Andrew Miller was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on August 11, 1916. He was employed in dairy farming when, on June 27, 1942, he was drafted into the United States Army for service in World War II. He was a member of the 95th Infantry Division, which spent over two years in training preparing for combat in Europe. Miller went overseas with the division, which joined the fight in France on October 19, 1944.
Over a two week period from November 16-29, 1944 in both France and Germany, then-Staff Sergeant Miller was both a squad leader and a one-man army as part of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 377th Infantry Regiment. He repeatedly led his men in the attack, and when the circumstances of battle required, attacked alone. His incredible courage and leadership inspired his men from victory to victory and was recognized the following fall with the Medal of Honor.
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Andrew Miller, USA (November 16-29, 1944)
Richard Ira Bong was born in Superior, Wisconsin on September 24, 1920. He was a college student and already under instruction as a civilian pilot when he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet on May 29, 1941.
Bong received his pilot’s wings and a commission as a Second Lieutenant on January 19, 1942 and was posted as an aerial gunnery instructor. He would go on to become the top ace of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.
Continue reading Major Richard I. Bong, USAAF (October 10 – November 15, 1944)
Charles E. Mower was born on November 29, 1924 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. His enlistment record not among those preserved by the National Archives, but he clearly showed leadership once he joined the United States Army because he quickly attained the rank of Sergeant by this day seventy years ago. Mower was just 19 years old and three and a half weeks shy of his 20th birthday.
Continue reading Sergeant Charles E. Mower, USA (November 3, 1944)
Orville Emil Bloch was born in Big Falls, Wisconsin on February 10, 1915. He later moved with his family to Steele, North Dakota. Bloch graduated from the North Dakota Agricultural College (the predecessor of NDSU) just before Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941.
Bloch went to all of the Army, Navy, and Marines as an officer applicant in the wake of the attack and was turned down by all three because he was very short at just 5′ 3″. He didn’t give up, and voluntarily enlisted as a Private in the United States Army on February 20, 1942 at age 27.
Continue reading First Lieutenant Orville E. Bloch, USA (September 22, 1944)
Gerald Leon Endl was inducted into the United States Army on April 16, 1941. His enlistment record indicates that he volunteered for the Philippine Department, but as he wasn’t captured in the Philippines, it’s unlikely he ever served there. A high school graduate, Endl was born in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin on August 20, 1915.
Records indicate that he was also a member of the Wisconsin National Guard, although his enlistment data doesn’t reflect that. Endl served in the South Pacific’s New Guinea Campaign with the 128th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Infantry Division.
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Gerald L. Endl, USA (July 11, 1944)
Harold Crist Agerholm was born in Racine, Wisconsin on January 29, 1925. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve at age 17 on July 16, 1942. After recruit training, he was posted as an artilleryman in the active United States Marine Corps with the Headquarters & Service Battery, 4th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.
Continue reading Private First Class Harold C. Agerholm, USMCR (July 7, 1944)
The United States Army‘s 27th Infantry Division was known as “O’Ryan’s Roughnecks” for its World War I commander, Major General John F. O’Ryan. For service in World War II, the New York National Guard’s 105th Infantry Regiment was federalized on October 15, 1940 into the active Army.
The division’s soldiers earned three Medals of Honor during the war. All three were awarded to men of the 105th Infantry during the Battle of Saipan in the Pacific.
The three recipients were Thomas A. Baker, William J. O’Brien, and Ben L. Salomon.
Continue reading The 27th’s Three: Baker, O’Brien, and Salomon (June 19-July 7, 1944)
Beryl Richard Newman was born on November 2, 1911 in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Based on his relative age, his rank of First Lieutenant on May 26, 1944, and a lack of a 1938-1946 enlistment record, I am surmising that he was already in the United States Army or the National Guard prior to World War II.
Continue reading First Lieutenant Beryl R. Newman, USA (May 26, 1944)
Truman O. Olson was born on October 13, 1917 in Christiana, Wisconsin. He was drafted for service in the United States Army for World War II on June 19, 1942 at age 24 and according to his enlistment record, had spent his entire life around Christiana and nearby Cambridge and was working as a farm hand having only completed one year of high school.
After completing his training as an infantryman he was sent to Europe to join the 3rd Infantry Division as a replacement. He was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. By late January 1944, he had attained the rank of Sergeant and was a machine gunner.
Continue reading TFH 1/30-31: Sergeant Truman O. Olson, USA