as an officer, and arrived in France as a replacement platoon leader in Company C, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division during October of 1944.
John William Meagher was born on December 5, 1917 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was still living there when he was drafted at age 24 into the United States Army for service in World War II on March 21, 1942.
Meagher was an infantryman with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division. The 77th, known as the “Statue of Liberty Division” for their shoulder patch, was activated just four days after Meagher’s draft date and trained extensively in the United States before heading for war in the Pacific in March, 1944. They fought in the campaigns on Guam and Leyte before joining the forces for the attack on Okinawa.
By November 23, 1944, Silk had earned an officer’s commission, and was a First Lieutenant in Company E, 2nd Battalion, 398th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division, locked in combat against Nazi Germany near St. Pravel, France. Lieutenant Silk, in command of his company’s weapons platoon, single handedly assaulted a house occupied by enemy troops that was blocking his soldiers’ advance. His courage was recognized with the Medal of Honor in November 1945.
Douglas Thomas Jacobson was born in Rochester, New York on November 25, 1925. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve at age 17 on January 28, 1943. After his recruit training he was placed on active service with the United States Marine Corps in the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment of the 4th Marine Division.
Leonard Alfred Funk, Jr. was born on August 27, 1916 in Braddock, Pennsylvania. He was living in nearby Wilkinsburg, PA when he was drafted for service in the United States Army at age 24 on June 7, 1941, prior to the United States’ entry into World War II. Funk volunteered for service in the fledgling airborne force, and earned his paratrooper’s wings.
George Benton Turner was born on June 27, 1899 in Longview, Texas. He first answered America’s call to service in 1918, when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps while a student at the Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri. Turner joined too late to see service overseas during World War I. After being released from the Marines, he settled in California.
Charles Andrew MacGillivary was born on January 17, 1917 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. At age 16 he joined the Merchant Marine, and as a late teenager, emigrated to the United States, settling in Boston, Massachusetts where his brother lived.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, he volunteered for the United States Army in January of 1942. During his training, he was offered the opportunity to become a United States citizen, which he took.
Freeman Victor Horner was born on June 7, 1922 in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania. He held only a grade-school education when he voluntarily enlisted in the United States Army on January 4, 1941 at age 18. Horner’s original enlistment was for one year, which of course was extended indefinitely by the United States’ entry into World War II.
The 90th Infantry Division was first formed in August 1917 as part of the United States Army for service in World War I. It was known as the “Texas Oklahoma” division as most of the division’s men came from those two states, and the division’s patch became a combined “T” and “O”.
The 90th was deactivated after World War I, and was reformed for World War II in 1942. The first elements of the division landed in Normandy on D-Day, and the full unit entered combat by June 10, 1944. The division’s combat record gave them a better nickname that played off of the “TO”: “Tough ‘Ombres”. About five months later on November 12, 1944, two of the division’s soldiers exhibited heroism above and beyond the normal call of duty.
One man lived, one died, and both received the Medal of Honor.