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. –

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.”

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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:

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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.

______________________________

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

______________________________

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.

______________________________

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

______________________________

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.

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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)

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…

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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)

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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.

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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”)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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– .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

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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

 

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Sergeant Michael E. (“Mickey”) Drucker

On June 23, 1944, the Times published a Casualty List encompassing the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, comprising the name of 3,073 soldiers “Missing  in Action” in the Asian, European, Mediterranean, and Southwest Pacific Theaters of War, as well as an extensive list of men reported as prisoners of war in Germany.  Of the Missing, the overwhelming majority were reported from the European and Mediterranean Theaters of War, with only seven soldiers – airmen, specifically – reported from the Southwest Pacific.

Missing in the Southwest Pacific was Sergeant Michael E. Drucker.  An aerial gunner in the 64th Bomb Squadron of the 43rd Bomb Group (5th Air Force), his B-24D Liberator (42-40525, “Toughy“), piloted by 1 Lt. John E. Terpning, vanished during a mission from Nadzab, to Sarmi.  On March 5, 1946, almost two years later, with no further information forthcoming, Sgt. Drucker’s obituary – transcribed below – was published in the Times

Now Listed as Killed In New Guinea Mission

Sgt. Michel [sic] (Mickey) Drucker of the Army Air Forces, who was reported missing in action on May 7, 1944, while on a bombing mission from Nadzab, New Guinea, is now presumed to be dead, the War Department has informed his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Marcy Drucker of 359 Fort Washington Avenue.  Sergeant Drucker did radar and radio work on a B-24 Liberator bomber.

Born in New York on Jan. 27, 1922, Sergeant Drucker was graduated from Haaren High School, where he was a member of the swimming team, and then attended New York University.  Later he was associated with a wholesale hardware concern, the Guarantee Speciality Company, 60 Lispenard Street, in which his father is a partner.  He enlisted on Aug. 15, 1942.

Besides his parents, he leaves a sister, Miss Eveline Drucker of New York.

____________________

Here are three pages of the Missing Air Crew Report (#5664) for Toughy and her crew. 

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Toughy was originally assigned to the 529th Bomb Squadron of the 380th Bomb Group.  The image below, from the 380th Bomb Group wesbite, gives a nice impression of her nose art, which consists of a simple nickname.  By the time the aircraft has been transferred to the 43rd Bomb Group, the bombardier’s nose “greenhouse” had been replaced with a field-installed A-6 tail turret, giving the aircraft better protection against head-on fighter attack.

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Nineteen years after they went missing, the remains of Toughy and her crew were discovered in mountainous terrain five miles northeast of Nadzab. 

The remains of the crew were interred at Arlington National Cemetery, in a group burial, on October 18, 1974.  (Section 30, Grave 486)  In April of 2013, after further investigation of the crash site, the remains of S/Sgt. Raymond E. Thompson (whose name also appears on the monument) were buried at Olney Cemetery in Pendleton, Oregon.  

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The image below is a contemporary (2017) Google Street view of the wartime residence of the Drucker family, at 359 Fort Washington Ave., in the (I assume…?!) Washington Heights section of New York. 

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Some other Jewish military casualties on Sunday, May 7, 1944, include…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה.

Friedland, Max, Lt., 96919V, Wireless Operator / Air Gunner (At Maleme Airdrome, Crete)
South African Air Force, No. 24 Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac and Sarah Friedland (parents), 9 Alexandra Ave., Oranjezicht, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Born 1917
Aircraft: Martin Marauder II; Serial number: FB508 (“T” – “HonkyTonk”); Pilot – Lt. Deryk Broosbank; 6 crew – no survivors
Buried at Suda Bay War Cemetery, Crete, Greece – Collective Grave 13,B,12-15
http://aviationarchaeology.gr/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Martin-B26-Marauder-losses-in-Greece-1943-1945.pdf
Eagles Victorious – 189
85 Years of South African Air Force – 292, 416
South African Jewish Times 9/7/45

Klippel, John Owen, F/O, 412149, Navigator
Royal Australian Air Force, No. 31 O.T.U. Unit, Debert / Headquarters, Ferry Command, Royal Air Force / Number 45 Atlantic Transport Group
Mr. and Mrs. Alec and Haidee Klippel (parents), Eridge Park Road, Bowral, New South Wales, Australia
Born Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia; 11/28/21
Mosquito XX, KB220, Pilot – F/Lt. George H. Wood; Aircraft lost during severe icing conditions on ferry flight between BW1 airfield, Greenland, and United Kingdom, via Iceland
Commemorated at Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England – Panel 257
World War II Crash Sites in Iceland
Aviation Safety Network
The Jewish Chronicle 5/26/44

Silverman, George S., 2 Lt., 0-688116, Navigator, Air Medal, Purple Heart, 18 Missions
United States Army Air Force, 5th Air Force, 43rd Bomb Group, 64th Bomb Squadron (also in the Toughy crew)
Miss Florence Langbaum (fiancé), 70-39 Kessel St., Forest Hills, N.Y
Mrs. Lena Silverman (mother), 111-14 76th Ave., Forest Hills, N.Y.
Mr. Harry N. Below (brother in law), 111-32 76th Ave., Forest Hills, L.I., N.Y.
Born 3/19/19; Last letter to fiancé written 5/6/44
Casualty List 6/23/44
Long Island Daily Press 6/22/44
American Jews in World War Two – 444

Aviator – Prisoner of War

Barron, Israel Manuel, 2 Lt., 0-684468, Co-Pilot, Air Medal, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, 13 Missions
United States Army Air Force, 8th Air Force, 801st Bomb Group, 406th Bomb Squadron
(Also wounded 8/9/43)
Stalag Luft III (Sagan), Stalag VIIA (Moosburg)
Mrs. Eleanor J. Barron (wife), 160 University Road, Brookline, Ma. / 146 River Road, Winthrop, Ma.
Born Roxbury, Ma., 2/19/20
MACR 4603, B-24D 42-40530, Pilot – 1 Lt. George Pipkin, 8 Crewmen – 7 survivors
Aircraft shot down by Feldwebel Hugo Fütscher (Fintscher?) of 12 / NJG (Nachtjagdgeschwader) 3
Casualty List (Liberated POW) 6/4/45
American Jews in World War Two – 150

The photograph and other images below are part of the Israel Manuel Barron collection at the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.  The digitized items include Israel’s German POW information card, transcribed Missing Air Crew Report, and POW Diary (“A Wartime Log”).  Through the generosity of Mr. Barron and the foresight of the Veterans History Project, the documents are fully; openly available to the public, the pages on display “below” giving an impression of the nature of this material, which is as fascinating as it is moving. 

The Israel Barron collection also includes a video file of an interview with Mr. Barron, conducted on November 11, 2002. 

References

General

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.

B-24D 42-40525 “Toughy

History of Aircraft (at website of 380th Bomb Group)

Loss and Postwar discovery of aircraft (at Pacific Wrecks website)

Burial of crew at Arlington National Cemetery (at ArlingtonCemetery.net)

Israel Manuel “Red” Barron and B-24D 42-40530

Collection at Veterans History Project (General Description)

Digital Collection

POW Diary – “A Wartime Log” (27 pages)

B-24D 42-40530 (Description of loss of aircraft and fate of crew – “Airwar Over Denmark” website)

Loss of 42-40530 also described at juhlerdenmark (Kim Juhler) website

Max Friedland

Brent, Winston, 85 Years of South African Air Force – 1920-2005, Freeworld Publications, Inc., Nelspruit, South Africa, 2005

Martin, Henry J., and Orpen, Neil, South African forces, World War II. Vol. 6, Eagles victorious : the operations of the South African forces over the Mediterranean and Europe, in Italy, the Balkans and the Aegean, and from Gibraltar and West Africa, Purnell, Cape Town, South Africa, 1977

Martin B-26 Marauder Losses in Greece, at Maritime Aviation Archeology

Two Among Many: The Soldier and His Wife – A Jewish Volunteer in the French Army in the Second World War

Though information about the service and experiences of Jewish soldiers of the United States and British Commonwealth countries during the Second World War is readily available in print, archival, and digital formats, a very wide variety material exists covering what is perhaps the less widely known service of Jewish soldiers in the armies of other Allied nations.

Significant in this sense was the role of Jewish soldiers – both as refugee volunteers, and citizens – in the armed forces of France.  Though not covered as systematically as in such books as American Jews in World War Two, the superb two-volume Canadian Jews in World War Two, or Henry Morris’ We Will Remember Them, or even – ironically – the two books covering military service of French Jewish soldiers during “The Great War” (Les Israelites dans l’Armée Française, and, Le Livre d’Or du Judaïsme Algérien – 1914-1918) other sources allow identification of French-Jewish soldiers (casualties, and those who received military awards) of the Second World War. 

These are 1) Livre d’Or et de Sang – Les Juifs au Combat: Citations 1939-1945 de Bir-Hakeim au Rhin et Danube, 2) Au Service de la France, 3) le combattant volontaire juif 1939-1945, and, databases found at the website of France’s Secrétariat Général pour l’Administration (SGA).  

Au Service de la France, and, le combattant volontaire juif 1939-1945, were published in 1955 and 1971 respectively, by the Union des Engagés Volontaires et Anciens Combattants Juifs 1939-1945 (Union of Military Volunteers and Jewish Veterans of 1939-1945). 

Au Service de la France is essentially a photographic anthology covering various aspects of Jewish military service and armed resistance against the Germans during the Second World War.  It encompasses military service in 1940, the experiences of prisoners of war, activity in the Resistance, and – consistent with its 1955 publication – social services for Jewish veterans and their families, as well as action against antisemitism. 

An invaluable aspect of this book is the presence of lists of names of French Jewish servicemen who received military awards, or, who were killed in military service.

Le combattant volontaire juif 1939-1945 (The Jewish Volunteer Combattant – 1939-1945) was published in 1971, “…on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Union of Military Volunteers and Jewish Veterans of 1939-1945”, and is significantly different from Au Service de la France.  The text is in French and Yiddish (as a single volume) and though many photographs are present, text takes significant priority over images.  However, unlike Au Service de la France, the book does not include lists of casualties or recipients of military awards.

Some years ago, I was very fortunate to have been given a copy of Le combattant volontaire juif  1939-1945 through the kindness and generosity of Mr. Albert N. Szyfman of the U.E.V.A.C.J.-E.A. (Union des Engagés Volontaires, Anciens Combattants Juifs 1939-1945 – leurs Enfants et Amis).  (Thank you again, Albert!)

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Realizing the importance of these two books – especially the text of Le combattant volontaire juif – in learning about the military service of French Jews during the Second World War, I’ve translated the context of the latter to English.

The purpose of the book is very well stated in its Foreword.  Namely:

“AS part of the preparation of the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Union of Military Volunteers and Jewish Veterans, our management had initially planned to publish a special issue of “Our Will” which was to trace the activity of Union during the past quarter century. 

“This project, practically limited to the history of our activities, was finally abandoned.  The Committee took the view that it was necessary to reserve an important place to the testimonies and memories to boldly highlight the massive participation of Jews of foreign origin in the battles of World War II and their contribution to victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany.

“So this is the book that we present to the reader.

“While certain works, concerning this terrible time, tend to portray that the Jews could be lead to death without resistance, our book highlights in largely unpublished stories the courageous battles experienced by these men and women, with or without uniforms, alongside their French brethren.

“It would have been inconceivable that in a book edited by Jewish veterans that the horrible result of Nazi crimes, the extermination of tens of millions of human beings – including six million Jews – as it is only natural that this book speaks of the great historical event of the creation of the State of Israel and the solidarity that the Jewish veterans manifested in this regard.

“Dozens of former prisoners of war, internees in concentration camps, former resistance fighters who fought in the ranks of the F.F.I., survivors of Auschwitz and its crematoria, each, recount living episodes.

“These stories that trace, in most cases, often heroic acts, the testimonies of military leaders who commanded units with a high proportion of Jewish immigrant volunteers, the pages writers were willing to offer us for this work – all of this constitutes a somewhat original anthology.

“The reader will find in the following pages of text and illustrations covering our affairs during the twenty-five years of the existence of our Union such as the rights of veterans, the ongoing effort to preserve the memory of our dead, the struggle for peace, against racism and anti-Semitism, a just and lasting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and our social work.

“One third of the book is written in Yiddish; for many of our comrades, indeed, Yiddish was the mother tongue as it was for most of the six million Jews exterminated by the Nazis.

“We are certain that in the pages of “The Jewish Volunteer Combatant 1938-1945” each member of our generation will be found, while youth will learn the nature of the last war that created immeasurable suffering.”

The book’s editorial board comprised Isi Blum-Cleitman, Dr. Samuel Danowski, Joseph Fridman, Bernard Pons, and Maurice Sisterman, in collaboration with Louis Gronowski. 

Its content was supplemented by information and documents provided by the following organizations:

The Office of Decorations of the Ministry of National Defense
The Historical Committee of the Second World War
The Center for Documentation of Contemporary Jewry
The Center for Documentation of Jewish Resistance and Mutual Aid
The Israel Tourism Office
The National Association of Veterans of the French Resistance

Le combattant volontaire juif – 1939-1945 is subdivided into five major sections.  These are 1) “Foreign Volunteers”, 2) “Remembrances of War”, 3) “In the Concentration Camps”, 4) “In The Ranks of the F.F.I.”, and, 5) “After the Liberation”. 

____________________

In effect and intent, Le combattant volontaire juif – 1939-1945 is not an all-encompassing and minutely detailed and heavily-footnoted history.  Rather, through numerous vignettes by a variety of authors, it presents – through vivid prose and great detail – an account of military service and anti-German armed resistance by French Jewry during the Second World War.

Every such account is worthy of commentary and contemplation. 

An especially moving story is “Deux parmi d’autres” – “Two Among Others”, by Ilex Beller, who was President of the U.E.V.A.C.J. between 1986 and 2004.  

Beller’s story covers the life and fate of Srul and Golda Magalnic, both of whom were from Rumania.

The story is presented below, in French and English.

______________________________

deux parmi d’autres

Ilex Beller

Pendant trois semaines, nous avons manœuvré dans le camp de Larzac.  Nous n’avons rien appris de nouveau mais ça a été une occasion d’être débarrassé des puces barcaressiennes, d’habiter comme de vrais soldats dans une véritable caserne, de dormir sur de vraies paillasses.

En comparaison avec les conditions de vie de Barcarès, les manœuvres ont été pour nous une sinécure.

Mais un ordre est arrivé de retourner à Barcarès; nous refaisons rapidement les bardas et reprenons la route.

Il pleut de nouveau et c’est tout trempés que nous montons dans les wagons à bestiaux.  Arrivés à Rivesaltes, nous en descendons et parcourons à pied les 16 kilomètres qui nous séparent du camp.  Mais ici une surprise nous attend: dans les rues voisines de la gare se tiennent nos camarades de Barcarès, les 3 000 volontaires du 21e Régiment qui y attendent le train en partance pour le front.

Ils sont habillés de neuf, avec de longs manteaux et des casques de fer.  Seuls les bardas et les ficelles n’ont pas changé. On reconnaît à peine leur visage.

La permission nous est accordée d’aller prendre congé de nos camarades qui partent.  Alors des groupes se forment à nouveau, comme à Barcarès, un “cercle juif”.  On examine les nouveaux uniformes, on frappe sur les casques neufs, on se force à rire, à blaguer, mais ça ne colle pas; quel que chose a changé.  Sur tous les visages se lit le même sérieux. “Qui sait, c’est peut-être la dernière fois que je vois mon camarade.”

Le moment de la séparation est arrivé.  On s’embrasse.  Les soldats du 22e Régiment et ceux du 21e qui partent pour le front.  Les visages mal rasés sont tristes: “Fort Gesund”, “Partez en paix, chers camarades!”

Autour de nous, les habitants de Rivesaltes ont le visage préoccupé et triste, comme nous.

Nos camarades sont entassés dans les wagons à bestiaux.  Ce sont les derniers serrements de mains, les dernières recommandations:

          – Battez les fascistes!

           – Sauvez votre peau!

          – Josel, s’il m’arrive un malheur, pense à ma mère!

Le train s’ébranle lentement, Je revois Srolek agiter un mouchoir: “Au revoir! n’oublie pas Gol-dale et l’enfant!”

Le 21e Régiment (R.M.V.E.) est parti vers le front d’Alsace, occuper les positions devant la ligne Ma-ginot, dans la région de Minersheim et Alteckendorf.  Il a été rattaché à la 35’ division et placé sous les ordres des généraux Decharme et Delais-sey, prenant ainsi la relève du 49’ Régiment d’Infanterie.

***

Printemps 1940.  C’est le plus beau mois de mai.  Les premières jonquilles dorées fleurissent dans les vertes prairies.

Les hirondelles volent bas et s’amusent parmi les soldats, les cigognes regardent autour d’elles, perchées sur les hautes cheminées des beaux villages alsaciens.

Hitler a déclenché la grande offensive.  La puissante armée allemande, pourvue d’un matériel de guerre effroyable, se met en marche à travers la Belgique, contre la France.  Les premiers villages français sont ensanglantés avant d’être conquis.

Les trois régiments de volontaires étrangers, formés à Barcarès, sont relevés des positions où ils se trouvaient, pour être lancés dans les secteurs les plus menacés:

           – le 22’ régiment dans la Somme (la bataille de Péronne);

          – le 23’ régiment dans la région de Soissons;

          – le- 21’ dans les Ardennes.

Les avions allemands ne quittent pas le ciel. Ils bombardent les routes, les ponts et les gares.

Le 21’ régiment se déplace avec grande difficulté, voyage en train, en camion et marche beaucoup à pied. Il fait chaque jour des dizaines de kilomètres.

Il n’est pas facile de marcher, chargés de pioches, de pelles, de la musette, et le dos ployant sous le barda, le tout relié par des ficelles (les autres régiments nous appelaient “Régiment ficelle”; il y a les lourds fusils de 1914 aussi…

On se prépare à une guerre des tranchées et il faut creuser des centaines de kilomètres…

On s’approche des Ardennes.  L’itinéraire passe par Longchamps, Chaumont, Erize-la-Grande, après Sainte-Ménéhould, Cernay, le Morthome, jusqu’aux environs du village de Boult-aux-Bois.  Là, on s’arrête dans le petit bois, non loin du village, et on se trouve face à l’ennemi.

Le village de Boult-aux-Bois est occupé par les Allemands, les nôtres regardent vers les maisonnettes toutes blanches, avec les toits de tuiles rouges, entourées de champs resplendissant de toutes les couleurs.

C’est ici, dans les petits bois que la compagnie de Srolek, la “C.A.1”, va livrer sa première bataille.  Les nôtres, bien qu’épuisés par une longue marche, occupent rapidement les positions de combat.  Les Allemands commencent par bombarder le bois avec leur artillerie; les bombes explosent de tous côtés, criblent la terre, et projettent en l’air les troncs des arbres.  Puis ils attaquent, couverts par le feu des mitrailleuses lourdes.  Nous comptons nos premiers morts.

Voici un camarade avec lequel tu as vécu, que tu aimais comme ton frère, il gît ensanglanté dans tes bras, et te confie sa dernière parole… toi, tu dois partir et l’abandonner pour toujours…

Ce fut un combat bref mais sanglant, les nôtres furent obligés de se retirer.  Le lendemain, le bataillon occupait de nouvelles positions dans le village des Petites-Armoises, on creusait des trous individuels, on installait le canon 25, et les mortiers, on se fortifiait.

Les Allemands attaquent tous les jours et souvent la nuit, mais les nôtres arrivent à tenir les positions, et cela va durer 12 jours et 12 nuits.

C’est le 10 juin seulement que l’ennemi réussit à percer nos lignes sur les deux flancs.

Nous sommes alors menacés d’encerclement.  Aussi, l’ordre est-il donné de se replier sur Vaux-lès-Mourons, Longueval, Vienne-la-Ville, jusqu’à Sainte-Ménéhould.

Le général Delaissey vient personnellement visiter le bataillon: il faut couvrir la retraite du gros de l’armée.  Il faut tenir à tout prix Sainte-Ménéhould.

Le bataillon se fortifie autour de ce village.  Il fait sauter les ponts de l’Aisne qui coule à proximité, on creuse des tranchées près des lignes de chemin de fer. sur les places des villages.

Les Allemands attaquent le lendemain avec un armement lourd et puissant et s’engage une bataille acharnée, inégale.  Ils réussissent à passer la rivière et foncent avec leurs autos blindées sur le village, détruisent le seul canon 25 et les deux mortiers que le bataillon possédait.

13 juin.  Le bataillon a perdu presque la moitié de ses effectifs.  Dans l’après-midi, le capitaine La-garigue donne l’ordre de se replier.  Le groupe des mitrailleurs où se trouve Srolek Magalnik reste sur place pour couvrir la retraite.

Les Allemands ont déjà occupé tout le village de Sainte-Ménéhould, mais près du cimetière, une vieille mitrailleuse française “Hotchkiss” tire encore.

A 16 heures, une balle allemande a traversé le cœur de Srolek et a mit fin à se jeune vie.  Il est tombé à Sainte-Ménéhould, en défendant le sol français dont il a tant rêvé et auquel il a voué un véritable amour.

Le lendemain, des réfugiés, des paysans, l’enterrent sur le lieu même où il a donné son dernier souffle.

Ils n’ont pu déchiffrer son nom sur ses papiers militaires criblés de balles…

Le même jour se déroule la bataille de la Grange-aux-Bois, où sont tombés tant des nôtres.

Le régiment se retire en combattant jusqu’à Passavant et puis à Robencourt-aux-Ponts, et Chau-mont qui est en flammes.

Le 19 juin, ce qui reste du 21e Régiment se bat toujours à Colombey-les-Belles, et le 20 juin a lieu la sanglante bataille devant Allain.

Le 21 juin l’ordre arrive de l’état-major de cesser le combat, de détruire les armes.

Les Allemands occupent toute la région, désarment les régiments, promettent aux officiers de les traiter en “prisonniers d’honneur” et de leur accorder le droit de porter leurs armes personnelles…

Le 22 juin, jour où le maréchal Pétain signe l’armistice et livre la France à l’ennemi, le vieux général Decharme, chef de la 35’ Division (dont faisait partie le 21” R.M.V.E.) donne son dernier ordre.

Il ordonne de réunir tous les soldats rescapés du 21’ Régiment dans le village de Tuillier-les-Groseilles.  A 15 heures de ce même jour, il passe en revue les rangs des soldats sans armes, les habits déchirés et les visages ensanglantés.  Il marche lentement, s’arrête souvent, regardant les soldats droit dans les yeux, il sait sans doute ce qui les attend!  Puis il fait ses adieux:

“Je vous remercie pour votre héroïsme, pour votre abnégation, pour votre discipline, en mon nom personnel et au nom de la France.”

Le 23 juin, le reste du régiment est amené en captivité en Allemagne.

Le commandant de la C.A.1. (la Compagnie de Srolek) était le lieutenant Belissant, un homme cultivé et doux, qui aimait ses soldats, lesquels l’adoraient.

C’est un de ces Français pour qui les idéaux de la grande Révolution française sont chose sacrée, un de ceux qui ont contribué dans le monde entier à bâtir le renom de la France, comme pays de justice et d’humanité.

Le lieutenant Bellissant aimait beaucoup Srolek, et lorsque Srolek tomba, il pleura à chaudes larmes.

Dans la première lettre qu’il écrivit de captivité à sa femme, il dit: “J’avais un ami très cher, un Juif émigré de Bessarabie, il est tombé en héros.  Je sais qu’il a laissé une femme et un enfant à Paris. Trouve-les et tâche de les aider.”

***

Dure était la vie pour Goldale et son enfant dans ce Paris affamé, occupé par les Allemands.

Elle avait trouvé une petite chambre dans une vieille maison de la rue des Gravilliers, y avait transporté sa machine à coudre et travaillait illégalement pour gagner de quoi nourrir elle et sa fille.

Elle vivait continuellement dans la peur, et pleurait chaque nuit Srolek qui était tombé “quelque part en France”.

Mme Bellissant était une brave femme, digne de son mari.  Dès qu’elle reçut la lettre de son mari en captivité, elle se mit à la recherche de Goldale.  D’une adresse à l’autre, elle grimpait les étages, visitait les mansardes, jusqu’à ce qu’elle trouvât la chambre de la rue des Gravilliers.

 Les deux femmes firent vite connaissance et devinrent bientôt amies.  Goldale se confia à elle comme à une mère.  C’est Mme Bellissant qui retrouva la tombe de Srolek dans le cimetière de Sainte-Ménéhould.  Elles partirent ensemble poser une dalle sur la sépulture.

C’est aussi Mme Bellissant qui trouva la vieille concierge de la rue de Rennes, Mme Grimaud, pour cacher chez elle la fille de Goldale, Nelly, et la soustraire ainsi aux rafles allemandes.

***

Cela se passa au début de 1944, par une grise matinée d’hiver, le jour commençait à peine à poindre.  Paris dormait encore lorsqu’on entendit dans l’escalier de la vieille maison de la rue des Gravilliers les pas lourds des bottes militaires, les coups frappés brutalement à la porte et le cri: “Ouvrez!”

Avant que Goldale n’eût le temps de descendre du lit, ils enfoncèrent la porte.  J’aurais tellement aimé vous dire que c’était la Gestapo ou d’autres formations militaires allemandes organisant la chasse aux Juifs à Paris, qui vinrent arrêter Goldale.  Malheureusement, la réalité est tout autre.  C’étaient des Français; oui, il s’est trouvé des Français, des âmes vendues qui collaborèrent avec les Allemands, des fascistes déments… ou bien des gens des bas-fonds.

Goldale, en chemise de nuit, maigre, malingre, toute tremblante, essaya d’abord de les raisonner: “Laissez-moi tranquille, mon mari est tombé pour la France, j’ai un petit enfant!”

Lorsqu’ils l’entraînèrent de force dans l’escalier, Goldale se débattit.  Elle criait au secours, elle les injuriait, elle pleurait et, finalement, se mit à supplier: “Je n’ai fait aucun mal, je suis une pauvre couturière, laissez-moi tranquille.”  Deux grands gaillards s’emparèrent d’elle et l’emportèrent.

Les voisins sortirent, en chemise de nuit, le visage gonflé de sommeil, pour la plupart des vieillards, des femmes et des enfants amaigris, épuisés par quatre années d’occupation.

Plusieurs d’entre eux se tordaient les mains et pleuraient, regardant emporter notre Goldale dans la voiture de la police.

On la déporta de Drancy à Auschwitz, d’où elle n’est jamais revenue…

________________________________________________________________
____________________________ ****** _____________________________
________________________________________________________________

Two Among Others

Ilex Beller

For three weeks we have been active in the Larzac camp.  We have learned nothing new but it was an opportunity to be rid of “Barcaressiennes lice”; to live like real soldiers in real barracks, sleeping on real mattresses.

In comparison with the living conditions in Barcarès, maneuvers have been our sinecure.

But an order came to return to Barcarès; we quickly deploy weapons and hit the road.

It’s raining again and all are wet as we get into the cattle cars.  Arriving at Rivesaltes, we descend and traverse the 16 mile walk that separates us from the camp.  But here a surprise awaits us; in the streets around the station stand our comrades from Barcarès, 3,000 volunteers of the 21st Regiment await the train bound for the front.

They are dressed with new long coats and iron helmets.  Only our weapons and threads have not changed.  We barely recognize their faces.

Permission is granted to us to take leave of our comrades who are departing.  Groups form again; as in Barcarès, a “Jewish circle.”  We examine the new uniforms, knock on new helmets; we might laugh, joke, but it does not remain; regardless, things have changed.  On every face one reads seriously. “Who knows, maybe this is the last time I see my friend.”

The time of separation happens.  We kiss.  Soldiers from the 22nd Regiment and the 21st; those who leave for the front.  The unshaven faces are sad: “Fort Gesund”, “Go in peace, dear comrades!”

Around us, the inhabitants of Rivesaltes were concerned about the atmosphere and sad, like us.

Our comrades are crammed into cattle cars.  These are the last handshakes, the last admonitions:

          “Defeat the fascists!”

          “Save your skin!”

          “Josel, if I encounter misfortune, think of my mother!”

The train moves off slowly; I remember waving a handkerchief to Srolek: “Goodbye!  Do not forget Goldale and the child!“

The 21st Regiment (R.M.V.E.) went to the Alsace front, occupying the positions to the Maginot Line, in the region of Minersheim and Alteckendorf.  It was attached to the 35th Division and placed under the command of Generals Decharme and Delaissey, thus taking over from the 49 Infantry Regiment.

***

Spring 1940.  It is the most beautiful month: May.  The first golden daffodils bloom in the green meadows.

The swallows fly low and play among the soldiers, storks look around them, perched on the tall chimneys of beautiful Alsatian villages.

Hitler unleashed the great offensive.  The powerful German army, equipped with dreadful war material, starts through Belgium against France.  The first French villages are bloodied before being conquered.

The three regiments of foreign volunteers, trained at Barcarès, are advanced to positions where they were to be launched in the most threatened sectors;

           22nd regiment in the Somme (The battle of Peronne);

           23rd regiment in Soissons region;

           21st in the Ardennes.

German planes do not leave the sky.  They bombard roads, bridges and railway stations.

The 21st Regiment moves with great difficulty, travel by train, truck and much walking on foot.  Every day it makes tens of kilometers.

It is not easy to walk, loaded with picks, shovels, gas mask [?], and back bending under the kit, all connected by cords (the other regiments called us the “Cord Regiment”; there are heavy 1914 guns also…)

Getting ready for a war of the trenches and you have to dig hundreds of miles…

One approaches the Ardennes.  The route passes through Longchamps, Chaumont, Erize-la-Grande; after St. Ménéhould, Cernay, le Morthome, to near the village of Boult-aux-Bois.  There, we stop in the little wood near the village, and are facing the enemy.

The village of Boult-aux-Bois is occupied by the Germans, ours looks all the white as houses with red tiled roofs, surrounded by glittering fields of all colors.

It is here, in the woods little that the company of Srolek, the “C.A.1” will deliver its first battle.  Ours, although exhausted by a long march, quickly occupy fighting positions.  The Germans begin by bombing the woods with their artillery; bombs explode in all directions, sift the earth, and cast up the trunks of trees.  Then they attack, covered by heavy machine gun fire.  We have our first dead.

Here is a comrade with whom you lived, you loved as your brother, who lies bleeding in your arms, and says his last words to you…you; you have to leave and abandon forever…

It was a brief but bloody battle; we were forced to withdraw.  The next day, the battalion occupied new positions in the village of Petites-Armoises, dug foxholes, and installed the 25mm cannon and mortars; we became strong.

The Germans attacked every day and often at night, but we came to hold positions and lasted 12 days and 12 nights.

It was only June 10th that the enemy managed to break our lines on both sides.

We are then threatened with encirclement.  Also, the order is given to withdraw to Vaux-lès-Mourons, Longueval, Vienne-la-Ville, up to Sainte-Ménéhould.

General Delaissey is personally visiting the battalion, which must cover the retreat of the main army.  Sainte-Ménéhould must be taken at any price.

The battalion is strengthened around the village.  It blows up the bridges of the Aisne flowing nearby, and digs trenches near the railway lines, on the village squares.

The Germans attack the next day with a heavy, powerful armament and undertake a fierce, uneven battle.  They manage to cross the river and with their armored cars darken the village, destroying the only 25mm canon and two mortars that the battalion had.

June 13.  The battalion has lost nearly half of its manpower.  In the afternoon, Captain Lagarigue gives the order to withdraw.  The group of gunners where Srolek Magalnik is situated are to stay behind to cover the retreat.

The Germans had already occupied the entire village of Sainte-Ménéhould but near the cemetery, an old French machine gun “Hotchkiss” still fires.

At 1600 hours, a German bullet pierced the heart of Srolek and put an end to his young life.  He fell at St. Ménéhould, defending the French soil of which he dreamed and to which he has devoted his true love.

The next day, refugees; peasants, bury him in the same place where he gave his last breath.

They could not read his name on his military papers riddled with bullets…

The same day unfolds the battle of the Grange-aux-Bois, which fell from us.

The regiment withdrew fighting to Passavant, and then Robencourt-aux-Ponts and Chaumont are in flames.

On June 19, what remains of the 21st Regiment is still fighting at Colombey-les-Belles, and on June 20, held the bloody battle at Allain.

On June 21, the order comes from the staff to stop fighting, and destroy weapons.

The Germans occupied the entire region, disarmed the regiments; the officers promised to treat them as “prisoners of honor” and to grant them the right to their personal weapons…

On June 22, the day the Marshal Pétain signed the armistice and signed France to the enemy, old General Decharme, head of the 35th Division (which included the 21st R.M.V.E.) gave his last order.

He ordered to bring all surviving troops of the 21st Regiment to the village of Tuillier-les-Groseilles.  For 15 hours that day, he reviewed the ranks of unarmed soldiers, with torn clothing and bloodied faces.  He walked slowly, often stopped, watching the soldiers right in the eye; he will know what to expect!  Then he bade farewell:

“Thank you for your heroism, for your sacrifice, your discipline, in my own name and in the name of France.”

On June 23, the rest of the regiment is brought into captivity in Germany.

The commander of the C.A.1. (Srolek’s Company) was Lieutenant Belissant, a cultured and gentle man who loved his soldiers, who adored him.

He is one of those for whom the French ideals of the great French Revolution are a sacred thing, one of those who have contributed over the world to build the reputation of France as a country of justice and humanity.

Lieutenant Bellissant loved Srolek and when Srolek fell, he wept bitterly.

In the first letter he wrote to his wife from captivity, he said: “I had a dear friend, a Jew who emigrated from Bessarabia, he fell as a hero.  I know he left a wife and child in Paris.  Find them and try to help them.“

***

Life was hard for Goldale and her child in Paris, occupied by the Germans.

She had found a small room in an old house in the Rue des Gravilliers; had transported her sewing machine and was working illegally to earn enough to feed herself and her daughter.

She lived in constant fear, and every night cried for Srolek who fell “somewhere in France”.

Mrs. Bellissant was a good woman, worthy of her husband.  As soon as she received the letter from her husband in captivity, she began looking for Goldale.  From one address to another, she climbed the floors, visited the attics until she found the room on Gravilliers Street.

The two women quickly became acquainted and soon became friends.  Goldale confided in her as a mother.  Mrs. Bellissant found Srolek’s tomb in the cemetery of St. Ménéhould.  They went there together and placed a memorial slab.

Mrs. Bellissant also found her old concierge of the Rue de Rennes, Mrs. Grimaud, to hide with her Goldale’s daughter Nelly, and thereby evade German roundups.

***

It happened in early 1944, on a gray winter morning, when daylight was just beginning to emerge.  Paris was still asleep when they heard on the stairs of the old house on Gravilliers Street heavy military boots; blows brutally beating at the door and crying, “Open!”

Before Goldale had time to get off the bed, they broke down the door.  I would have loved to tell you that it was the Gestapo and other German military formations organizing the hunt for Jews in Paris who came to arrest Goldale.  Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.  They were French; yes, the French, sold-out souls who collaborated with the Germans, demented fascists…or shallow people.

Goldale, in a nightgown, thin, skinny, and trembling, first tried to reason with them: “Leave me, my husband fell for France, I have a small child!”

When dragged by force on the stairs, Goldale struggled.  She screamed for help, she swore, she was crying and eventually began to beg: “I have done no wrong, I am a poor seamstress, leave me alone.”  Two big fellows seized her and prevailed.

The neighbors came out; in her nightgown, her face swollen with sleep, mostly old men, women and children; emaciated, exhausted by four years of occupation.

Several of them were wringing their hands and crying, looking upon our Goldale taken away in the police car.

Among the deported from Drancy to Auschwitz, from which she never returned…

____________________

Other aspects of the story… 

Srul was born in Rezcani, Romania, on August 16, 1912, while Golda (Vozer), also born in 1912, was from Pascani.  Srul served in the 21eme Régiment de Marche de Volontaires Etrangers (21st Regiment of Foreign Volunteers). 

Srul’s biographical profile at Mémorial Gen Web (Reference Number 1559751) does not specify the date of his death, only listing this as “1940”, and giving his surname as “Magalnick”, while Au Service de la France gives his surname as “Magalnik”. 

According to his biographical record in the Secrétariat Général pour l’Administration’s “Base des militaires décédés pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale” database, he died on June 17, 1940, rather than June 13 as given in Ilex’s account.  He was killed in action at Saint Menehould, Marne, and is buried at the Bagneux Cemeterty, in Paris.

After Srul’s death, Golda resided in at the Rue des Granvilliers, in Paris’ 3rd Arrondissement.  On November 11, 1942, she was deported from Drancy Camp, in France, to the Auschwitz Birkenau Extermination Camp, on Transport 45, Train Da. 901/38.  This is a correction to Ilex’s narrative which denotes that she was deported in 1944.

Above all and most important, Beller mentions that Srul and Golda had a “small child” – Nelly; their daughter – who resided with a Mrs. Grimaud, the concierge of Lt. Bellissant’s wife.  A search of Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victim’s Names reveals – fortunately – no record for “Nelly Magalnic” (at least, using the specific name “Nelly” in the “first name” search field). 

Therefore, it seems – one would hope – that Nelly survived the war. 

If so, assuming she was born in the mid-1930s, she would now be in her early eighties.

The Central Database of Shoah Victim’s Names reveals something else:  A Page of testimony in Golda’s memory, completed in December of 2002, by Victoria Schwartz (her niece?).

____________________

Some other Jewish military casualties on June 17, 1940, include:

Killed / Tué
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Bach, Andre, Chef d’Escadron, Legion d’Honneur
Armée de Terre, 121eme Regiment d’Infanterie, Groupe de 105 Hippomobile
“Son groupe ayant été coupé du corps d’armée le 7 juin, à continué à combattre avec d’autres éléments jusqu’au 17 juin, date à laquelle il à été mortellement frappé.”
(His group was cut off from the Corps on June 7, and continued to fight with other elements until June 17, when he was fatally struck.)
LODS, p. 126

Not in SGA Seconde Guerre mondiale website; Not in Sepultures du Guerre database
Place of Burial Unknown

Baum
, Alfred Isaac, Pvt., 6288801, Killed at St. Nazaire

The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), 2nd Battalion
Born 1919
WWRT I, p. 60
Prefailles Communal Cemetery, France – Grave 25

Boos
, Emile (AC-21P-27054), Blessures de Guerre; Rancourt
Armée de Terre, 70eme Régiment d’infanterie de Forteresse

France, Bas-Rhin, Nessenheim; 3/16/09 / France, Saverne
ASDLF, p. 138
SGA “Seconde guerre mondiale” website lists unit as “70e RI Forteresse” – SGA “Sepultures de Guerre” website lists Unite as “70eme R.I.F.”
Carre militaire “Navenne”, Navenne, Haute-Saone, France – Tombe Individuelle, No. 59

Bronstein
, Georges Youry (AC-21P-34431), Tué à l’ennemi; Yonne, Arthonnay

Armée de Terre, 42eme Régiment d’Infanterie, 5eme Compagnie
Born Russie, Saint Petersburg; 11/23/14
Place of Burial Unknown

Bucholz
, Kalmann (AC-21P-35484)

Born Pologne; 1/29/97
ASDLF – 138
Listed in SGA “Seconde guerre mondiale” website, but not SGA “Sepultures de Guerre” website; http://www.memorial-genweb.org/html/fr/resultcommune.php3?id_source=33507&ntable=bp05
(Gives first name as “Kalman”)
Bagneux Cemetery, Bagneux, Paris, France

Fleisher
, Soloman, Pvt.,

Royal Army Service Corps, 2nd Field Bakery
Mr. and Mrs. Morris and Ann Fleisher (parents)
Not listed in either WWRT or WWRT II
Dunkirk Memorial, Nord, France – Column 140

Freeman
, Leslie, Pvt., 6466563, Passenger aboard S.S. Lancastria, which received direct hit by enemy bomb at Dunkirk.

The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), 2nd Battalion
Born 1918
WWRT – I, p. 88
Dunkirk Memorial, Nord, France – Column 38

Goldinberg (Goldenberg)
, Albert, Soldat (AC-21P-195701), Tué au combat; Cote d’Or, Billy les Chanceaux

Armée de Terre, 232eme Régiment d’Artillerie Divisionnaire
Born France, Paris; 10/25/17
Information from SGA “Sepultures de Guerre” website.  Not in SGA “Seconde guerre mondiale” database.
Nécropole nationale “La Doua”, Villeurbanne, Rhone, France – Tombe individuelle, Carre E, Rang 14, No. 2

Harris, Stanley Louis, Sgt., 751759, Passenger aboard S.S. Lancastria, which received direct hit by enemy bomb at Dunkirk
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Number 98 Squadron
Born 1920
Mr. and Mrs. Louis and Minnie A. Harris (parents), Freemantle, Southampton, England
WWRT II, p. 27
http://www.rafweb.org/SqnMark098.htm
http://www.lancastria.org.uk/Victim_List/victim_list.html
Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England – Panel 15

Jungwitz, Mendel Juda, (AC-21P-58140), Tué au combat; Meuse, Sagny sur Meuse
Armée de Terre, 73eme Groupe de Reconnaissance de Division d’Infanterie
Born Pologne, Monwy Dwor; 12/22/03
First name from SGA “Seconde guerre mondiale” website – SGA “Sepultures de Guerre” website gives first name as “Mendel”; other information is identical in both databases.
Nécropole nationale “Faubourg Pave”, Verdun, Meuse, France – Tombe individuelle, Carre 39/45, No. 160

Khan
, Peter, Cpl., 13000584

Pioneer Corps, 53rd Company, Auxiliary Military
Born 1905
WWRT II, p. 16
Escoublac-la-Baule War Cemetery, Loire-Atlantique, France – 1,E,33

Levy
, Clement Nahman, (AC-21P-76681), “En mission”

Born Israel, Safad; 8/2/15
Place of Burial Unknown

Levy, Francois (AC-21P-76688), Meurthe-et-Moselle, Juvelize
Armée de Terre, 291eme Regiment d’Infanterie
France, Doubs, Besancon; 1/31/18
Place of Burial Unknown

Levy, Roger (AC-21P-78641), Bombardement; Ille-et-Vilaine, Rennes
Armée de Terre, 212eme Regiment d’Artillerie

France, Bas-Rhin, Benfeld; 8/11/06
Place of Burial Unknown

Lewis, Albert, Pvt., 4188602
Cheshire Regiment
Born 1902
Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Sarah Lewis (parents)
WWRT II, p. 18
Pornic War Cemetery, Loire-Atlantique, France – 1,C,6

Saks
, Tobiasz (AC-21P-151240), Tué au combat; Marne, Saint Menehould

Armée de Terre, 21eme Régiment de Marche Etranger
Born Pologne, Fedrzejow; 9/29/07
ASDLF, p. 143
Listed in SGA “Seconde guerre mondiale” website – not listed in SGA “Sepultures de Guerre” website; http://www.memorial-genweb.org/html/fr/resultcommune.php3?id_source=33507&ntable=bp05 (Gives first name as “Tobjasz”)
Bagneux Cemetery, Bagneux, Paris, France

Weil
, Francois Charles David, Lieutenant (AC-21P-169180), Legion d’Honneur; Vienne, Poitiers / Villampuy

Armée de Terre, Cavalerie / A.B.C. / 2eme // 3eme Bataillon de Chars de Combat
“Grièvement blessé le 17/06/1940 à Villampuy (28) par un coup direct sur son char.”
(Seriously wounded on 17/06/1940 in Villampuy (28) by a direct hit on his tank.)

“Lors de l’attaque de Crécy, le 19 mai 1940 à conduit sa section à l’objectif définitif et à contenu l’ennemi pendant sept heures malgré de violente bombardements d’aviation.  Après avoir brillamment participé aux contre-attaques du bataillon du 24 au 31 mai en direction d’Abbevville, à été grièvement blessé le 17 juin au carrefour de Villampuy en assurant la liaison entre ses sections.  Est mort des suites de ses blessures.”
(During the attack on Crécy, May 19, 1940 led his section to the final objective and contained the enemy for seven hours despite violent bombing by aircraft.  After brilliantly participating in the battalion’s counter-attacks from May 24th to 31st in the direction of Abbeville, he was seriously wounded on June 17th at the crossroads of Villampuy by linking his sections.  Died from his wounds.)

Born France, Paris; 10/2/13
LODS, p. 125
SGA gives date as 7/5/40; http://www.memorialgenweb.org/memorial3/html/fr/complementter.php?table=bp&id=112905
Place of Burial Unknown

Winer, Jack George, Pvt., 7659901, Killed in Dunkirk Evacuation
Royal Army Pay Corps
Born 1905
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Rose Winer (parents)
WWRT I, p. 174
Dunkirk Memorial, Nord, France – Column 148

Zadoc Khan
, Roger Bertrand, (AC-21P-172107), “Non mort pour France”, Creuse, Mas d’Arviges

Born France, Paris; 11/20/01
Place of Burial Unknown

Zapp, Victor Irving, Sgt., 147889, Passenger aboard S.S. Lancastria, which received direct hit by enemy bomb at Dunkirk.
Royal Army Service Corps
WWRT II, p. 23
Pornic War Cemetery, Loire-Atlantique, France – 2,C,15

Zerbib
, Raymond Fredj Rahsmin, Soldat (Zouave), (AC-21P-167211), Legion d’Honneur; Seine-et-Oise, Saint Cheron (environs)

Armée de Terre, 3eme Regiment de Zouaves
“Mortellement blessé le 17 juin 1940 en résistant courageusement aux attaques ennemies aux environs de Saint-Cheron.”
(Fatally wounded on 17 June 1940 by courageously resisting enemy attacks near Saint-Cheron.)

Born Algerie, Ain-Beida; 9/4/14
LODS, p. 128
First name and Date de deces from SGA “Seconde guerre mondiale” website – SGA “Sepultures de Guerre” website gives first name as “Raymond”, and lists Date de deces as “6/15/40”.
Nécropole nationale “Fleury-les-Aubrais”, Fleury-les-Aubrais, Loiret, France – Tombe individuelle, Carre 43, Rang 4, No. 58

Prisoners of War / Prisonniers de Guerre

Journo, Raoul, Zouave de 1ere Classe, Citation à l’ordre du Régiment
Armée de Terre, 10ème Corps d’Armée, 84ème D.I.N.A.
Prisoner of War (Prisonnier de guerre); Liberated 4/29/45
LODS, p. 99

Khelifi
, Simon, Soldat de 1ere Classe

Armée de Terre, 57eme Régiment d’Infanterie Coloniale (Mixte Sénégalais)
Prisoner of War (Prisonnier de guerre); Frontstalag 230 (France, Vienne, Poitiers)
“Evadé le 22 août 1944 (zone de combat Calvados).  Rejoint le bataillon 31éme de Pionnier.”
(Escaped on 22 August 1944 (Calvados combat zone).  Joined the 31st Pioneer Battalion.) 

Born Tunisie, Tunis; 5/17/15
LODS, p. 111
Liste officielle No. 46 De Prisonniers Francais (11/30/40), p. 33, Liste officielle No. 63 De Prisonniers Francais (1/13/41), p. 33

Wounded (Survived) / Blessé (Survécu)

Sahagian, Abraham, Soldat, Medaille Militaire
Armée de Terre, 107eme Regiment d’Infanterie

“A été grièvement blessé par balle le 17 juin 1940 à son poste de combat aux environs de Laon.”
(He was seriously wounded by a bullet on 17 June 1940 at his combat post near Laon.) 

LODS, p. 145

____________________

References

Books

“WWRT I”
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

“WWRT II”
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

“LODS”
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

“ASDLF”
Au Service de la France (Edité à l’occasion du 10ème anniversaire de l’Union des Engagés Volontaires et Anciens Combattants Juifs 1939-1945), l’Union Des Engagés Volontaires Et Anciens Combattants Juifs, Paris (?), France, 1955

Web

Ilex Beller (wikipedia entry), at https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilex_Beller

Ilex Beller (JewishGen KehilaLinks), at https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilex_Beller

U.E.V.A.C.J. (Union des Engagés Volontaires et Anciens Combattants Juifs 1939-1945 (Union of Military Volunteers and Jewish Veterans of 1939-1945) (home page), at http://www.combattantvolontairejuif.org/160.html

Rue de Gravilliers (wikipedia entry), at https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rue_des_Gravilliers

Golda Magalnic (under surname of “Magalnik”) – biographical information at genweb.org

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Captain William Hays Davidow

Army Air Force Captain William Hays Davidow, a pilot in the 12th Ferry Group, lost his life in the crash of a P-40 Warhawk fighter plane at Accra, British West Africa (now Ghana), on January 21, 1943.  His aircraft, P-40F 41-14403, suffered engine failure on takeoff.

On January 27, an obituary of Captain Davidow appeared in The New York Times.  This news item did not appear in association with a Casualty List.  Rather, it was published as a “stand alone” item on page four of the newspaper’s first section.  The sad prominence of the obituary – which is transcribed below – was due to Captain Davidow’s familial relationship to Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of the Times

Born in New York on December 15, 1919, William Davidow was employed by the Times prior to entering the Army Air Force as an Aviation Cadet.

Along with The New York Times, news about Captain Davidow appeared in the Herald Statesman (Yonkers) (1/28/43), the Long Island Daily Press (12/17/40, and 1/29/43), and Nassau Daily Review – Star (6/30/42, 2/5/43) while a tribute in his honor, written by fellow employees at the Times, was published in the German exile newspaper Aufbau on June 11, 1943. 

Captain Davidow is buried in the North African American Cemetery, in Carthage, Tunisia, at Plot C, Row 19, Grave 7.  His name appears on page 295 of American Jews in World War Two.  

His obituary from the Times is presented below:

____________________

Army Flier Is Victim Of a Crash in Africa

SCARSDALE, N.Y., Jan. 26 – Captain William Hays Davidow of the Army Air Forces has been killed in an airplane accident in Africa, the War Department has notified his mother, Mrs. Irwin Friend, of 44 Graham Road, Scarsdale.  [Also 121 East 94th Street, in the Carnegie Hill section of Manhattan – MGM]  There were no further details.

Captain Davidow was born in New York City twenty-three years ago.  He attended Lafayette College for two years, and was a member of the swimming team.  In 1939 he became a member of the merchandise research department of THE NEW YORK TIMES.

In October, 1940, he enlisted in the Air Forces as an aviation cadet, graduating as a pilot in August, 1941.  He was trained at Maxwell Field, Birmingham, Ala.  He went to Africa shortly before Pearl Harbor.

Surviving besides his mother are his father, Leonard H. Davidow of New York, and two sisters, Mrs. Marjorie D. Mathias and Miss Betty Davidow.  Mrs. Arthur Hays Suzlberger of New York is a cousin.

____________________

This image of Captain Davidow – standing in front a PT-17 Stearman biplane – appeared in the Scarsdale Inquirer on November 6, 1942.

____________________

A formal portrait of William Davidow as a Flying Cadet, from the United States National Archives collection of “Photographic Prints of Air Cadets and Officers, Air Crew, and Notables in the History of Aviation”.  (RG 18-PU)  He received his wings on August 15, 1941. 

____________________

The image below, a formal portrait of William Davidow, appeared both in the Times’ obituary and the Lafayette College Book of Remembrance, the latter profiling Lafayette College alumni who lost their lives in World War Two.

____________________

A memorial essay in honor of Captain Davidow, from the June 11, 1943 issue of Aufbau:

____________________

The Davidow family home in Scarsdale as it appears in 2017, as seen at Zillow.com.

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Two other Jewish servicemen – both members of the Navy – are known to have been involved in military incidents on January 12, 1943.  They were Lieutenant Albert Plotkin (killed, non battle) and Seaman Bernard Applebaum (rescued, but died in October of 1945).  Biographical information about them is presented below:

Killed (non-battle)

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Plotkin, Albert, Lt., Co-Pilot
Navy Air Transport Squadron VR-3
Aircraft (R4D-1 Skytrain Bureau Number 5051), struck Fremont Peak, near Flagstaff, Arizona; Pilot – Lieutenant Max S. Knudsen; 6 crew and passengers – no survivors
Mrs. Virginia (“Betty”) Plotkin (wife), New Smyrna, Fl. / Kansas City, Mo.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Herman and Pearl Plotkin (parents), David and Ruth Plotkin (brother and sister), 90-36 149th St., Jamaica, N.Y.
Born Akron, Ohio, 12/14/16
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. – Section 8, Grave 6169

Herald Statesman (Yonkers) (1/28/43)
Long Island Daily Press 12/17/40, 1/29/43
Nassau Daily Review-Star 6/30/42, 2/5/43
American Jews in World War Two – 406

The article below appeared on the first page of the January 29, 1943 issue of the the Long Island Daily Press

Rescued

Applebaum, Bernard, Seaman 1st Class, serial number possibly 5791828
Crew Member of Submarine Chaser USS SC-709 (lost off Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia)
Born 1926
Mr. Jacob Applebaum (father), Philip (brother), 16 Henry St., Malden, Ma.
Died (non-combat) at Brooklyn Naval Hospital on 10/26/45; Malden Press 11/2/45
American Jews in World War Two – p. 149
Buried at Mont Vale Cemetery, Woburn, Ma.

References

Websites

Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Wikipedia)

Captain William H. Davidow incident of January 21, 1943 (Aviation Archeology Database)

Scarsdale Inquirer for November 6, 1942 (Hudson River Valley Heritage Historical Newspapers)

Aufbau, poem honoring Captain William H. Davidow, in issue of June 11, 1943 (German Exile Press newspapers, at Deutsche National Bibliothek)

Submarine Chaser USS SC-709

Wrecksite.com

and

Wikimapia.org

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.

Lafayette College Book of Remembrance, 1946, Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. (With special thanks to College Archivist Elaine M. Stomber!)

 

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Private Marc C. Dauber

The name of Private Marc C. Dauber, a resident of Brooklyn, appeared in The New York Times on February 4, 1945, in a list of soldiers killed in action in the European Theater of War.  His obituary – shown below – was published on September 26 of that year.

____________________

Second Highest Honor Awarded Him After Death

The nation’s second highest honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, was awarded posthumously yesterday to Pvt. Marc C. Dauber, 22 years old, a Brooklyn soldier who was killed in action in the Huertgen Forest at Hamich, Germany, after twice leaving “safe” Army assignments to get into front-line action.

At a ceremony at 90 Church Street, Col. John R. Reitmeyer, Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Defense Command, presented the award to the soldier’s father, Emanuel Dauber of 1574 Fifty-Sixth Street, Brooklyn.  Private Dauber was killed last November while serving with Company L of the Sixteenth Infantry Regiment, of the First Division.  Badly wounded in a German counter-attack, he defended his position until he was killed, shouting and throwing grenades, and drawing enemy fire away from the rest of his platoon.

He had left his engineer camouflage unit to stow away on a landing barge, for the D-Day landing.

Assigned to a desk job in Brittany, he again transferred himself to the infantry unit, and served so well that his commanding officer requested his official transfer.

Before entering the Army he was a senior at Brooklyn College.

____________________

The official citation for Private Dauber’s DSC award, available at Military Times Hall of Valor, states:

A member of 3rd Battalion, L Company, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, he was killed in action on November 18, 1944.  A recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the citation for his award states, “During action near Hamich, Germany, Private Dauber assumed command of his platoon when the platoon and squad leaders became casualties. He led a group of men into the town, silenced a German machine gun with a grenade, courageously advanced alone on a second machine gun nest and eliminated that position with rifle fire. He continued to lead his men until nightfall when the enemy counterattacked and surrounded his platoon. Although seriously wounded he defended his position with heroic determination against overwhelming odds until he was killed. Private Dauber’s inspirational leadership and supreme devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.”

____________________

Born in Germany on October 24, 1922, Private Dauber is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, in Grave 18, Row 6, Plot B.  A photograph of his tombstone, by WW II military history researcher Des Philippet, can be found at his biographical profile, at FindAGrave.com.

____________________

A late-2016 Google view of the residence of Marc and his parents – Emanuel (a veteran of the German Army in WW I) and Pauline – in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, appears below.

____________________

Some other Jewish military casualties on Saturday, November 18, 1944 include…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Egel, Ely, PFC, 37619938, Purple Heart
United States Army, 26th Infantry Division, 101st Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Simone and Minnie Egel (parents), 956 Hamilton Ave., St. Louis, Mo.; Mr. Sam Goldblatt (best friend), St. Louis, Mo.
Place of burial unknown
Saint Louis Post Dispatch 3/5/45
American Jews in World War Two – 209

Ellman
, Alan H., Pvt., 32978581, Purple Heart

United States Army, 95th Infantry Division, 377th Infantry Regiment
Dr. Isadore William Ellman (father), 701 Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1924
Place of burial unknown
American Jews in World War Two – 302

Emmer, Raymond Philip, Pvt., 37618928, Purple Heart
United States Army, 99th Infantry Division, 394th Infantry Regiment, F Company
Mr. and Mrs. Vivien Horace and Blanche (Nathan) Emmer (parents), 6304 Rosemary Drive, St. Louis, Mo.
Born Saint Louis, Mo., 4/6/25
American Jews in World War Two – 209

Raymond P. Emmer and Carol Strauss, at Beverly Hills, California, in 1942.  (Photo c/o Robert Alyn)

Fried, Louis, Pvt., 35233154, Purple Heart, Casualty in France
United States Army, 95th Infantry Division, 379th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Samuel Fried (father), 139 Roslyn Drive, Youngstown, Oh.
Born 1923
Place of burial unknown
The Jewish Times (Youngstown, Ohio) 12/22/44
American Jews in World War II – 486

Kaufman
, Arthur S., Pvt., 32525103

United States Army, 32nd Infantry Division, 32nd Signal Company
Mr. and Mrs. Meyer and Mollie Kaufman (parents); Irvin and Norman (brothers), 1735 Walton Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1921; City College of New York Class of 1942
Place of burial unknown
Casualty List 2/6/45
New York Times obituary page (Memorial Section) 11/17/46
American Jews in World War II – 47, 359

Schlamowitz
, Milton, Pvt., 32803627, Purple Heart, Casualty in Germany

United States Army, 29th Infantry Division, 116th Infantry Regiment, B Company
Mrs. Jennie Schlamowitz (mother), Herbert (brother), 1234 Vyse Ave., New York, N.Y.
Born 1925
Place of burial unknown
Casualty List 3/6/45
American Jews in World War II – 431

Schor
, William, PFC, 42056382, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Casualty in France

United States Army, 103rd Infantry Division, 411th Infantry Regiment, Anti-Tank Company
Died of Wounds 12/5/44
Mrs. Mina R. Schor (mother), 3640 (3650?) Rochambeau Ave., New York, N.Y.
Place of burial unknown
Casualty List 1/28/45
American Jews in World War II – 433

Sussman
, Daniel, Pvt., 36727698

United States Army, 95th Infantry Division, 377th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Bess (Kaiserman) Sussman (parents), Chicago, Il.; Mrs. Thelma Friedman (sister)
Westlawn Cemetery, Norridge, Chicago, Il. (Buried August, 1949)
Chicago Tribune 8/4/49
American Jews in World War II – 118

Wiesen
, Fred R., PFC, 18151571, Purple Heart, Casualty in France

United States Army
Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Ruth Wiesen (parents), New York, N.Y. / Orleans Parrish, La.
Mrs. Estelle (Wiesen) Levine (sister), Harold and Lois (?); Lenore and Milton, Seasonwein; Gertrude and Arthur Holzsager; Naomi Hicks; Fred and Clara Penner; Carl, Julius, Charlotte, and Harold
Place of burial unknown (Buried 5/21/48)
New York Times Obituary page 5/20/48, 5/21/48, 5/22/48;
New York Times Obituary page Memorial section: 11/18/45, 11/24/26
American Jews in World War II – 472

Died of Wounds
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Captain Wallace Nathan Emmer, USAAF (brother of Raymond Philip Emmer), Capt., 0-730422
United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 354th Fighter Group, 353rd Fighter Squadron
138 combat missions
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Service Cross,
Air Medal with 24 Oak Leaf Clusters
Purple Heart
Born Omaha, Nebraska, 11/18/17
Shot down by flak 8/9/44; Prisoner of war; Died 2/15/45 at Wetzlar / Lahn, Klosterwald, Germany, of a heart attack, from effects of severe burns received when his Mustang was shot down.
MACR 8149, P-51D 44-13948, No Luftgaukommando Report
American Jews in World War Two – Not listed

Unlike all other soldiers listed in this post, Captain Wallace N. Emmer was not a casualty on November 18, 1944.  Information about him is presented here because he was Private Raymond P. Emmer’s brother. 

Raymond and Wallace are among the numerous sets of brothers profiled in Helen Kantzler’s article “Double Gold Stars”, which was published in the Jewish Criterion (Pittsburgh) on September 20, 1946.  The Emmer brothers were buried alongside one another at New Mount Sinai Cemetery, in Saint Louis, Missouri, on April 21, 1948.  (Section Q, Lot 25)   For more information about Raymond and Wallace, visit their biographical profile (by Trip Alyn) at FindAGrave.com.

The image below, reproduced from a photographic print loaned to me by Robert Alyn, shows Wallace’s personal P-51D, “Arson’s Reward”.  Very (very, very!) close magnification of that photographic print showed that this aircraft’s serial number is 44-13400.      

According to the Aviation Archeology database, 44-13400 was wrecked in a landing accident Criqueville, France, on August 3, 1944, while being flown by Franklin Rose, Jr.  This was six days before Captain Emmer was shot down in P-51D 44-13948. 

Though low resolution, the image below, from the book History in the Sky: 354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group, clearly shows the wreck of “Arson’s Reward”.  The picture shows the plane’s nickname on its forward cowling.  (Plus, a rather broken left wing.)

Notice that while the photo above shows the plane with 11 crosses denoting German planes shot down, the image below shows 16 crosses.  Based on the dates (in USAF Historical Study 85) of Emmer’s 13 full-credit and two half-credit aerial victories, this suggests that the above photograph was probably taken in very late June through mid-July of 1944.

Therefore, it seems that 44-13948 – the aircraft in which Wallace Emmer was shot down – was not “Arson’s Reward” and thus, not his “personal” Mustang.

____________________

Since information about Captain Emmer abundantly exists in digital and print formats, the following two pictures are included here as representative images.

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This superb photograph shows Captain Emmer standing before a P-51B Mustang fighter, at the 354th Fighter Group’s base at Boxted, England.  Curiously, it is not an official USAAF photograph.  Instead, it was obtained through Britain’s Imperial War Museum, where it has been cataloged as image EA18248.  It may have been taken by Childs & Coxey Photographers, who apparently visited Boxted for a photo session early in 1944.

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This photograph, of Raymond and Wallace’s parents, Vivien Horace and Blanche (Nathan) Emmer, accompanied by Robert Alyn, was taken in Saint Louis on July 14, 1951.  They passed away within a day of one another in October, 1975.  (Image c/o Robert Alyn.) 

Wounded in Action

Burstein, Charles, 2 Lt., 0-1822586, Purple Heart
United States Army, 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion
Mrs. Mary Burstein (mother), 1002 Keniston Ave., Los Angeles, Ca.
Casualty List 1/31/45
American Jews in World War Two – 286

Friedenwald
, Aaron, Capt., Silver Star, Purple Heart

United States Army, 29th Infantry Division
Miss Dorothy Lane (fiancée)
Dr. and Mrs. Edgar B. Friedenwald (parents), 1616 Linden Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Baltimore Sun 1/21/45, 1/26/45
Jewish Times (Baltimore) 2/2/45
American Jews in World War Two – 138

Epstein
, Herbert W., Pvt., 12225760, Purple Heart, Severely Wounded, France

United States Army,
Mr. Samuel S. Epstein (father), 229 Van Cortlandt Park Ave., Yonkers, N.Y.

Born 1925
Casualty List 1/31/45;
The Herald Statesman (Yonkers) 12/21/44

American Jews in World War Two – 303

Prisoners of War

Feier, Joseph Arthur, Pvt., 42109607
84th Infantry Division, 334th Infantry Regiment
Stalag 2B (Hammerstein)
Mrs. Elsie Feier (mother), 153 Grove St., Passaic, N.J.
Casualty Lists 4/6/45, 6/13/45
American Jews in World War Two – p. 232

Hanowitz
, Stanley, Pvt., 33588225

84th Infantry Division, 334th Infantry Regiment
Stalag 2A (Neubrandenburg)
Mrs. Rosita Hanowitz (wife), 601 West 163rd St., New York, N.Y.
Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Albert and Frances Hanowitz (parents), 5058 F Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
Born Philadelphia, Pa., 4/26/24
The Jewish Exponent 4/13/45; The Philadelphia Inquirer 4/5/45, 6/10/45; The Philadelphia Record 1/23/45, 4/5/45
American Jews in World War Two – Not listed

Sackter, Arnold M., Pvt., 36864894
26th Infantry Division, 104th Infantry Regiment
Stalag 12A (Limburg an der Lahn)
Mr. Jacob Sackter (father), 3824 Humphrey St., Detroit, Mi. / 446 1/2 North Curson, Los Angeles, Ca.
Casualty Lists 5/4/45, 6/19/45
American Jews in World War Two – Not listed

____________________

References

Brown, Arthur F., History in the Sky: 354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group, San Angelo, Tx., 1946

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.

The 16th Infantry: 1798 – 1946, Edited by Lieutenant John W. Baumgartner, 1st Sergeant Al De Poto, Sergeant William Fraccio, and Corporal Sammy Fuller

Brooklyn Eagle
, February 23, 1946, “96 Jewish Vets Get State Service Cross” (p. 2)

New York Post, October 6, 1945, “Parents Seek Word of Son” (p. 11)

New York Post, October 10, 1945, “Seek Word of Missing Relatives” (p. 11)

Military Times Hall of Valor – DSC Award for Private Marc C. Dauber, at
http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=22028

USAF Credits for the Destruction of Enemy Aircraft, World War II, Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center, Air University, Office of Air Force History, Headquarters USAF, 1978 (Wallace N. Emmer, pp. 60-61)

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Sergeant Sheldon R. Coons, Jr.

The end of the Second World War in Europe on May 8, 1945, did not mark the end of military deaths in that theater of war.

On June 8, 1945, B-17G Flying Fortress 44-8639, an aircraft of the 509th Bomb Squadron, 351st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, piloted by 1 Lt. Howard R. Hibbard, crashed at Craig Cwm Llwyd, Wales, while on a return flight to the United States from Polebrook, Northamptonshire, England.  (There is no Missing Aircrew Report for this aircraft loss.) 

Much more information about this incident, written by Allan Clark and published in July of 2016, can be found at the Peak District Air Crashes website.

Among the plane’s twenty crew and passengers was Sergeant Sheldon Reynolds Coons, Jr., whose obituary appeared in both the New York Times, and, Wilkes-Barre Record, on June 28, 1945.   

Sergeant Coons is buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery, in Cambridge, England.  (Plot D, Row 2, Grave 83)

Flier on Furlough Killed In Plane Crash in Wales

Sgt. Sheldon Reynolds Coons, Jr., 23-year-old member of the 351st Bombardment Group of the Eighth Air Force, was killed on June 8 when the plane in which he was flying for furlough at home crashed in Wales, the War Department has informed his father and stepmother, Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon R. Coons of 910 Fifth Avenue.  The father, a business consultant, is president of the Better Business Bureau of New York City and a trustee of Mount Sinai Hospital.

Born in New York, young Coons attended the Walden School, New York; Hessian Hills School, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., and Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., and was graduated from the Scarborough (N.Y.) School.  He had completed his sophomore year at the University of North Carolina when he enlisted in the Army in August, 1942.  He was based in England for twenty-six months.  His group was frequently decorated.

In addition to his father, with whom he lived, he leaves his mother, Mrs. Esther Merrill, of Mexico City; a half-brother, Joseph D. Coons, a student at Trinity School here, and a stepsister, Deirdre Coons, a student at the Mary A. Burnham School, Northampton, Mass.

____________________

The reason for the appearance of Sergeant Coons’ obituary in the Wilkes-Barre Record is explained in that new item’s final paragraph: His great-grandfather emigrated to Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley in the early 19th century, his father was born in Wilkes-Barre, and, his grandparent’s resided in that city. 

 

Here is a contemporary view of 910 Fifth Avenue, the wartime location of the Coons’ family residence, from StreetEasy.com

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Another Jewish military casualty on Friday, June 8, 1945, was…

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

 Killed in Action

Solomon, Leonard L., PFC, 39728697
United States Army, Americal Division, 182nd Infantry Regiment
Los Angeles, Ca.
Born 7/17/26
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, Ca. – Section H, Grave 546
American Jews in World War Two – Not Listed

Reference

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.

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Second Lieutenant Arthur Chasen and Sergeant Alfred R. Friedlander

Sometimes, a coincidence is only apparent in retrospect.

On February 27 and March 6, 1945, the Times published obituaries for two members of the Army Air Force – Second Lieutenant Arthur M. Chasen, and Sergeant Alfred Robert Friedlander – respectively, who were both described as having been killed in action in Yugoslavia on December 23, 1944, during their second combat mission.  At the time, it might only have been realized by the most astute reader that Chasen and Friedlander were members of the same aircrew.  Both were lost – along with their seven fellow crewmen – in the same aircraft, on the same combat mission: A sortie to parachute two B.A.F. (Balkan Air Force) agents into the area of Banja Luka, Yugoslavia. 

Chasen and Friedlander were assigned to the 15th Air Force’s 885th Bomb Squadron, based at Brindisi, Italy, and were crew members of the B-24L Liberator 44-49336, “Lady Mary”, piloted by Second Lieutenant Arthur B. Legath.  As recorded in the Missing Air Crew Report (#10934) covering the plane’s loss, the aircraft, which departed at 1024, was contacted twice during the mission: once at 1202 hours, and later at 1545 hours.  Each message was acknowledged shortly after its receipt, with the plane’s last response being received by the 885th at 1549. 

No further communication was received from the aircraft. 

By the time the Missing Air Crew Report was compiled (on either the 28th or 30th of December) unofficial word was received that the aircraft had crashed on the Yugoslavian coast.  News about the crew’s loss presumably reached the United States not longer after.     

According to information compiled by Enrico Barbina at his superb The Solomon Crew website, the mission of December 23, 1944 was also the second combat flight for Lieutenant Legath.  The flight was the 13th combat mission of Lady Mary

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Lieutenant Chasen’s obituary was published in the Times on February 27, and in the Brooklyn Eagle on February 28, 1945.  His name appeared in a Casualty List on March 27.  He is presumably buried in a private cemetery in the United States. 

Brooklyn Flier Casualty on Yugoslav Mission

Lieut. Arthur M. Chasen, navigator in the crew of a bomber that was lost over Yugoslavia Dec. 23, was reported as killed in action on that date, in a telegram received by his parents from the War Department Thursday.  He lived at 727 East Third Street, Brooklyn.  It was his second mission from a base in Italy.

Prior to enlisting while a senior at St. John’s University in Brooklyn in 1942, Lieutenant Chasen had attended Erasmus Hall High School in that borough.  He was commissioned at San Marcos, Texas, in July, 1944.  In addition to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Chasen, the young navigator is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Betty Lebowitz and Mrs. Gladys Hyman, both of Brooklyn.

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Sergeant Friedlander’s obituary was published in the Times on March 6, and appeared in a Casualty List on March 27, 1945.  His name also appeared in the “In Memoriam” section of the Times in October of 1945, and, in 1946 and 1947.   

Initially a member of the 721st Bomb Squadron of the 450th “Cottontails” Bomb Group, he was also mentioned in The Herald Statesman (Yonkers) on January 6, 1944.  He is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, in Nettuno, Italy.  (Plot I, Row 3, Grave 69) 

Killed on Second Mission From Italy Bomber Base

Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Friedlander of 461 Riverdale Avenue, Yonkers, have received word from the War Department of the death of their son, Sgt. A. Robert Friedlander, radio-gunner in the crew of a B-24 bomber that was lost over Yugoslavia on Dec. 23.  Sergeant Friedlander, who was reported killed on that date, was on his second mission from a base in Italy.

He was in his second year at the University of Illinois when he enlisted as an aviation cadet in September, 1942.  He was a member of the Sons of the American Legion, Post 935.

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Here is a 2013 Google Street view of the wartime residence of the Friedlander family: 461 Riverdale Avenue, Yonkers. 

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Here are pages from Missing Air Crew Report 10934 for “Lady Mary”.  Although specific mention is made of the two B.A.F. agents, neither their names nor information about their fate are presented.

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Some other Jewish military casualties on Saturday, December 23, 1944 are listed below.  (The names of casualties for army ground forces on this date are presented in the post covering Private Alfred A. Berg)

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Cummings, Benjamin B., F/O, T-005736, Bombardier, Purple Heart (Killed on his very first combat mission)
United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 397th Bomb Group, 599th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Dorit (“Little”) Cummings (wife); Benjamin Cummings, Jr. (son), 4400 Pacific Ave., Wildwood, N.J.
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Celia Cummings (parents), Henry, Dr. Martin M., and Reuben M. Cummings (brothers), 301 West High St., Glassboro, N.J. / 11 Clementon Road, Camden, N.J.
Born at Blenheim, N.J., 1/16/24; Graduate of Glassboro State Teachers College
MACR 11897, B-26G 43-34159, “Hun Conscious II”, “6B * J”, Pilot – 1 Lt. Philip C. Dryden, 6 crew – 2 survivors
Buried at Crescent Burial Park, Pennsauken, N.J.
American Jews in World War II – 230 (See full biography at DVRBS.com)

 

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Korn, Abraham J., PFC, 12029144, Togglier, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force,  9th Air Force, 397th Bomb Group, 596th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Nellie Korn (mother), 354 Fabyan Place, Newark, N.J.
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo. – Section 84, Grave 156-158; Buried 6/9/50
American Jews in World War II – 242

Lewis, Craig E., 1 Lt., 0-417548, Bombardier, Air Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force,  9th Air Force, 397th Bomb Group, 596th Bomb Squadron
Mr. Benjamin F. Lewis (father), 5486 Blackstone Ave., Chicago, Il.
Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium – Plot C, Row 9, Grave 22
Casualty List 11/7/45
American Jews in World War II – 108

PFC Korn and Lt. Lewis were crewmen in B-26B Mauarder 42-96144, “Bank Nite Betty”, “X2 * C”, piloted by 1 Lt. Charles W. Estes.  (MACR #11483)  None of the plane’s seven crewmen survived the mission.

Excellent and highly evocative photographs of Bank Nite Betty and her crew can be found at the website of the American Air Museum in Britain.  As mentioned in the photo’s the caption, the plane received a direct flak hit and crashed northeast of Saint Vith.  As captioned at the website, the men are as follows:  “Crew: Pilot 1st Lt Charles W Estes (Mo.) [standing at far left], Co-pilot 1st Lt William D Collins (Ia.), Bomb 1st Lt Craig E Lewis (Il.), Eng S/Sgt James P Negri (N.Y.), Radio T/Sgt William E Epps (Ar.), Arm Sgt Bruno T Daszkiewicz (I.) X Gun Pfc Abraham J Korn (N.J.).”

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Mendelsohn, Jerome H., Sgt., 32538446, Radio Operator, Air Medal, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, 12 to 14 missions
United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 394th Bomb Group, 584th Bomb Squadron
Mr. Irving Mendelsohn (father), 1432 Harrod Ave., New York, N.Y.
MACR 11402, B-26B 42-96061, “Heavens Above”, “K5 * P”, Pilot – 2 Lt. Fred E. Riegner, 6 crewmen – 2 survivors
Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France – Plot J, Row 50, Grave 19
Casualty List 12/7/45
American Jews in World War II – 391

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Sampson, William Gilbert (“Sonny”) (וועלוויל נעציל בן מענדיל – Velvel Getzel ben Mendil), Cpl., 36589011, Radio Operator, Air Medal, Purple Heart, 8 missions
United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 391st Bomb Group, 574th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Max [2/22/00-12/13/51] and Debby (Levine) Sampson [1905-11/22/58] (parents), 11818 14th St., Detroit, Mi. [only child]
Born 12/2/24
MACR 11671, B-26B 42-95841, “Powerful Katrinka”, “4L * S”, Pilot – 2 Lt. Edward F. Donnelly, 6 crewmen – no survivors
Machpelah Cemetery, Ferndale, Mi. – Buried 1/2/49; Unveiling 6/12/49
Detroit Jewish Chronicle 12/31/48, 6/9/49
Jewish News (Detroit) 12/14/45, 12/31/48, 6/10/49, 6/14/49
American Jews in World War II – 430

This excellent in-flight image of Powerful Katrinka is from the website of the American Air Museum in Britain.

This image of Corporal Sampson appeared in the Jewish News (Detroit) on December 31, 1948. 

The following two images show the matzevot of Corporal Sampson, and, his father, Max, at the Machpelah Cemetery, in Ferndale, Michigan. The upper image was photographed in 2013 by FindAGrave contributor KChaffeeB., while the lower image was photographed in 2009 by FindAGrave contributor Denise.  I assume (?) that William Sampson’s mother, Debby, is also buried at Machpelah Cemetery.

The similarity of symbols on these two matzevot is more than coincidental.   

Apparently, William was an only child. 

Both of his parents passed away in the 1950s.  They were quite young, even by demographics of that decade:  His father Max was only fifty-one, and his mother Debby only fifty-three.

William’s matzevot bears a pair of wings, centered upon the symbol “9th AF”. 

Max’s mazevot also bears pair of wings, centered upon the symbol of a shield (representing the United States armed forces) surmounted by a resting dove.  

Alas, the Second World War did not “end” in 1945…

____________________

Scherer, Norman S., 1 Lt., 0-887158, Navigator, Air Medal, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 397th Bomb Group, 598th Bomb Squadron
Mr. Arthur Scherer (father), Monument Square, Southampton, Long Island, N.Y.
Casualty List 4/12/45; Nassau Daily Review-Star 10/22/45
MACR 11549, B-26G 43-34221, “Lil’ Jan”, “U2 * L”,  Pilot – Capt. Donald H. Stangle, 8 crewmen – no survivors
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot C, Row 1, Grave 15
American Jews in World War II – 430

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Shweder, Howard, Cpl., 12219444, Tail Gunner, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 387th Bomb Group, 559th Bomb Squadron
Mr. Herman Shweder (father), 1957 74th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
MACR 11482, B-26B 42-95869, “The Front Burner II”, “TQ * F”, Pilot – 2 Lt. Matthew J. Pusateri, 7 crewmen – no survivors
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo. – Section 82, Grave 48; Buried 9/22/49
American Jews in World War II – 441

____________________

Wolf, Edward, 2 Lt., 0-761272, Bombardier-Navigator
United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 391st Bomb Group, 575th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin and Tillie Wolf (parents); Abraham, Anna, and Ruth (brother and sisters), Chicago, Il.
Mrs. A.S. Wolf (sister in law), 412 South Wells St., Chicago, Il.
Born Connecticut, 1920
(Parents’ and sister’s name from 1940 Census – uncertain if this is correct!)
MACR 11670, B-26B 42-95844, “MISS Behavin”, “O8 * D”, Pilot – 2 Lt. William A. Kloepfer, 7 crewmen – 1 survivor
Place of burial – Unknown
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

This photograph of Miss Behavin is (also) from the American Air Museum in Britain website.  The identities of the men standing before the aircraft are unknown. 

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Schuster, Bernard, F/O, T-123627, Navigator, Air Medal, 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 9th Troop Carrier Group, 3rd Troop Carrier Squadron
Mrs. Lucille (Rothman) Schuster (wife), 2877 N. Grand Blvd. (or) 2821 Frederick Ave., Milwaukee, Wi.
Mr. Jacob Schuster (father), 2039 N. 9th St., Milwaukee, Wi.
University of Wisconsin Class of 1942
MACR 11025, C-47A 43-48056, Pilot – 1 Lt. Hildren Tyson, 6 crewmen – no survivors
Agudas Achim Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wi. – SB,L3,G3
American Jews in World War II – 586

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Spear, James Dreyfuss, F/O, T-223175, Pilot (Reconnaissance), Air Medal, 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 8th Air Force, 25th Bomb Group, 654th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Marjorie D. (Stern) Spear (wife), Adrian Apartments, 601 Kirtland St., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander and Lillian (Newman) Dreyfuss (parents), 6306 Beacon St., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Born Cleveland, Oh., 6/7/17
Enlisted in RCAF 9/25/41, with service number R131216; Enlisted in US forces 6/28/44
No MACR, aircraft was Mosquito XVI, NS638; Navigator was 2 Lt. Carroll B. Bryan, of Sevier County, Tennessee – also killed;  Aircraft crashed 2 miles west of Dursley, Gloucestershire, England, on test flight. 
West View Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Jewish Criterion (Pittsburgh) 9/7/45 (Name only – no other information)
American Jews in World War II – 554

Wounded in Action

Haas, Alvin Hugo 2 Lt., 0-744129, Navigator, Air Medal, 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, 56 missions
United States Army Air Force, 5th Air Force, 2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron
Wounded by bomb fragments during Japanese air raid
On 10/26/44, he was a crew member of an OA-10A seaplane that crash-landed in the open sea 30 minutes north by northwest of Morotai at 1920 hours.  He was rescued (along with co-pilot 2 Lt. Richard F. Finn) by a PT boat at 2345 hours; aircraft 44-33877; Pilot – 1 Lt. Fredric F. Hoss, Jr.; 8 crewmen – 6 fatalities
Mr. and Mrs. Hugo (“Hugh”) and Minnie Haas (parents), 28-35 34th St., Astoria, N.Y.
Born New York, N.Y., 10/7/22; Died September 21, 2009
Long Island Star Journal 3/14/45, 3/20/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

This image of Lt. Haas is from Jim Bob Teegarden’s excellent PBY Rescue website, which covers the history of the Second Emergency Rescue Squadron.

____________________

Prisoners of War

Lander, Marvin B., 1 Lt., 0-825204, Pilot (Bomber)
United States Army Air Force, 8th Air Force, 94th Bomb Group, 331st Bomb Squadron
Mr. Philip Lander (father), 170 Sherman Ave., Teaneck, N.J.
Born 11/14/23
POW, Stalag Luft I (North Compound I)
MACR 11346, B-17G 44-6619, “Darling Dot“, crash-landed near Woltingen, Germany; 9 crewmen – 8 survivors; Luftgaukommando Report KU 1171A
Teaneck Newspaper 11/30/43, 11/10/44, 12/20/44, 1/18/45, 1/28/45, 3/8/45, 6/1/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Ovis
, Harold, 2 Lt., 0-722655, Radar Operator, Air Medal, Bronze Star Medal

United States Army Air Force, 9th Air Force, 387th Bomb Group, 559th Bomb Squadron
POW, Stalag Luft I (North Compound I)
Mr. Nat Ovis (brother), 1497 Carroll St. / 1113 Avenue O, Brooklyn, N.Y.
MACR 11464, B-26C 42-107598, “Miss Kam”, “TQ * G”, Pilot – 1 Lt. William I. Pile, 9 crewmen – 6 survivors; Luftgaukommando Report KU 1191A
American Jews in World War II – 402

References

Book

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.

People

Alvin Hugo Haas, at PBY Rescue

          Biography: http://www.pbyrescue.com/Crewmembers/haas.htm

          Mission of October 26, 1944: http://www.pbyrescue.com/Rescues/26oct44.htm

Corporal William G. Sampson (at FindAGrave.com)

Max Sampson (at FindAGrave.com)

The Solomon Crew, at https://thesolomoncrew.com/

Aircraft

B-26B 42-96144, “Bank Nite Betty”, at American Air Museum in Britain, at http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/10132

B-26B 42-95844, “Miss Behavin“, at American Air Museum in Britain, at

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/25748

B-26B 42-95841, “Powerful Katrinka”, at American Air Museum in Britain, at http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/10064

B-17G 44-6619, “Darling Dot“, at

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/15755

Mosquito XVI NS638, at Aviation Safety Net, at

http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=139104

Military Units

Second Emergency Rescue Squadron

http://www.pbyrescue.com/Photos/2ERS0000/817.htm

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: PFC Samuel J. Brandstein

A member of the 77th Infantry Division, PFC Samuel J. Brandstein was killed at Okinawa on May 13, 1945.  His name appeared in one of the last WW II Casualty Lists to have been appeared in the Times (on April 21, 1946), while his obituary – one of several published in the Times that year – was published on March 9. 

Born in 1912, he was married to Flora L. Brandstein, and the couple lived at 2675 Morris Ave., in the Bronx. 

PFC Brandstein’s body was never found.  His name is commemorated on the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial, in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.  Like many American Jewish servicemen, his name is not listed in the book American Jews in World War Two.

__________

Brooklyn Soldier Killed On Okinawa May 13, 1945

Pfc. Samuel J. Brandstein, of Company F, 306th Infantry, Seventy-Seventh Division, son of Mr. and Mrs. Max Brandstein of 1835 Seventy-seventh Street, Brooklyn, who was previously reported missing, was killed in action on Okinawa May 13, 1945, according to word received here.  He was 33 years old.

He had also fought on Guam, Leyte and in the Philippines.  Born in Brooklyn, he attended New Utrecht High School and Long Island University.  He left the employ of the Western Union Company to enter the service in March, 1942.  He went overseas in April, 1943.  Besides his parents, he leaves a widow, Mrs. Flora Brandstein, and a brother, Dr. Edward Brandstein.

__________

Some other Jewish military casualties on Sunday, May 13, 1945 include…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Gellar, James M., PFC, 36681494, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army, 99th Infantry Division, 381st Infantry Regiment, F Company
Mrs. Mary Miller (aunt), 111 Rebecca Place, Peoria, Il.
Born 5/14/25
Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii – Plot M-121; Buried 3/9/49
American Jews in World War Two – 100

Samuel
, Gerhard, PFC, 35904219

United States Army, 77th Infantry Division, 305th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Gustav (8/2/87-1954) and Gertrud (Bruck) Samuel (parents), 3750 Carrollton Ave., Indianapolis, In.; Arnold and Susie Samuel (brother and sister); Fred A. Samuel (cousin)
Born in Germany, at Rodalben in der Pfalz; 1/9/26
Mount Olive Cemetery, Solon, Ohio
Aufbau 7/6/45
Over The Front – Summer, 2000
American Jews in World War Two – 124

Killed (Non-Battle)

Landau, Mary M., PFC, A-207742
Mr. Louis Landau (father), Miss Renee Landau (sister), 559 Glenmore Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 12/13/06
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo. – Section 70, Grave 16187-89; Buried 6/29/59
News Item 6/10/45
American Jews in World War Two – 370

Naimer
, Belle G., Sgt., A-116702

Mr. David Naimer (father), 136 East 208th St., Bronx, N.Y.; Gus, Harry, and Jack (brothers)
Born 10/31/11
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo. – Section 70, Grave 16187-89; Buried 6/29/59
News Item 6/10/45
American Jews in World War Two – Not listed

Mary Landau and Belle Naimer were two among the twenty-three crew and passengers who were killed in the loss of a 317th Troop Carrier Group C-47 (41-23952; “Gremlin Special / Guinea Gopher“) during a sight-seeing flight over the Balim Valley of Central New Guinea.  Caught in a down-draft, the aircraft, piloted by Colonel Peter Prossen, crashed, leaving only five survivors.  Of the five, PFC Eleanor Hanna and S/Sgt Laura Besley died of their wounds the next day.  The three eventual survivors, T/Sgt. Kenneth Decker, Cpl. Margaret J. Hastings, 1 Lt. John S. McColum were rescued 47 days late through extraordinary efforts by the Army Air Force and Filipino paratroopers, who evacuated the survivors by glider.  The loss of the plane is covered by MACR 14697.

This compelling story received national news attention in June of 1945.  This was particularly so in New York State newspapers (Albany Times-Union, Binghamton Press, Brooklyn Eagle, New York Sun, and New York Post) probably because survivor Margaret Hastings was from Oswego.  Especially detailed was the story “Mystery Valley of Shangri-La Isolates Plane Crash Survivors”, filed by Associated Press reporter Dean Schedler, which was published in the Sun on June 8.  This two-page article provides a full list of crew and passengers, along with the towns and cities where their next-of-kin resided.

Both the Albany Times-Union and New York Sun specifically mentioned Belle Naimer, the Times-Union reporting (in an A.P. story):

MET SAME FATE AS HER FIANCE

NEW YORK, June 8 (AP) – WAC Sgt. Belle G. Naimer of the Bronx, one of 20 persons killed in on May 13 when an Army plane crashed in New Guinea’s hidden “Shangri-La” valley, met the same fate as her fiance, her father, David Naimer, said today.

The attractive, 32-year-old woman had been engaged to an Army Air Force Lieutenant who was killed in a plane crash in Europe while en route to the front, he said.

The father, almost totally blind, said he did not know the lieutenant’s name.

He said he last received a letter from his daughter May 9, from New Guinea.

Both the Sun and the New York Post reported that a funeral service was later conducted by aircraft the crash site by Catholic and Protestant Chaplains, with twenty-one grave markers (one of which was a Magen David) being dropped to the crash site.  In that regard, it is interesting – but not unusual – that while Mary Landau’s name would eventually be listed in American Jews in World War Two, Bell Naimer’s name did not appear in that book. 

In 1959, the remains of eighteen casualties from the crash were re-interred in a collective grave at Section 70, Site 16187-89, at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery on June 29, 1959.  The image below, by FindAGrave contributor Carol Beck, shows this group’s collective grave marker.  (Three other casualties, including Sgt. Besley and PFC Hanna, are buried in individual graves.)

The following article about Belle Naimer, provided by FindAGrave contributor Astrid, can be found at Sgt. Naimer’s FindAGrave biographical profile.  This biography notably differs from the item published in the Albany Times-Union in reporting that her fiance was killed in October or November of 1944, during a crash at or near the Mississippi River. 

Unfortunately, his name is unknown.

  ____________________

Writer Mitchell Zuckoff, author of 13 Hours in Benghazi and Frozen in Time, has fully chronicled the story of the Gremlin Special / Guinea Gopher in his book, Lost in Shangri-La, which is directly available through his website. 

References

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.

C-47A 41-23952 (PacificWrecks)

Lost in Shangri-La, by Mitchell Zuckoff

PFC Mary M. Landau (FindAGrave.com)

S/Sgt. Belle G. Naimer (FindAGrave.com)