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.
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.
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.
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.
Ellis R. Weicht was born on April 17, 1916 in Clearville, Pennsylvania. He was a farm hand in Bedford, Pennsylvania when he was drafted for service in the United States Army in the early days of America in World War II on February 5, 1942.
James I. Spurrier, Jr. was born in Russell County, Virginia on December 14, 1922. He possessed only a grammar school education when he voluntarily enlisted in the United States Army on September 25, 1940. Spurrier misread the forms he had to fill in, and became known to the Army as “Junior James Spurrier”.
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.
Alfred Leonard Wilson was born in Fairchance, Pennsylvania on September 18, 1919. He lived his whole life there, and was employed as a miner when he was drafted into the United States Army on February 15, 1943 for World War II service. Wilson was trained as a combat medic and assigned to the medical detachment of the 328th Infantry Regiment of the 26th Infantry Division.
Joe M. Nishimoto was born an American citizen to Japanese parents in Fresno, California on February 21, 1919. He was interned like most Japanese-Americans in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was at the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas when his brother-in-law arranged for his release and move to Columbus, Ohio.
Nishimoto was living in Columbus when he was drafted into the United States Army on October 4, 1943. He volunteered for service in the all-Nisei (2nd generation Japanese-American) 442nd Regimental Combat Team.