Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Second Lieutenant Herbert Forman

A war ends. 

But, it may never really “end”, especially for the families of servicemen who remain missing: those who lost their lives under unknown circumstances, or those whose ultimate fates were known, but whose bodies were neither identified nor recovered, and who thus have no definite place of burial. 

The centrality of this aspect of military commemoration, and in turn, human memory – both collective and individual – is exemplified in the Funeral Oration of Pericles, which is dated to approximately 431-430 B.C.E.  Recited in accordance with the annual custom of the Athenians, his speech was presented in memory of Athenian military dead of first years of the Peloponnesian War.  Pericles particularly called attention to the Athenian practice whereby, “…an empty bier is decorated and carried in the procession: this is for the missing, whose bodies could not be recovered.”

Though the Second World War ended seventy-two years ago, there are still innumerable military dead from that conflict who have never been recovered and have no place of burial, or, whose final fate remains unknown.  Among the 407,300 Americans military deaths from that conflict there are some 73,000 who remain unaccounted for.   Through the efforts of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency some will, in time, certainly be found.  Others, due to either the circumstances or locations in which they were lost, will probably remain missing.*

One missing serviceman was Second Lieutenant Herbert Forman (serial number 0-807304) of the Bronx.  Reported Missing in Action in a Casualty List published on June 30, 1944, his name appeared in a Casualty List of Killed in Action published on March 3, 1945. 

His obituary – below – appeared in the Times two days later: on March 5, 1945.

Eighth Air Force Pilot Lost in Action Over Europe

Second Lieut. Herbert Forman, a fighting pilot with the Eighth Air Force in England, was killed in action over western Europe on May 23, the War Department has informed his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel J. Forman of 3222 Cambridge Avenue, Riverdale, the Bronx.  Recently also his family heard officially that his brother, Sgt. Martin S. Forman of the Infantry, their only other child, had been seriously wounded in Luxembourg.

Twenty-two years old, Lieutenant Forman was born in New York.  He was graduated from De Witt Clinton High School in 1938.  He attended New York University, where he was active as a photographer, and then went to Georgia University, where he played the saxophone and clarinet in the university band.  Majoring in journalism and economics, Lieutenant Forman was a senior at Georgia when he joined the Army in 1942.

He was reported missing in a message received on D-day, June 6.  On Jan. 11 his parents heard that he was dead.

The son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel J. and Sadye L. Forman, Herbert served as a 9th Air Force P-38 Lightning fighter pilot in the 401st Fighter Squadron of the 370th Fighter Group.  Shot down while piloting P-38J 42-68179, his name is commemorated upon the Tablets of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery, in Cambridge, England.  The recipient of the Purple Heart, he was also awarded the Air Medal and one Oak Leaf Cluster, suggesting that he’d completed approximately 10 to 15 combat missions by the time of his death.  His name appears on page 311 of American Jews in World War Two. 

Herbert’s brother Martin, who was severely wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, passed away on April 6, 2011. 

This image is a June, 2014 Google Street view of the possible location o the Forman family’s wartime home: 3222 Cambridge Avenue, in the Bronx.  (Is this the “original” building where the family resided, or a newer residence constructed subsequent to the Second World War?  The right “wing” of the apartment – or condo? – appears to be of substantially newer architecture than the left …)

Unlike the other servicemen whose obituaries in The New York Times have been presented in this blog, several photographs and a published account exist concerning Lieutenant Forman.

The image below was taken at Craig Field, Alabama, while Herbert Forman was an Aviation Cadet.  He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and received his “wings” as graduate of class 43-G on July 28, 1943. 

The portrait is from a collection of several thousand such images, in the United States National Archives collection of “Photographic Prints of Air Cadets and Officers, Air Crew, and Notables in the History of Aviation – NARA RG 18-PU”. (Specifically, within Box 30.)  You can find more about this collection in the post Five Pilots in December at my brother blog, The Past Presented.

The next two images can be found in Jay Jones’ 2003 book The 370th Fighter Group in World War II – In Action Over Europe with the P-38 and P-51.  The first photo is a simple portrait (an officer’s identification card photo?) of Herbert Forman as a Lieutenant, while the second shows him posing before a P-38J Lightning undergoing repairs, probably at the 370th Fighter Group’s base at Andover, England.  (The 370th Fighter Group credits both images to John and Ruth Fulton.)

This excellent photo, from the American Air Museum wesbite, is from the Roger Freeman collection (as image FRE 10071), and shows Lieutenant Forman (most definitely!) at Andover, England.  The camera is not surprising, as the Times’ obituary notes Lt. Forman’s interest in photography.  Note the “natural-metal” (sans camouflage paint) P-38J at the right. 

In The 370th Fighter Group in World War II, Jay Jones provides a very detailed account of the Group’s mission to Coblenz, Germany on May 23, 1944. 

The 370th lost three pilots that day:  Lt. Forman – covered in Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 6505; 1 Lt. Herbert R. Schultz (also of the 401st Fighter Squadron) in P-38J 42-67278 – covered MACR 6506; 1 Lt. Maurice B. Thibert (of the 402nd Fighter Squadron) in P-38J 42-104066, covered in MACR 6497.  Of the three, only Lt. Schultz returned.  Captured, he spent the remainder of the war as a POW at Stalag Luft III, Sagan, Germany.  Jay Jones’ account concludes with Herbert Schultz’s “shoot-down”, in the latter’s own words.  

The account proceeds…  

From the Clouds to the Deck

The pilots flew a boring escort on the morning of May 23, and then a field order arrived the pilots had been waiting for.  The 370th would finally let loose all of its destructive tactical power against targets on enemy soil.  Forty-eight Lightnings were sent in to bomb the marshaling yard at Coblenz.  After the bombing, the pilots hit the deck and flew back toward the English Channel strafing whatever they could find.  Each plane carried one belly tank and one 1,000 pound bomb.

Capt. Charles D.  “Wick” Wickliffe of the 402nd Squadron recalled,

It was in the late afternoon, late enough that it was going to be a little iffy when we were getting back.  We had forty-eight P-38s up.  Before we got to Coblenz, we had gotten rid of our belly tank.  We dropped our bomb and we dropped down, and that was called a rhubarb.  We went on the deck.  It got scattered.  Everybody was scattered all over the landscape.  It was incredible.  I don’t think there were any two airplanes that were even close together.  I had my bearings and knew where I was going, and it was in the direction of Holland.  I was down on the deck and it was kind of pleasant, cruising at about 200 or a little better.  I’d see a flak tower coming up and I’d cruise over and give it a squirt.  There would be a lot of action and everybody that was there ducked and I would go over the top and put a little rudder on it and the gunner would shoot ahead of me.

He referred to a flak evasion trick of using the rudders to put the plane in a skid to the left or right, throwing off the gunner’s aim.

Wick continued,

I’d burned up a lot of fuel, but I still had an adequate amount.  I saw a troop train and it was down sort of in a hollow.  There were some trees that I could see that were protruding up.  I started to make a big swing to get up to start strafing it.  At the same time I had an eye on where I was going to start my strafing run.  I remembered to keep a lookout for the trees along there.  I started my strafing run and began to fire and quickly pulled up and started another run.  As I dropped down I flew right through a tree.  It wasn’t a bush-it was a tree.  That P-38 cut right through that tree.  The airplane staggered, and my thought was this was what you would call a fireball in an instant.  That airplane staggered up and I wondered what was keeping it up.  It was moving and pulling up, although it was pretty slow.  The windshield was totally green.  You couldn’t even see out of it.  I couldn’t believe that airplane was still flying.  When I went through the tree it took off all of my antennas.  There was no conversation with anybody, anyplace.

I got oriented and I knew I was going in the direction of England.  As I climbed up I could see out one side and the other to see what was going on.  I got up to about 10,000 and I realized that I flew right over a German airdrome.  They had the Focke-Wulfs lined up all over the place.  I was up at 10,000 feet looking down, and that’s not too far down.  They didn’t come up.

I got over the Channel and I was surprised, pleasantly so.  It was getting darker.  I began to lose my bearings.  I wasn’t quite sure where I was, except that my general heading was okay.  I had dropped down to about 2,000 feet in order to get myself out of the airplane if I could.  The bail-out techniques for getting out of the P-38 were wishy-washy.  Nobody had a good idea of what the best way to do it was.  I was getting low on fuel.  I had to make a decision of whether to bail out or go in.  At that time I could see ahead a fighter airdrome.  I slowed the airplane down to about 170, and the airplane started to fall out.  I realized that all of the lift inboard was all smashed out.  The only thing I was working on was the outboard wings.  The rest of it was just like it was hit by a hammer.  I was looking at landing at about 175 miles per hour.  I went in and made a good landing.  The fuel gauges were on zero and it was quite dark when I finished my roll out.  I didn’t have any brakes, either.  I hit the brakes, what they were, and it spun the airplane around.  They just took the P-38 and trashed it.  I got a new one.

It was very stressful when all these things were happening to me.  You can do everything when you have a real load of stress on you.  but when I got out of that airplane I put a cigarette in backasswards.  I had a couple of big drinks real quick.  It was an exciting trip.

The mission not only was iffy because of the late start, but also because of the weather.  There was a solid overcast from around two to four thousand feet up to ten thousand feet.  There was also problems with the aircraft icing up.  Seth McKee, leading the mission, recalled,

All of our missions were scheduled by the Ninth TAC, commanded by Pete Quesada.  He decided he wanted to see what we could with targets of opportunity strafing at low level.  The weather was pretty bad.  We hit the deck, forty-eight aircraft line abreast, about a hundred yards apart, and headed back toward England strafing targets of opportunity.  We hit all kinds of targets.

The thing I remember most about it was the weather started getting worse and worse as we were going further toward home.  Finally, I ended up over some city, I still don’t know which it was, probably Brussels, Belgium.  1 remember seeing church steeples going by me at higher altitudes that I was.  The weather was so bad I called the mission off.  I said, “Hey guys, we’ll break it off now.  We’ll climb out, join up and go home.” I climbed up, broke out.  I looked around and I had forty-eight aircraft with me, but I only saw two other aircraft in the sky.  I thought, “I’ve lost the whole damn group!”  One was a squadron commander and the other was the Group Operations Officer, Major Lee Hoddy.  They formed up on me and we went back.

The weather was horrible in England.  In those days we had no radar-controlled approaches and that sort of thing.  You had a beacon and you let down off of a heading.  With a proper rate of descent if you broke out at all you saw the airfield.  If you didn’t you would try it again.  Anyway, we recovered with no problem.  I was really, really worried about the group.  I found we lost three aircraft out of forty-eight.  They recovered all over England because the weather was so bad.  They just got in wherever they could.  But, I’ll never forget I thought, “My God, I’d lost the whole damn group.”

Lt. Bud Gewinner was almost a casualty on this mission.  He wrote in his diary,

I hit the deck at about 300 M.P.H. and started looking.  What I wanted to find was a train.  I found this one train steaming around a bend and came down on the engine, throwing all the lead I could.  Before I pulled up I saw the boiler explode.  As I pulled off the target I saw tracers going by me.  The next thing I found was a flak tower.  I came in level and really peppered it.  They threw so much back at me, I don’t know how they missed.

A short while later I felt an explosion on my ship and the cockpit got smoky.  Believe me, I started sweating.  I must have passed near some guns I hadn’t seen.  I twisted and turned all I could right down to the deck to get out of their fire.  I found another train after that and got its engine too.  I was getting low on ammo and gas so I headed home.  I had plenty of doubts while crossing the Channel because I didn’t know how badly old “Spooks” was damaged.  When I got back I found that a 20mm cannon shell had exploded in the nose section.  Those strafing jobs are mighty rough.  I have never spent such an excitement-packed half hour in my life.  It’s a weird feeling to see dozens of tracers whizzing by your ship.

Lt. Gene Baker of the 401st wrote in his diary that night,

We weren’t on the deck for more than 15 minutes when Watson picked up some tel. wires so I went back up through overcast with him.  He was on his right engine so no radio conversation.  As we got to the coast the flak guns got us pinpointed and gave us a burst.  Watson got some in dead engine.  I got some in tail, left wing tip tank, right wing main tank, right prop hub & glances off nacelle.  We landed at aux field & then I came on home.

The mission really wasn’t as successful as one might think.  A group of P-38s spread out on the deck tearing across the countryside sounds dangerous, but it was an ineffective use of men and firepower.  Al Bouffard recalled,

Lt. Thibert was the first one we lost on a mission.  He was my wingman on that mission.  They said hit the deck and whatever you see, shoot it up.  When I came down on the deck and we split apart – Thibert was over there somewhere – I was going along and the only thing I saw was farms and farmers.  I didn’t see a damn thing except farms and farmers out in the fields working.  I’d go by and waggle my wings and keep going.

I saw this tower.  They used to raise these towers and put flak guns up there.  I said, “Boy, there’s a flak tower.  I’ll get that son of a gun.”  I aimed for it and started shooting at it.  Nothing was coming at me.  When I got closer – it was a water tower.

Finally got back and Thibert never made it back.  I have no idea what happened to him.

Lt. Maurice B. Thibert of the 402nd, from Detroit, Michigan, was confirmed as killed in action.

Second Lt. Herbert Forman of the 401st also failed to return from the mission.  Lt. Joseph Ogrin was the last pilot to see Forman.  He noticed Forman on the left flank of the low-level attack heading roughly southwest.  Herb was listed as missing in action but was most likely killed.

First Lt. Herbert R. “Dutch” Schultz of the 401st was almost to the French coast when a flak battery opened up or him.  Schultz had joined up with Lt. Walter “Little Red’ Stephens of the 402nd to come out over the Channel.  Little Red reported,

I saw Lt. Schultz’s plane explode and felt the blast of the explosion.  I went into a climb pulling 65 to 70 inches in an attempt to dodge flak.  I looked back and saw a parachute quite a way below me, since I was climbing very rapidly.

Herbert Schultz recalled,

We had never had any training at skip or low level bombing so my bomb skipped completely over an inverted banked up “Y” in the rail junction I had planned to obliterate, and exploded harmlessly in a nearby stand of small pines.  But shortly thereafter I got lucky when a locomotive was traveling 90 degrees to my course and directly in front of me.  My first long burst disabled him spewing steam in all directions and as I went by I saw two 38s from our group had turned around and were going back to finish him off, so I continued on.

I also had an encounter with a flak tower before I hit the coast.  As soon as I spotted it I pulled the nose up to give my guns more range and opened fire hoping to encourage them to keep their heads down.  I could see people moving around on the top platform but I got no return fire.  As I went by I could see it was something like a silo only an open platform under the roof at the top.  Perhaps they had guns in it at one time but fortunately not when I went by.

By this time my fuel was getting low because we were traveling about 260 mph, normal for strafing.  So, I pulled up and picked up my safe course home not having the slightest idea where I was.

It turned out I was just out of Calais, France, and took a direct hit from one of the many 88s in the area.  When captured after parachuting the krauts explained it emphatically, “For you, the war is over.”

Lt. Schultz was sent to the Luftwaffe interrogation center at Oberursel, near Frankfurt, Germany.  There, downed fliers were questioned by crafty interrogators attempting to trick them into giving away information.  Throughout the remainder of the war many downed 370th pilots went through Oberursel for interrogation on their way to the infamous Stalags.

______________________________

While there was an eyewitness to Lt. Schultz’s loss (2 Lt. Walter C. Stephens, whose account in Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 6506 is quoted above), there seem to have been no American witnesses to the loss of either Lt. Forman or Lt. Thibert.  Well…at least, the MACRs for both pilots contain no specific accounts describing their loss.  Instead, both MACRs simply include 1:4,000,000 scale maps of Continental Europe with the notation “MIA Return Trip Coblenz to Andover last seen slightly west of Cloblenz”.

The MACR for Lt. Forman is presented below:

This is the MACR for Lt. Schultz:

Though American documentation – in the form of MACRs – for the three pilots is scant to minimal, this was not so from the vantage point of German investigators.  The losses of Schultz and Thibert were covered in Luftgaukommando Reports J 1181 and J 1179, respectively.

(But, what are Luftgaukommando Reports?…  These are documents held within the United States National Archives “Collection of Foreign Records Seized” concerning Allied aircraft lost in the European and Mediterranean Theaters of War.  In a general sense, these documents include information about the nature and circumstances (flak or fighters) as to how an American aircraft was downed and recovered in German-occupied territory, the location and condition of its wreckage, technical aspects of the plane or its equipment particularly noted by German investigators, and, nominal biographical information about aircrew casualties.)

Here is the English-language translation of Luftgaukommando Report J 1181 (for Lt. Schultz), which is included within MACR 6506…  NARA’s master list of Luftgaukommando Reports correlates J 1181 to a point 2.5 kilometers southeast of Coulogne (a commune in Pas-de-Calais, immediately south of the city of Calais), France, at 18:45 hours.

…and, here is the English-language translation of Luftgaukommando Report J 1179 (for Lt. Thibert), which is included within MACR 6497.  NARA’s master list of Luftgaukommando Reports correlates J 1179 to “Steenocqerzeel” (Steenokkerzeel), Flemish Brabant, in central Belgium, at 18:15 hours. 

Notably, German investigators transcribed the next-of-kin information – the name and address of his mother – that had been embosed upon Lt. Thibert’s dog-tag…

What about Lt. Forman? 

No Luftgaukommando Report lists his name or is included within MACR 6505.  However, a review of Luftgaukommando Reports filed for May 23, 1944 reveals a Report that I believe can circumstantially be correlated to his loss.  This is Luftgaukommando Report J 1180. 

This document consists of a single sheet with typewritten notation “23.5.44 – 18.35 – Coxyde i. See – Lightning – Fl. Pl. Kdo. [FlugplatzKommando] Coxyde – 1 unbekannter Toter”. 

Translation?  “May 23, 1944, at 18:35 hours (6:35 P.M.) – Coxyde, in the sea – Lightning – Airfield Command Coxyde – 1 unknown dead.” 

Apparently, Herbert Forman was shot down – probably – by anti-aircraft fire (Jan Safarik’s compilation of Luftwaffe aerial victory credits against P-38s shows no Luftwaffe aerial victories over P-38s for May 23, 1944) on the return flight to Andover, and crashed into the English Channel just off shore from Coxyde (“Koksijde”), Belgium.  Maps of this area are presented below.

Northwest Europe, the English Channel, and southeastern England.  Google Maps’ emblematic red location pointer is superimposed on Coxyde, Belgium.

  The Strait of Dover (with Dunkirk) and the Belgian coast.  Coxyde (name not shown) is the area shaded in pink, just to the east of the Franco-Belgian border.

The coastal town of Coxyde, the name of which appears as “Koksijde”.

But, with all this, there remains an enigma.  Herbert Forman’s obituary mentions that his parents learned on January 11, 1945 – four months before the war’s end – that he had been killed in action.  Given that Luftgaukommando Reports were only accessed, investigated, and correlated to MACRs after the war’s end, what was the source of this information? 

Was Herbert Forman recovered, and interred as an “unknown”? 

That answer is unknown.

The image below – from Jay Jones’ The 370th Fighter Group in World War II – is an excellent representative view of a 401st Fighter Squadron P-38 Lightning, though almost certainly not the specific aircraft flown by Herbert Forman or Herbert Schultz on the mission of May 23. 

The photograph clearly illustrates the 401st’s “9D” squadron identification letters painted on the aircraft’s tail booms, and, the individual aircraft-within-squadron identification letter (in this case, “E”) painted on both the “exterior” glycol radiator housing, and, interior surface of the plane’s twin fins and rudders.  The black square on the exterior of the fin and rudder also designated the 401st Fighter Squadron.

Given that manufacture of “natural metal” (that is, un-camouflage-painted) P-38s probably commenced with aircraft 42-68008, Herbert Forman’s P-38J – 42-68179 – presumably had the same general appearance as the “silver” Lightning in this photograph.  

______________________________

Some other Jewish military casualties on Tuesday, May 23, 1944, included…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Glanzrock, Murray G., S/Sgt., 14083453, Aerial Gunner (Left Waist), Air Medal, 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
Mrs. Bea Glanzrock (wife), 1237 54th St. / 5001 10th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1922
Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France – Plot A, Row 35, Grave 55
Casualty Lists 6/30/44, 3/1/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed
(National Jewish Welfare Board index cards are stamped “No Publicity”)

Markus, Joseph R., Sgt., 36636142, Aerial Gunner (Nose Turret), Purple Heart
Mrs. Dorothy S. Markus (mother), 10512 Edbrooke Ave., Chicago, Il.
Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France – Plot A, Row 25, Grave 62
American Jews in World War II – 109

S/Sgt. Murray Glanzrock and Sgt. Joseph Markus were crewmen in B-24H Liberator 42-7583 “Wee Willie”; “FL * L”, of the 704th Bomb Squadron, 446th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.  Piloted by 1 Lt. James C. Blackwood, none of the plane’s crew of 10 survived.  The aircraft’s loss is covered in MACR 5251 and Luftgaukommando Report KU 1930.

______________________________

Ruslander, Harold, S/Sgt., 20236617, Flight Engineer
Mr. and Mrs. Fred E. and Thressa F. Ruslander (parents), 5301 Fair Oaks St., Pittsburgh, Pa.
1 Lt. Solomon L. Ruslander (cousin?), Leesville, La.
Born Brooklyn, N.Y., 12/16/16
Entered active service in September, 1940, at Fort Dix, New Jersey
Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii – Plot Q-48; Buried 6/15/49
The Aluminum Trail – 142
The Jewish Criterion
(Pittsburgh) 2/1943

American Jews in World War II – not listed

Sternbaum, Jacob Aaron, 1 Lt., 0-672704, Co-Pilot
Mr. and Mrs. Carl [11/17/88 – 3/3/54] and Mary E. (Yuwiler) [2/14/88 – 5/15/70] Sternbaum (parents), David, Max, and Minnie (brothers and sister), 169 Vale Ave., Mansfield, Oh.
Born 1923
New Albany National Cemetery, New Albany, In. – Section B, Grave 409A; Buried 10/27/49
The Aluminum Trail – 142
American Jews in World War II
– not listed

1 Lt. Jacob A. Sternbaum and S/Sgt. Harold Ruslander were crewmen in a C-46 aircraft (41-107282) operated by Station 11 of the India-China Wing of the Army Air Force’s Air Transport Command.  The aircraft’s loss is covered in MACR 5198.  The plane crashed on a flight between Chabua and Misamari (both in India), the wreckage eventually being located in India’s Dafflaghur Hills (27 – 06 N, 93-24 E).  Piloted by Captain Terry V. Prosper, none of the transport’s 4 crewmen survived. 

______________________________

Bauman, Hans, Pvt., M/107479
Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Loyal Edmonton Regiment
Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy – IX,F,10

Ben Avraham
, Avraham Pall, Pioneer, 12648

Pioneer Corps
Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery, Algeria – 4,B,19
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 238
(We Will Remember Them gives name as “Ben-Avraham, Avraham”; Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives name as “Ben Abraham, Abraham Pall”)

Black
, Bernard, Gunner, 558769V

South African Artillery, 6th Field Reserve Company
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Bella Black (parents), Johannesburg, South Africa
Born 1921
Bari War Cemetery, Bari, Italy – XIV,A,35
South African Jews in World War Two – page “x”

Einhorn
, Philip, T/Sgt., 35008563, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart

United States Army, 37th Infantry Division, 148th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Joseph Einhorn (brother), Isadore and Eugene (brothers), 3436 Superior Park Drive, Cleveland Heights, Oh.
Born 1912
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot D, Row 6, Grave 93
Greater Cleveland Veterans Memorial – Record for Philip Einhorn Cleveland Press & Plain Dealer, June 6 and 9, 1944
American Jews in World War II – 485


Fisch, Arthur E., T/5, 39550181, Field Artillery, Purple Heart (Died of Wounds)
United States Army, 1st Armored Division, 91st Armored Field Artillery Battalion
Mrs. Goldie P. Fisch (mother), 2148 ½ City View, Los Angeles, Ca.
Born 1922
Place of burial unknown
War Department Release 8/24/44
American Jews in World War II – 42


Fried
, Carl Melvin, Pvt., D/82925

Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
Mr. and Mrs. Max and Rose Fried (parents), 7 Park St., Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
(also) 15 Yates Ave., Newark, New Jersey, United States
Born Glace Bay Nova Scotia, Canada; 4/23/13
Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy – IX,D,23
The Jewish Chronicle – 6/23/44
Canadian Jews in World War II (Volume II) – 23

Friedman
, Martin (Mordechai Bar Khaim), Sgt., 33062674

United States Army, 3rd Infantry Division, 30th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Hyman and Elsie Friedman (parents), 3800 Cottage Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Born 1914
Herring Run Hebrew Cemetery, Baltimore, Md. – Mikro Kodesh Beth Israel Section
War Department Release 10/6/44
American Jews in World War II – Not listed (NJWB Card states “No Publicity”)

Goldberg, Norman Myer, Sgt., 1086976, Air Bomber, Mission of 5/22-23/44 to Braunschweig, Germany
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 49 Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Philip and Rachel Goldberg (parents), Liverpool, England        
Born 1922
Aircraft: Lancaster III, NE125; “EA * K”; Pilot: P/O Philip R. Graves-Hook; 7 crewmen – no survivors
Becklingen War Cemetery, Borkel, Kreis Becklingen, Germany – Collective Grave 24,B,5-7
RAF Bomber Command Losses (Volume V) – 234
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 198

Greystoke
, Peter, F/O, 143106

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Mrs. Doris Greystoke (wife), Wanstead, Essex, England
(also) 24 Du Cane Court, Balham, London, SW17, England
Born 1910
Streatham Park Jewish Cemetery, Surrey, England – Section F, Row 12, Grave 10
The Jewish Chronicle 6/2/44
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 202

Kaufman
, Louis Nathan, Trooper, 6850444

Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Tank Regiment, 51st (The Leeds Rifles)
Mrs. Deborah (Davidson) Kaufman (mother), 175 Green Lanes, Palmers Green, Middlesex, London, N13, England
Born 1922
Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy – II,K,14
The Jewish Chronicle – 8/25/44
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 112

Krolman
, Norman Martin, Lt.

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, 12th (The Three Rivers) Armored Regiment
507 Rosevale Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy – XIII,G,10
The Jewish Chronicle – 6/23/44

Schiff
, Daniel J., 2 Lt., 0-694958, Bombardier, Purple Heart

United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 456th Bomb Group, 744th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Tillie S. Schiff (mother), 407 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, N.Y.
MACR 15117, B-24H 42-94872; Pilot: 2 Lt. John W. Van Dyke; 11 crewmen – no survivors
Place of burial unknown
Casualty List 7/2/44
American Jews in World War II – 430

Szkolnik
, Jean Antoine, at Monte Schierani, Italy

Armée de Terre, 4eme G.T.M.
Vauchowilliers, Aube, France
Born 8/10/18
Place of burial unknown

Waldman
, Tobias, Trooper, 7911691

Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Tank Regiment, 51st (The Leeds Rifles)
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon and Hettie Waldman (parents), 6 Stobart Ave., Prestwich, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy – II,K,2
The Jewish Chronicle – 6/16/44
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 172
(We Will Remember Them gives name as “Walderman, Tobias”; Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives name as “Waldman, Tobias”)

Wiener
, Derek Abraham, F/O, 157874, Wireless Operator, Mission of 5/22-23/44 to Dortmund, Germany

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 103 Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon David and Bernice Wiener (parents), Cleveleys, Essex, England
Born 1923
Aircraft: Lancaster III, ND629; “PM * G”; Pilot: P/O William J.D. Charles; 7 crewmen – no survivors
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany – Collective Grave 23,C,12-14
RAF Bomber Command Losses (Volume V) – 237
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 31

Winkiel
, Leon Jan, Sgt., P/792294, Air Gunner, Mission of 5/22-23/44 to Dortmund, Germany

Royal Air Force, No. 300 Squadron
Born Gniew, Poland, 11/17/21
Aircraft: Lancaster III, LM487; “BH * J”; Pilot” F/O Wilhelm Adler; 7 crewmen – 1 survivor (F/O Adler)
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany – Plot II, Row E, Grave 4
Leon Jan Winkiel (at Polish War Graves)
Loss of Lancaster LM487 (at Air Crew Remembered)
Polish Air Force in World War Two – No. 300 Squadron Losses (at PolishAirForce.pl)
Polish Air Force at War (Volume 2) – 383
RAF Bomber Command Losses (Volume V) – 237
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume II) – 121

Zerbib, Benjamin, at Tomba di Rose, Italy
Armée de Terre, 1ere R.A.C.
Elba Ksour, Tunisia
Born 1/13/22
Place of burial unknown

Other Incident…

Sloan, Leon H., F/O, T-123451, Glider Pilot, Soldier’s Medal
United States Army Air Force, 1st Provisional Troop Carrier Group, 309th Troop Carrier Squadron
Aircraft crashed 3 miles north of Wagram, North Carolina
Mr. and Mrs. Henry and Lena Slobod (parents), 5501 Chancellor St., Philadelphia, Pa.
(wife), Des Moines, Ia.
Born March 8, 1920
“No MACR”; Aircraft L-3C 43-1551; Passenger was F/O Willard T. Ray (seriously injured)
Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose, Philadelphia, Pa. – Lot Z, Plot 186, Grave 2; Buried 5/26/44
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Philadelphia Inquirer 5/25/44, 5/27/44
Philadelphia Record 5/25/44
Wilkes-Barre Record 5/25/44
American Jews in World War II
– 533

Wounded in Action

Ayoun, Maurice, Lieutenant, at Pastena, Italy
Armée de Terre

“On 23 May 1944, in the vicinity of Pastena (Italy), where, supporting a tank attack, under a violent artillery fire and anti-tank weapons, he succeeded in destroying on foot an advancing enemy “Panther” tank.  Two nights later, during a reconnaissance patrol, forward of the lines, subjected to a violent fire and close to infantry, he participated himself in the evacuation under fire of one of his seriously wounded men, giving a fine example of camaraderie and contempt of danger.”

(“Le 23 Mai 1944 aux environs de Pastena (Italie), oû, appuyant une attaque de chars, sous un violent tir d’artillerie et d’armes antichars, a reussi, à pied, à détruire un char “Panther” ennemi qui gênait la progression.  Deux nuits après, au cours d’une patrouille de reconnaissance, en avant les lignes, et pris à partie sous un tir violent et rapproché d’infanterie, a participé lui-même à l’évacuation sous le feu d’un de ses hommes grièvement blessé, donnant ainsi le bel exemple de camaraderie et de mépris du danger.”)

Wounded subsequently, on 11/21/44
Livre d’Or et de Sang – Les Juifs au Combat: Citations 1939-1945 de Bir-Hakeim au Rhin et Danube – 119, 134

Garland, Ralph, Cpl., H/19488
Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
98 Inkster Blvd., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada The Jewish Chronicle – 9/15/44
Canadian Jews in World War II (Volume II) – 95

Goldstein
, Joseph, Pvt., Purple Heart, Anzio, Italy

United States Army
Mrs. Evelyn Goldstein (wife); Phyllis (daughter), 80-10 192nd St., Jamaica, N.Y.
Born 1917
War Department Release 7/2/44;
Long Island Daily Press 7/1/44
American Jews in World War II – 328

Schwartz
, Edward, PFC, Purple Heart, Traceno, Italy (wounded by 88mm shell)

United States Army
Mrs. Lillian Schwartz (mother), 1398 Grand Concourse, Bronx, N.Y.
Born Hungary, 1920
Casualty List 7/11/44
The American Hebrew 10/6/44;
American Jews in World War II – 435

Rankin
, Harry, Cpl., K/52258

Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
3570 Hull St., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
437 E. 7th Ave., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The Jewish Chronicle – 7/7/44
Canadian Jews in World War II (Volume I) – 78
Canadian Jews in World War II (Volume II) – 112

Prisoner of War (Europe)

Lesser, Stanley, Sgt., 31126915
United States Army, 88th Infantry Division, 350th Infantry Regiment
POW at Stalag 7A, Moosburg
Mrs. Etta Lesser (mother), 319 Park St., Holyoke, Ma.
Born 1916
Casualty Lists 6/11/45, 6/19/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Another Incident…crashed (or crash-landed?) in Burma…

Morris, Melvin, 1 Lt., Pilot (Cargo), Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
United States Army Air Force
Aircraft Crashed at Myitkyina, Burma
Mrs. Helene Morris (wife), 60 Plaza St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1915
No Missing Air Crew Report; Aircraft C-47 41-7866
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com
War Department Release 10/12/44
American Jews in World War II – 396

References

Books

Chiche, F., Livre d’Or et de Sang – Les Juifs au Combat: Citations 1939-1945 de Bir-Hakeim au Rhin et Danube, Edition Brith Israel, Tunis, Tunisie, 1946

Chorley, W.R., Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War – 1944 (Volume 5), Midland Publishing, Hinckley, England, 1997.

Dublin, Louis I., and Kohs, Samuel C., American Jews in World War II – The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom, The Dial Press, New York, N.Y., 1947

Freeman, Roger, Camouflage and Markings – United States Army Air Force 1937-1945, Ducimus Books Limited, London, England, 1974

Jones, Jay, The 370th Fighter Group in World War II – In Action Over Europe with the P-38 and P-51, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA, 2003

Meirtchak, Benjamin, Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War II: II – Jewish Military Casualties in September 1939 Campaign – Jewish Military Casualties in The Polish Armed Forces in Exile, World Federation of Jewish Fighters Partisans and Camp Inmates: Association of Jewish War Veterans of the Polish Armies in Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1995

Morris, Henry, Edited by Gerald Smith, We Will Remember Them – A Record of the Jews Who Died in the Armed Forces of the Crown 1939 – 1945, Brassey’s, United Kingdom, London, 1989

Morris, Henry, Edited by Hilary Halter, We Will Remember Them – A Record of the Jews Who Died in the Armed Forces of the Crown 1939 – 1945 – An Addendum, AJEX, United Kingdom, London, 1994

Thucydides, History of The Peloponnesian War (Translated by Rex Warner; with an Introduction and Notes by M.I. Finley), Penguin Books, New York, N.Y., 1972 (Pericles Funeral Oration pp. 143-151)

Canadian Jews in World War II – Part I: Decorations, Canadian Jewish Congress, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1948.

Canadian Jews in World War II – Part II: Casualties, Canadian Jewish Congress, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1948.

Websites

Hoffman, Roy, Missing in Action – On Memorial Day, keeping alive the memory of my uncle, lost at sea in WWII  – .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. – (at Tablet Magazine – Commemorating Major Roy Robinton, USMC)

Discussion of 370th Fighter Group Losses on May 23, 1944 (at 12 O’Clock High .net – Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum)

Forman, Martin S. – Obituary (at Legacy.com)

World War II Accounting – Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (at dpaa.mil)

World War II Casualties (at Wikipedia)

Luftwaffe Wartime Aerial Victory Credits – by Jan Safarik (at AcesSafarikOvi.org)

J (Jäger) Reports J 1179, J 1180, and J 1181: United States National Archives – Collection of Foreign Record Seized – Record Group 242: “Records of Luftgaukommandos: German Reports of Downed Allied Fighters and Other Aircraft – J (Jäger) Reports”, at Entry 1013, Shelf Location 190 / 14 / 9-8 / 2-1

A note…

* I do not know the total number of missing for the countries of the British Commonwealth or former Soviet Union, but those numbers are likely staggeringly high, and especially in the case of the latter, indeterminate, because of lack of records, and especially political factors.

The Brief War of An Only Son: PFC Jochanan Tartakower, May 3, 1925 – September 29, 1944


PFC Jochanan Tartakower
32999991
315th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
United States Army

“….for the past few years I have been preparing myself mentally for that event,
and now I feel that the hour is coming when I,
in my small way,
will avenge the crimes committed.

And I think in my place, being an infantryman,
I will get my best chance.

I think a lot about the movement and about Aretz;
it is curious how war can influence your thinking,
and being in the army and fighting even more.”

May 3, 1925 (Lodz Poland) – September 29, 1944 (France)
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

______________________________

On January 10, 1945, the New York Times published a Casualty List covering the New York Metropolitan area, Northern New Jersey, and Connecticut, which – though by no means the largest Casualty List that appeared in the Times during the war – was staggering in terms of its nominal visual impact, let alone the number of names appearing within it.

The List was extracted from a nationwide Casualty List comprised of 6,178 names, specifically being limited to members of the Army killed and wounded in the European Theater of War.  Like other Casualty Lists that appeared in wartime newspapers, the presentation of information was simple, stark, and straightforward:

Entries were limited to the soldier’s surname, his given (first and middle) names, the name of his next-of-kin (mother; father; wife; friend; aunt; uncle), specific residential address (for soldiers who resided in the five boroughs of New York), while for soldiers from New Jersey or Connecticut, the “address” was limited to his city or town of residence.

Each name on the list represented a person – a world – that extended well beyond the nominal confines of a name, rank, serial number, and military unit.  Each name on the list embodied a past, a brief present, and future that would not be.  Each name on the embodied and symbolized told a unique story.

One of the names on the list was – like many names on the list – for a simple Private First Class.  His name?  Jochanan Tartakower.  His story was markedly – if not dramatically – different from most.

He was born in Poland in 1925, the only child of Dr. Arieh and Malwina Tartakower. 

Dr. Tartakower, a graduate of the University of Vienna with specializations in demography and sociology, had a lifelong involvement in a variety of leadership and academic research positions in Jewish affairs, particularly in the realms of Labor Zionism, aid and assistance for Jewish refugees, and ultimately as Chairman of the Department of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  His life was one of idealism, action, and academic research, the last exemplified through the publication of numerous articles and books, the titles of some of the latter being listed in his Jewish Virtual Library and Wikipedia entries.  Born in Poland in 1897, he died in Jerusalem in November of 1982.

______________________________

Dr. Arieh Tartakower, from his Wikipedia entry.

Strikingly, however, neither of the above references, nor his obituary at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency mention his son, Jochanan, the course of whose life – dictated by other forces – took a very different course.

Born in Lodz in 1925, Jochanan reached the United States in 1941, where his father had been residing after the 1939 World Zionist Congress in Geneva.  (The accounts of their journeys differ between The American Hebrew and Aufbau.  Both are presented below – with the latter probably being more accurate.)  Malwina had a far more arduous journey, reaching America only after traveling through the Soviet Union, the Yishuv, and possibly Japan, probably reaching her husband and son in 1943. 

Once in America, Jochanan, who listed his home address as 129 West 85th Street in Manhattan, enrolled in City College, where he studied engineering.

______________________________

The first notice of Jochanan’s death was penned by Max Beer and published in Aufbau on October 27, 1944.  The article and my (approximate!) translation are presented below:

Aufbau

Friday, October 27, 1944

Dr. A. Tartakower – Mitglied der Exekutive des Jüdischen Weltkongresses – und seine Gattin Malwina wurden in diesen Tagen durch das War Department davon verstangt, dass ihr einziger Sohn, der neunzehnjährige Pfc. Jochanan am 29. September in Frankreich “in action” den Tod gefunden hat.  Mit den Eltern trauern alle ihre Freunde um den hochbegabten liebenswerten jungen Mann, der mit Begeisterung in den Krieg zog, als Amerikaner und als Jude.

Jochanan Tartakower, geboren am 3. Mai 1925 in Lodz, war nach einer abenteurlichen Flucht Polen im Jahre 1941 in Amerika eingetroffen, wo sein Vater weilte, nachdem ihn die Invasion Polens im September 1939 auf dem Genfer Zionistkongress uberrascht hatte.  Der Mutter, die der Krieg ebenfalls von ihrem Sohn getrennt hatte, gelang es erst nach vier Jahren, in mühseliger Wanderung uber Russland und Palastina, die Ihren in Amerika wiederzufinden.

Aber die Familie sollte nocht lange vereitn bleiben.  Jochanan, der am City College Ingenieurwissenschaft mit glanzendem Erfolg studierte.  Prasident der Habonim und, wie die Eltern, tif mit hebráischem und judischen Wissen vertraut war, tockte kurze Zeit nach der Ankunft der Mutter in das Heer ein und ging nach Frankreich.

Alle, die den prächtigen, vornehmen jungen Mann gekannt haben, liebten ihn ung sagten im eine glänzende Freunde von Arieh und Malwina Tartakower, die das unermüdliche Wirken des Ehepaares für die Sache des Judentums und der Menschheit kenne, wissen, dass die trotz der schweren Prüfung, die ihnen auferlegt wurde, mit ganzer Seele und mit allen Kräften weiter den Kampf für die grosse Sache führen werden, der ihr Sohn seine Jugend und sein Leben gab.

Max Beer.

Dr. A. Tartakower, a member of the Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress, and his wife Malwina, were advised by the War Department that their only son, nineteen-year-old Pfc. Jochanan was killed on September 29 in France “in action”.  With the parents, all their friends mourn for the high-spirited, loving young man, who was enthusiastically drawn to war, as an American and a Jew.

Jochanan Tartakower, born May 3, 1925 in Lodz, arrived in America in 1941 – where his father had been staying with the 1939 Geneva Zionist Congress, after the invasion of Poland in September – after an adventurous flight from Poland.  The mother, whom the war had also separated from her son, succeeded only four years later, through toilsome wandering over Russia and Palestine, to find him again in America.

But the family should stay a long time.  Jochanan, who studied engineering sciences at City College with brilliant success.  He was President of Habonim, and acquainted with Hebrew and Jewish knowledge like the parents, a short time after the arrival of the mother, entered the army and went to France.

All those who have known the splendid, distinguished young man loved him, said a brilliant friend of Arieh and Malwina Tartakower, who knew the tireless work of the couple for the cause of Judaism and mankind, that despite the heavy trial which was imposed upon them, will continue the struggle for the great cause, for which her son gave his youth and his life.

Max Beer

______________________________

The next appearance of Jochanan’s name was in The Jewish Chronicle (and Jewish News, of Detroit) on November 3, 1944.  On that day, the Chronicle published a casualty list which included Jochanan’s name, an exception to the Chronicle’s practice of limiting military casualty (and award) lists to names of servicemen specifically in the armed forces of the British Commonwealth.  Jochanan’s name, which appears near the end of the list, was probably included due to his father’s prominence in Jewish affairs.

Information about some of the men in the above list appears below….

Died of Wounds
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Chenovitch, Barnet, Pte., 6150664, Somerset Light Infantry, Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Died of Wounds June 7, 1944, Imphal-Kohima, Burma
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon and Yetta Chenovitch (parents), 1 Eastdown House, Amhurst Road, Hackney, London, E8, England
Born 1921
Imphal War Cemetery, India – 1, B, 10
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44
We Will Remember Them I – 70

Dubinsky, William Henry, Pvt., H/200121, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Calgary Highlanders
Died of Wounds 8/13/44
Mr. and Mrs. Shiyah and Eva (Weinman) Dubinsky (parents), 282 Selkirk Ave. / 222 Pritchard Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Born in Russia 6/26/14
Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, Calvados, France – XII, H, 9
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44
Canadian Jews in World War II II – p. 20

Schwartz, William, Gunner, B/138564, Royal Canadian Artillery, 3rd Field Regiment
Died of Wounds 9/4/44
Mr. Sam Schwartz (father), Room 1104, Ford Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montecchio War Cemetery, Italy – III, B, 16
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44
Canadian Jews in World War II II – 20

Trocki, Adolf, 2 Lt., 05336, Polish Army West, Cavalry, 1 Polska Dywizja Pancerna, 10 Brygada Kawalerii Pancernej, 24 Pułk Ułanów im.
Killed in Action 8/16/44
France, Calvados, Jort
Born in Vilno, Poland, 3/24/15
Platoon commander, killed in tank.; Engineer; Information from SGA “Sepultures de Guerre” web site.  Not in SGA “Seconde guerre mondiale” database.; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Armoured_Division_%28Poland%29
http://home.concepts.nl/~avalphen/lari/lan.t.htm#2566
Cimetiere militaire “Langannerie”, Grainville-Langannerie, Calvados, France – Tombe individuelle, Carre Plot V, Rang A, No. 3 (Initially buried at M.R. 7F/4 246406)
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War II – 121

Wounded in Action

Abramovitz, Hymie, Pte., B/155273, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, The Black Watch
Wounded 7/24/44
Mr. Samuel Abramovitz (father), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Jewish Chronicle 9/29/44, 11/3/44
Canadian Jews in World War II – 85

Besserman
, Irvin, Pte., B/142219, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)

Wounded 8/27/44
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan and Bessie Besserman (parents), 64 Montrose Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44
Canadian Jews in World War II – 10, 86

Blustein
, Philip, Pte., D/86038, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment

Wounded three times: @ 8/15/43 (Sicily), @ 7/15/44 (Italy), and @ 9/15/44 (Italy)
Mrs. Yetta Blustein (mother), 2195 Wilson Ave., Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Born 1920
The Jewish Chronicle 11/19/43, 11/3/44
Canadian Jews in World War II – 88

Bogo
, Maurice, Gunner, B/21909, Royal Canadian Artillery

Wounded 9/8/44
(Wife), 41 Essex St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44
Canadian Jews in World War II – 88

Prisoner of War

Greenblatt, Chanan David, CQMS, B/46386, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Argyle and Southern Highlanders
Captured 8/27/44; POW at Stalag 357
Miss S. Greenblatt (sister), 3327 Dundas St., West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Born in Toronto
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44
Canadian Jews in World War II II – 124

______________________________

__________________________________________________

______________________________

Some other Jewish military casualties on Friday, September 29, 1944 – when Jochanan was killed in action – include…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Adler, Sheldon L., 2 Lt., 0-820188, Co-Pilot, Air Medal, Purple Heart
Mr. and Mrs. Louis and Minerva Adler (parents), Doris Adler (sister), 38 Fort Washington St., New York, N.Y.
Born 1925
Casualty List 1/25/45
New York Times Obituary section 10/29/44

American Jews in World War II – 264

Dragoon, Samuel, T/Sgt., 12041050, Flight Engineer, Air Medal, Purple Heart
Mrs. Frances R. Dragoon (wife), c/o S. Jaffe, 2000 Vyse Ave., New York, N.Y.
Mrs. Rose Dragoon (mother); T/Sgt. Max Dragoon (brother), 1326 Washington Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Casualty List 12/15/44
Jewish Criterion (Pittsburgh) 9/20/46

American Jews in World War II – 298

(Sergeant Dragoon’s brother, T/Sgt. Max Dragoon, a member of the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, was killed in action 26 days earlier: On September 3, 1944.  His name appeared in Casualty Lists released on October 8 and November 11, 1944.  Awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster, he is buried at the American Cemetery, in Epinal, France – (Plot A, Row 15, Grave 33).)

Sheldon Adler and Samuel Dragoon were crewmen aboard B-24H Liberator 41-29439, “GALLOPIN GHOST” (“6L * K”); of the 787th Bomb Squadron, 466th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, the loss of which is covered in MACR 15774.  The plane was piloted by 1 Lt. Marshall K. Lewis, and crashed near Lyancourt, France, while returning to its base from a trucking mission to Saint Dizier, France.  According to the MACR, the crash was caused by the simultaneous failure of all four engines: “reason unknown”.  There were no survivors among the aircraft’s six crewmen.  The entire crew – Lt. Adler, T/Sgt. Dragoon, Sgt. Wilbur R. Hain (Observer – from Goodspring, Pa.), 1 Lt. Marshall K. Lewis (Pilot – from Forth Worth, Tx.), T/Sgt. Paul E. Miller (Radio Operator – from San Bernardino, Ca.), and 2 Lt. Herbert F. Minard (Navigator – from Wichita, Ks.) – was buried in a collective plot (Section 82, Grave 125) at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, in Saint Louis, Missouri, on October 3, 1949.

______________________________

This excellent image (UPL 7610) of the Ghost’s nose art, from the American Air Museum website, shows the crew of pilot Lt. Dorsey L. Baker (standing at left), who completed 32 missions, 30 with the 784th Bomb Squadron.  (The Ghost was assigned to the 784th (as “T9 * K“) before being allocated to the 787th Bomb Squadron.)

______________________________

This image, also from the American Air Museum website (UPL22744; contributed by Eric Foster), shows four of the airmen who were lost when the Ghost crashed in France on September 29, 1944, as well as other crewmen not aboard the plane on that mission.

Standing, left to right: S/Sgt. Owen Killborn, 2 Lt. Sheldon Adler (co-pilot; KIA 9/29), Lt. Caulk, T/Sgt. Paul E. Miller (radio operator; KIA 9/29), T/Sgt. Samuel Dragoon (flight engineer; KIA 9/29;), 1 Lt. Marshall K. Lewis (pilot; KIA 9/29).  Front row: S/Sgt. Dwight O. Foster, 2 Lt. Herbert F. Minard (navigator; KIA 9/29), S/Sgt. Thomasett, S/Sgt. Albert Spencer.

______________________________

Bloom, Rubin, PFC, 12014488, United States Army, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
United States Army, 9th Infantry Division, 39th Infantry Regiment
(Wounded previously – @ 8/27/44)
Mrs. Rose Bloom (mother), 1746 Bathgate Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1918
Montefiore Cemetery, Springfield, Queens, N.Y.
Casualty Lists 10/27/44, 1/10/45
American Jews in World War II – 280

Bondas
, Lazar Yakovlevich [Бондас, Лазар Яковлевич], Captain [Капитан]

U.S.S.R., Red Army
39th Tank Brigade; Assistant Commander (Headquarters)
Wounded 9/29/44; Died of wounds at 1141st Evacuation Hospital on 12/24/44
Born 1913, Ryazan, Ryazan Oblast
Aron Yakovlevich Bondas (brother)
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Not Listed
[Книги Памяти еврееввоинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945гг – нет в списке]

Cravetz
, Paul P., T/4, 32132780, United States Army, Purple Heart
United States Army, 4th Armored Division, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
Mr. Benjamin Cravetz (father), 312 Seneca St., Fulton, N.Y.
Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France – Plot C, Row 8, Grave 45
Daily Sentinel (Rome, N.Y.) 1/25/45
Syracuse Herald-Journal 1/28/42
American Jews in World War II – 294


Glickerman
, Sam Jack, PFC, 36643868, United States Army, Purple Heart

United States Army, 36th Infantry Division, 142nd Infantry Regiment, C Company
Mr. and Mrs. Efrom and Rose Glickerman (parents), 1403 S. Tripp St., Chicago, Il.
Born 2/22/22
Cemetery location unknown
http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Czestochowa1/czea008.html American Jews in World War II – 100

Goldsmith
, Sidney W., Pvt., 32988824, United States Army, Purple Heart

United States Army, 91st Infantry Division, 363rd Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Anna Goldsmith (wife), 1171 Morrison Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1/13/18
Workmen’s Circle #281 Cemetery, Glen Wild, N.Y.
Casualty List 12/15/44
American Jews in World War II – 327

Greenberger
, Marvin H., Pvt., 42079049, United States Army, Purple Heart

4th Armored Division, 51st Armored Infantry Battalion
Mrs. Sadie G. Greenberger (mother), 2825 Grand Concourse, Bronx, N.Y.
Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France – Plot C, Row 6, Grave 45
Casualty List 1/10/45
American Jews in World War II – 335

Hora
, Raymond E., PFC, 16177224, United States Army, Purple Heart, 1 OLC

United States Army, 36th Infantry Division, 141st Infantry Regiment, B Company
Mrs. Lillian Hora (mother), 18667 Cherrylawn St., Detroit, Mi.
Born 1919
Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France – Plot A, Row 8, Grave 39
American Jews in World War II – 191

Kantor
, Lev (Leonid) Moiseevich (Mikhaylovich) [Кантор, (Лев (Леонид) Моисеевич (Михайлович)], Junior Lieutenant [Младший Лейтенант], 53 combat missions

U.S.S.R., Military Air Forces – VVS
Aerial Gunner – Bombardier
561st Autonomous Army Aviation Squadron

Aircraft type unknown – probably U-2 , Po-2, Pe-2, or Il-4
Born 1912
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Not Listed
[Книги Памяти еврееввоинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945гг – нет в списке]

Szwarfurter
, Pinchas, Pvt., Polish People’s Army, at Poland, Warsaw-Brodno

6th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Szymcha Szwarfuter (father)
Born Slovakia, Zilinda, Konska; 1919
Powazkowska Street Cemetery, Warsaw-Zoliborz, Mazowieckie, Poland
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War 2 – Volume I – 69

Wounded in Action

Kelner, Irving, Cpl., B/40965, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Lincoln and Welland Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Israel and Molly Kelner (parents); Norman, David, Morris, and Ruth (siblings), 410 Parliament St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Casualty List (USA) 11/29/44
The Jewish Chronicle 1/12/45
Canadian Jews in World War II, Volume II – 42, 102

Silverman
, Leo, Cpl., K/57228, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

Canadian Scottish Regiment
(mother) 2033 Bennings Road, Washington, D.C.; (cousin), 1307 S. McBride St., Syracuse, N.Y.
Residence also at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The Jewish Chronicle 12/1/44
Canadian Jews in World War II, Volume II – 115

Vosberg
, Mickey Herman, Gunner, D/138332, Royal Canadian Artillery

(parents), 5587 Esplanade Ave., Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The Jewish Chronicle 12/1/44
Canadian Jews in World War II, Volume II – 117

Weinstein
, Samuel H., 1 Lt., United States Army, Wounded by shrapnel in leg (in Germany)

Mrs. Esther Weinstein (mother), George and Meyer (brothers), 68-33 76th St., Middle Village, N.Y.
Born 1910
Casualty List 12/3/44
Long Island Daily Press 12/2/44
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Woolner
, Jack, PFC, United States Army (in France)

Mr. Harry Woolner (father), 1907 E. Firth St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1921
Philadelphia Record 11/12/44
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

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Then, news about Jochanan appeared in the November 10 issue of The American Hebrew…

American Hebrew – November 10, 1944

Jews in Uniform

Unhappy Ending.

Jochanan Tartakower, born in 1925, in Lodz, Poland, escaped from Poland in 1939.  Alone he traveled to Russia and the Orient, arriving in New York from Japan several years later, to be re-united with his father, Dr. Arieh Tartakower, head of the Relief Department of the World Jewish Congress, who, being one of the leaders of the Polish Jewish Community, was well known to the Nazis and was on the Gestapo list for early capture.  Dr. Tartakower had been able to elude the Nazis at the outset of hostilities and had succeeded in reaching the United States, without his family.  Mrs. Tartakower, Jochanan’s mother, was detained and only succeeded in rejoining her family long after Jochanan’s arrival in America.  The happy re-united family were enjoying life here in New York.  Jochanan, the only child of the Tartakowers, attended C.C.N.Y. School of Engineering, where he was an honor student.  He was active as President of Habonim, a Zionist youth group in New York, and had a host of friends.  He joined Uncle Sam’s fighting forces at the age of 18 and was assigned to the infantry.  He was sent to the European theatre of operations to meet his old enemies, the Nazis, this time on more equal terms, as a well equipped fighting man.

Dr. Tartakower recently received a telegram from the War Department:  “We regret to advise you that your son, Private First Class Jochanan Tartakower, A.U.S., has been killed in action on September 29, 1944.”

______________________________

Fittingly; appropriately; movingly, Arieh memorialized his son in his next book:  The Jewish Refugee, which was published by the Institute of Jewish Affairs of the AJC (American Jewish Congress) and WJC (World Jewish Congress).  The title and dedicatory pages of The Jewish Refugee are shown below:

______________________________

In 1947, Jochanan’s name appeared in Volume II – the state-by-state directory of casualties and award recipients – of the two-volume American Jews in World War II.  (The reference work has been cited in many of my prior posts, and will be mentioned wherever pertinent for future blog entries.)  Here is the cover…

…while Jochanan’s name appears on page 459, appropriately under “New York”.  This page is representative of the presentation of names in American Jews in World War II:  Likely due to the sheer number of entries – 38,888 – based on information recorded by the National Jewish Welfare Board (NJWB) – information is limited to names, ranks, military awards, city or town of residence, and casualty status (killed in action, or killed – non-battle).  Though the NJWB index cards typically include names of next of kin, home addresses, and sometimes serial numbers, military theater of action, and date when a serviceman was a casualty, none of this latter (invaluable) information was ever published.

____________________

The following essay appeared in a publication entitled Furrows, a publication of Ichud Habonim (the Labor-Zionist youth movement), in November of 1944.  Its very title – F u r r o w s – visually connoted farming; plowing; soil; land – while “kvutza” denoted “communal settlement” prior to Israel’s 1948 re-establishment.  Furrows was published in New York City between 1942 and 1964. 

ADVENTURE IN PIONEERING
JOHANAN TARTAKOWER

“Johanan Tartakower was killed in action in the European Theater of Operations on September 29th, 1944. He was one of our best haverim.’’

He was my friend, too – that is why these words are meaningless to me.  I cannot transform and reduce this intangible thing into pitifully inadequate sentences.  I can only wonder at the empty space that is left in my life and try to fill it with memories of Johanan and of the days we spent at Kvutza, of the work we did when he was my rosh mahaneh, of the dreams we had together of Eretz Yisrael and “our” kibbutz.

And I can say with a determination which I have never felt, before that we must not let the chain of halutzim be broken.  We must fill the gap.  We must believe in the things Johanan died for and fight for them.  Freedom and peace are meaningless if we are not conscious of their worth and do not accept their responsibilities – and freedom and peace must prevail lest future Johanans shall die, lest the Jewish people never find their future.

I shall endeavor to do what my friend Johanan wanted to do – I will try to realize his dreams.  That is the best tribute I can give him, and I call to all those others who believe as Johanan did to rouse themselves, to accept the task of the halutz, so that the vision of which Johanan was symbolic shall find new strength and fervor.

Harry Brumberger
Furrows, November, 1944

______________________________

In September of 1985, a Conference Room named in Yochanan’s honor was opened at Kibbutz Kfar Blum, in northern Israel.  The images show the ribbon cutting (by Jochanan’s mother, Malwina?), Arieh affixing a commemorative plaque upon the Conference Room’s entrance, the Conference Room itself (where Jochanan’s photographic portrait – the image atop this post – is displayed), music played at the ceremony – with Dr. Tartakower contemplatively resting his head upon his hand – and next, presenting a speech, while Malwina watches from the audience.

 

______________________________

It is ironic, considering the scope of Arieh’s academic and literary oeuvre, that history gave Jochanan so very little opportunity and time to record his own thoughts, and eventually, perhaps, arrive at his own understanding of “the world”. 

Still, two short fragments of his writing, apparently preserved and incorporated by a friend – “B.K.” – within correspondence or a newsletter of the Labor Zionist movement, are still extant, and are presented (in italics) below.  Given that these were penned while Jochanan was no more than nineteen years old, they reveal a man wise beyond his very few years; intellectually and morally conscious of the nature of the era in which he was living, as a Jew, an American soldier, and a hopeful pioneer in the re-establishment of a Jewish state. 

Perhaps his others correspondence – V-mail? – hand-written letters? – still exists, somewhere.   If and until they are discovered, let these small passages speak for him:

It was a great blow to us when we learned that Yochanan was killed in action in France.  Indeed, those of us who knew him well, who worked and lived with him in Habonim, found it very difficult to force ourselves to realise that Yochanan was no longer with us, would not be on the chava with us, and would never live and work together with us as chalutzim in our kibbutz in Aretz,

To say that Yochanan was one of the best chavorim in New York and also one of the finest and most sincere chalutzim in the movement would be superfluous.  To those of us who knew him, however, these words have real significance in our memories. We remember that summer in Killingworth shortly after he came to this country, memories of putting up ohalim together, moving the tent platforms up to the Bonim Kikar, siphoning gasoline from one vehicle to another, singing around the Medura.  We remember him working more actively than most of us in the New York Galil and especially in the Manhattan Machaneh of which he was a driving force, though not a very loquacious one.  Especially we remember him as part of our present K.A. group which meant so much to him.  We see him sitting at K.A. meetings in the office or in some cafeteria, where long-winded debates on chalutziut were often held.  During these debates, he was usually silent, but when he did speak it was apparent that he, more than the rest of us knew what chalutziut means.  To him it had for a long time been his whole life.

It just does not seem fair that Yochanan should have been killed.  He had gone through so much.  His family was separated during the occupation of Poland.  His father, Aryeh Tartakower, a prominent Zionist leader, came to America first.  It was only in 1942 that Yochanan managed to reach the United States after a long and dangerous journey.  His mother finally arrived here shortly before he went into the Army.  To Yochanan, therefore, this war was very real and very important, not only because he was more deeply aware of the issues and the character of the enemy, but also because he saw things through the eyes of a chalutz.  It was only after his death that we learned that he could have been withdrawn to a desk job because of his knowledge of languages but that he refused the offer because, as ho told his commanding officer, he came to Europe to fight.  In a letter from England he wrote:

“….for the past few years I have been preparing myself mentally for that event, and now I feel that the hour is coming when I, in my small way, will avenge the crimes committed.  And I think in my place, being an infantryman, I will get my best chance.  I think a lot about the movement and about Aretz; it is curious how war can influence your thinking, and being in the army and fighting even more.”

Yes, he thought a lot about the movement and about Aretz.  To be a chalutz in Aretz was his goal in life.  Sometimes he would be sad because of the thought that he might never achieve this goal.  But throughout the time that he was in the Service, he always thought about K.A., was writing constantly to chaverim, demanding news on how the K.A. was developing, and making the problems of the K.A. his problems no matter how far away and isolated he was.

In a letter written just a few days before his death, after having gone through the thick of all the fighting in France, he wrote:

“I have thought of it constantly and as far as I am concerned all the hardships and risks I have gone through made me only a better chalutz, and above all more conscious of my immediate future.  So, my theory is that ex-servicemen, after the war is over, will make a hell of a lot better chalutzim than anybody else, for the simple reason that they have changed their mode of living once already and are not afraid to do it again.”

It is with tears in our eyes that we bid farewell to Yochanan, our chaver.  We will try to live up to his standards of chalutzic character, to his devotion and self-sacrifice.  We promise to avenge Yocbanan in the way he would have liked it, with a larger aliyah from our movement to Aretz, with fields which we shall reclaim and cultivate in his memory, and with houses and farm buildings which we shall build on our soil.  Though he is gone, we know that Yochanan will be with us always as an inspiration during the difficult times that lie ahead in accomplishing the great task which was to him life itself. – B.K

______________________________

Jochanan’s matzeva at Long Island National Cemetery in Suffolk County, New York, photographed by FindAGrave contributor Glenn.

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An aerial view of Kfar Blum – photographed by Ofir Ben Tov – in Israel’s Upper Galilee.  The view looks south, with the tree-lined Jordan River winding between the Kibbutz and the two center-pivot irrigation circles to its east.  The Sea of Galilee lies in the distance.

The land is furrowed.  The land, is green.

Acknowledgements

I would like to extend my sincere and grateful appreciation to Annette Fine and Yonatan Porat, of Kibbutz Kfar Blum, for their generosity in sharing material – particularly photographs – pertaining to Jochanan and his parents.  Without their assistance, “this” post would not have been possible.  

References

Books

Dublin, Louis I., and Kohs, Samuel C., American Jews in World War II – The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom, The Dial Press, New York, N.Y., 1947

Morris, Henry, Edited by Gerald Smith, We Will Remember Them – A Record of the Jews Who Died in the Armed Forces of the Crown 1939 – 1945, Brassey’s, United Kingdom, London, 1989

Morris, Henry, Edited by Hilary Halter, We Will Remember Them – A Record of the Jews Who Died in the Armed Forces of the Crown 1939 – 1945 – An Addendum, AJEX, United Kingdom, London, 1994

Canadian Jews in World War II – Part I: Decorations, Canadian Jewish Congress, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1948

Canadian Jews in World War II – Part II: Casualties, Canadian Jewish Congress, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1948.

Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volumes I through XI, Maryanovskiy, M.F., Pivovarova, N.A., Sobol, I.S. (editors), Union of Jewish War Invalids and Veterans, Moscow, Russia, 1994 – 2014

Websites

Aryeh Tartakower (at Wikipedia)

Arieh Tartakower (at Jewish Virtual Library)

Aryeh Tartakower Dead at 85 (at Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Furrows (New York Public Library catalog record)

Kfar Blum Volunteers (at Goalweb.com)

Pastoral Hotel – Kfar Blum (at KfarBlum-Hotel.co.il.)

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Sgt. Simon Fogelman – Forward to Memory

When the obituary and photograph of Sergeant Simon Fogelman – son of Lazar Fogelman, editor of the Jewish Daily Forward, appeared in The New York Times on June 5, 1945 – few readers if any would have been aware that his image appeared in the press nearly six years earlier, during a moment of promise and hope. 

That event was his 1939 graduation with honors from Stuyvesant High School, as reported in the Forward.

Simon’s portrait was one of fifteen images of high school and college graduates which were published under the heading “Scholastic Honor Roll – Pictures of Honor Graduates Submitted by Readers of the Forward” in the newspaper’s July 16, 1939 issue. 

This page is presented below, with Simon’s portrait at the bottom center.

Top Row

Rabbi Morris M. Mathews

The three children of Dr. and Mrs. Hyde: Leroy and Bernard Hyde (graduates of Cornell University, and Anita S. Hyde, graduate of Erasmus High School)

Dr. Irving H. Itkin, son of Irving H. Itkin of Woodhaven

Middle Row

Miss Tillie Alderman, Miss Gertrude Thurm, Leon N. Satenstein, Jack Irwin Kaufman, George Perkel,

Bottom Row

Isidore Kraitsik, Wallen Paley, Simon, Aaron Baer, Hyman Simon

Simon’s portrait, and caption

“Simon Fogelman, 17-year-old son of Dr. and Mrs. Lazar Fogelman of Brooklyn, who was graduated with honors from Stuyvesant High School.  Dr. Fogelman is a member of the Forward editorial staff.”

I do not know if any further articles about Simon Fogelman appeared in the press during the intervening years, but here is his obituary as reported in the Times

Brooklyn Honor Student Killed With Third Army

Sgt. Simon Fogelman of 625 Caton Avenue, Brooklyn, was killed in action with the Ninety-Fifth Infantry Division in Germany on Dec. 14, according to word received here.  He was 22 years old.

He was an honor student at Stuveysant High School and later attended Brooklyn College.  He was assigned after his induction to the University of Pennsylvania, where he attended engineering classes.  He served with Lieut. Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army and the Purple Heart was awarded posthumously to him.

He is survived by his father, Lazar Fogelman, editorial and feature writer for the Jewish Daily Forward; his mother, Sarah, and a brother, Edwin.

A member of the 379th Infantry Regiment, 95th Infantry Division (serial number 32689852), Simon’s parents were Lazar and Sarah, and his brother “Eddie” (Edwin).  Born in 1923, he is buried at Mount Lebanon Cemetery, in Glendale, New York (Block WC, Section 5, Line 28, Grave 11, Workmen’s Circle Society). 

Simon’s name appeared in a Casualty List published in the Times on February 15, 1945, and in the Memorial section of the Times’ Obituary page on December 14th of 1945 and 1946.  He is listed on page 311 of American Jews in World War Two

A 2016 Google Street view of the Fogelman family’s home at 625 Caton Avenue, in Brooklyn.

Some other Jewish military casualties on Thursday, December 14, 1944, include…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Bensaid, Norbert, Soldat de 2eme Classe
Armée de Terre, 17eme Régiment Colonial du Génie
Nécropole nationale “Rougemont”, Rougemont, Doubs, France – Tombe individuelle, No. 588
Information from SGA “Sepultures de Guerre” database.  Not in SGA “Seconde guerre mondiale” database.

Burness, Irving, 1 Lt., 0-863230, Bombardier / Navigator, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 25th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Leon B. [12/17/85-9/21/89] and Sylvia (Rashove) [10/15/97-3/23/84] Burness (parents), 139 Ardmore Ave., West Hartford, Ct.
Possibly from Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1917
MACR 10401, B-29 42-24726; Pilot: Capt. Howard L. Gerber; 12 crewmen – no survivors
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Emanuel Cemetery, Wethersfield, Ct. – Plot R, 30 (Commemorative Monument)
FindAGrave profile of Lt. Irving Burness
American Jews in World War II
– 62, 514

Blitzer, Morris, S/Sgt., 32409763, Purple Heart (Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen)
United States Army, 78th Infantry Division, 310th Infantry Regiment, F Company
Mrs. Pauline Blitzer (mother), 1100 Gerard Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Mr. and Mrs. Phillip and Fannie Blitzer (parents); Louis, Minnie, and Rebecca (brother and sisters)
Born 9/28/16, Bronx, N.Y.
Place of burial unknown
American Jews in World War II – 279 (National Jewish Welfare Board biographical cards state “No Publicity”)

Cohen, Leon, PFC, 42036404, Purple Heart
United States Army, 45th Infantry Division, 180th Infantry Regiment
Mr. David Cohen (father), 41 E. 89th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y. – Section 3, Grave 123
American Jews in World War II – 291

Elsner, Harry, Sapper, 2132044
Royal Engineers, 220th Field Company
Mr. and Mrs. Wolf and Eva Elsner (parents), Manchester, England
Born 1908
Forli War Cemetery, Vecchiazzano, Forli, Italy – III, A, 1
We Will Remember Them (Volume II) – 10

Epstein, Louis Canner, PFC, 11131816 (Germany)
United States Army, 90th Infantry Division, 358th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Arnold H. and Yetta (“Ethel”) Epstein (parents), 48 Commonwealth Ave., Lynn, Boston, Ma.
Born Massachusetts, 1926
Place of burial unknown
American Jews in World War II – 156

Friedman, Albert L., Pvt., 42107361
United States Army, 99th Infantry Division, 395th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Roselia S. Friedman (mother), 308 Renner Ave., Newark, N.J.
Born 11/13/25
B’Nai Jeshurun Cemetery, Hillside, N.J.
Casualty List 3/3/45
War Department Release 2/12/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

______________________________

There sources of information pertaining to Jewish genealogy and military history are many and varied.  But sometimes, one learns about the past simply by chance.

Nearly two decades ago, while doing genealogical research at Mount Sharon Cemetery, in Springfield, Pennsylvania, I chanced across a pair of matzevot (Hebrew – plural – for tombstones) for a Lieutenant Alfred G. Frost, and his parents, David and Anna.  Previously, this man was unknown to me.  His name is not present (well, many names are not present…) in American Jews in World War Two, and no mention of him ever appeared in wartime issues of The Jewish Exponent, of Philadelphia, though his name did appear The Philadelphia Bulletin in January of 1945.

His story was an enigma.  He was an enigma.

It was only years later, through a fortunate meeting with Albert’s relative Susan, and then correspondence with his relatives Steven and Linda Korsin, that Lt. Frost’s story emerged:  He served as an infantry Lieutenant in the Army’s 36th (Texas) Infantry Division, and was awarded the Silver Star (and an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star) for military service in Italy. 

The citations for these awards, an account of his death written by Chaplain Charles W. Arbuthnot, Jr., and genealogical information about the Lieutenant and his family, are presented below.

Frost, Albert G. (Avraham Gitye bar David Henekh), 1 Lt., 0-1307533, Company Commander, Silver Star, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
United States Army, 36th Infantry Division, 143rd Infantry Regiment, A Company
(Previously wounded on 6/1/44)
Mr. and Mrs. David [6/28/59-1969] and Anna [11/2/82-1993] Frost (parents), 333 Lincoln St., Woodbury, N.J.
Born 6/13/13
Mount Sharon Cemetery, Springfield, Pa. – Section I (Buried 9/19/48)
Philadelphia Record 1/9/45
Jewish Exponent 9/24/48
American Jews in World War II Not listed (National Jewish Welfare Board biographical Card states “No Publicity”)

______________________________

The citation for Lt. Frost’s Silver Star award. 

C O N F I D E N T I A L
HEADQUARTERS 36TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO #36, U. S. Army

AG 200.6                                                                                       25 April 1944

Subject  :  Award of Silver Star.

To        :  Second lieutenant ALBERT G. FROST, 01307533,
143d Infantry Regiment, APO #36, U, S. Army.

Pursuant to authority contained in Amy Regulations 600-45, you are awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in action:

C I T A T I O N

     ALBERT G. FROST, 01307533, Second Lieutenant, 143d Infantry Regiment, for gallantry in action on 20-21 January 1944 in the vicinity of ANTRIDONATI, ITALY.  Company C, the assault company for the First Battalion, crossed the swift flowing and treacherous Rapido River despite a heavy concentration of enemy artillery, mortar and snail arms fire.  Lieutenant Frost, assigned the task of evacuating the wounded, swam back across the icy stream to secure a boat.  Realizing one boat would be insufficient to evacuate the men fast enough, he personally supervised the construction of a foot bridge from salvage material.  The bridge and boat then became the immediate target of enemy fire.  Dauntlessly, with great physical endurance and aggressiveness he continued to expose himself to the withering fire as he paddled the boat back and forth across the river until all the wounded were evacuated.  His calm courage and outstanding leadership saved the lives of many of his men and greatly inspired all who witnessed his deeds.  His gallant actions reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.  Entered the Service from Woodbury, New Jersey.

Fred L. Walker
FRED L. WALKER
Major General
U.S. Army Commanding

______________________________

His award of the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star.

HEADQUARTERS 36TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO #36, U. S. ARMY

AG 200.6                                                                                         25 July 1944

SUBJECT  :  Award of Oak leaf Cluster

TO           :  First lieutenant ALBERT J. FROST, 01307533,
143d Infantry Regiment,
APO #36, U. S. Army

Pursuant to authority contained in Army Regulations 600-45, you are awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a second Silver Star for gallantry in action.

C I T A T I O N

      ALBERT J. FROST, 01307533, First Lieutenant, 143d Infantry Regiment, for gallantry in action on 1 June 1944 in Italy.  Lieutenant Frost, leader of the weapons platoon of company C, was instructed to support the 3d Platoon, in an attack against strongly fortified enemy positions.  The heavily wooded terrain afforded poor observation, and Lieutenant Frost determined to move forward and lay a wire line for a sound power phone in order to direct mortar fire on the hostile emplacements.  He advanced under intense artillery, mortar and small arms fire until he reached the 3d Platoon positions.  When he was told that the platoon leader had been wounded and evacuated, he immediately assumed command and led the men forward through barbed wire entanglements, pressing on against stubborn enemy resistance.  When the platoon was ordered to retire under the intense hostile fire, Lieutenant Frost, although wounded by a hurtling shell fragment, directed an orderly withdrawal, then reorganized the platoon and held the new positions until the unit was relieved.  His gallant actions reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.  Entered the Service from Woodbury, New Jersey.

JOHN E. DAHLQUIST
Major General, U. S. Army
Commanding

______________________________

A letter to Mrs. Frost from Chaplain Arbuthnot, concerning Lt. Frost’s death.

Office of the Chaplain
143rd Infantry A.P.O. 36
c/o Postmaster, New York, N.Y.

17 January 1945

Re:  1st Lt. Albert G. Frost, 0-1307533

Mrs. Anna Frost
555 Lincoln Street,
Woodbury, New Jersey.

Dear Mrs. Frost:

As Chaplain of the unit in which your son served so well I want to tell you briefly the circumstances of his death.  I realize I cannot even attempt to allay your sorrow but as spiritual advisor to the men, Albert was one of “my boys” and his friends and I share your loss.

In the stress of war one is not permitted to tell very much.  His burial place cannot even be divulged at this time though you may write to The Quartermaster General, ASF, Washington, D.C. and receive its location later.  Here is an extract from the official narrative, the only approved information:  1st Lt. Frost was the Commanding Officer of Company “A”.  On 14 December 1944, the company was holding an Alsatian town against increasing enemy opposition. Lt. Frost started to leave the Company Command Post when a burst of enemy machine gun fire hit him.  Lt. Frost was killed instantly.

After Albert’s death he was interred with the rites of his religion by a Hebrew Chaplain.  We all stand humbly with heads bowed before this soldierly example of the supreme sacrifice for a cause that must and will survive.  To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

Our Father who giveth life and returneth it unto Himself, has been faithful and present to Albert; and I hope that your courage, though tested, may be deepened and strengthened with the assurance of the resurrection of all faithful souls.

Sincerely yours,
Charles W. Arbuthnot, Jr.
CHARLES W. ARBUTHNOT, JR.
Chaplain, 143rd Infantry.

______________________________

Lt. Frost’s Purple Heart Citation.

______________________________

The reason for the absence of Lt. Frost’s name from records of Jewish WW II military casualties became clear after searching Ancestry.com.  Lt. Frost’s “National Jewish Welfare Board – Bureau of War Records” index card, on which was recorded information which would – in theory – have been the basis for his record in 1947’s American Jews in World War Two, had been stamped “NO PUBLICITY”. 

He was to remain anonymous.  Thus, his name would not appear in that book.

Lt. Frost’s very brief – almost enigmatic – obituary appeared in The Jewish Exponent, on September 24, 1948.

The Jewish Exponent
September 24, 1948

Lt. Albert G. Frost

Services for First Lieutenant Albert G. Frost were held Sunday at Asher-Berschler’s, 1927 N. Broad St.  Internment was at Mr. Sharon Cemetery.  He was killed in France on December 14, 1944.  His Parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Frost, of 333 Lincoln St., Woodbury, N.J., survive.

______________________________

Gendler, William, PFC, 32544532, Purple Heart (Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen)
United States Army, 78th Infantry Division, 309th Infantry Regiment, E Company
Mr. and Mrs. Louis and Dora F. Gendler (parents), 17870 Montgomery Ave., New York, N.Y.
Born Bronx, N.Y., 1913
Place of burial unknown Casualty List 2/20/45
American Jews in World War II – 319

Goldstein
, Charles J., PFC, 36840619, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart

United States Army, 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Max Goldstein (father), 4905 North Kimball Ave., Chicago, Il.
(Also Bronx, N.Y.?)
Kinishiner Cemetery, Forest Park, Il.
American Jews in World War II – 101

Greenblatt
, Harry, Pvt., 42126718, Purple Heart (Germany)

United States Army, 95th Infantry Division, 377th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Julianna Greenblatt (wife), 402 Williams Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1916
Place of burial unknown
War Department Release 2/12/45
Casualty Lists 1/26/45, 2/13/45
American Jews in World War II – 335;

Handel
, Asher Arnold, PFC, 12221153, Purple Heart (Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen)

United States Army, 78th Infantry Division, 310th Infantry Regiment, C Company
Mr. and Mrs. Sol Z. and Etta Handel (parents), 136 Wallace Ave., Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Born Mount Vernon, N.Y., 1926
Place of burial unknown
Casualty List 2/27/45
American Jews in World War II – 340


Katsev
, Bentsel, Pvt. (Saldus, Latvia)

16th Lithuanian Rifle Division, 167th Infantry Brigade
Born 1915
Mr. Israel Katsev (father), Pvt. Moshe Katsev (brother)
Place of burial unknown
Road to Victory – 285

Kaufman
, Henry L., S/Sgt., 32296100, Purple Heart

United States Army, 77th Infantry Division, 305th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Bessie Kaufman (relationship unknown), 942 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y.
David M. Gottlieb (brother in law)
Born 1914
Mount Judah Cemetery, Cypress Hills, N.Y. – Section 2, Block 2, Grave 068, Path R07, Chaim Berlin Society – Buried 5/1/49
Casualty List 3/31/45
American Jews in World War II – 359


Krevsky
, Herman J., Pvt., 12206509, Purple Heart

United States Army, 87th Infantry Division, 346th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Rose Z. Krevsky (mother), 223 3rd St., Elizabeth, N.J.
Born 1925
Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France – Plot K, Row 12, Grave 5
Casualty List 2/15/45
American Jews in World War II – 243


Kushner
, Ruben, Pvt., 32631835, Purple Heart

United States Army, 778th Tank Battalion, Headquarters Company
Mrs. Fannie Kushner (mother), 14-12 Charlotte St., New York, N.Y.
Born 1922
Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, N.Y. – Section A, Block 6, Chev. Bain Abraham A. Treistiner Society – Buried 9/12/48
Casualty List 2/13/45
American Jews in World War II – 370

Libkovitz
, Benyamin, Pvt. (Jaunberze, Latvia)

16th Lithuanian Rifle Division, 249th Infantry Brigade
Born 1912
Mr. Tuvia Libkovitz (father)
Place of burial unknown
Road to Victory – 296

Rappaport
, Manley Samuel, PFC, 12227002, Purple Heart (France, Petit Rederching)

United States Army, 87th Infantry Division, 347th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Sadie Rappaport (mother), 90-34 214th St., Queens Village, N.Y.
Born 1/6/26 or 4/8/25
Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Glendale, N.Y. – Block PK, Section 27, Plot 25, Line Rear, Grave 3, West End Society
Casualty List 2/20/45
New York Times Memorial Section 12/14/45, 12/14/46
New York Times Obituary section 1/6/49
American Jews in World War II
– 410


Reingold
, Frank, PFC, 12206588, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart

United States Army, 87th Infantry Division, 347th Infantry Regiment, K Company
Mr. and Mrs. Irving and Anna Reingold (parents), 289 Weequahic Ave., Newark, N.J.
Born 1/5/26
King Solomon Memorial Park, Clifton, N.J.
Casualty List 2/17/45
American Jews in World War II – 249


Saltzman
, Max (Mordekhai bar Moredekhai), S/Sgt., 33338623, Purple Heart (Germany)

United States Army, 83rd Infantry Division, 329th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Rosa (Stutman) Saltzman (wife), Philadelphia, Pa.
Mrs. Dora Saltzman (mother) [5/25/86-2/2/76], 5929 York Road, Philadelphia, Pa.
Born Odessa, Russia, 3/10/18
Montefiore Cemetery, Jenkintown, Pa. – Section I, Lot 464-A, Grave 1; Buried 4/15/48
Philadelphia Inquirer 4/14/48
American Jews in World War II
– 548

Shamitz, Joseph, Cpl., 35711928, Purple Heart
United States Army, 87th Infantry Division, 347th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Herman Shamitz (father), 200 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y.
Lt. Milton Shamitz (brother), Mrs. Lothar Davids (sister), Great Neck, N.Y.
Born 1/2/22
Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Philadelphia Inquirer 3/3/45, 3/12/45
Philadelphia Record 3/21/45
New York Times Memorial Section 12/14/46
American Jews in World War II – 439

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Civilians (Killed during German V-2 ballistic missile strike on Brownlow Road, London)

Members of the Belasco family – mother and two daughters – at 139 Brownlow Road, Southgate, England.  All listed in Metropolitan Borough of Southgate, Section of the Civilian War Dead Register

Belasco, Estelle Esther
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Sarah (Harris) Belasco (parents), Marion Belasco (sister)
Born 1924

Belasco, Marion
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Sarah (Harris) Belasco (parents), Estelle Esther Belasco (sister)
Born 1932

Belasco, Sarah (Harris)
Mr. Samuel Belasco (husband); Estelle Esther and Marion (daughters); Mr. and Mrs. Henry and Matilda Harris (parents)
Born 1899

This image shows a 2016 Google (…what else but Google…?) Street View of Brownlow Road, with a view of houses along the Road’s “130” section.

The location of Brownlow Road relative to central London, with Google Maps’ ubiquitous red pointer designating 139 Brownlow Road.

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Killed (non-battle)

Cohn (Cohen?), Herbert Shelton, Ensign, Fighter Pilot (Died of injuries in training in United States)
United States Navy, VF-98 (Fighter Squadron 98)
Mr. Morris Cohen (father), 7444 Georgia Ave., Northwest, Washington, D.C.
Born 1923
Aircraft: F4U-1D Corsair, Bureau Number 82239
From War Diary of “Comwest Seafron 251” at Fold3.com: “Crashed on final approach 500 yards west of Ventura County Airport.  The pilot, Ens. Herbert S. Cohn, was severely injured.  The plane was a complete loss.”
Place of Burial unknown
Aviation Archeology Database of United States Navy F4U Corsair Accident Reports
American Jews in World War II – 76

Prisoners of War (Europe)

Gelb, Emanuel S., Sgt., 32172295
United States Army, 36th Infantry Division, 143rd Infantry Regiment, A Company
POW at Stalag 13C (Hammelburg Main)
Mr. Isaac Gelb (father), 909 Beck St., Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1914
Casualty Lists 4/24/45, 6/7/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Gordon
, Gerald Stanford, PFC, 16146591, Medical Corps, Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart

United States Army, 36th Infantry Division, 143rd Infantry Regiment, Medical Detachment
POW at Stalag 7A (Moosburg)
Mrs. Lillian Ruth (Rosen) Gordon (wife), 515 Noyes St., Saint Joseph, Mo.
Mr. Harold Gordon (father), 306 Victorian Court, Saint Joseph, Mo.
Cpl. Mark Gordon (brother), Elkhart, In.
Jewish Post (Indianapolis) 10/19/45, 11/16/45
American Jews in World War II – 211

Raiken
, Nathan I., Pvt., 13129798 (Captured in France)

United States Army
POW at Stalag 7A (Moosburg)
Mrs. Frances Raiken (wife), Sherrie Ellen Raiken (daughter), 1929 S. 7th St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Mrs. Ethel Raiken (mother), 1713 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born Philadelphia, Pa., 8/11/22
Philadelphia Inquirer 6/12/45
Philadelphia Record 4/26/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Prisoners of War (Asia)

Levine, Joseph, 1 Lt., 0-811683, Bombardier, Bronze Star Medal
United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 25th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Lillian Levine (wife), 2065 Dean St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Prisoner of War, “Burma #5” (Moulmein & Rangoon Jail)
MACR 10378, B-29 42-24457; “Battlin’ Beauty”; Pilot: Capt. Cornelius C. Meyer; 12 crewmen – all survived
40th Bomb Group Memories: Mission of December 14, 1944, by Norman Larsen
25th Bomb Squadron, 40th Bomb Group Crew List
40th Bomb Group Prisoners of War: 1944-1945
American Jews in World War II
– 377

Battlin’ Beauty“, from the 40th Bomb Group website.

The nose art of “Battlin’ Beauty”, from the 40th Bomb Group website.

This is Joseph Levine’s postwar Casualty Questionnaire concerning the December 14, 1944, loss of Battlin’ Beauty, and three other 40th Bomb Group B-29s (42-24574, 42-93831, and 42-24726) during the Group’s mission to Rangoon. 

Paul, Chester E., 1 Lt., 0-807505, Co-Pilot, Air Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 45th Bomb Squadron
Prisoner of War, “Burma #5” (Moulmein & Rangoon Jail)
Mrs. Shirley (Bagley) Paul (wife), 130-33 226th St., Laurelton, N.Y.
Mr. Henry Paul (father), 130-65 225th St., Laurelton, N.Y.
MACR 10377, B-29A 42-93831; “Queenie”; Pilot: 1 Lt. Wayne W. Treimer; 11 crewmen – 6 survivors
40th Bomb Group Memories: Mission of December 14, 1944, by Norman Larsen
25th Bomb Squadron, 40th Bomb Group Crew List
40th Bomb Group Prisoners of War: 1944-1945
Brooklyn Eagle 8/15/45
Long Island Daily Press 7/28/43, 8/17/43, 7/25/44
The Aluminum Trail – 316
American Jews in World War II – 403

Queenie“, from the 40th Bomb Group website.

The nose art of “Queenie“, from the 40th Bomb Group website.

In 1945, Co-Pilot Norman Larsen wrote this remarkable account covering the loss of Queenie, and the fate of his fellow crewmen.  In April of 1990, Issue # 32 of the 40th Bomb Group Memories published the “other half” of Mr. Larsen’s story:  His account of his experiences as a POW of the Japanese, particularly including his sentence of “execution” by the Japanese.  A link to his story is given above.

Wounded

Gottlieb, Gerald Jerome, Pvt., Purple Heart (Germany)
United States Army
Born 1925
Mr. Harry Gottlieb (father), 72-72 112th St., Forest Hills, N.Y.
Long Island Star Journal 3/9/45
American Jews in World War II – 332

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Kozower, Sanford U., PFC, Medical Corps, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart (Europe)
United States Army
Wounded while administering first aid amidst enemy small arms and mortar fire
Mr. Abraham Kozower (father), 25-40 31st Ave., Long Island City, N.Y.
Born 1925
Pre-Medical Student at Temple University
Casualty List 4/19/45
Long Island Star Journal 2/4/39, 4/12/45, 4/18/45
American Jews in World War II – 367

From the Long Island Star Journal, April 12, 1945…

Private Kozower, 20-year-old medical corpsman of the 7th Army, was cited for the calm and efficient manner in which he administered first aid to members of his armored infantry unit during an advance in the face of enemy mortar and small arms fire on Dec. 14.

“His courage and devotion to duty were of substantial aid in the expeditious evacuation of wounded personnel,” according to the citation accompanying the award.”

Overseas since last October, Private Kozower was a pre-medical student at Temple University, Philadelphia, prior to his induction in August, 1943.

The son of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Kozower, he is a graduate of Public School 5, Astoria, and Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan.

______________________________

Steinberg, Hyman, Pvt., Purple Heart (Europe)
United States Army
Mrs. Yetta Steinberg (wife), 300 North Fulton Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Mr. Samuel Steinberg (father), 2012 Linden Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Baltimore Jewish Times 3/23/45
American Jews in World War II – 145

Acknowledgements

     I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Susan Frost, and, Steven and Linda Korsin, for sharing documents concerning Lieutenant Albert Frost.  Without their help, Lt. Frost’s story and courage would have remained untold.

References

The Forward (at National Library of Israel)

Historical Jewish Press at the National Library of Israel (at National Library of Israel)

V-Weapon Attacks on Enfield (at Terror From the Sky)

40th Bomb Group History and Memorabilia (at 40th BombGroup.org)

Dublin, Louis I., and Kohs, Samuel C., American Jews in World War II – The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom, The Dial Press, New York, N.Y., 1947

Leivers, Dorothy (Editing and Revisions), Road to Victory – Jewish Soldiers of the 16th Lithuanian Division, 1941-1945, Avotaynu, Bergenfield, N.J., 2009

Morris, Henry, Edited by Hilary Halter, We Will Remember Them – A Record of the Jews Who Died in the Armed Forces of the Crown 1939 – 1945 – An Addendum, AJEX, United Kingdom, London, 1994

Quinn, Chick Marrs, The Aluminum Trail – China-Burma-India World War II 1942-1945 – How and Where They Died, Chick Marrs Quinn, 1989 (Privately Printed)

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: TM3C Jerome Ernest Faber

Previously, blog posts covering Jewish military casualties reported in The New York Times have covered men who served in the United States Army, whether in the Army ground forces, or Army Air Force. 

This post is different, for it concerns a member of the United States Navy.

On July 22, 1945, the Times published an obituary for Torpedoeman’s Mate Third Class Jerome Ernest Faber, a crewman of the U.S.S. Longshaw (DD-559), a Destroyer lost off Okinawa on May 18.

The Longshaw, a Fletcher-Class destroyer commissioned on December 4, 1943.  The ship served in the Hollandia, Marianas, Western Carolinas, Leyte, Luzon, and Iwo Jima Operations, ultimately taking part in the invasion of Okinawa, where she arrived on March 25, providing naval gunfire against Japanese ground targets in support of American troops.

On May 18, after a four-day interval of continuous support of American ground forces on the island, she became trapped – at 0719 hours – on an undersea coral reef.  At 1101 hours, almost immediately after the tug U.S.S. Arikari (ATF 98) arrived and attempted to take the destroyer in tow, Japanese coastal artillery straddled the sea between the Arakari and Longshaw.  Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Clarence W. Becker, the destroyer fired back, but soon after received a direct hit in her forward magazine, which exploded, blowing off the ship’s bow and devastating the vessel.  Half her officer compliment, Lt. Cdr. Becker among them, and 66 sailors were killed. 

Between 1105 and 1115 an “abandon ship” order was relayed among the destroyer crew by word of mouth, and by 1200 hours, Infantry landing craft LCI(M)-356 evacuated survivors.  After those crewmen (7 of whom later died of wounds) had been taken off the vessel or rescued, the ship was by sunk – later the same day – by gunfire and torpedoes from American ships.

______________________________

An image of the Longshaw (date unknown) from Wikimedia commons.

______________________________

The Longshaw, after the explosion of her forward magazine.  This photograph, from Navsource.org, was taken by RM2C David M. Nelson of LCI(M)-356.

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Another image of the mortally wounded Longshaw, from Navsource.org.  This image was also taken by RM2C David M. Nelson.

Bronx Petty Officer Is Killed Off Okinawa

Torpedoman’s Mate 3C Jerome Ernest Faber, formerly of 3504 Rochambeau Avenue, the Bronx, a member of the crew of the U.S.S. Longshaw and credited with thirteen engagements in the Pacific Theatre, was killed in action off Okinawa on May 18, when his ship was shelled and sunk after being caught on a coral reef, according to word received by his mother, Mrs. Siegfried Faber of 3509 Eleventh Street, N.W., Washington.  He was 19 years old.

Before entering the Navy in 1943, he was employed by the Allied Typographical Company, here.  He went to sea the following year.

Torpedoeman Faber, serial number 7111868, was born in New York, New York, to Siegfried and Josephine Faber on August 3, 1925.  His siblings included sisters Beatrice Weinberg and Esther Francisco, and brother Bernard.

A notice commemorating Torpedoeman Faber appeared in the Memorial Section of the New York Times obituary pages on April 2, 1949.  According to the FindAGrave website, a commemorative headstone exists for him at Cedar Park Cemetery, in Paramus, New Jersey. 

______________________________

A 2016 Google Maps (what else?!…) image of 3504 Rochambeau Avenue in the Bronx, the original home of the Faber family.

______________________________

Some other Jewish military casualties on Friday, May 18, 1945, include…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

“No one has heard from him or any of the others with him.”

A newspaper article about Seaman First Class Murray Kushner – also a casualty on the Longshaw – appeared in the Herald Statesman (Yonkers), located through Tom Tyrinski’s FultonHistory website, is presented below, followed by his biographical information.

Kushner, Murray, S1C, 9081610, Purple Heart (Killed off Okinawa)
United States Navy, USS Longshaw (DD-559)
Mrs. Shirley Marilyne (Friedman) Kushner (wife), 74 Post St., Yonkers, N.Y.  (Married 6/29/41)
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
http://www.lonesailor.org
Casualty Lists 7/8/45, 8/10/45
The Herald Statesman (Yonkers) 7/12/45, 7/27/45
American Jews in World War Two – 370

______________________________

Levinson, Gabriel R., 2 Lt., 0-785639, Bombardier, Air Medal, Purple Heart, 5 Missions
United States Army Air Force, 5th Air Force, 43rd Bomb Group, 65th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Alice R. (Lotker) Levinson (wife), 35-20 190th St., Flushing, N.Y.
Mr. Max Levinson (father); David and Shirley (brother and sister), Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1921
Studied physics at Penn State University
MACR 14531, B-24J 42-109684; “Smitty, Jr.”, Pilot: 2 Lt. Charles R. Wilt; 11 crewmen – 7 survivors
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Casualty Lists 6/14/45, 3/22/46
Long Island Star Journal 6/15/45, 3/20/46
New York Sun 9/15/43
American Jews in World War Two – 378

Lt. Levinson was one of the four aviators who lost their lives after bailing out of Second Lieutenant Charles R. Wilt’s B-24J Liberator Smitty, Jr., during a mission to Tainan, Formosa.  The plane was struck by flak, and possibly debris from the destruction of the 65th Bomb Squadron’s lead aircraft, B-24M 44-42358, piloted by 1 Lt. James J. Franklin (from whose crew of 11 there were no survivors).  Lt. Wilt’s crew parachuted over the South China sea, south of the city of Takao.

(A search of Fold3.com’s MACR database reveals no Missing Air Crew Report for Lt. Franklin’s plane and crew.  However, the crew’s names can be found in the KensMen Casualty List.)

The Missing Air Crew Report for Smitty, Jr., covers the loss of plane in very great detail, through statements given by the seven survivors after their rescue by Navy PBY (Catalina) seaplanes.  While all eleven crewmen were witnessed – in mid-air- to have opened their parachutes none of the four missing men were seen afterwards.

Like some MACRs for aircraft lost at sea, for which some (but not all) of the crew were rescued, next-of-kin information is only listed for casualties, not airmen who survived.  Thus, MACR 14351 gives next-of-kin and address information only for Lt. Levinson, Lt. Straeck (Co-Pilot), and Cpls. Stauffer and Christensen (gunners).

These first two pages summarize details about how the plane and crew, and provide a very brief description about how the plane was lost.

An eyewitness account of the crew’s bail-out and rescue, from flight engineer Cpl. Billie J. Cole.

A list of Smitty, Jr.’s four lost crewmen.

This small-scale map shows the general location of the bail-out from Smitty, Jr.

______________________________

Rudsten, Leon Samuel, PFC, 926304, Purple Heart (Okinawa)
United States Marine Corps, 6th Marine Division, 29th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, G Company
Mr. Philip Rudsten (father), 23 Angell St., Dorchester, Ma.
Born 5/2/24
Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii – Plot N-1344; Buried 3/2/49
http://www.sixthmarinedivision.com/14.html
American Jews in World War Two – 177

Tauss, Martin William, PFC, 902748, Purple Heart (Okinawa)
United States Marine Corps, 6th Marine Division, 29th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, H Company
Mr. and Mrs. Sam and Lillian Tauss (parents), 676 Water St., New York, N.Y.
Born 8/10/25
Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, N.Y.
Casualty Lists 6/23/45, 7/8/45
American Jews in World War Two – 460

Wounded

Nirenberg, Albert A., S/Sgt., 33341122 (Wounded on Okinawa)
United States Army
Mr. Charles Nirenberg (father), 2635 N. 31st St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 12/24/21; Died 7/19/03
Jewish Exponent 7/13/45
Philadelphia Bulletin 7/2/45
Philadelphia Record 7/3/45
American Jews in World War Two – 541

References

USS Longshaw (at Hazegray.org)

USS Longshaw (at NavSource Naval History)

USS Longshaw (at U.S.S. Salt Lake City (CA25) (Heavy Cruiser))

USS Longshaw (at Wikipedia)

USS Longshaw (at Wrecksite)

USS Longshaw Casualty List – 86 names, with serial numbers and next-of-kin information (at Wrecksite)

Dublin, Louis I., and Kohs, Samuel C., American Jews in World War II – The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom, The Dial Press, New York, N.Y., 1947

Roscoe, Theodore, Tin Cans – The True Story of the Fighting Destroyers of World War II, Bantam Books, New York, N.Y., 1968

Infantry Against Tanks: A German Jewish Soldier at Cambrai, November, 1917

Stories and depictions of World War One combat, composed both during and after the “Great War”, are abundantly available in print and on the web. 

A fascinating source of such accounts – but even moreso a source particularly; poignantly ironic – is the newspaper Der Schild, which was published by the association of German-Jewish war veterans, the “Reichsbundes Jüdischer Frontsoldaten”, from January of 1922 through late 1938, the latter date paralleling the disbandment of the RjF.  Der Schild is available as 35mm microfilm at the Dorot Jewish Division of the New York Public Library, and in digital format through Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.  

The screen-shot below shows the Goethe University’s catalog entry for Der Schild, which allows for immediate and direct access of the library’s holdings of the newspaper.  All years of the publication, with the exception of 1924, are available; all as PDFs. 

Of equal (greater?!) importance, accessing digital holdings is as simple as it is intuitive (and easy, too!)  In effect and intent, this is a very well designed website!  This is shown through this screen-shot, presenting holdings of Der Schild for 1933. 

The total digitized holdings of Der Schild in the Goethe University’s collection comprise approximately 530 issues.  “Gaps” do exist, with 1922 comprising only four issues (9, 10, 13, and 14) and 1923 comprising three issues (14, 15, and 17).  However, holdings for all years commencing with 1925 are – I believe – complete, through the final issue (number 44, published November 4, 1938).

Not unexpectedly, Der Schild’s content shed’s fascinating and retrospectively haunting light on Jewish life in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s; on Jewish genealogy; on the military service of German Jews (not only in the First World War but the Franco-Prussian War as well), often focusing on Jewish religious services at “the Front”, rather than “combat”, per se (see the issue of April 3, 1936, with its cover article “Pesach vor Verdun”); on occasion about Jewish military service in the Allied nations during “The Great War”(1); on Jewish history, literature, and religion; on Jewish life and Jewish news outside of Germany.

There is much to be explored.

While reviewing Der Schild at the New York Public Library, I discovered a front-page article – published less than a year before the newspaper’s final issue – which was particularly striking both in its content and prominence:  An account of an infantry battle against British tanks, at Cambrai, France, in November of 1917.  Certainly Der Schild carried innumerable articles – lengthy and brief – about the military service of German Jews, but these items were not always so boldly displayed as one might assume.  The prominence of this article prompted curiosity and in turn, an attempt at translation.  Which, is presented below.

Unlike the letter of Martin Feist, Carl Anker’s article neither carries nor imparts any deep spiritual insights or moral messages. 

It is simply an utterly direct story about a battle now almost a century gone by.

Erinnerungen an die
Tankschlacht bei Cambrai

Memories of the
Tank Battle at Cambrai

Der Schild
December 10, 1937

Unser Kam. Carl Anker, Hamburg, überlässt uns freundlicherweise seine interessanten Erinnerungen aus der grossen Durchbruchs-Schlacht bei Cambrai 1917 nach seinen Kriegstagebuch-Aufzeichnungen.

Our comrade, Carl Anker, of Hamburg, kindly leaves his interesting memoirs from the great breakthrough battle at Cambrai in 1917 according to the notes in his war diary.

In der Nacht vom 16 zum 17 November kamen wir, die 8. Komp. I.R. 84, von Noyelles nach vorne auf Wache.  Ich hatte einen Unteroffizier-Posten, also mit 6 Mann eine Wache für mich.  Um 8 Uhr abends kamen wir an, um 1 Uhr zog ich mit meinen 6 Mann nach __rne in die Feldwache.  Drei Löcher, jedes für 2 Mann, in Abständen von ca. 30-40 Schritt, nahmen uns auf.  Ich, als Wachthabender, hatte beständig von Loch zu Loch zu patrouillieren; dieses Vergnügen dauerte bis früh um 7 ½ Uhr.  Dann wurde es so hell, dass man von hinten Uebersicht über das gesamte Gelände hatte, und wir zogen uns auf ein anderes grösseres Loch, das “Gruppennest” ca. 20 Schritte weiter hinten zurück und blieben dort von früh um 7 ½ bis abends 6 Uhr: – dann wurde es wieder so dunkel, dass die Posten besetzt werden mussten.  Vom Greppennest wurde durch einen Mann Posten gestanden; von hier aus ging auch ein Verbindungsgraben nach hinten, – ca. 600 m zur Feldwache -, wo ein tiefer Unterstand mit dem Wachthabenden und der Ablösung lag.  Von abends 6 Uhr lagen wir wieder vorne auf Posten,

In the night of the 16th to 17th of November we arrived, the 8th Company, 84th Infantry Regiment, forward on guard from Noyelles.  I had a non-commissioned officer’s station, with 6 men on guard duty for me.  We arrived at eight o’clock in the evening; at 1 o’clock I went with my 6 men to the field guard.  Three holes, each for two men, in intervals of about 30-40 paces, were taken by us.  I, [keeping watch], had to patrol constantly from hole to hole; this pleasure lasted until early in the morning at 7:30 hours.  Then it was so bright, that we had an overview of the whole terrain from behind, and we moved to another larger hole, the “group nest” about 20 paces farther back, and stayed there from early morning at 7: 30 to 6 o’clock in the evening: – then it was again so dark again, that the posts had to be occupied.  A man stood post by the group nest; from here a connecting trench also went to the rear – about 600 meters to the field guard -, where there was a deep dugout with the guard and the detachment.  From the evening at 6 o’clock we were again located at the post,

ca. 49 Schritte vom englischen Graben entfernt.

about 49 steps from the English trench.

Nach Einsetzen der Dunkelheit erhielten wir Verpflegung.  Um 1 Uhr Nachts kam unsere Ablösung von der Feldwache, nachdem wir also 24 Stunden vorne gewesen.

After darkness we received food.  At 1 o’clock in the evening, our detachment came from the field guard, after we had been at the front for 24 hours.

Zwei mal 7 Stunden hintereinander auf Posten, ohne Bewegung, lautlos, in denkbar nächster Nähe des Gegners, am Tage ein Lager auf hartem Brett, in freier Luft, nur ein Stück Wellblech gegen Regen über dem Körper!  Nicht rauchen, tagsüber der Qualm, nachts der Feuerschein!

Two times seven hours in a row, without a movement, silently, in the immediate vicinity of the enemy, in the day camping on a hard plank, in the open air, only a piece of corrugated iron over the body against the rain!  Do not smoke, smoke during the day, the fire at night!

In der nacht vom 17. zum 18. wurde ich also abgelöst, kam kurz nach 1 Uhr in der Feldwache an und konnte bis früh um 6 Uhr schlafen.  Da wurde alles alarmiert.  Eine Gewaltspatrouille kam zur Durchführung.  Lt. Hegermann, Lt. Störzel, am Tage vorher befordert, und noch einige andere Offiziere leiteten die Sache.  Artillerie, Minen- und Granatwerfer riegelten das betreffende englische Grabenstück ab, die Patrouille drang vor, sprengte den Draht und brachte einen Vizefeldwebel und 6 Mann als Gefangene zurück.  Wir selbst verloren Lt. Störzel als Toten und mehrere Verwundete.  Der Gegner erwiderte unser Feuer sehr lebhaft, und auf einmal kam von vorne der Befehl: “Verstärkung nach vorne, der Feind macht einen Gegenangriff.”  Ich musste mit meinen 6 Mann vor, stürmte los, traf aber unterwegs schon die zurückkehrende Patrouille mit den Gefangenen – die Verstärkung sei nicht mehr nötig.  Also wieder zurück.  Hpt. Soltau verhörte die Gefangenen, die bald nach hinten abgeschoben wurden, und nach einer weiteren Stunde Alarmbereitschaft hatten wir den Tag über wieder Ruhe.

In the night of the 17th to the 18th, I was relieved, came to the field guard shortly after one o’clock, and could sleep until early at 6 o’clock.  Everything was alerted.  A violent patrol came to pass.  Lt. Hegermann, Lt. Störzel, who had been summoned the day before, and still a few other officers lead the affair.  Artillery, mines, and mortars cordoned off the English trench, the patrol pushed forward, pulled the wire, and returned with a non-commissioned-officer and six men as prisoners.  We ourselves lost Lt. Störzel (2) as dead and several wounded.  The enemy repulsed our fire very vigorously, and suddenly the command came from the front: “Reinforcements forward, the enemy is making a counter-attack.”  I had to go forward with my 6 men, storm, but on the way I met the returning patrol with the prisoners – the reinforcement was no longer necessary.  So back again.  Soltau interrogated the prisoners, who were soon shuffled off to the rear, and after a further hour on high alert, we had the rest of the day.

In der Nacht vom 18. zum 19. November musste ich um 1 Uhr nach vorne zur Ablösung.  Die Nacht war ruhig, es fiel fast kein Schuss.  Am 19. früh 9 Uhr, während wir im Gruppennest standen, bemerkte ich 2 Engländer an ihrem Drahtverhau.  Am hellen Tage gingen sie aufrecht herum – für uns unfassbar.  Ich beobachtete sie eine Zeitlang und vertrieb sie dann durch ein paar Schüsse.

In the night from the 18th to the 19th of November, I had to move forward at 1 am.  The night was quiet, there were almost no shots.  On the morning of the 19th, at nine o’clock, while we were standing at the group nest, I noticed two Englishmen at their wire entanglement.  In the bright of the day they walked upright – for us incomprehensible.  I watched them for a time, and then drove a few shots through them.

Mittags um 12 Ich war unruhig geworden, verliess mich nicht auf meinen Posten, sondern passte selbst auf und sah wieder 5 Mann am Draht herumlaufen.  Ob sie die von unserer Patrouille gesprengte Lücke besichtigen oder ausbessern wollten oder was sonst, ich wusste es nicht.  Ich alarmierte meine Leute, und wir gaben eine ruhig gezielte Salve ab, worauf sie verschwanden.  Ich meldete den Vorfall sofort nach hinten.

At 12 o’clock I was restless, did not leave my post, but took care of myself and saw another five men running around the wire.  Whether they wanted to see or repair the gap exploded by our patrol, or what else, I did not know.  I alerted my people, and we gave a quiet salvo, whereupon they disappeared.  I immediately reported back the incident.

Um 6 Uhr abends am 19. zogen wir wieder auf Posten.  Bald kam der Feldwachhabende, Vizef. Sörensen und meldete mir, hinten sei alles

At 6 o’clock in the evening on the 19th, we moved back to the post.  Soon came the field guard on duty, Senior NCO Sörensen (3), and told me, that everything behind was

in allerhöchster Alarmbereitschaft.

in very high alertness.

Beobachtungen und die Aussagen der Gefangenen liessen vermuten, dass für den kommenden Morgen ein grosser Angriff bevorstände.  Die Gräben seien voll, alle Reserven seien herangezogen, auch alle höheren Stäbe etc. seien weit nach vorne geschoben.  Dabei gab er mir gleich Instruktion, bei einem Infanterie-Angriff unbedingt zu halten, bei Artillerie-Feuer mich langsam zurückzuziehen.  Na, dachte ich, denn man los!  Aber die Nacht auf den 20. verlief wieder absolut ruhig.  Um 1 Uhr wurde ich abgelöst und fand die Feldwache dicht an dicht besetzt.  Hptm. Christiansen, der unsere Kompagnie übernehmen sollte, Lt. Simon und viele Leute hatten jeden Winkel dicht besetzt.  So gut es ging, hockte ich mich mit meinen Leuten irgwendo hin zum Schlafen.

Observations and the statements of the prisoners suggested that a major attack would take place on the coming morning.  The trenches were full, all the reserves were drawn up, and all the higher staff, etc., were pushed far forward.  At the same time, he gave me the instruction, to hold on to an infantry attack, to retire slowly with artillery fire.  Well, I thought, because you go!  But the night on the 20th proceeded perfectly quiet again.  At 1 o’clock I was relieved and found the field guard closely packed.  Captain Christiansen, who was to take over our company, Lt. Simon, and many people had crowded [into] each corner.  As best I could, I crouched with my people to sleep.

Am 20. früh 6 Uhr alles raus, gefechtsbereit, Handgranaten, Munition, etc. …

On the morning of the 20th at 6 o’clock everything went out, ready at hand, hand grenades, ammunition, etc. …

Ich arbeitete Schützenstände aus, damit für den Fall eines Angriffs jeder Mann Licht- und Schussfeld habe.  Es blieb alles ruhig.  Um 7 Uhr hiess es, die Alarmbereitschaft sei zu Ende, die Leute könnon zur Ruhe gehen.  Ich sprach mit Vizef. Sörensen, na, nun sei es hell, und es sei nichts mehr zu befürchten, es sei wieder mal blinder Alarm gewesen.  Da, mitten im Satze – das werde ich wohl nie vergessen – wie ein einziger dauernder riesiger Blitzschlag in allernächster Nähe ein schlagartiger Angriff riesiger Artilleriemassen.  Alle Schüsse sausten über uns hinweg, gingen in unsere vorderste Linie und weiter nach hinten zu unseren Reserven und zur Artillerie.  Ich sah nach hinten.  Es war, als sei Weltuntergang, ein furchtbares Krachen und Sausen; der ganze Horizont war, trotzdem es schon hell war, blutig rot von den platzenden Granaten, berstenden Schrapnells.  Im Nu wurde durch diesen schlagartigen Angriff hinten alles zusammengeschossen, – es feuerte eine Unzahl Geschütze gleichzeitig und so andauernd, wie ich nie vorher gehört.  “Aha,” sagt Sörensen, “das ist die Vergeltung.”  “Nein,” sage ich, “das ist viel mehr, das ist der Angriff!”

I worked at gunnery stations, so that in the event of an attack every man had light and a shooting area.  Everything remained quiet.  At 7 o’clock it was said that the alert was over; the people could go to rest. I spoke with Senior NCO Sörensen, well, now it was bright, and there was nothing to fear, it was once again a blind alarm.  There, in the middle of the sentence – I shall never forget – like a single giant lightning bolt in the immediate vicinity, a sudden strike of giant artillery.  All the shots rushed over us, went into our front-most line, and farther back to our reserves and artillery.  I looked back.  It was as if there was an end of the world, a terrible crash and a whirl; the whole horizon was still bright, blood-red from the exploding shells, bursting shrapnel.  In an instant, this sudden attack brought everything back to the ground, firing an immense number of guns at the same time, as I never heard before.  “Ah,” said Sörensen, “that is the retribution.”  “No,” I say, “that is much more, that’s the attack!”

Unsere Leute waren von selbst alle heraus und auf ihren Ständen.  Das riesige, nicht zu überbietende Trommelfeuer hielt an; aber auf uns, die wir so weit vorne lagen, fiel nicht ein Schuss.  Plötzlich liefen von vorn auf uns Leute zu.  Unsere M.G.’s setzten mit rasender Schnelligkeit ein.  “Halt, halt!”, brüllte ich, “das sind ja unsere!”  Unsere Wachtposten von vorne kamen an, Sörensen stoppte unser M.G.-Feuer und die Leute kamen richtig zu uns in den Graben.

Our people were by themselves all out and on their [firing] stands.  The huge barrage [drum-fire], which was not to be surpassed, continued; but not a shot fell on us, who were so far ahead.  Suddenly people came running towards us.  Our machine guns set in with rapid speed.  “Stop, stop!” I yelled, “these are ours!”  Our guard posts came from the front, Sörensen stopped our machine gun fire and the people came to us right into the trench.

Wir standen und warteten.  Nichts als das andauernde ungeheure, fürchterliche Bombardement nach hinten.  Ich bereitete mich auf mein Ende vor; denn dass nach dieser kolossalen Vorbereitung ein gewaltiger Stoss erfolgen würde, war mir gewiss.  Die 3 Jahre Krieg zogen blitzschnell in Gedanken vorbei, – na, und dann stand ich da: schussbereit, totbereit.  Alles war ruhige.  Entschlossenheit, kalte Vernunft, zielbewusste Energie.

We stood and waited.  Nothing but the protracted, tremendous, terrible bombardment to the rear.  I prepared myself for my end; because after this colossal preparation, a tremendous blow would take place, I was certain.  The three years of war passed quickly, and then I stood there, ready to shoot, ready to kill.  Everything was quiet.  Determination, cold reason, purposeful energy.

Das Feuer liess nicht nach, es lag dauernd in unerhörter Stärke hinter uns.  Der Engländer musste hunderte Geschütze aufgefahren haben, die ohne Pause das entsetzlichste Trommerlfeuer unterhielten.

The fire did not stop; it was always behind us, in unheard of strength.  The Englishman had had to take hundreds of guns, which kept the most terrible barrage fire [drum fire] without pause.

Da tauchte vor uns aus Nebel und Rauch etwas Dunkles auf.

Then darkness, fog and smoke appeared in front of us.

Ich sah etwas Grosses Schwarzes.  “Das ist ein Tank” sagt Sörensen so ruhig wie nur was.  Wahrhaftig, jetzt erkenne ich es auch.  Langsam aber sicher schiebt sich das Ungeheuer feuernd und krachend auf uns zu, entsetzlich wie ein unabwendbares Verhängnis.  Unempfindlich gegen Kugeln und Handgranaten, ist es nur durch Artillerie-Volltreffer zu vernichten.  Es kommt näher, vielleicht 50 Schritt noch!  Ueber uns, ganz, ganz niedrig, kreisen die Flieger und bestreichen uns mit M.G.  Hilfe von hinten ist ausgeschlossen -: durch solch ein Sperr- und Vernichtungsfeuer kommt kein Hund lebendig!

I saw something large and black.  “This is a tank,” says Sörensen as quiet as that.  Now I also truly recognize it.  Slowly but surely, the monster is firing and crashing toward us, terrible as an inevitable doom.  Immune to bullets and hand grenades, it is only to be destroyed by artillery hits.  It comes closer, maybe no more than 50 paces!  Above us, all, very low, airplanes circle and spread machine gun fire.  Help from behind is impossible -: by such a block and destructive fire no dog comes [out] alive!

Da, jetzt endlich ist es Zeit!  In dichten Massen schreiten aufrecht hinter dem Tank, der sie völlig schützt, die Engländer.  Aber der geht an uns vorbei, mehr nach links, er geht geradezu seitlich an uns vorbei, so dass wir die Massen dahinter flankierend fassen können.  Natürlich, der Tank geht parallel mit unserem Graben direkt auf unsere Hauptstellung zu.

There, now finally it’s time!  In dense masses, the British are standing upright behind the tank, which protects them completely.  But it goes past us, more to the left; it goes to the side of us, so that the masses behind it can be flanked.  Of course, the tank goes directly to our main position parallel to our trench.

Nun, wir schossen, so lange wir Munition hatten.  Bald war der Tank links an uns voruber, die englische Infanterie also vor uns.  Gruppenweise kamen sie auf uns zu.  Ich nahm mir einen ihrer Führer, der sie mit der Hand auf uns zu dirigierte, aufs Korn.  Hinter uns lag noch immer das furchtbare Artilleriefeuer, von dem wir glücklicherweise garnichts abbekamen; rechts zog sich der Graben nach unserem Gruppennest.  Langsam rückten wir alle in dieser Richtung vor, immer im Graben entlang und feuernd.  Neben mir schrien Verwundete auf.  Wir bekamen jetzt starkes Infanteriefeuer.  Ich liege auf dem Grabenrand, ziele und schiesse dauernd; da fällt neben mir Sörensen herab; Schuss in die Schädeldecke.  Kein Ton, kein Laut.  Er wird blau im Gesicht, das Haar raucht vom warmen Blut.  Nun denke ich, einer nach dem anderen, heraus kommt hier keiner.

Well, we shot as long as we had ammunition.  Soon the tank was on our left; the English infantry before us.  They came to use in groups.  I took [killed] one of their leaders, who directed them to us with his hand.  Behind us still lay the terrific artillery-fire, which we were fortunate not to mention; to the right, the trench moved to our group nest.  Slowly we all advanced in this direction, always along the trench and firing.  Beside me, the wounded cried.  We are now given strong infantry fire.  I am lying on the edge of the ditch, aiming and shooting; Sörensen falls next to me; shot in the cranium. No sound, no sound.  He becomes blue in the face; the hair fumes of the warm blood.  Now I think, one by one, no one comes out here.

Bald hatten wir

Soon we had

keine Munition mehr.

no more ammunition.

Vor uns links bewegte sich der Tank vorwärts und ihm nach die Massen des Gegners; hinten lag dauernd das unheimliche Trommelfeuer, vor uns kam der Gegner in Gruppen heran.  Wir zogen uns nach rechts, also nach vorne zu, weiter.  So kamen wir bis fast ans Gruppennest.  Auch hier bereits alles voll vom Gegner.  Unsere Munition war ja verschossen.  Da, ein Ruck – und ein leichter Schmerz an der rechten Schulter…

In front of us, on the left, the tank moved forward, and after him the masses of the enemy; in the rear was the eerie barrage [drum] fire, before us the enemy came in groups.  We moved to the right, so forward.  So we came almost to the group nest.  Here too, everything is full of the enemy.  Our ammunition was gone.  There, a jerk – and a slight pain on the right shoulder …

In unserem Löchern sassen Gruppen des Gegners, die uns mit der Pistole in der Hand den Weg in ihren Graben wiesen…

There were groups of our opponents in our holes, who pointed at us with their pistols in their hands…

*

Ein anderer Kamerad, Dr. Caspary, Stettin, hat die Tankschlacht bei Cambrai beim Inf. Regt. 50 mitgemacht (S. Regt. Gesch. S. 280).  Er geriet mit seinen Leuten in die Gewalt der Engländer und wurde in einem der bekannten “Nester” gefangen gehalten, die eine Spezialität der Engländer waren.  Kam. Dr. Casparys Plan, mit den Seinen weider Verbindung aufzunehmen, gelang – wie er selbst berichtet – vornehmlich durch die Kaltblütigkeit eines seiner Krankenträger.  Zwar war die Situation mehr als schwierig, allein um so schöner der Erfolg, als er ausser der Befreiung noch die Gefangennahme von 3 englischen Offizieren, 46 Mann und 2 Maschinen-Gewehren einbrachte.

Another comrade, Dr. Caspary, Stettin, participated in the tank battles at Cambrai at the 50th Infantry Regiment.  He fell into the hands of the British with his men, and was imprisoned in one of the well-known “nests”, which were a specialty of the English.  Comrade Dr. Caspary’s plan to connect with his two partners was, as he himself reports, chiefly due to the cold-bloodedness of one of his patients.  The situation was more than difficult, but it was all the more successful when, besides the deliverance, he brought in as prisoners three English officers, 46 men, and two machine guns.

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I’ve been unable to find any record “Carl Anker” – or even an approximation of his name – in Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims Names.  This would suggest, though not definitively confirm, that he was able to escape Nazi Germany and perhaps German-Occupied Europe, “in time”.  To where, and when, is unknown.   

What happened to him after 1937? 

Notes

(1) See the issue of June 24, 1938, which includes coverage of the Evian Conference (as did three issues in July), and – on the first page – an illustrated article about the commemoration of a memorial to French Jewish soldiers fallen at the Battle or Verdun. 

(2) “Lt. Storzel” was probably Leutnant Georg Storzel, who is listed as having been killed on November 18, 1917.  He is buried at Kriegsgräberstätte in Neuville-St.Vaast (France), Block 1 Grab 516.

(3) “Sorensen” was probably Offiziersstellvertreter Friedrich Sørensen.  He was born in Haderslav, Denmark, on October 25, 1889.

These men were identified from reference works (listed below) available at denstorekrig1914-1918

The three images of displayed above are scans of photocopies made at the Dorot Jewish Division of the NYPL, Photoshop-“ed” for clarity.  Ironically, the quality of these images – derived from a physical media: paper, from a plain ‘ole microfilm photocopier – is better than that of the PDF available via the Goethe University’s Website.  Notably, the article is appropriately headed with a sketch of a British Mark I tank  (drawn by “Adam Zeichnung” and…simply and aptly labeled as “Englisher Tank ’17”) advancing over the lip of a trench.

Some other German Jewish military casualties on March 20, 1917 include…

– .ת. נ. צ. ב. ה

Hagedorn, Josef, Soldat, Garde-Schutz Bataillon 2
Born in Padberg 6/28/97 / Resided in Giershagen
Casualty Message (Verlustmeldung) 820
Die Jüdischen Gefallenen des Deutschen Heeres, Deutschen Marine und der Deutschen Schutztruppen 1914-1918 – Ein Gedenkbuch – page 314

Rosenthal, Isak, Soldat, Garde Regiment 11, Bataillon 3, Kompagnie 9
Born in Beuthen (O.S.) 1/7/88 / Resided in Bitschin / Gleiwitz
Casualty Message (Verlustmeldung) 814
Die Jüdischen Gefallenen des Deutschen Heeres, Deutschen Marine und der Deutschen Schutztruppen 1914-1918 – Ein Gedenkbuch – page 169

Simmenauer (first name unknown), Soldat, Garde Regiment 11, Bataillon 3, Kompagnie 9
Born in Breslau 8/4/95 / Resided in Halle / S.
Casualty Message (Verlustmeldung) 814
Die Jüdischen Gefallenen des Deutschen Heeres, Deutschen Marine und der Deutschen Schutztruppen 1914-1918 – Ein Gedenkbuch – page 182

Westheimer, Heinrich, Soldat (Landsturmrekrut), Reserve Infanterie Regiment 263, Bataillon 3, Kompagnie 10
Born in Grosseicholzheim 2/19/81 / Resided in Grosseicholzheim
Kriegsgräberstätte in Neuville-St.Vaast (Frankreich), Block 9, Grab 315
Casualty Message (Verlustmeldung) 851
Die Jüdischen Gefallenen des Deutschen Heeres, Deutschen Marine und der Deutschen Schutztruppen 1914-1918 – Ein Gedenkbuch – page 230

References

Books

Banks, Arthur, A Military Atlas of the First World War, Leo Cooper (Pen & Sword Books), Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, 2001.

Chamberlain, Peter, and Ellis, Chris, Pictorial History of Tanks of the World 1915-1945, Galahad, Books, Harrisburg, Pa., 1972.

Die Jüdischen Gefallenen Des Deutschen Heeres, Deutschen Marine Und Der Deutschen Schutztruppen 1914-1918 – Ein Gedenkbuch, Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten, Forward by Dr. Leo Löwenstein, Berlin, Germany, 1932

Erindringsboger tyske regimenter Udgivet under medvirken af Rigsarkivet – Infanterie-haefte 11 – Infanterie-Regiment von Manstein (Schleswigsches) Nr. 84, Oldenburg i.O/Berlin, 1922 / Dansk udgave: Jørgen Flinthom – 2016 (“Memorial Books of German Regiments, Published under the auspices of the National Archives – Infantry – Record Book 11 – Manstein 84th Infantry Regiment“) (denstorekrig1914-1918.dk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/IR-84-kampkalender-udvidet.pdf) (at Den Store Krig 1914-1918)

Geschichte des Infanterie-Regiments von Manstein (Schleswigsches) Nr. 84, 1914-1918, in Einzeldarstellungen von Frontkämpfern, Band III – herausgegben von Hülsemann, Oberstleutnant a.D., im felde Hauptmann und Komp.-Chef. 6./84 und Fuhrer des II. Bataillons / Revideret udgave: Jørgen Flinthom – 2011 (“History of the Manstein 84th Infantry Regiment, 1914-1918, Volume 3“) (at Den Store Krig 1914-1918)

Geschichte des Infanterie-Regiments von Manstein (Schleswigsches) Nr. 84, 1914-1918, in Einzeldarstellungen von Frontkämpfern, Band IV – herausgegben von Hülsemann, Oberstleutnant a.D., im felde Hauptmann und Komp.-Chef. 6./84 und Fuhrer des II. Bataillons / Revideret udgave: Jørgen Flinthom – 2011 (“History of the Manstein 84th Infantry Regiment, 1914-1918, Volume 4“) (at den Store Krig 1914-1918)

Sønderyjske Soldatengrave 1914-1918 – Sorteret efter efternavn (“Soldiers’ Graves 1914-1918 – Sorted by Surname“) (at Den Store Krig 1914-1918)

Web

Bund jüdischer Soldaten (Home Page)

Bund jüdischer Soldaten (YouTube Channel)

Den Store Krig 1914-1918 (“Danes in the German Army – 1914-1918”)

Der Schild (digital version) (at Goethe University Frankfurt website)

German War Graves (at Volksbund.de)

Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten (at Wikipedia)

Vaterländischer Bund jüdischer Frontsoldaten (Patriotic Union of Jewish Front-Line Soldiers”) 

Yav Vashem – Central Database of Shoah Victim’s Names (at Yad Vashem)

Three Soldiers – Three Brothers? – Fallen for France: Hermann, Jules, and Max Boers

The sources of historical and genealogical information about twentieth century military servicemen – official documents; private correspondence; photographs; news items; ephemera, and more – are vast.  And even among the historical records of any particular nation, one finds tremendous variation – over time, in different theatres of military operations; among and between different branches of the armed forces – in the way that information is recorded, categorized, and (hopefully!) preserved.       

Regardless of the era or conflict; regardless of the country in question; such military archival information can reveal patterns, relationships, and interactions encompassing both military service and civilian life.  The fragments of history can coalesce; suggesting; revealing; unfolding a larger, often unexpected story. 

As, seems to be the case presented below…

______________________________

In an effort to identify Jewish military casualties in the French armed forces during the First Wodl War, I’ve relied upon two books – Les Israelites dans l’Armée Française (1914-1918) and, Le Livre d’or du Judaïsme Algérien (1914-1918) as the primary, central (and perhaps exclusive?) published works listing names of fallen French Jewish soldiers. 

Specific bibliographic information about these works is given below:

1) Les Israelites dans l’Armée Française (1914-1918) (Israelites [Jews] in the French Army), Angers, 1921 – Avant-Propos de la Deuxième Épreuve [Forward to the Second Edition], Albert Manuel, Paris, Juillet, 1921 – (Réédité par le Cercle de Généalogie juive [Reissued by the Circle for Jewish Genealogy], Paris, 2000)

______________________________

2) Le Livre d’or du Judaïsme Algérien (1914-1918) (The Gold Book of Algerian Jewry (1914-1918), 1919 – Pubication du Comiée Algérien d’Études Sociales 1er fascicule septembre 1919 ((Réédité par le Cercle de Généalogie juive [Reissued by the Circle for Jewish Genealogy], Paris, 2000) – Avec la collaboration de Georges Teboul et de Jean-Pierre Bernard.

______________________________

Then, it was a process of on-line searching: The French Government’s SGA (Secrétariat Général pour l’Administration “General Secretariat for Administration”) databases covering World War One deaths and military casualties were thoroughly searched to identify and download records for the names listed in these two books.  The specific databases used in this endeavor have been “Died for France in the First World War” (for “PARTIE À REMPLIR PAR LE CORPS (‘PART TO BE COMPLETED BY THE CORPS’)” forms), “War Graves”, and to a much lesser extent, “Military Aviation Personnel.” 

Links for the three databases are given below:  

Morts pour la France de la Première Guerre mondiale (“Died for France in the First World War”)

Sépultures de Guerre (“War Graves”)

Personnels de l’aéronautique militaire (“Military Aviation Personnnel”)

______________________________

Though the above books have been absolutely essential in this endeavor, like other historical reference works (particularly those published very shortly after a historical event) they do manifest a variety of not unexpected problems. 

These include the absence of names, the presentation of information about the same person under multiple name variants, names for which other information is in error or fragmentary, and finally, names for which no equivalent (even a rough phonetic equivalent) can be identified at any of the SGA databases. 

The image below – a example of the notes I made in my copy of Les Israelites dans l’Armée Française (1914-1918) while researching the Morts pour la France de la Première Guerre mondiale database – shows the challenges involved.  The circled dots indicate names definitively identified using the Morts pour la France de la Première Guerre mondiale database.  Left-pointing arrows indicate names for which no record could be found.  (Well, the last time I searched…)  Finally, names connected by arrows indicate variants of the same name.  For example, “Mimoun Borianiche” and “Mimoun Bouaniche” are one and the same soldier.

This isn’t meant to detract from the efforts of the creators of these compilations.  Given the challenges they likely faced – incorrect, missing, or fragmentary original records, the simple unavailability of records, and, efforts constrained by limited staff, time, and other resources – they generated laudabl, historically invaluable, and above all necessary works.

______________________________

The records – the “hits” – generated by the SGA website comprise low-resolution (96 dpi) scans (from microfilm?) of “PARTIE À REMPLIR PAR LE CORPS (‘PART TO BE COMPLETED BY THE CORPS’)” forms.  The information fields on these forms comprise a soldier’s surname, given (first) and middle names, military grade, military unit, matriculation number in class, number, date and place of recruitment, date of death, place of death, cause of death, date of birth, and place of birth (Department in France, or name of another country.)

A very helpful discussion about the forms, by Thierry Sabot (with various talk-backs – one as recently as June of 2017) can be found at the History-Genealogy Magazine website.)

On arriving at page 18 of Les Israelites dans l’Armée Française, I noted something intriguing; curious, and above all – portentously sad:  Four soldiers with the surname “Boers”, three of whom were born in Amsterdam during a three-year time frame.  The page is shown below:

The three from Amsterdam men were Hermann Boers, Jules Boers, and Max Boers.  (The fourth “Boers” was Michel, from Paris.)

Upon reviewing their PARTIE À REMPLIR PAR LE CORPS forms for the three men, a relationship suggested itself. 

1) Their matriculation numbers are immediately sequential: 26749 for Jules, 26750 for Max, and 26751 for Herman. 

2) All served in the 2ème Régiment de Marche du 1er Régiment Etranger. 

3) Jules and Max were killed on the same day, and at the same place: May 9, 1915, at Neuville-Saint-Vaast.  Both were missing (“disparu”), and will probably always be missing. 

Hermann was killed on September 28, 1915, at Souain, and was known to have been killed by the enemy (“Tué a l’ennemi”). 

4) Max, born on March 10, 1885, was the oldest.  Hermann was born thirteen months later, on June 11, 1886.  Jules, the youngest, was born eleven months after Hermann, on July 13, 1887.

All of which leads to a question:  Were they brothers?

I do not know. 

Unfortunately, PARTIE À REMPLIR PAR LE CORPS forms neither list the names of a serviceman’s next of kin, nor give his residential address.  Such information would be the key that answer the question.  But, the signs seem to point in that direction.

______________________________

One hundred and two years – over a century – have transpired since their deaths.  “Our” world is not the same as theirs – how could it be? – but I would like to think that one thing has remained unchanged in human nature: The need to remember. 

At least – in the world of 2017 – I hope so.

______________________________

Specific information about the men, and images of their PARTIE À REMPLIR PAR LE CORPS forms, is presented below.

______________________________

– .ת. נ. צ. ב. ה

Jules

Boers, Jules, Soldat de 2ème classe, Légion étrangère, 2ème Régiment de Marche du 1er Régiment Etranger
No. 26749 au Corps E.V. 1914
Matricule S.M. 3245 au Recrutement Seine Central
Born July 13, 1887, Amsterdam, Hollande
Missing [Disparu]
May 9, 1915; Pas-de-Calais, Neuville-Saint-Vaast
Not listed in Sépultures de guerre database

______________________________

Max

Boers, Max, Soldat de 2ème classe, Légion étrangère, 2ème Régiment de Marche du 1er Régiment Etranger
No. 26750 au Corps E.V. 191_
Matricule S.M. 2709 au Recrutement Seine B.C.
Born March 10, 1885, Amsterdam, Hollande
Missing [Disparu]
May 9, 1915; Pas-de-Calais, Neuville-Saint-Vaast
Not listed in Sépultures de guerre database

______________________________

Hermann

Boers, Hermann, Soldat de 2ème classe, Légion étrangère, 2ème Régiment de Marche du 1er Régiment Etranger
No. 26751 au Corps Cl. 1919
Matricule: 3530 au Recrutement Lyon Central
Born June 11, 1886, Amsterdam, Hollande
Killed by the enemy [Tué a l’ennemi]
September 28, 1915; Marne, Souain
Not listed in Sépultures de guerre database