Joseph Edward Schaefer was born on December 27, 1918 in Queens, New York. He was drafted for World War II service in the United States Army at age 23 on January 28, 1942. Schaefer was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, also known as the “Fighting First” or simply “The Big Red One” for their division insignia.
I couldn’t determine when he joined the division, but as the 1st entered combat in North Africa on November 8, 1942, it’s possible he was with them. The 1st Infantry Division also fought on Sicily, and then was relocated to England on November 5, 1943 to prepare for the invasion of Europe.