Nicholas Oresko was born in Bayonne, New Jersey on January 18, 1917. He was married and an office clerk when he was drafted for wartime service in the United States Army on March 25, 1942. Oresko was a member of the 302nd Infantry Regiment, part of the 94th Infantry Division. They landed in France for combat duty on September 8, 1944.
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.