Melvin Mayfield was born in Salem, West Virginia on March 24, 1919. He later moved to Ohio, and was living in Nashport when he was drafted into the United States Army on February 11, 1941. What would have been a single year’s service was extended indefinitely with America’s entry into World War II the following December.
Mayfield was a member of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division. The division deployed for service in the Pacific in July of 1943 and kept training until they first saw combat in the New Guinea campaign during June of 1944. After that campaign, they were sent to the Philippines.
Continue reading Corporal Melvin Mayfield, USA #MedalOfHonor (July 29, 1945)
Jonah Edward Kelley was born in Rada, West Virginia on April 13, 1923. He was living in Keyser, West Virginia when he entered the United States Army in 1943. Kelley fought in the European Theater of World War II with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division.
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Jonah E. Kelley, USA (January 30-31, 1945)
Stanley Bender was already 30 years old when he enlisted in the United States Army on December 9, 1939. He was born in Carlisle, West Virginia on October 31, 1909.
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.
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Stanley Bender, USA (August 17, 1944)
Herbert Joseph Thomas, Jr. was born in Columbus, Ohio on February 8, 1918. He moved at age seven with his family to South Charleston, West Virginia, where he spent the rest of his childhood and adolescence. After graduating from high school, Thomas attended the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) on a football scholarship. In 1940, he led the “Hokies” in both pass receptions and scoring.
In July 1941, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, but soon requested and received a transfer to the United States Marine Corps in which many of his friends had volunteered. His enlistment was placed with the Marine Forces Reserve and he began on active service with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment which was part of the newly-formed 3rd Marine Division.
On November 1, 1943, 1/3 Marines and the 3rd Marine Division stormed ashore on Bougainville for their first combat action of the war. Six days later, the Japanese began an ultimately unsuccessful counter-attack that is known today as the Battle of Koromokina Lagoon. Continue reading TFH 11/7: Sergeant Herbert J. Thomas, Jr., USMCR