Raymond Zussman was born in Hamtramck, Michigan on July 23, 1917. He was drafted into the United States Army on September 24, 1941. He received his basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and was then sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky. He graduated from the armor officers’ course and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Armor Branch on January 9, 1943.
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.
He was later commissioned as an officer in the cavalry branch and posted to Troop A of the 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized).
Over four and one-half years later, Bender was a Staff Sergeant with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment which had landed in Southern France as part of the 3rd Infantry Division and Operation DRAGOON.
James Phillip Connor was born on January 12, 1919 in Wilmington, Delaware. He possessed only a grade-school education, and was employed as a leatherworker when he was drafted into the United States Army on January 27, 1941 just after his 22nd birthday.
Connor was an infantryman with the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. I wasn’t able to confirm when he joined that regiment, but it is likely that he was a veteran of three assault landings made by the 3rd Infantry Division: Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio.
On August 15, 1944, the 3rd Infantry Division made its fourth landing on a hostile shore.