Manuel Pérez, Jr. was born on March 3, 1923 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He grew up living with his father in Chicago, Illinois. His enlistment record is not one preserved by the National Archives, but by February 13, 1945, Pérez was a Private First Class in the United States Army‘s Company A, 1st Battalion, 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division.
Ruben Rivers was born in Tecumseh, Oklahoma during 1921. His family was large (he had 11 siblings!) and with his parents, they lived on and worked a family farm in Hotulka, Oklahoma. He joined the United States Army with two of his brothers to serve his country during World War II, and became the only one of the three who would serve in a combat unit in the then-segregated Army.
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.
Harold G. Kiner was just like thousands of other young American men during World War II: he came from a small town that he had resided since his birth, went to a distant land to fight for his country and freedom, and left his life there. Most of these men’s names we will never know, and in that way, Harold Kiner represents them all.
Roy W. Harmon was born in 1915 (or 1916) in Talala, Oklahoma. He possessed a grade-school education and was working as a farmhand in Pixley, California when he was drafted into the United States Army on November 17, 1942.
Troy A. McGill was born on July 15, 1917 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He later lived in Oklahoma, and it was from that state that he enlisted in the United States Army on November 6, 1940 at age 23. He was put into the Army’s cavalry branch, and became a member of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.
Jack Cleveland Montgomery was born in Long, Oklahoma on July 23, 1917. He was a Cherokee Indian, and he enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard in 1937. He was an infantryman in Company I, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He went to war with the same unit after the 45th Division was federalized for wartime service with the United States Army, and also received an officer’s commission.
William James Johnston was born on August 15, 1918 in Trenton, New Jersey. He resided in Colchester, Connecticut when he was drafted in January 1941 (I believe this is his enlistment record, despite the discrepancy in birth years).