Stephen Raymond Gregg was born in the New York City borough of The Bronx on September 1, 1914. He moved as an infant with his family to Bayonne, New Jersey where he grew up. Gregg likely could have avoided being drafted due to his employment as a shipyard welder in Kearny, New Jersey. He was inducted into the United States Army on February 9, 1942 in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into World War II.
At age 29, he was one of the oldest enlisted members of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division when they landed in Italy at Salerno in September 1943. Among his Company L comrades was Charles E. “Commando” Kelly, who received the Medal of Honor for his gallantry on September 13-14, 1943.
Stephen Gregg learned from Kelly how to be a one man army.
Continue reading Second Lieutenant Stephen R. Gregg, USA (August 27, 1944)
By now, you should have read the stories of Arnold L. Bjorklund and William J. Crawford, both of whom were awarded the Medal of Honor while serving with the 36th Infantry Division in Italy on September 13, 1943 – seventy years ago today. Now, for the story of the third 36th Division soldier to receive our Nation’s highest honor on that day of battle.
Charles E. Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 23, 1920. He grew up as what today would be called a “troubled youth”, joining street gangs and often finding himself in trouble with the police. He entered service with the United States Army in May 1942, where his troubles continued, including occurrences of him being absent without leave.
Regardless, by the time the 36th stormed ashore on the Italian mainland at Salerno on September 9, 1943, he was a Corporal with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment. Four days later in action near Altavilla through September 14, he fought so hard and intensely that he was later known as “Commando Kelly, the One Man Army.” Continue reading TFH 9/13-14: Corporal Charles E. Kelly, USA