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

A war ends. 

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

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

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

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

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

Eighth Air Force Pilot Lost in Action Over Europe

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

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

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

The son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel J. and Sadye L. Forman, Herbert served as a 9th Air Force P-38 Lightning fighter pilot in the 402nd Fighter Squadron of the 370th Fighter Group.  Shot down while piloting P-38J 42-68179, his name is commemorated upon the Tablets of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery, in Cambridge, England.  The recipient of the Purple Heart, he was also awarded the Air Medal and one Oak Leaf Cluster, suggesting that he’d completed approximately 10 to 15 combat missions by the time of his death.  His name appears on page 311 of American Jews in World War Two. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The account proceeds…  

From the Clouds to the Deck

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

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

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

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

Wick continued,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herbert Schultz recalled,

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

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

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

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

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

______________________________

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

The MACR for Lt. Forman is presented below:

This is the MACR for Lt. Schultz:

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

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

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

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

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

What about Lt. Forman? 

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

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

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

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

  ______________________________

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

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

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

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

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

That answer is unknown.

______________________________

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

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Glanzrock, Murray G., S/Sgt., 14083453, Gunner (Left Waist), Air Medal, 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 8th Air Force, 446th Bomb Group, 704th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Bea Glanzrock (wife), 1237 54th St. / 5001 10th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1922
Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France – Plot A, Row 35, Grave 55
American Jews in World War Two – Not listed; National Jewish Welfare Board index cards are stamped “No Publicity”; Casualty Lists 6/30/44, 3/1/45

Markus, Joseph R., Sgt., 36636142, Gunner (Nose), Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 8th Air Force, 446th Bomb Group, 704th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Dorothy S. Markus (mother), 10512 Edbrooke Ave., Chicago, Il.
Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France – Plot A, Row 25, Grave 62
American Jews in World War Two – 109

Murray Glanzrock and Joseph Markus were crewmen in B-24H 42-7583 “Wee Willie”; “FL * L”; Pilot: 1 Lt. James C. Blackwood; 10 crewmen – no survivors; covered in MACR 5251 and Luftgaukommando Report KU 1930

______________________________

Ruslander, Harold, S/Sgt., 20236617, Flight Engineer
United States Army Air Force, Air Transport Command, India-China Wing, Station #11
Born 12/16/16
Mr. and Mrs. Fred E. and Thressa F. Ruslander (parents), 5301 Fair Oaks St., Pittsburgh, Pa.
1 Lt. Solomon L. Ruslander (cousin?), Leesville, La.
Born Brooklyn, N.Y., 12/16/16
Entered active service in September, 1940, at Fort Dix, New Jersey
Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii – Plot Q-48; Buried 6/15/49
American Jews in World War Two – not listed; The Jewish Criterion (Pittsburgh) 2/1943; The Aluminum Trail, p. 142

Sternbaum, Jacob Aaron, 1 Lt., 0-672704, Co-Pilot
United States Army Air Force, Air Transport Command, India-China Wing, Station #11
Mr. and Mrs. Carl [11/17/88 – 3/3/54] and Mary E. (Yuwiler) [2/14/88 – 5/15/70] Sternbaum (parents), David, Max, and Minnie (brothers and sister), 169 Vale Ave., Mansfield, Oh.
Born 1923
New Albany National Cemetery, New Albany, In. – Section B, Grave 409A; Buried 10/27/49
American Jews in World War Two – not listed; The Aluminum Trail, p. 142; https://www.findagrave.com/

Jacob Sternbaum and Harold Ruslander were crewmen in C-46 41-107282; covered in MACR 5198.  The aircraft was lost on a flight between Chabua and Misamari (both in India), the wreckage eventually being located in India’s Dafflaghur Hills (27 – 06 N, 93-24 E).  Pilot: Capt. Terry V. Prosper; 4 crewmen – no survivors. 

______________________________

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

Ben Avraham, Avraham Pall, Pioneer, 12648
Royal Army, Pioneer Corps
Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery, Algeria – 4,B,19
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 238
(We Will Remember Them gives name as “Ben-Avraham, Avraham”; Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives name as “Ben Abraham, Abraham Pall”)

Black, Bernard, Gunner, 558769V
South African Artillery, 6th Field Reserve Company
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Bella Black (parents), Johannesburg, South Africa
Born 1921
Bari War Cemetery, Bari, Italy – XIV,A,35
South African Jews in World War Two – page “x”

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

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

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

Fried, Carl Melvin, Pvt., D/82925
Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
Mr. and Mrs. Max and Rose Fried (parents), 7 Park St., Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
(also) 15 Yates Ave., Newark, New Jersey, United States
Born Glace Bay Nova Scotia, Canada; 4/23/13
Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy – IX,D,23
Canadian Jews in World War II (Volume II) – 23; The Jewish Chronicle – 6/23/44

Friedman, Martin (Mordechai Bar Khaim), Sgt., 33062674
United States Army, 3rd Infantry Division, 30th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Hyman and Elsie Friedman (parents), 3800 Cottage Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Born 1914
Herring Run Hebrew Cemetery, Baltimore, Md. – Mikro Kodesh Beth Israel Section
American Jews in World War Two – Not listed; NJWB Card states “No Publicity”; War Department Release 10/6/44

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

Greystoke
, Peter, F/O, 143106

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

Kaufman, Louis Nathan, Trooper, 6850444
Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Tank Regiment, 51st (The Leeds Rifles)
Mrs. Deborah (Davidson) Kaufman (mother), 175 Green Lanes, Palmers Green, Middlesex, London, N13, England
Born 1922
Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy – II,K,14
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 112; The Jewish Chronicle – 8/25/44

Krolman
, Norman Martin, Lt.

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

Schiff, Daniel J., 2 Lt., 0-694958, Bombardier, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 456th Bomb Group, 744th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Tillie S. Schiff (mother), 407 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, N.Y.
MACR 15117, B-24H 42-94872; Pilot: 2 Lt. John W. Van Dyke; 11 crewmen – no survivors
Place of burial unknown
American Jews in World War Two – 430; Casualty List 7/2/44

Szkolnik, Jean Antoine, at Monte Schierani, Italy
Armée de Terre, 4eme G.T.M.
Vauchowilliers, Aube, France
Born 8/10/18
Place of burial unknown

Waldman, Tobias, Trooper, 7911691
Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Tank Regiment, 51st (The Leeds Rifles)
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon and Hettie Waldman (parents), 6 Stobart Ave., Prestwich, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy – II,K,2
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 172; The Jewish Chronicle – 6/16/44
(We Will Remember Them gives name as “Walderman, Tobias”; Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives name as “Waldman, Tobias”)

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

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

Winkiel, Leon Jan, Sgt., P/792294, Air Gunner, Mission of 5/22-23/44 to Dortmund, Germany
Royal Air Force, No. 300 Squadron
Born Gniew, Poland, 11/17/21
Aircraft: Lancaster III, LM487; “BH * J”; Pilot” F/O Wilhelm Adler; 7 crewmen – 1 survivor (F/O Adler)
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany – Plot II, Row E, Grave 4
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume II) – 121
Polish Air Force at War (Volume 2) – 383
RAF Bomber Command Losses (Volume V) – 237
Leon Jan Winkiel (at Polish War Graves)
Loss of Lancaster LM487 (at Air Crew Remembered)
Polish Air Force in World War Two – No. 300 Squadron Losses (at PolishAirForce.pl)

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

Other Incident…

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

Wounded

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schwartz, Edward, PFC, Purple Heart, Traceno, Italy (wounded by 88mm shell)
United States Army
Mrs. Lillian Schwartz (mother), 1398 Grand Concourse, Bronx, N.Y.
Born Hungary, 1920
American Jews in World War Two – 435; The American Hebrew 10/6/44; Casualty List 7/11/44

Rankin, Harry, Cpl., K/52258
Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
3570 Hull St., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
437 E. 7th Ave., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Canadian Jews in World War II (Volume I) – 78; Canadian Jews in World War II (Volume II) – 112; The Jewish Chronicle – 7/7/44

Prisoner of War (Europe)

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

Other Incident

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

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

World War II Casualties (at Wikipedia)

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

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

Note

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

______________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

______________________________

Dr. Arieh Tartakower, from his Wikipedia entry.

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

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

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

______________________________

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

Aufbau

Friday, October 27, 1944

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

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

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

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

Max Beer.

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

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

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

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

Max Beer

______________________________

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

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

Died of Wounds
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

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

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
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44, Canadian Jews in World War Two II – p. 20
Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, Calvados, France – XII, H, 9

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
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44, Canadian Jews in World War Two II – p. 20
Montecchio War Cemetery, Italy – III, B, 16

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
The Jewish Chronicle 11/3/44; Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War Two – p. 121
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)

Wounded

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 Two – p. 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 Two – pp. 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 Two – p. 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 Two – p. 88

Prisoner of War

Greenblatt, Chanan David, CQMS, B/46386, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Argyle and Southern Highlanders
Captured 8/27/44; Interned 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 Two II – p. 124

______________________________

__________________________________________________

______________________________

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

Killed
– .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 Two – p. 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 Two – p. 298

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

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

______________________________

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

______________________________

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

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

______________________________

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

Bondas, Lazar Yakovlevich [Бондас, Лазар Яковлевич], Captain [Капитан], Assistant Commander (Headquarters) [Помощник Начальника Штаба]
U.S.S.R. [C.C.C.Р.], Red Army [РККА (Рабоче-крестьянская Красная армия)]
39th Tank Brigade [39 Танковой Бригады]
Wounded [ранен] 9/29/44; Died of wounds [умер от ран] 12/24/44 at 1141st Evacuation Hospital [1141 Звакуационный Госпиталь]

Born 1913, Ryazan, Ryazan Oblast [г. Рязань, Рязанская область]
Aron Yakovlevich Bondas (brother) [Арон Яковлевич Бондас (брат)]
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Not Listed [Книги Памяти евреев-воинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945гг – нет в списке]

Cravetz, Paul P., T/4, 32132780, United States Army, Purple Heart
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 Two – 294

Glickerman, Sam Jack, PFC, 36643868, United States Army, Purple Heart
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
American Jews in World War Two – 100; http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Czestochowa1/czea008.html

Goldsmith, Sidney W., Pvt., 32988824, United States Army, Purple Heart
91st Infantry Division, 363rd Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Anna Goldsmith (wife), 1171 Morrison Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1/13/18
Casualty List 12/15/44
Workmen’s Circle #281 Cemetery, Glen Wild, N.Y.
American Jews in World War Two – 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.
Casualty List 1/10/45
Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France – Plot C, Row 6, Grave 45
American Jews in World War Two – 335

Hora, Raymond E., PFC, 16177224, United States Army, Purple Heart, 1 OLC
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 Two – 191

Kantor
, Lev (Leonid) Moiseevich (Mikhaylovich) [Кантор, (Лев (Леонид) Моисеевич (Михайлович)]
Junior Lieutenant [Младший Лейтенант]
Order of the Red Star (Орден Красной Звезды)
Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class (Posthumous) [Орден Отечественной войны I степени (Посмертно)]
Aerial Gunner – Bombardier [Воздушный Стрелок-Бомбардир]
U.S.S.R. [C.C.C.Р.], Military Air Forces – VVS [Военно-воздушные cилы России – ВВС]
561st Autonomous Army Aviation Squadron [561 Отдельной Армейской Авиационной Эскадрильи]
53 missions; Aircraft unknown – p r o b a b l y U-2 , Po-2, Pe-2, or Il-4 [В е р о я т н о… У-2, По-2, Пе-2, или Ил-4]
Born 1912
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Not Listed [Книги Памяти евреев-воинов, 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, Warsaw-Zoliborz, Mazowieckie, Poland
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War 2 – Volume I – 069

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
The Jewish Chronicle 1/12/45; Casualty List (USA) 11/29/44; Canadian Jews in World War Two, Volume II – 42, 102

Silverman, Leo, Cpl., K/57228, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Canadian Scottish Regiment
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
(mother) 2033 Bennings Road, Washington, D.C.; (cousin), 1307 S. McBride St., Syracuse, N.Y.
The Jewish Chronicle 12/1/44; Canadian Jews in World War Two, 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 Two, Volume II – 117

Weinstein, Samuel H., 1 Lt., United States Army, Wounded by shrapnel in leg (Germany)
Mrs. Esther Weinstein (mother), George and Meyer (brothers), 68-33 76th St., Middle Village, N.Y.
Born 1910
Long Island Daily Press 12/2/44; Casualty List 12/3/44; American Jews in World War Two – Not listed

Woolner, Jack, PFC, United States Army (France)
Mr. Harry Woolner (father), 1907 E. Firth St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1921
Philadelphia Record 11/12/44; American Jews in World War Two – Not listed

______________________________

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

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

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

The land is furrowed.  The land, is green.

Acknowledgements

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

References

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 December 14, 1944, included…

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
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 Two
– 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 Two – 279; Both NJWB 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 Two – 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 Two – 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.
American Jews in World War Two – Not listed; Casualty List 3/3/45; War Department Release 2/12/45

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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
American Jews in World War TwoNot listed; NJWB Card states “No Publicity”; Jewish Exponent 9/24/48; Philadelphia Record 1/9/45

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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

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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

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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.

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Lt. Frost’s Purple Heart Citation.

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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.

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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
American Jews in World War Two – 319; Casualty List 2/20/45

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 Two – 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
American Jews in World War Two – 335; War Department Release 2/12/45; Casualty Lists 1/26/45, 2/13/45

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 Two – 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 Two – 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 Two – 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
American Jews in World War Two – 370; Casualty List 2/13/45

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
American Jews in World War Two – 410; Casualty List 2/20/45; New York Times Memorial Section 12/14/45, 12/14/46; New York Times Obituary section 1/6/49

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 Two – 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
American Jews in World War Two – 548; Philadelphia Inquirer 4/14/48

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.
American Jews in World War Two – 439; Philadelphia Inquirer 3/3/45, 3/12/45; Philadelphia Record 3/21/45; New York Times Memorial Section 12/14/46

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Killed (non-battle)

Cohn (Cohen?), Herbert Shelton, Ensign, Fighter Pilot (Died of injuries in training in United States; 1 mile west of Ventura, California)
United States Navy, VF-98 (Fighter Squadron 98)
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.”
Mr. Morris Cohen (father), 7444 Georgia Ave., Northwest, Washington, D.C.
Born 1923
Aircraft: F4U-1D Corsair, Bureau Number 82239
Place of Burial unknown
American Jews in World War Two – 76
Aviation Archeology Database of United States Navy F4U Corsair Accident Reports

Prisoners of War (Europe)

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

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
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.
American Jews in World War Two – 211; Jewish Post (Indianapolis) 10/19/45, 11/16/45

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

United States Army
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
American Jews in World War Two – Not listed; Philadelphia Inquirer 6/12/45; Philadelphia Record 4/26/45

Prisoners of War (Asia)

Levine, Joseph, 1 Lt., 0-811683, Bombardier, Bronze Star Medal
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 Two
– 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
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
Brooklyn Eagle 8/15/45; Long Island Daily Press 7/28/43, 8/17/43, 7/25/44; The Aluminum Trail, p. 316
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 Two – 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)
Born 1925
Mr. Harry Gottlieb (father), 72-72 112th St., Forest Hills, N.Y.
American Jews in World War Two – 332; Long Island Star Journal 3/9/45

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Kozower, Sanford U., PFC, Medical Corps, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart (Europe)
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
American Jews in World War Two – 367; Casualty List 4/19/45; Long Island Star Journal 2/4/39, 4/12/45, 4/18/45

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)
Mrs. Yetta Steinberg (wife), 300 North Fulton Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Mr. Samuel Steinberg (father), 2012 Linden Ave., Baltimore, Md.
American Jews in World War Two – 145; Baltimore Jewish Times 3/23/45

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bronx Petty Officer Is Killed Off Okinawa

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

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

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

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

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

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

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wounded

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

References

USS Longshaw (at Hazegray.org)

USS Longshaw (at NavSource Naval History)

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

USS Longshaw (at Wikipedia)

USS Longshaw (at Wrecksite)

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

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

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Lieutenant (JG) Eugene V. Erskine

Navy Lieutenant (JG) Eugene V. Erskine was the co-pilot of PB4Y-1 Liberator of Patrol Squadron VP-104, commanded by Lieutenant Richard S. Jameson, which was lost in the Pacific Theater – specifically, during a patrol mission to the South China Sea – on May 19, 1945.  Though his obituary – below – appeared in the Times on July 20, his name never appeared in Casualty Lists published in either June or July. 

Navy Bomber Pilot Killed In the Pacific on May 19

The image below shows Eugene Erskine as a student at Johns Hopkins University.

Lieut. (j.g.) Eugene V. Erskine of the Navy, a pilot with Bombing Squadron 104, was killed in action in the Pacific theatre on May 19, the Navy Department has informed his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Max Erskine, of 2173 East Twenty-Third Street, Brooklyn.  He was 24 years old and a native of New York.

He held a B.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University.  He enlisted on July 4, 1942, and received his wings in 1943.  His father is a dress manufacturer.  Besides his parents, he leaves a brother, Sgt. Robert Erskine, now with the Ninth Army in Germany.

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The document below (from Fold3.com), from VP-104’s War Diary for May of 1945, covers – in a brief paragraph – the loss of Lt. Jameson’s PB4Y.  There is no specific information about the cause of the plane’s loss, albeit it was not attributable to combat. 

The crew (their towns and cities of residence taken from the 1946 book Combat Connected Naval Casualties, World War II, by States. 1946. U. S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard) consisted of the following:

Lieut. Richard Scott Jameson – Boston, Massachusetts
Lieut. (JG) Eugene V. Erskine – New York
Ens. David Winton Lanquist – Duluth, Minnesota
AMM3C James Walter Garrison – Ravenna, Texas
AOM3C Charles Jay Arnett – Sioux City, Iowa
ARM3C Roger Henry Skews – Waukgean, Illinois
ARM2C William Hamilton Ridge – Bloomington, Indiana (also Florida?)
ARM3C Donald Grover Fanelli – Atco, New Jersey
AMM3C Willard Sydenham Dodsworth – Franklin, Il.
AMM2C George Thomas Schoenwalder, Jr. – Johnstown, Pa.
AMM3C Louis Franklin Morris – Tuscaloosa, Alabama

The names of the crew are commemorated at the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, in the Philippines.

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The two maps below, generated from (ahh, where else?!…) Google maps, show the position where PB4Y-1 38890 was lost: The South China Sea, approximately 100 miles east-southeast of Pratas Island.

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The image below is a larger-scale map of the above area, showing the position of the Liberator’s loss relative to uninhabited Pratas Island.  There is little to show except for water – and – more water.

Some other Jewish military casualties on May 19, 1945, included…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Beitch, Morris, Pvt., US Army, 37647567, Purple Heart (Killed at Okinawa)
77th Infantry Division, 307th Infantry Regiment
St. Louis, Mo.
American Jews in World War Two, p. 207
Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.

Kalish
, Norbert, 2 Lt., USMC, 0-41915, Purple Heart (Killed at Okinawa)

6th Marine Division, 22nd Marine Regiment, 1st Battalion, B Company
Mr. Julius Kalish (father), 301 West 15th St., Linden, N.J.
11/5/22
Casualty List 5/13/45
American Jews in World War Two, p. 240
Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Iselin, N.J.

Silverstein, Marvin M., Pvt., USAAF, 32982076, Died Non-Battle
1562nd Army Air Force Base Unit
Mrs. Belle E. Silverstein (mother), 1460 Grand Concourse, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1926
MACR Name index – No number on Index Card
American Jews in World War Two – Not Listed
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot A, Row 9, Grave 105

Stein, Robert, HA 1C (Hospital Apprentice), USN, 9071256, Purple Heart (Killed at Okinawa)
Mr. Hyman Stein (father), 6413 Bay Parkway / 325 East 21st St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
1926
Casualty List 7/10/45
American Jews in World War Two, p. 454
Cemetery Location Unknown

Prisoner of War

Zack, Milton E., 2 Lt., 0-707368, USAAF, Navigator
11th Air Force, 28th Bomb Group, 77th Bomb Squadron
Hakodate POW Camp (Babai Machi), Hokkaido, Japan
Mrs. Pearl Zack (wife), 50 Harlem St., Dorchester, Ma.
Born 8/21/20; Died 12/13/06
Casualty List 6/29/45
MACR 14472, B-25J 43-36140, Pilot – 2 Lt. Raymond B. Lewis, 6 crewmen – 3 survivors
American Jews in World War Two – Not Listed

Milton Zack’s moving story – of his training as an Aviation Cadet, service as a Navigator / Bombardier, being shot down, survival as a POW of the Japanese, liberation, and eventually his postwar life – is available under the appropriate title “Milt’s Military Memoirs“.

Milton’s B-25, piloted by 2 Lt. Raymond B. Lewis, was one of three B-25J Mitchell bombers of the 77th Bomb Squadron of the 11th Air Force’s 28th Bomb Group, which were lost during a mission to Cape Minami on Shimushu Island (the second northernmost island of the Kuril Islands) on May 19, 1945.

The other two aircraft were B-25J 43-36152 (MACR 14471), piloted by 1 Lt. John F. Mitchell, from which there were no survivors, and 43-36134 (MACR 14473), piloted by 2 Lt. Harold V. Beever, which landed at Petropavlovsk, Russia, with the plane’s crew of six surviving uninjured. 

Though Lt. Lewis’ entire crew survived the plane’s crash-landing and were captured, only Lieutenant Zack, flight engineer Cpl. Robert L. Trant, and aerial gunner Cpl. Walter Bradley survived the war.  As reported by the Japanese, Lt. Lewis, co-pilot F/O Edward N.F. Burrows, and radio operator Cpl. William E. Bradley lost their lives when the ship on which they were being transported to mainland Japan (the “Tenryo Maru”) was torpedoed and sunk on May 29, 1945.   

The image below shows Milton in the bombardier’s compartment of a B-25 Mitchell during training in the United States. 

The image below, at the website of the Center for Research: Allied POWs Under the Japanese (created by the late Roger Mansell) shows Milton and his fellow crewmen in happier times. 

Front row:  Lt. Zack, Lt. Lewis, and F/O Burrows. 
Rear row: Corporals Bailey, Trant, and Bradley

Lt. Lewis and F/O Burrows are also seen in this photo.

Paralleling Milton’s story, Walter Bailey’s account of his military (and postwar) experiences – transcribed from audiotape – is also available at the Center for Research: Allied POWs Under the Japanese website, under the appropriate title Walter Bailey: B-25 Crewman – Zack crewman.  Walter’s story is very detailed, profoundly moving, and quite explicit about the physical and emotional nature of capture by – and captivity under – the Japanese in the Second World war.

A summary of the story of B-25J 43-36140 and her crew is also available at Pacific Wrecks.

And, another Incident:
Safely parachuting after a bombing mission to Japan

Polansky, Harry H., 1 Lt., 0-686687, USAAF, Bombardier-Navigator, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart
20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 45th Bomb Squadron
Parachuted with crew over Iwo Jima, after mission to Hamamatsu
Mr. and Mrs. Morris and Bessie Polansky (parents), 1203 North Fulton Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Born 1921
B-29 # 271, Pilot – Major Donald M. Roberts, 12 crewmen – all survived (No MACR Index Card)
1945 08 History 40th BG Group Chronology, p. 21
http://www.40thbombgroup.org/45th.pdf
http://www.40thbombgroup.org/memories/Memories59.pd
American Jews in World War Two – p. 143

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!)

____________________

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”. 

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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…

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____________________________ ****** _____________________________
________________________________________________________________

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: Second Lieutenant Richard H. Davis

Lieutenant Richard H. Davis, from Belle Harbor, New York, was the subject of several news items during his military service.  Three such items appeared in The Wave (Rockaway Beach) on July 22, 1943, and May 18 and August 24, 1944, and covered his military training and deployment to England. 

On April 12, 1945 the sad news item covering Lt. Davis’ death – during an operational mission over Europe on October 18, 1944 – appeared on The Wave’s front page.  This announcement was accompanied by a photograph of the Lieutenant standing before a B-24 Liberator bomber. 

The article (found and accessed via Thomas M. Tryniski’s fantastic FultonHistory.com website) is presented below.

____________________

Lt. Richard H. Davis Killed In Action

Lieutenant Richard H. Davis, 20-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Davis of 156 Beach 134th Street, who was reported missing October 18, 1944, was killed in action on that date in the European Theatre of Operations, his parents were notified by the War Department last week.

Lieutenant Davis was a navigator on a Liberator B-24 bomber with the 8th Air Force.  He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 and was called in February, 1943.  He received his training at Selman Field, Louisiana, and few to England in July, 1944, and attended combat training school in North Ireland.  While there he underwent a period of intensive training in high altitude bombing procedures used in the European Theatre of Operations.

Lieutenant Davis was the holder of the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

He was a graduate of Public School 114 and of Far Rockaway High School, class of 1942.  Before enlisting in the service, he was active in Boy Scout Troop 112 and in the Beth-El Players Guild, having appeared in “It Can’t Happen Here,” “Out of the Frying Pan,” and “Our Town.”

Before enlisting, Lieutenant Davis was a Government Civil Service employee in Manhattan.

The B-24 serving as the backdrop in the photograph appears, based on the shape of the forward fuselage and bombardier’s window, to have been a modified “D” version of the Liberator, with a Consolidated A-6 tail turret – installed by the Army Air Corps Oklahoma Modification Center – replacing the conventional D-version’s bombardier “greenhouse”.  Given that such planes were assigned to the 8th Air Force’s 479th Anti-Submarine Group, the image probably was taken after Lt. Davis’ arrival in England, while he and his crew were undergoing additional training in that country.

By way of example…  The image below (Army Air Force Photograph 76493AC / A11897) showing a 479th ASG aircrew (Lt. Hill’s crew) and their B-24D was taken at Saint Eval, England, in 1943. 

____________________

A month after the article in The Wave, on May 12, 1945, The New York Times carried an obituary for Lt. Davis.  The portrait of Lt. Davis was taken when he was an Aviation Cadet.   

Bombing Plane Navigator Lost in Europe Last Fall

Lieut. Richard H. Davis, navigator of a Liberator bomber and holder of the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, who was reported missing last Oct. 18, was killed on that date in the European theatre, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Davis of 156 Beach 134th Street, Belle Harbor, Queens.

Lieutenant Davis, who was 20 years old, entered the Army Air Forces in February, 1943.  He was attached to the Eighth Air Force.

____________________

Nearly a year after the mission of October 18, 1944, The Wave – on October 25, 1945 – carried mention of a memorial tribute held in Lt. Davis honor at Temple Beth El, on Friday evening, October 19, 1944. 

Another year – October 20, 1946 – and Lt. Davis’ was mentioned in the “In Memoriam” section of the New York Times obituary page.

____________________

Lt. Davis was and his crew were assigned to the 68th Bomb Squadron of the 44th Bomb Group, otherwise known as the “Flying Eight-Balls”. 

The following two images are from the Missing Air Crew Report (#10140) covering the loss of Lt. Davis and his crew in B-24H Liberator 42-50381 (WQ * K), piloted by 1 Lt. Julian H. Dayball.  As described in detail in Will Lundy’s 44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties, during a mission to chemical works at Leverkusen, Germany, there was apparently a mid-air collision between WQ * K, and B-24H 41-28944 (NB * D, “Flying Ginny“) of the 67th Bomb Squadron, which was piloted by 1 Lt. Michael Bakalo.  This occurred over Belgium in severe weather, while their formation was returning to the 44th’s base at Shipdham, England. 

The planes crashed 1 kilometer from Petegen, Dienze.  Of the 21 men aboard the two aircraft there emerged two survivors – waist gunners S/Sgt. George J. Encimer and S/Sgt. Cecil L. Scott – who were both seriously injured after parachuting from Flying Ginny.

Richard Davis is buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo. (Section 82, Collective Grave 114-115.)  Other crew members buried at the same site include Lt. Dayball; right waist gunner, Sgt. Couvillion; tail gunner, Sgt. Shea; flight engineer, Sgt. Fink; nose gunner, Sgt. Steinke, and radio operator, Sgt. Sicard.  The image below – from FindAGrave contributor “Remo” (Bobby Jean “Remo” Remelius) – shows their collective grave marker.   

Lieutenant Davis was awarded the Air Medal and two Oak Leak Clusters. 

His name never appeared in the postwar publication American Jews in World War Two

____________________

Some other Jewish military casualties on October 18, 1944, include…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Herman, Bernard L., 2 Lt., 0-817213, Co-Pilot, Purple Heart
8th Air Force, 44th Bomb Group, 67th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin C. and Molly Herman (parents), 7301 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Baltimore Sun 2/6/45
American Jews in World War Two – p. 140
Unknown place of burial

Stern
, Jerome J., T/Sgt., 16105797, Radio Operator, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart

8th Air Force, 44th Bomb Group, 67th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Celia Stern (mother), 1656 47th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Casualty List 2/6/45
American Jews in World War Two – p. 455
Unknown place of burial

Lieutenant Herman and T/Sgt. Stern were crewmen on “Flying Ginny”, the loss of which is covered in MACR #15241. 

Witkin, Leonard, 2 Lt., 0-701359, Navigator, Purple Heart, Ten Missions
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob and Sylvia S. Witkin (parents), 2851 Baxter Ave., New York, N.Y. / 980 Simpson St., Bronx, N.Y.
Born 9/2/21
8th Air Force, 44th Bomb Group, 68th Bomb Squadron
MACR 9654, B-24J 42-50596, “Flak Magnet”, “WQ * O”, Pilot – 1 Lt. Edward C. Lehnhausen, 9 crewmen – no survivors
American Jews in World War Two – p. 474
Wellwood Cemetery, East Farmingdale, N.Y.

Wasserman
, Gerald M., 2 Lt., 0-2060421, Navigator, Purple Heart, Four Missions

Mrs. Ruth W. Wasserman (wife), 1020 E. 7th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mr. Samuel Wasserman (father), c/o Ferber, 732 N. 26th St., Allentown, Pa.
8th Air Force, 390th Bomb Group, 568th Bomb Squadron
MACR 9484, B-17G 43-38189, “Powerful Katrinka / Bugs Bunny”, “CC * M”, Pilot – 2 Lt. Donald T. Drugan, 9 crewmen – 4 survivors, Luftgaukommando Report KU 3131
American Jews in World War Two – p. 465
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo. – Section 84, Grave 235-239; Buried 10/16/50

Fiegelman, Joseph, PFC, 33603325, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
90th Infantry Division, 358th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Dora Fiegleman (parents), Lawrence and Louis (brothers), 520 S. Washington Ave., Scranton, Pa.
Dalton Jewish Cemetery, Dalton, Pa.
American Jews in World War Two – 520

Gordon, Oscar, Pvt., 31406940, Purple Heart
85th Infantry Division, 359th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Sarah Gordon (mother), Bridgeport, Ct.
Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy – Plot D, Row 10, Grave 19
American Jews in World War Two – 64

Marcus, Herbert, Pvt., 32802905, Purple Heart
35th Infantry Division, 320th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Abraham Marcus (father), 4701 12th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Casualty List 11/28/44
Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England – Plot F, Row 7, Grave 102
American Jews in World War Two – 387

Diskant, Isaac, Pvt. (Died at Silute)
16th Lithuanian Rifle Division
Mr. Moshe Diskant (father)
Born 1922
Road to Victory – Jewish Soldiers of the 16th Lithuanian Division – 293

Freedman, Israel, Pvt., 4038716
England, Pioneer Corps
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis and Rachel Freedman (parents), 15 Mayland St., Stepney, London, E1, England
Born 1914
The Jewish Chronicle 10/29/44
East Ham (Marlow Road) Jewish Cemetery, Essex, England – Block U, Grave 21
We Will Remember Them – Volume I – 086

Gruzd, David, Sgt. (Died at Silute)
16th Lithuanian Rifle Division
Mr. Gutman Gruzd (father), Pvt. Chaim Gruzd (brother)
Born 1915
Road to Victory – Jewish Soldiers of the 16th Lithuanian Division – 294

Hurwitz
, Samuel Moses, Sgt., D/26248, Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal

Canada, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Canadian Grenadier Guards, 22nd Armoured Regiment, No. 3 Squadron
Captured 10/18/44; Died of wounds 10/20/44
Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Bella Hurwitz (parents); Archie, David, Esther, George, Harry, Ian, and Max (brothers and sisters), 6093 Park Ave., Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Born Lachine, Quebec, Canada, 1/28/19
Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands – 9,F,1
The Jewish Chronicle 1/12/45, 6/29/45
Canadian Jews in World War Two – Volume I – 046, 052; Canadian Jews in World War Two – Volume II – 034

Kolsberg, Mieczyslaw, Cpl., Poland, Mazowieckie, Otwock, Otwock Hospital
9th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Karol Kolsberg (father)
Born 1904
Andriolli Street Cemetery, Otwock, Mazowieckie, Poland
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War Two – Volume I – 038

Lobel, Alois, Pvt., B/1196 (Died in France, at Dunkirk)
Czechoslovakia, 1st Armoured Brigade
Born Czechoslovakia, Rajec, okres Diein; 5/23/21
La Targette British Cemetery, Neuville-St, Vaast, Pas de Calais, France – M,13
http://www.army.cz/acr/vuapraha/db/index.php
Zide v Ceskoslovenskem Vojsku na Zapade (Jews in the Czechoslovak Army in the West) – 246

Shamis, Monia, Lt. (Died at Priekule, Latvia)
16th Lithuanian Rifle Division
Mr. Shmuel Shamis (father)
Born 1912
Road to Victory – Jewish Soldiers of the 16th Lithuanian Division – 304

Wounded

Dienstman, Samuel, Pvt., 33778251, Purple Heart (Mediterranean Theater)
(Captured on January 27, 1944, and escaped)
Born Pa., 1924
Mr. Raphael and Anne Dienstman (parents); c/o Morris Dienstman, 404 W. Rittenhouse St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Pvt. Benjamin Dienstman and Morris Dienstman (brothers), 1533 Devereaux St., Philadelphia, Pa.
The Jewish Exponent 1/12/45; Philadelphia Inquirer 1/7/44; Philadelphia Record 1/7/44, 2/29/44; Philadelphia Bulletin 1/8/45
American Jews in World War Two – 517

This photograph of Samuel Dienstman appeared in The Philadelphia Bulletin on January 8, 1945. 

Prisoners of War – Infantry

Nadelman, Jack W., Sgt., 32822644, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
30th Infantry Division, 119th Infantry Regiment
(Also wounded ~ 9/22/44)
POW at Stalag 6G (Bonn)
Born N.Y., 1/6/26
Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Mary (Feber) Nadelman (parents), 58 E. 1st St., New York, N.Y.
Casualty Lists 11/22/44, 4/1/45, 7/6/45
American Jews in World War Two – 398

Peters, Abraham, Pvt., 42087543, Purple Heart
30th Infantry Division, 119th Infantry Regiment
POW at Stalag 2B (Hammerstein)
Mrs. Doris F. Peters (wife), 1664 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Casualty Lists 6/6/45, 6/15/45
American Jews in World War Two – 405

Strauss, Arthur, PFC, 32648586
1st Infantry Division, 18th Infantry Regiment
POW at Stalag 2B (Hammerstein)
Mrs. Klara Adler (sister), 140 Vermilyea Ave., New York, N.Y.
Casualty List 6/18/45
American Jews in World War Two – Not Listed

Prisoner of War – Aviator

Love, Harry Wilson, 2 Lt., 0-777006, Bombardier (On fourth mission)
8th Air Force, 390th Bomb Group, 568th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Edgar Wilson and Fannie (Genov) Love (parents), 1717 Parkview Ave. / 1590 E. 172nd St., Bronx, N.Y.
Born Bronx, N.Y.; 10/18/23; Died March 27, 2016
Casualty List 3/7/45
MACR 9484, B-17G 43-38189, “Powerful Katrinka / Bugs Bunny”, “CC * M”, Pilot – 2 Lt. Donald T. Drugan, 9 crewmen – 4 survivors, Luftgaukommando Report KU 3131
American Jews in World War Two – Not Listed

Second Lieutenant Harry W. Love was one of the four survivors of Lt. Donald Drugan’s B-17.  In 1985, his account of his singular (…an understament…) experience was published in Volume II of the 390th Bomb Group Anthology

His story is presented below.

Birthday “Blow Out”
by Harry W. Love
Bombardier, 568th Bomb Squadron

My story begins like so many other bomber crews… at 0400 hours 18 October 1944.

As per schedule, the crews are awakened; the quick wash-up; off to the mess hall for the usual chow-down; back to barracks for completion of dress, storing of personal papers and finally, off to the briefing room.  As rhetoric will have it, this is basically the routine for any bomber crew in the 8th Air Force, flying out of England.

My story, however, departs from the traditional version espoused by so many others on 18 October 1944…  It was my 21st birthday.  My attitude, no different from any other 21 year old; I was happy, had a great crew and festivities were planned for that evening when we returned from the bombing mission.

At the briefing, we received our instructions.  Our mission was to Koblenz, Germany.  (Considerably less difficult or dangerous we thought than Berlin, Regensburg, Augsburg, or so many others.) During the briefing session, the members of the crew contemplated no unusually heavy problems.  At the completion of the general briefing, the pilots, navigators and bombardiers parted ways for individual briefings.  We then were driven to our assigned aircraft.

The plane we originally had been assigned to was the Silver Meteor.  It was, however, taken out of service for this particular mission because of heavy damage it sustained two days prior, on a mission to Cologne.  Therefore, we were reassigned to a brand new B17G.  It was a truly magnificent looking craft as we approached it that morning.

Inspection of armament loading procedures (which was my responsibility as Bombardier) was conducted and before too long, it was takeoff time.  Reflecting back I feel a few words are deemed necessary regarding my Pilot, Donald Druggan.  He was a masterful, highly prestigious, military man and competent in all aspects of his assigned field.  Our Co-Pilot, John Mohn, was very astute, tolerant and somewhat more pacific than Donald Druggan.  Our Navigator, Gerald Wasserman, a Brooklyn boy, was very dedicated to his job and an asset to our crew.

Take off was uneventful.  The weather was clear (although dark at the time of departure).  We found our assigned positions at the prescribed altitude.  Not too long thereafter, the British Coast was behind us.

The order to “check your guns, and fire your guns” was given.  The response traditionally heard was, “All guns firing properly and in order.”

We approached the coast of Europe at approximately 0830 hours.  Our target Koblenz was still an hour and a half away.  We encountered no enemy fighters en route, and the flak was light.

The bomb run over the target was considered very successful.  Upon making our turn off the bomb run (after release of bombs), we then headed in a northwesterly direction to meet up with the balance of the Wing which could be seen some 15-20 miles away.  At this time, it was quite apparent that we were some 5 or 6 minutes behind schedule in our rendezvous with the Wing for our trip back to England.  This necessitated our lead crew to change course some degrees further to the north which brought us over a portion of the Ruhr Valley.  On approaching this particular area, some 5 or 10 miles from our rendezvous, we began to pick up massive concentrations of flak fire.  One of the first bursts came within 100 yards of the front of our plane.  This was followed by 5 or 6 more immediately, thereafter, each one closer than the preceding one.  It seemed that we were well tracked down below by the antiaircraft crews.  At this time, I announced to the crew that the bursts were directly in line…  the Pilot, in accord, confirmed my communication.

Some 2 or 3 seconds later, we received a hit in the nose of the plane directly above the chin turret leaving a hole some 15-20 inches in circumference.  I immediately back tracked away from my chin gun position and took up a station to the right (which was the cheek gun).  The cyclonic rush of air that came through was impossible to control.  I recall vividly the Navigator stating over the intercom, “Nobody will know how close the Bombardier came to buying it…  the bursts of flak came through within inches of his right leg.”

The antiaircraft gunners on the ground weren’t finished tracking our plane, for at that instant we received a direct hit in one engine (starboard side) with shocking impact.  Massive vibrations developed and fumes and smoke filled the plane.  The pilot, without hesitation, pulled out of formation, and attempted to put out the flames within that particular engine by sideslipping the plane.

Upon looking at the right wing, it was obvious that the damage thereto, was extensive.  The entire right wing was oscillating up and down some 20-30 degrees.  On seeing this, I assisted the Navigator Gerald Wasserman in putting on his chest pack.  As Bombardier, I always wore my backpack throughout the entire mission.

I called to the Pilot in the customary technique…  “Bombardier to Pilot, do you have any instructions?” He replied, “Bombardier, I hear you.” Looking back at the wing again I could clearly see the oscillation increasing.  The Engineer, Sgt.  Parker, dropped down from his position to our station with the Navigator between us.  I instructed the Engineer to open the escape hatch located directly in front of him.  He complied immediately.  I again called to the Pilot asking if there were any further instructions regarding possible bail out.  The Pilot, once again replied, “Bombardier, I hear you,” but no instructions followed.

Looking out at the wing again (which was oscillating even more), it was obvious to me that the wing could not stay on much longer.  At this point, firmly believing the alarm bell and intercom were no longer operating, I directed the Engineer to bail out.  He (Parker) looked up to the Pilot for some expression of guidance…  he did not receive any.  He then looked back at me and the Navigator who was directly in front of me.  At this critical point (with little or no time for conversation), a mandated determination had to be directed and carried out.  The Engineer would have to bail out of the plane first, the Navigator second and then myself.  I, in a loud tone (after removing my oxygen mask), ordered the Engineer to bail out… again he hesitated.  I then began to physically push the Navigator in that direction stating, “We have to go, the wing is coming off.” The Navigator looked at me with quite an acceptable (and understandable) look of doubt, and shook his head.  At that instance, the wing came off!

It is apparent that with one of the wings off of a B17, it will not fly.  Our plane began to plummet down in a spiraling, leafy fashion to earth.  At this point, I would assume we were in the neighborhood of 20-22,000 feet.  Quite instantaneously, all within the craft were seemingly welded to their specific positions.  I was flung against the starboard cheek gun slamming my neck against it in a rigid fashion, unable to move a muscle due to the powerful centrifugal force exerted during the spiraling effect.  At this moment, I vividly recall thinking of one thing, and one thing only…  “What will Mom say or feel when she hears about me being killed in action?” There was no question or doubt in my mind that I was to meet “my maker” in a matter of moments.  There was no possible chance for anyone to successfully escape this situation.

Approximately two or three seconds later, there erupted a tremendous, all-encompassing explosive force, I felt my entire body weight being lifted by an unknown force.  I was literally catapulted through the air, head first and out the front plexiglass nose of the aircraft.  The plane had exploded.  The gas tanks (I am assuming), from the other wing or in the body of the craft, had been ignited by the flak we took.  Luckily I did not black out.  I was alert and fully cognizant of the entire situation.  I knew instantly that I was free from the aircraft.  I had the foresight, however, not to pull the rip cord immediately.  As I began to fall to earth, I could clearly see burning debris from our aircraft.  Far to the left, a chute opened; shortly thereafter on my right, another chute; and then a few seconds later, still another chute opened.  This chute (the latter), perhaps opened too soon, and as fate would have it, part of the burning debris struck his chute as it opened.  Which crew member it was, I could not identify.  I held my rip cord with a firm grasp for what seemed to be hours, but I’m sure it was only a second or two before making a move.  I saw clear areas around me.  I then pulled the cord and to my utter surprise, I felt no jerk, as anticipated.  My most prevalent thought at this time was, “The parachute must have been torn from my back when I was blown from the front of the plane.” I looked up and there it was … blossoming beautifully above me.  Perhaps the reason for not feeling the impact of the chute opening, can be attributed to the mental trauma I had so recently experienced, i.e., being blown out of the aircraft.  My thought at this time, “My God, I’m going to be safe.  I’m floating down to earth.”

At this juncture, everything began to go black, or more accurately, red.  I now realized I could not see.  I placed my hands over my eyes, wiped them and realized I did not come away from this situation unscathed completely.  I was bleeding profusely from head wounds received when I was blown through the front plexiglass of the craft.  I also realized that my shoes that were tied to my parachute harness were not there.  They had been snapped, or torn, off when I was blown out of the aircraft.

On descending, I could see a forest area and remembered some of the instructions we received concerning means of generating control over the parachute.  I was able to tug at the harness, thus controlling the direction of the chute so that my landing would be between some very large fir trees.  I landed on a 45-degree slope of a hill.  Not being proficient in parachute landings, I came down extremely hard, striking both legs in a rather awkward position, that later would prove to give me untold pain and discomfort.  The impact of landing so hard and abruptly, caused one of my legs to collapse on the base of my spine.

Reflecting back to military orders and instructions, concealment of the chute after landing was of the utmost concern.  I picked the chute up as quick as I possibly could and dug and scratched a large hole in a leafy area where I buried it under branches, twigs, etc.  I began moving in a westerly direction but soon, thereafter, collapsed.  The injuries I had sustained were not as minor as I initially thought.  Both of my ankles were swollen out of proportion, and the bleeding from my skull wounds were now in a hemorrhaging state.  I took stock of what medications I had and treated myself with sulpher for my scalp wounds and bandaged them the best I could.  I then constructed make-shift crutches and again attempted to move on.  As my arduous journey continued, I further realized I was experiencing pain at the base of my neck.  Later I found that my 2nd Lieutenant bar was bent completely in half.  Something most assuredly had struck it with a great impacting force to have caused it to bend.  The object which had struck the metal bar so precisely, had to have been metal; the 2nd Lieutenant bar undoubtedly saved my life.  I sustained a massive hematoma on my neck where the bar had originally been affixed to my collar.

I placed the time of my landing at 1230 hours.  I continued to move on through the afternoon.  I traveled for several hours in a westerly direction as best I could, and rested part of the night in a thickly wooded area.  I did not know for sure how many of the crew got out, but I had seen two chutes at a distance.  Later I was informed that a fourth airman had in fact gotten out.  There were only four survivors from our B-17G.

The following day, during the early hours after dawn, determined and still limping, I continued to move on.  The wooded area that concealed me began to echo with a terrifying sound; that of track dogs.  The area where I had descended was flooded with civilian and Wehrmacht troops.

I was finally detected and captured by the aforementioned group of people, at approximately 0900 hours on the 19th of October 1944.  I was taken to a town (to the best of my recollection, Oberursel) where my imprisonment began.

Some weeks later, during which time I spent a week of interrogation procedures in Dusseldorf, I had the heartwarming pleasure of seeing three of the enlisted members of my crew.  The Tail Gunner, Conwell, related to me that he was blown out of the tail section.  Raymond Hutt was blown out of the Waist Gunner’s compartment and the Radio Operator, Ledford, was blown out of the top section of the craft’s radio compartment.  I was further informed that the Ball Gunner, Stevens, had not emerged from the ball nor did he have his chest pack on at the time the wing disengaged itself from the aircraft.  Out of a crew of nine, only four survived.

After spending about eight months in prison camps, Stalag Luft 3, Sagan and Moosburg, I was liberated by Patton’s Third Army on 29th April 1945 and returned home in May of that year.

October 18th, Nineteen Hundred Forty-Four, was my day of infamy, it too was my Birthday .  .  .  my day of Rebirth.

This Is My Story.

Control Tower Log for 18 October 1944 shows one aircraft MIA

0715: All mission a/c off except 325T-hydraulics out – ship stuck off edge of r/w and field will be u/s (Ed: unserviceable) for landing a/c until at least 1030 – possibly later.

0930: 831-C aborted with #3 feathered, prop run away.  Will circle until 325 is cleared.

1130: 325 off r/w.  Ship 007-M (Lewis) lost a piece of 325 plexiglass nose on t/o.  No damage to 007.

1131: 831 C landed. (Ellis)

1542: All a/c returned except 189-M (Drugan)

J.H. Stafford 1 Lt. S.C.

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On August 9, 2002, Harry spoke about his wartime experiences – and other aspects of life – in an interview available at the New York State Military Museum.  

When Harry passed away on March 27, 2016, he was the last survivor of the crew of Powerful Katrinka / Bugs Bunny. 

____________________

A photograph of Donald Drugan’s crew (contributed by FindAGrave contributor Patootie), taken during training in the United States, is shown below.  The names of the crew members are listed beneath the image. 

Rear (L – R)

Sgt. Jurl T. Parker (Flight Engineer – KIA)
Tamaha, Ok.
Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium – Plot D, Row 3, Grave 5

Sgt. Willis T. Ledford (Radio Operator – survived – Died July 3, 1996)
Cleveland, Ga.
Hoschton City Cemetery, Hoschton, Ga.

Sgt. Raymond L. Hutt (Waist Gunner – survived – Died Nov. 19, 2008)
Tecumseh, Ne.
Tecumseh Cemetery, Tecumseh, Ne.

Sgt. Robert Stevens (Ball Turret Gunner – KIA)
Long Beach, Ca.
Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium – Plot A, Row 38, Grave 47

Kaiser (Waist Gunner – did not fly on mission of October 18)

Sgt. Cleon Conwell (Tail Gunner – survived – Died April 6, 2006)
Monticello, In.
Buffalo Cemetery, Buffalo, In.

Front (L – R)

2 Lt. Donald Terrance Drugan (Pilot – KIA)
Portland, Or.
Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium – Plot D, Row 1, Grave 47

2 Lt. Jonathan V. Mohn (Co-Pilot – KIA)
Portland, Or.
Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium – Plot D, Row 5, Grave 30

2 Lt. Gerald M. Wasserman (Navigator- KIA)
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.

2 Lt. Harry Wilson Love (Bombardier – survived – Died March 27, 2016)
Bronx, N.Y.

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These are pages from the Missing Air Crew Report (#9484) for Powerful Katrinka / Bugs Bunny, covering the crew list and technical details about the plane.

An account of the plane’s loss follows.

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This image of Harry, from Ancestry.com, shows him as an Aviation Cadet…

…while this image, also from Ancestry.com, is a photograph of Harry taken by the Germans shortly after his capture.  The picture is attached to his German Prisoner of War “Personalkarte”. 

  ____________________

Postwar reports on the loss of the bomber, by Harry Love and tail gunner Cleon Conwell, are seen below. 

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This image (WW II Army Air Force Photo 3200 / A45511) is captioned, “Lt. Maurice A. Bonomo, Bombardier, 333 W. 86th St., New York City, 18 daylight missions; holds Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters”.  The picture gives an excellent representative view of the the bombardier’s position in a B-17 Flying Fortress (specifically, a B-17G Flying Fortress). 

Lt. Bonomo, viewed as if looking forward from the navigator’s position, is facing the bombardier’s control panel.  Above the control panel can be seen a nose-mounted “flexible” port M-2 Browning 50 Caliber machine gun, with its ammunition feed chute hanging to the right.  (Another flexible M-2 Browning, out of view of the photograph, is mounted within the right side of the nose.)  The remote control for the aircraft’s Bendix chin turret (housing two M-2 Brownings) is visible – in its stowed position – to the right of Lt. Bonomo.  In front of Lt. Bonomo is the bombardier’s plexiglass nose “bubble”, which – despite variations in design among different versions of the B-17 – is so visually characteristic of the Flying Fortress.

Given that Lt. Bonomo is not (!) wearing his oxygen mask, and is directly touching the control panel without (!) gloves (neither of which would be advisable at altitude…) this is almost certainly a “posed” photograph, taken while the B-17 was on the ground.

Though the date of this photograph is unknown, what is known is that Lt. Bonomo, a member of the 401st Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, became a prisoner of war on July 20, 1944, during a mission to Leipzig, Germany.  On that date, he was a member of 1 Lt. Arthur F. Hultin’s crew in B-17G 42-102509, which was lost due to anti-aircraft fire.  Fortunately, all 10 crewmen survived as POWs.  The plane’s loss is covered in MACR 7274 and Luftgaukommando Report 2560, the latter document being unusually detailed in its description of the plane.

Maurice (serial number 0-754720), the husband of Janet A. Bonomo, of 333 West 86th Street, in New York, was imprisoned in North Compound 2 of Stalag Luft I, in Barth, Germany. 

His name appeared in Casualty Lists published on December 13, 1944, and (as a liberated POW) on June 15, 1945, and can be found on page 281 of American Jews in World War Two.

References

Harry Wilson Love

Richard, Wilbert H.; Perry, Richard H.; Robinson, William J., The 390th Bomb Group Anthology – Volume II, 390th Memorial Museum Foundation, Inc., Tuscon, Az., 1985

B-24 Liberator

Blue, Allan, The B-24 Liberator – A Pictorial History, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, N.Y., 1975

Davis, Larry, B-24 Liberator in Action (Aircraft No. 80), Squadron / Signal Publications, Inc., Carrollton, Tx., 1987

B-24H 41-28944

Lundy, Will, 44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties, Green Harbor Publications, 1987, 2004

General Index: http://www.greenharbor.com/index.html

October, 1944: http://www.greenharbor.com/ROHPDF/ROHSO44.pdf

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.

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

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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. 

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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
American Jews in World War Two – page 406

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
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. – Section 8, Grave 6169

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

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

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Some other Jewish casualties on November 18, 1944 include…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Egel, Ely, PFC, 37619938, Purple Heart
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.
Saint Louis Post Dispatch 3/5/45
American Jews in World War Two – p. 209
Place of burial unknown

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

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

Emmer, Raymond Philip, Pvt., 37618928, Purple Heart
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 – p. 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
95th Infantry Division, 379th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Samuel Fried (father), 139 Roslyn Drive, Youngstown, Oh.
Born 1923
American Jews in World War Two – p. 486; The Jewish Times (Youngstown, Ohio) 12/22/44
Place of burial unknown

Kaufman
, Arthur S., Pvt., 32525103

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
Casualty List 2/6/45; The New York Times obituary page (Memorial Section) 11/17/46
American Jews in World War Two – pp. 47, 359
City College of New York Class of 1942
Place of burial unknown

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

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

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

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

Sussman
, Daniel, Pvt., 36727698

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

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

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
The New York Times Obituary page 5/20/48, 5/21/48, 5/22/48; Memorial section: 11/18/45, 11/24/26
American Jews in World War Two – p. 472
Place of burial unknown; Buried 5/21/48

Died of Wounds
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Captain Wallace Nathan Emmer, USAAF (brother of Raymond Philip Emmer), Capt., 0-730422, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Air Medal, 24 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart (138 combat missions)
9th Air Force, 354th Fighter Group, 353rd Fighter Squadron
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
Born Omaha, Ne., 11/18/17
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.

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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

Burstein, Charles, 2 Lt., 0-1822586, Purple Heart
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 – p. 286

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

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 – p. 138

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

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References

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

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.

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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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 Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Another Jewish casualty on June 8, 1945, was…

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