Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: 1 Lt. Arthur S. Goldstein – April 2, 1945

The name of Second Lieutenant Arthur S. Goldstein (0-558376) appeared in a Casualty List published on May 10, 1945, indicating that he was missing in action in Europe.  Only eleven months later – in an obituary (below) published on April 8, 1946 – was it confirmed and revealed that he was killed in action on April 2, 1945, in Germany.  A member of the 36th Tank Battalion of the 8th Armored Division, his name is commemorated on the Tablets of the Missing at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.

The 36th Tank Battalion After Action Reports for April of 1945 are enigmatic about his fate, only indicating that the Battalion incurred the losses of 1 officer and 5 enlisted men killed, and 3 officers and 33 enlisted men wounded, during that month.  Few specifics are given pertaining to the dates when and locations where most of these casualties occurred, and the mens’ names do not appear in the document.

Consistent with the records of many other American Second World War Casualties who remain “Missing in Action”, the American Battle Monuments Commission’s commemorative record for Lt. Goldstein gives his date of death as April 3, 1946, symbolically reflecting the passage of one year plus one day, from the calendar date on which he was actually killed.

Killed During a Battle In Germany a Year Ago

A Google street view of the Goldstein family’s wartime residence:  200 West 93rd Street, in Manhattan.

Second Lieut. Arthur S. Goldstein, who was reported missing in action on April 28, 1945, was killed during a battle at Neuhaus, Germany, the War Department yesterday notified his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Goldstein, of 200 West Ninety-Third Street.  Lieutenant Goldstein was 22 years old.

A Graduate of Townsend Harris High School, Lieutenant Goldstein was attending City College in 1942 when he entered the Army.  He was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity.  In addition to his parents, he leaves two brothers, Richard and Irving, and a sister, Carol.

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Some other Jewish military casualties on Monday, April 2, 1945, include…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Abrahams, Samuel, Trooper, 406603
England, Royal Armoured Corps
Mrs. Florence May Abrahams (wife), 26 Oakland Grove, Shepherd’s Bush, London, W12, England
Mr. Henry Abrahams (father)
Born 1915
Hasselt (Kruisveld) Communal Cemetery, Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium – Row C, Grave 3
The Jewish Chronicle 4/20/45
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 54

Berkowitz
, Isaac, T/4, 33054832, Purple Heart

United States Army, 77th Infantry Division, 305th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Meyer Berkowitz (father), 634 Jackson St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Jacob, Pvt. Larry M. and Maurice (brothers), 348 Wolf St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1920
Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Collingdale, Pa. (?)
The Jewish Exponent 10/13/44, 6/8/45
Philadelphia Inquirer 5/27/45
Philadelphia Record 10/4/44, 5/28/45
American Jews in World War II – 511

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Blume, Nathan J., S/Sgt., 42080027, Purple Heart
United States Army, 91st Chemical Battalion
Mrs. Nessie Blume (mother), 517 West 3rd St., Wilmington, De.
Born 1/17/14
Jewish Community Cemetery, Wilmington, De.
American Jews in World War II – 73

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Brids, Martin R., PFC, 31294009, Purple Heart (at Luzon, Philippines)
United States Army, 6th Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Anna Brids (mother), 55 Broadway, Quincy, Ma.
Born 1924
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot F, Row 16, Grave 101
American Jews in World War II – 152

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Danowitz, Jack M., 2 Lt., 0-868103, Flight Engineer, Air Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 499th Bomb Group, 877th Bomb Squadron
Mr. Kive Danowitz (father), Betty, Hubert (?), and Samuel (sister and brothers), 1271 Grant Ave., New York, N.Y.
MACR 13763; Aircraft: B-29 42-24650; “Jug Haid II”, “V 2”; Pilot: 1 Lt. Kenneth H. Dustin; 9 crewmen – no survivors
Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Glendale, N.Y. – Block WC, Section 5, Line 24, Grave 22, Workmen’s Circle Society
Casualty List 5/14/45
American Jews in World War II – 295

According to co-pilot Robert B. Merz’s biographical profile at Fold3.com, JUG HAID II was, …”hit with flak from anti-aircraft artillery while over the target area, and crashed in Ituka, near Kawasaki City in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan.”

This image of JUG HAID II’s nose art, possibly painted by Jim Howley (from Newark, New Jersey) is from his biographical profile at Sallyann Wagoner’s website (B-29.org) covering the history of the B-29 Superfortress. 

Documentation about Lt. Danowitz’s Missing in Action status includes the following “Record of Casualty”, recorded by and through the efforts of Major David I. Cedarbaum.  This document is one of 78 such records about Jewish casualties compiled by Major Cederabuam, as part of his overall efforts to document the service of Jewish airmen in the 20th Air Force.  He envisioned the postwar creation of a book about this subject.  Unfortunately, this never came to fruition. 

Based on the handwriting, this document seems to have been completed by W.D. Bary on Major Cedarbaum’s behalf.  The text states:  “Lt. Kenneth H. Dustin was the Airplane Commander.  The day prior to their final mission they were on another mission in which they dropped out of formation into danger by circling a plane that had ditched until rescue came for it.  On the April 2nd mission which [was] a night mission, four planes failed to return.  2 collided in the darkness and none were rescued & 2 were battle-damaged over the target & went down.   Conjecture can fashion a picture out of this information, but these are the only facts. – W.D. Bray”

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Dolsky, Jack, Sgt., 16124052, Radio Operator, Air Medal, 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 13th Air Force, 5th Bomb Group, 23rd Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Helen D. Bram (sister), 2137 East 70th St., Chicago, Il.
MACR 14289; Aircraft: B-24J 44-70148; Pilot: 1 Lt. William C. Robison; 10 crewmen – no survivors
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Casualty List 5/11/45
American Jews in World War II – 97

Sergeant Dolsky’s aircraft, piloted by 1 Lt. William C. Robison, vanished on April 2, 1945, after a morning take-off from Green Island, for a strike mission to the Truk Islands.   Ten days later, Major Christopher Goldsbury, Commander of the 72nd Bomb Squadron, recorded that, “Airplane 42-70148 was never seen after take off, and no trace was ever found of either the airplane or its crew.”  Though the MACR records no specific reason for the plane’s loss, the document does mention the presence of, “Severe frontal areas between Green Island and Truk Islands.” 

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Epstein, Sampson M., Pvt., 32675682, Purple Heart
United States Army, 8th Infantry Division, 28th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Morris and Ethel Isaacson (brother in law and sister), 25 Harris St., Rochester, N.Y.
Born Rochester, N.Y., 4/4/23
Stonewood Avenue Cemetery, Rochester, N.Y. – Beth Hamedresh Hagodel Section; Buried 1/16/49
http://www.rootsweb.com/~nymonroe/cem/vets-britton.htm
Casualty Lists 5/3/45, 6/9/45
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 4/24/45
American Jews in World War II – 303

Ezra, Albert, S 1C, 7077834, Seaman, Purple Heart
United States Navy
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac and Rosa Ezra (parents), Jacob and Louis (brothers), 160 Havemeyer St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 6/4/22, New York, N.Y.
Served in New York National Guard from 1/13/41 to 8/2/41
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Casualty List 6/7/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Fordham, Samuel Bernard, LAC, 2248679 (in Holland)
England, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Mr. and Mrs. Morris and Racheal Fordham (parents), Clapton, London, England
Born 1922
Venray War Cemetery, Limburg, Netherlands – V,F,13
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 196

Glassman, William, PFC, 33122472, Purple Heart (Pacific Theater)
United States Army, 242nd Engineer Combat Battalion
Mrs. Miriam Glassman (wife), 2600 Briggs Ave., New York, N.Y.
Casualty List 5/31/45
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
American Jews in World War II – 322 (?)

Goldstein, Jacob, PFC, 32963601, Purple Heart
United States Army, 25th Infantry Division, 161st Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Rebecca Goldstein (mother), 483 Hopkinson Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mr. Max Goldstein (brother), 1607 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1914
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot F, Row 12, Grave 27
Casualty List 5/3/45
American Jews in World War II – 328

Goldwater, James J., PFC, 36299626
United States Army, 382nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion
Mr. Myer Goldwater (father), 1235 Superior Ave., Sheboygan, Wi.
Born 1923
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot J Row 11, Grave 72
American Jews in World War II – 584

Harar, Mordechai Shimon, Pvt., PAL/11401
England, Pioneer Corps
Died in Israel from illness
Ramleh 1939-45 Memorial, Ramleh, Israel
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 246, as “Hahar, Sh. M.”; CWGC as “Harar, Mordechai Shimon”

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Herstam, Gordon Alan, Ensign, 0-164083, Navigator, Purple Heart
United States Navy, USS Goodhue
Killed by a Japanese suicide plane while acting as beach-master
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan and Lillian G. Herstam (parents), 2583 Overlook Road, Cleveland Heights, Oh.
Mrs. Ruth (Herstam) Goettinger (sister)
Born 1924
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. – Section 34, Grave 4369
Cleveland Press & Plain Dealer, April 22 & 23, 1945, March 22, 1949
American Jews in World War II – 489

This photo of Ensign Herstam’s matezva is by FindAGrave contributor Michael [Randy] Walsh

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Katz, Harry, PFC, 32410987 (Pacific Theater)
United States Army, 242nd Engineer Combat Battalion
Mrs. Lena Katz (mother), 9 Roberg Place, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1914
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Casualty List 5/29/45
American Jews in World War II – 358

Lebhar, Jacques, Soldat (AC 21 P 72422), Croix de Guerre (at Belheim, Germany)
French Army
“In spite of a violent bombardment which had put horses and a large part of his section out of action, he gave care to his wounded comrades, and carried his severely wounded Section Chief under a heavy burst of fire.  Returning to his post at the moment when the Chief himself was wounded, he reassured his comrades and kept them in order by telling them: “Those who remain, at my command.” / Fallen gloriously at the Battle of the Somme.”
(Malgre un violent bombardement qui avait mis hors de combat kes cadres et une grosse partie de sa Section, à donne des soins à ses camarades blessés et transporté sur son dos, sous une rafale intense, son chef de Section grièvement blessé.  Revenu à son poste au moment où le Chef se Section lui-même était blessé, a rassuré ses camarades et les maintenus en ordre en leur disant: “Ceux qui restant, à mon commandement.” / Tombé glorieusement à la bataille de la Somme.)
23eme Infanterie, 9eme B.M.I.

Born Oran, Algeria, 4/30/19
Place of burial unknown
Livre d’Or et de Sang – 158

Levin, Mota Veniaminovich (Левин, Мота Вениаминович), Technician-Lieutenant [Техник-Лейтенант], Technician (Flight) [Техник Звена]
U.S.S.R., Military Air Forces – VVS, 311th Assault Aviation Division, 925th Assault Aviation Regiment
Mrs. Anna Veniaminovna Ginsburg (sister)
Born 1918

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Levy, Jules, 2 Lt., 0-2057961, Navigator, Air Medal, Purple Heart, 10 missions
United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 497th Bomb Group, 869th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Rose Levy (mother), 1342 East 18th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 12/18/21, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Selman Field 44-G
MACR 13764; Aircraft: B-29 42-93883; Pilot: 1 Lt. Edwin F. Dietzel; 11 crewmen – no survivors
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Casualty List 5/9/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

The crew of B-29 42-93883 (nickname – if it had one – unknown) – lost during a mission to Tokyo – have never been found.  As recorded in the MACR, the “Aircraft took-off at 2100, 2 April 1945, Saipan, and was never seen or heard from since.”

Perhaps – supposition, on my part – the aircraft crashed at sea.

The photographic portrait below – of Lieutenant Levy – is one of 21 such images featured in Noah and Sadie G. Finkelstein’s 1951 book, Memorial Album – Dedicated to the Boys of the 20th Air Force

Akin to the report about Lt. Danowitz’s (above), Major Cedarbaum created a report covering Lt. Levy, as reported by Chaplain Hangse.  With no information about the plane and crew, the report simply states, “Bombing mission to Tokyo.  Did not return, no one saw it or heard from it, and no further information has ever been received.  Place of casualty is unknown.”

Biographies of the servicemen accompanying the photographic photographs in the Finkelstein’s book.  Typically written by the serviceman’s parents and (understandably; naturally; humanly) somewhat hagiographical, they are invaluable in terms of genealogy, and, in the way they invoke the aura of the 1930s and 1940s.  Jules’ biography, written by his mother, is presented below:

JULES LEVY

(December 18, 1921 – April 2, 1945)

Had Jules Levy lived his normal life-span, his absorbing passion for music, with special emphasis on the art of piano playing, would eventually have guided his career.  To understand the underlying motives in a young man’s mind and heart which stir him to creative tasks is to understand the main-springs of his character, and the finest tribute that can be paid to Jules’ memory is the attempt to picture those creative strivings in him.

He was born in Brooklyn. N.Y. on December 18, 1921.  There he graduated from Public School 197, James Madison High School, and religious school at Temple B’nai B’rith.  He studied music at City College, and later did clerical work for the government in Washington before entering the service.

He was promoted from the ranks to receive flying training and graduated from Salem Field as a navigator on a B-29. He was lost April 2, 1945, after having flown ten missions.  He had earned the Purple Heart Award.

His mother reveals that he was essentially of a reserved nature with an inner refinement, and very normal with respect to his liking of sports and other activities.  His letters home reflected a certain wisdom beyond his years, no doubt, from the grim experiences that the boys at the front encountered in their day to day living – with the unknown always a very present factor.  Throughout it all, however, Jules did not forget his real interest in life, his real passion – music, and he allowed himself the luxury, mental and spiritual, of dreaming what would be after the war.

Jules’ thoughts about music were not only creative, but they were mature.  He knew that we do not live by bread alone.  The fact that millions were fighting for something – different things to different men – was proof that each man needed to believe in some living principle.  Justice, democracy and those related concepts, were some of the things men believed in and fought for, even as he.

Beyond that, for Jules, were the creative things identified with music.  Music, like the other arts, opened up new worlds for humanity, and set standards by which to live as well.  He did not live to fulfill himself in this field, but at least he knew what he wanted, and what he wanted is a fitting memorial to the fine spirit which he possessed.

He is survived by his mother Rose Levy and a sister

______________________________

Liebgott, Jean (AC-21P-76880) (at Plobsheim, Bas-Rhin, France)
France, Armée de Terre, 2eme Bataillon de Chasseurs
Tué au combat
France, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Jouef
Born 8/2/02
Place of burial unknown

Lorber, Lawrence M., PFC, 35059641, Purple Heart
United States Army, Americal Division, 182nd Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Myrtle Lorber (parents), 1103 Parkwood Drive, Cleveland, Oh.
Mrs. Mildred Cohn (sister)
Born 1925
Place of burial – unknown
http://www.clevelandvetsmemorial.org/GCVM_Honor_Roll_Profile.asp?Infantry Division=1679
Cleveland Press, May 9, 1945, August 30, 1948
American Jews in World War II – 494

Mantell, William, M/Sgt., 12061488, Purple Heart (on Okinawa)
United States Army
Mr. Leon Mantell (father), “Clair, Gertrude, and Sam”, 1446 President St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1913
Place of burial – unknown
Casualty List 5/28/45
New York Times Obituary Memorial Section 3/31/46, 4/6/47
American Jews in World War II – 387

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Marcus, Joseph, S/Sgt., 39284367, Radio Operator, Air Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 13th Air Force, 5th Bomb Group, 23rd Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Sadie T. Marcus (mother), 1302 Gordon St., Hollywood, Ca.
Born 8/7/23
MACR 14252; Aircraft: B-24M 44-41853; Pilot: 2 Lt. Arthur M. Zipse; 11 crewmen – no survivors
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, Ca. – Section I, Grave 192; Buried 4/27/50
American Jews in World War II – 49

S/Sgt. Marcus’ Liberator, piloted by 2 Lt. Arthur M. Zipse, vanished during an observation flight to the northwest sector of the Negros Island, in the central part of the Philippine archipelago.   As reported in MACR 14252, at 1400 / I, the aircraft was contacted by two F4U Corsairs of Marine Air Group 14 while in the area assigned for the mission – Negros Island – and at that time, was not in difficulty.  Forty-five minutes later, at 1445 / I, the plane was again contacted by MAG 14 F4Us, with Lt. Zipse reporting that his destination was Bacolod, the capital city of Negros Island.  

Two hours later, at 1600 / I, MAG 14’s fighters were unable to make contact with the Liberator.   

Though the MACR sheds no further light on the fate of the crew, a record at FindAGrave for navigator 2 Lt. Donald C. Schwerin reveals more about the aircraft’s fate:  “For some time after the crewmen were reported missing in action, hope was maintained that eventually they might be found alive on an isolated south Pacific island.  It was discovered later, however, that the plane had crashed into a mountain in what was then Japanese held territory.  All the crewmen had been killed.”

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Marks, Delbert Harold, 2 Lt., 0-34916, Fighter Pilot (Test Pilot)
United States Marine Corps, 9th Marine Air Wing, Marine Air Group 91, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland
Aircraft: F4U-1D Corsair, Bureau Number 80771; Crashed near Nickle Mine, Lancaster, Pa.
Mr. Sol Marks (father), Cpl. Seymour Marks and Miss Shirley Marks (brother and sister), 12325 Saint Clair Ave., Cleveland, Oh.
Born 1921
Place of burial unknown
Cleveland Press & Plain Dealer, April 4 & 7, 1945
American Jews in World War II – 494

Marshak, Lawrence, PFC, 563809, Purple Heart
United States Marine Corps, 6th Marine Division, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, L Company
Mr. Sam Marshak (father), 180 East 40th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Place of Burial Unknown
Casualty List 6/15/45
American Jews in World War II – 389

Mosbacher, Stephen Sigmund, S/Sgt., 35554027, Silver Star, Purple Heart
United States Army, 8th Armored Division
Dr. and Mrs. Emil and Rose Mosbacher (parents), 617 Eleanor Ave., Cleveland, Oh.
Born Nurnberg, Gemany, 1923
Aufbau 4/27/45, 5/18/45
Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands – Plot I, Row 11, Grave 9
American Jews in World War II – 495

Nirenberg, Alvin Harold, S 2C, 7140825, Seaman
United States Navy, Ammunition Ship (name unknown)
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan and Ruth Nirenberg (parents), 29 Park Ave., Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Mr. Leon Veeder (cousin), New Rochelle, N.Y.
Born 1926
Mount Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, N.Y. – Block 51, Reference 14, Section F, Line 11, Grave 6 – Nova Radomsker Society
Mount Vernon Daily Argus 4/5/45
American Jews in World War II – 400

Rosenberg, Bernard, SM 3C, 8099343, Signalman, Purple Heart
United States Navy
Mr. Sam Rosenberg (father), 273 Amboy St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Casualty List 5/29/45
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Schiff, David, PFC, 42058131, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army, 97th Infantry Division, 387th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Morris Neidich (friend), 449 Powell St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Tablets of the Missing at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium
Casualty Lists 5/18/45, 1/16/46
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Scholem, Dan, Driver, PAL/30212
England, Royal Army Service Corps, Number 2, Commando
Mr. and Mrs. Hugo and Marianna Scholem (parents), Brussels, Belgium
Born 1924
Ravenna War Cemetery, Piangipane, Ravenna, Italy – IV,C,1
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 156, 258, as “Sholem, Dan (Robert)”; CWGC as “Scholem, Robert”

Schreer, Schlomo, Pvt., 16727
England, Palestine Regiment, 1st Battalion
Ravenna War Cemetery, Piangipane, Ravenna, Italy – IV,C,2
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 156, 257, as “Shrier (Shrir), Shlomo” and “Screer, S”; CWGC as “Schreer, S.”

Schwartzstein, Georges (AC-21P-153111)
France, Francs Tireurs et Partisans Français
Concentration camp; Décédé en deportation (Mauthausen, Austria)
From Paris, France
Born 7/10/19

Sigal, Isaak Peysakhovich (Сигал, Исаак Пейсахович), Guards Senior Lieutenant [Гвардии Старший Лейтенант]
U.S.S.R., Red Army, 379th Guards Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment, Military Unit / Military Post 29867
Commanding Officer – Communications
Born 1921
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume VIII – 478 [Книги Памяти еврееввоинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945 гг – Том VIII 478]

Wohlauer, Wolf Hans, T/5, 39699670, Purple Heart (in Germany)
United States Army, 8th Infantry Division, 49th Armored Infantry Battalion
Mrs. H.S. Wohlauer (wife), 1141 South Cochran Ave., Los Angeles, Ca.
Born 1914
Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Holland – Plot D, Row 10, Grave 16
American Jews in World War II – 57

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Second Lieutenant Norman Dubb and First Lieutenant Edward M. Rudofsky were the navigator and co-pilot of B-29 44-69752 (“T square 15“), an aircraft of the 873rd Bomb Squadron of the 498th Bomb Group (20th Air Force) which was commanded by 1 Lt. William E. Filbert.  The aircraft’s loss is covered in MACR 13761, which includes the enigmatic statement, “Aircraft AAF # 44-69752 left this station at approximately 2100, 1 April 1945 on a bombing mission over Tokyo, Japan.  At time of this report the aircraft is 12 hours overdue.  No information whatsoever has been received from the aircraft since its departure.”

The aircraft disappeared during a mission to Tokyo, having been shot down by anti-aircraft fire.   There were no survivors from the crew of 11.  Information about the bomber’s loss (and similar records concerning other American warplanes lost over Japan) can be found at aomorikuushuu.jpn.org

The crew was buried in collective grave 322 (seen below, in an image by KCK, in Section 81 of the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, on January 19, 1949.

Dubb, Norman, 2 Lt., 0-702155, Navigator
Mr. and Mrs. Henry and Lillian (Kasan) Dubb (parents), 4642 Saint Elmo Drive, Los Angeles, Ca.
Born in Maryland, in 1919
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Rudofsky, Edward M., 1 Lt., 0-795484, Co-Pilot, Air Medal, Purple Heart
Mrs. Louise G. Rudofsky (wife), 309 East 34th St., Savannah, Ga.
Casualty List 5/14/45
American Jews in World War II – 89

This photo of Lt. Rudofsky, provided by Louis Zacks, appears in his biographical profile at the National World War II Memorial website.

______________________________

Prisoner of War

Spivack, Maxwell, PFC, 12110922 (in Germany)
United States Army, 9th Infantry Division, 60th Infantry Regiment
POW – Camp unknown
Mr. Martin Spivack (father), 241 East Moshulu Parkway, Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1924
Casualty List 5/27/45
American Jews in World War II – 452

Wounded in Action

Davis, Jack, Sgt., C/125033
Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps
Mr. Leon Davis (father), 3259 West 10th Ave., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Born Vancouver, British Columbia, 10/12/18
Canadian Jews in World War II – Part II: Casualties – 92

Goldstein
, Julius, T/5, 33177105 (at Kerama, Okinawa)

United States Army
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob and Rose Goldstein (parents), 2630 S. 9th St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1912
The Jewish Exponent 7/6/45
Philadelphia Record 6/26/45
Philadelphia Bulletin 6/26/45
American Jews in World War II – 525

Panitz, Irwin Arthur, S 1C, 7121120, Seaman, Purple Heart
United States Navy, USS Henrico
WIA; Experienced multiple burns; Returned to duty
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Jack and Cecile Panitz (parents), 1432 Crotona Park East, Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1925
American Jews in World War II – 403

Weiss, Leonard, Sgt., 33085239, Purple Heart (in Germany)
United States Army
Mrs. Betty E. Weiss (wife), 632 S. 55th St. (or) 5127 Whitaker Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1920
The Jewish Exponent 5/4/45
Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Record 4/28/45
American Jews in World War II – 559

Wolf, Robert Raymond, Pvt., 563969, Purple Heart
United States Marine Corps, 3rd Marine Division, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, K Company
Mr. John Wolf (father), 11 Vreeland Ave., Passaic, N.J.
American Jews in World War II – 259

Other Incidents

Returned after aircraft landed in Soviet-controlled territory…

Robin, William H., S/Sgt., 14132611, Flight Engineer, Air Medal
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 454th Bomb Group, 739th Bomb Squadron
Aircraft landed at Pecs, Hungary; Presumably returned, with fellow crewmen, to American forces via Soviet Military
Mrs. Rose Robin (mother), 241 Cherokee Road, Nashville, Tn.
MACR 13475; Aircraft: B-24L 44-49927; Pilot: F/O George R. Buitts; 10 crewmen – all survived
American Jews in World War II – 568

According to a massive database compiled by the Soviet Transports research team (specifically, “Western-Built Aircraft in Soviet & Eastern Block Service” (March 2017)) intact B-24L 44-49927 eventually – (unsurprisingly!) – passed into Soviet Air Force service.  The plane probably served in the 25th Aviation Regiment – Long Range (25 АП ДД) at Balbasovo (an air base in Belarus) which was redesignated the 203rd Aviation Regiment (203 АП) in December of 1945.  

Last known sighting of a still-missing fighter pilot…

Rosenbloom, Sidney Eugene, 2 Lt., 0-2059842, Fighter Pilot, Air Medal
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 325th Fighter Group, 318th Fighter Squadron
Mrs. Harriet Selma (Silverstein) Rosenbloom (wife)
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Joshua and Bessie Rosenbloom (parents), 1235 North Hanley, St. Louis, Mo.
Born Saint Louis, Mo., 8/10/22; Died 9/18/11
Name appears in MACR 13641
Made last known sighting of Capt. Harry A. Parker (son of Mrs. Hannah (Craig) Parker, 8 Grove St., Milford, N.H.), who was flying P-51D 44-14462, “Albemarie Pippin”, during a strafing mission to vicinity of Vienna, Austria
Capt. Parker is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy.  He received the Silver Star and Purple Heart
American Jews in World War II – 215

References

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

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

Finkelstein, Noah and Sadie G., Memorial Album – Dedicated to the Boys of the 20th Air Force, Noah and Sadie G. Finkelstein, Los Angeles, Ca., 1951

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

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


Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume VII
[Surnames beginning with all letters of the alphabet], Maryanovskiy, M.F., Pivovarova, N.A., Sobol, I.S. (editors), Union of Jewish War Invalids and Veterans, Moscow, Russia, 2002

South African Jews in World War Two, Eagle Press, South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1950

 

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: PFC David E. Glatter – February 12, 1945

One theme among many in this ongoing series of posts about Jewish military casualties of the Second World War – whose obituaries appeared in The New York Times – is that these news items typically pertain to casualties incurred from late 1944 through the war’s end, in 1945.

In that sense, this post – for Private David E. Glatter of Brooklyn – is no exception.

A member of the 1255th Engineer Combat Battalion of the 6th Cavalry Group, David was one of the battalion’s eleven soldiers who lost their lives (51 others having been wounded) on February 12, 1945, during the liberation of Vianden, Luxembourg.

These soldiers are commemorated by a memorial located at the “View Point” of Vianden Castle, the text of a plaque there (shown below) reading:

VETERANS OF THE 1255TH COMBAT ENGINEERS
HONOR THE MEMORY OF
JACK BENDER              DAVID GLATTER
NATHAN CORLEY           EDWARD GRIFFIN
CYREL EVANOW            MARION HANSON
IRA GAMBILL                 CHARLES NANCE
VINCENT GAMBINO       HAROLD SMITH
WILLIAM TIFF
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES ON FEBRUARY 12, 1945
AT VIANDEN
SI HUN D’LIEWE GELOOSS FIR D’FRAIHEET
                                                     FEBRUARY 12, 1995

News items about David appeared in The New York Times (below) on September 25, 1945, and, the Oswego Palladium Times on 9/29/45.

Hero Died of Wounds Suffered in Luxembourg

PFC David E. Glatter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry H. Glatter of 921 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, died Feb. 14 of wounds suffered two days before in military operations in Luxembourg.  He was 19 years old.

For heroic achievement on Feb. 12 in Luxembourg he received posthumously the Bronze Star Medal.  During bitter fighting in the town of Vianden, the citation said, for a part of the time he stood alone on the river bank and delivered telling fire on a group of the enemy only 100 yards away.  On another occasion, when his platoon was pinned down by a German machine gun, he took his automatic rifle into the street and made a bold effort to silence the enemy gun.

Before entering the Army two years ago he was a student at Oswego State Teachers College and represented the school at inter-scholastic debates.

______________________________

A 2017 Google Street View of the Glatter family’s wartime residence: 921 Washington Avenue, in Brooklyn.

David is buried at the Long Island National Cemetery, in Farmingdale, N.Y. (Section J, Grave 13890)  A photograph of his matzeva, by Ronzoni, appears below.  His name appears on page 322 of American Jews in World War II

______________________________

Some other Jewish military casualties on Monday, February 12, 1945, include…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Epstein, Frank H., Sgt., 32143761, Purple Heart
United States Army, 38th Infantry Division, 152nd Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Elizabeth Hewson (mother), 15 Morgan St., Rochester, N.Y.
Mrs. Irving Acker, Mrs. Arnold Van Scooter, and Mrs. Evelyn Epstein (sisters); Eugene T. Oliver (?)
Born 1916
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot D, Row 6, Grave 38
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 3/24/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Goldberg, Sydney, Pvt., S/14679732 (in Northwest Europe)
England, Royal Army Service Corps
Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Esther Goldberg (parents), Cricklewood, Middlesex, England
35 Warwick Lodge, Shoot-up Hill, London, NW2, England
Born 1926
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany – 45,E,15
The Jewish Chronicle 4/27/45
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 92

______________________________

Greenfield, Alvin, ARM 3C, 7084420, Aviation Radioman, Purple Heart
United States Navy, Patrol Squadron VP-130
Mr. Jesse Greenfield (father), 303 Berriman Road, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Aircraft: Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, Bureau Number 49464; Pilot: Lt. Richard V. Umphrey; 6 crewmen – no survivors
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Casualty List 4/1/45
http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/
http://www.vpnavy.org/vp2_1945.html
American Jews in World War II – 335

The document below (from Fold3.com), from VP-130’s War Diary for February of 1945, covers the loss of Lieutenant Umphrey’s Ventura.  Like innumerable Allied aircraft lost during the Second World War, no wreckage or crewmen were ever recovered, and no definitive cause of the plane’s loss could ever be determined.  However, the entry does suggest that, “The most likely possibilities are that either engine trouble resulted in a forced landing at sea, or the plane was shot down in the Zamboanga area, on the southwest tip of Mindanao, where there was a known concentration of AA.”  (Anti-Aircraft)

Besides Aviation Radio Man Greenfield, the crew (their towns and cities of residence, as listed in the 1946 publication Combat Connected Naval Casualties, World War II, by States. 1946. U. S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard) consisted of the following:

Umphrey, Richard Vern Lt. – Iola Marie Umphrey (wife), Route 17, Box 1390, Milwaukie, Or.
McCaslin, James Walter Ens. – Mollie McCaslin (mother), Box 471, Chillicothe, Tx.
Banks, Auckland Marston AOM3C – Ethel Elizabeth Banks (mother), 3205 Plymouth Court, Tampa, Fl.
Dillon, O.M. ARM3C – Anna Elizabeth London (mother), 1400 Evans Ave., Fort Worth, Tx.
Murie, Louis Arnold AMM2C – John Murie (father), 73 South Adolph St., Akron, Oh.

______________________________

The three maps below, from Google Maps, show the presumed location of the aircraft’s loss at successively larger scales. 

This map shows the island of Borneo, and the Philippine archipelago.  Though not labeled on this map, Zamboanga, at the southern tip of Mindanao, is about half-way between the Philippine Islands, and the northeast tip of Borneo, at the “boundary” between the Sulu and Celebes Seas.

“Zooming in” more closely.  Zamboanga – labeled on the map – is west-southwest of Davao.

…and even closer, with Zamboanga at the lower center of the map.

______________________________

Since Lockheed’s PV-1 Ventura is presumably vastly less well known than other World War Two aircraft, such as the B-17 Flying Fortress, P-51 Mustang, or Supermarine Spitfire (assuming that there remains room for any kind of historical memory in the Twitterfied, Facebooked, Snapchatized world of 2018…but I digress…or do I?…!), an image of two PV-1s is shown below.  Though these aircraft are serving in VB-135 in the Aleutian Theater of War (not VP-130, in the Western Pacific) the photo is nonetheless a excellent representative image of the general appearance of the PV-1 – per se.  Apparent are the plane’s radial engines, twin fin and rudder (a la the North American B-25 Mitchell or Handley Page Hampden), dorsal turret mounting twin fifty-calibre Browning machine guns, two further Browning fifties in the upper nose, and, the two-place cockpit.  Not visible is the plane’s bomb-bay, which was capable of carrying bombs or a torpedo.

The picture is from the Warbird Information Exchange, which features a series of superb images of American warplanes in the Aleutians.  The image also appears in Scrivner and Scarborough’s PV-1 Ventura in Action, which notes that the pair of aircraft were photographed in July of 1944, while en route from Paramushiro to Attu.

The number “10” on the forward and rear fuselage is the aircraft’s individual squadron identification number, while the “936” on the rear fuselage – probably in white – is the last three digits of the aircraft’s Bureau Number, “48936”.

______________________________

Hoffman, Harvey S., 1 Lt., 0-1108018
United States Army, 460th Engineer Depot Company
Mrs. Mary K. Hoffman (wife), 45 Tiemann Place, New York, N.Y.
Rhone American Cemetery, Draguignan, France – Plot B, Row 7, Grave 23
American Jews in World War II – 346

Kadison, Saul B., 1 Lt., 0-1304906, Silver Star, Purple Heart
United States Army, 80th Infantry Division, 317th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Lena Kadison (mother), 1223 Lincoln Place, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Also remembered by “Fae”…)
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot E, Row 5, Grave 19
Casualty List 6/10/45
The New York Times Obituary Memorial Section 2/12/46
American Jews in World War II – 353

Kalman, Abraham, Pvt.
1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, Disciplinary Commando
Born Czechoslovakia, Mala Tarna, okres Sevljus; 11/1/19
http://www.army.cz/acr/vuapraha/db/index.php

Laine, Colin, Pvt., 13120129
England, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), 2nd Battalion
Mr. and Mrs. Mordecai and Simma Eisland (parents)
Mr. R. Eisland (uncle), New York, N.Y., USA
Born 1923
Taukkyan War Cemetery, Taukkyan, Rangoon, Myanmar – 27,C,11
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 116

Leventon
, Alexandre (AC-21P-75446) (at Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, France)

France, Armée de Terre, 21eme Régiment d’Infanterie Coloniale
Born Odessa, U.S.S.R., 4/29/21
Place of burial unknown

Libman, Mikhail Aleksandrovich (Либман, Михаил Александрович)
Hero of the Soviet Union
Guards Major [Гвардии Майор], Commander (Artillery) [Командир (Артиллерия)]
U.S.S.R., Red Army, 1st Ukrainian Front, 5th Guards Army, 7th Artillery Corps, 3rd Artillery Division, 637th Light Artillery Regiment, 15th Light Artillery Brigade
(Wounded 9/26/43)
Born 1921, Rostov-on-Don, Rostov Oblast, Soviet Union
Kule Cemetery, Częstochowa, Poland – Grave 21

Libman, Mikhail Aleksandrovich (Wikipedia, at Либман, Михаил Александрович)
Under Fire – 358
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume V – 56

Ozer, Albert Milton, Pvt., 32189224, Purple Heart
United States Army, 34th Infantry Division, 34th Reconnaissance Troop
Mr. and Mrs. Jehile and Anna Ozer (parents), Benjamin and Miriam (brother and sister), 258 Buffalo Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Parents postwar address: 4250 West Flager St., Miami, Fl.
Born 1917
Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy – Plot F, Row 3, Grave 28
Casualty List 4/3/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Raffel, Arthur G., Sgt., 42043388, Purple Heart
United States Army, 94th Infantry Division, 376th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Henrietta Raffel (parents), Joseph (brother), 3418 Gates Place, New York, N.Y.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Center Moriches, N.Y.; Buried 4/3/49
Casualty List 3/20/45
New York Times Obituary Memorial Section 4/1/49
American Jews in World War II – 409

Robbins, Fred B., T/Sgt., 15104767, Flight Engineer, Air Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 6th Bomb Group, 39th Bomb Squadron
Mr. Phil Robbins (uncle), 1901 Alvason St., Cleveland, Oh.
Mrs. Anne C. Robbins (sister-in-law); Florence, PFC Arnold, and David (sister and brothers)
Born 1922
MACR 12049; Aircraft: B-29 42-24842; Pilot: 1 Lt. Bernard A. Casaurang; 11 crewmen – no survivors
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Cleveland Press & Plain Dealer – 2/28/45, 8/8/45
American Jews in World War II – 497

The Casaurang crew’s Superfortress was not actually lost in combat.  During a sea-search mission, the right wing caught fire after the #4 engine developed mechanical problems.  The bomber crashed into the sea, about 55 miles northwest of the Marianas Islands of Saipan and Tinian.  Other aircraft made extensive searches of the area, but there were no survivors.  

The plane’s crew list is shown below:

______________________________

Rosenheim, Charles Leslie, Major, 172292, Military Cross (in Western Europe)
England, Welch Regiment, 4th Battalion
Mrs. Annelies Rosenheim (wife), Golders Green, Middlesex, England
Wife also at 73 Meadway, London, NW11, England
Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig and Martha Rosenheim (parents), Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, England
Born 1913
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany – 51,F,5
The Jewish Chronicle 2/23/45
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 20, 150
We Will Remember Them (Volume II) – 98

Simpson
, Roger Henry, Major, 160270

England, Royal Artillery, 8th Field Regiment
Mrs. Patricia Simpson (wife), St. Marylebone, London, England
Mr. and Mrs. Emden and Lily (Burton) Simpson (parents)
Born 1912
Taukkyan War Cemetery, Taukkyan, Rangoon, Myanmar – 27,E,16
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – 162

Tankelis
, Abel Berovich [Танкелис, Абел Берович] Junior Sergeant [Младший Сержант]
U.S.S.R., Red Army, 16th Lithuanian Rifle Division, Army Trophy [captured enemy equipment] Team

Died of wounds at 80th Autonomous Medical Battalion, Priekule, Latvia
Mr. Ber Tankel (father); Miss Mina Berovich (sister)
Born 1920, in Kursk
Possibly brother of Junior Sergeant [Младший Сержант] David Berovich Tankelis [Давид Берович Танкелис], of 249th Rifle Regiment, 16th Lithuanian Rifle Division
Road to Victory – 304 (gives name and rank as “Tankel, Abel”, “Sgt.”)

Servicemen in Polish People’s Army, during “Operation Pomeranian Wall”

Balasz, Rafael, Pvt. (at 2nd Infantry Division Military Hospital)
Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Jozef Balasz (father)
Born Wilczunk (Siedlce), Poland, 1909
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 5

Bluzer, Aleksander, Pvt. (at Field Hospital 5171, Walcz, Poland)
Polish People’s Army
Mr. Jozef Bluzer (father)
Born 1922
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 99

Fuks
, Dawid, Cpl. (at Miroslawiec, Zachodniopomorski, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Markus Fuks (father)
Komarno, Poland 1929 (?)
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 22

Gerszanowicz
, Leon, Sergeant Major (at Rudki, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 6th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Lazarz Gerszanowicz (father)
Lithuania, Ostrowiec (d. Vilna); 1916
Walcz Military Cemetery, Poland
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 98

Hister
, Gecel, Cpl. (at Zabinek, Zachodniopomorski, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Jakub Hister (father)
Radymno (d. Jaroslaw) [Podkarpackie?], Poland, 1919
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 30

Kujawski
, Michal, WO

Polish People’s Army, 1st Infantry Division
Mr. Szlomo Kujawski (father)
Born 1920
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 42

Ligenberg
, Samek, WO (at Zabieniec, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Szmuel Ligenberg (father)
Poland, Mazowieckie, Warsaw; 1923
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 46

Liport
, Ilia, WO (at Zlotow, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 23rd Heavy Artillery Regiment
Mr. Lazar Liport (father)
Odessa Oblast, Odessa; 1922
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 46

Margules
, Zachariasz, Pvt. (at Borujsk, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Hersz Margules (father)
Chelm (d. Lublin) [Lubelskie?], Poland, 1912
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 101

Orlinski
, Aron, Cpl. (at Miroslawiec, Zachodniopomorski, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Szlomo Orlinski (father)
Poland, Podlaskie, Bialystok; 10/25/13
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 52

Pinczewski
, Jozef, First Sergeant (at Miroslawiec, Zachodniopomorski, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Izrael Pinczewski (father)
Poland, Mazowieckie, Warsaw; 12/13/13
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 54 (Also listed as “Piczewski, Josef”, on page 54)

Schiffer Zeglarski
, Jakub, 2 Lt. (at Rudki, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 16th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Jakub Schiffer Zeglarksi (father)
Rudnik near San (d. Nisko), Poland, 7/23/97
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 61

Spiro
, Mojzesz, First Sergeant (at Wloclawek, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 3rd Infantry Division, Disciplinary Company
Mr. Jakub Spiro (father)
Gorlice, Malopolskie, Poland, 1909
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 63

Szakies
, Jan, Pvt. (at Borujsk, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Jan Sazkies (father)
Kabosze (d. Braslaw), Poland, 1913
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 98

Szubert
, Kazimierz, WO (at Nowe Laski (Walcz), Zachodniopomorski, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 6th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Ignacy Szubert (father)
Zaluze (d. Zbaraz), Poland, 1921
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 68

Wizner
, Leopold, Pvt. (at Miroslawiec, Zachodniopomorski, Poland)

Polish People’s Army, 5th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Jozef Wizner (father)
Oswiecim, Malopolskie, Poland, 1924
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 75

References

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

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

Meirtchak, Benjamin, Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War II: I – Jewish Soldiers and Officers of the Polish People’s Army Killed and Missing in Action 1943-1945, World Federation of Jewish Fighters Partisans and Camp Inmates: Association of Jewish War Veterans of the Polish Armies in Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1994

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

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

Scrivner, Charles L., and Scarborough, Capt. W.E., USN (Ret.), Lockheed PV-1 Ventura in Action, Squadron / Signal Publications, Carrollton, Tx., 1981

Shapiro, Gershon (Compiler), Under Fire – The Stories of Jewish Heroes of the Soviet Union, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1988

Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume V [Surnames beginning with А (A), Б (B), В (V), Г (G), Д (D), Е (E), Ж (Zh), З (Z), И (I), К (K)], Maryanovskiy, M.F., Pivovarova, N.A., Sobol, I.S. (editors), Union of Jewish War Invalids and Veterans, Moscow, Russia, 1998

1255th Engineer Combat Battalion

1255th Engineer Combat Battalion – Traces of War – Memorial 1255th Engineer Combat Battalion (at Tracesofwar.com)

American War Memorials Overseas – 1255th Combat Engineer Battalion Monument (at uswarmemorials.org)

 

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Pvt. Edward A. Gilpin – December 20, 1944

Like many of the war casualties whose obituaries appeared in The New York Times, information about Private Edward A. Gilpin of Manhattan appeared well after the end of the war in Europe: In November of 1945.

Notably, the Times erred in reporting that Pvt. Gilpin was killed in action of the 16th of December, 1944, during the opening day of Germany’s Ardennes Offensive, more popularly known as the “Battle of the Bulge”.  In reality, he lost his life on the 20th of December, as can be seen in this image below (contributed by FindAGrave member Glenn), of his matzeva at the the Long Island National Cemetery (Section J, Grave 14546) in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Though Pvt. Gilpin’s obituary appeared in the Times on November 8, 1945, his name appeared in an actual Casualty List that was published two weeks later, on November 21.

Private Gilpin’s name can be found on page 320 of American Jews in World War II.The image below is a Google street view of the Gilpin family’s wartime residence, at 125 West 16th Street. 

Pvt. Edward A. Gilpin, 30-year-old former organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, was killed in action in Germany on Dec. 16, 1944 [error], in the Battle of the Bulge, the War Department has informed his widow, Mrs. Reba Gilpin of 125 West Sixteenth Street.  He was attached to a machine gun company of the 112th Regiment, Twenty-Eighth Division.

Private Gilpin was long active in theatrical affairs.  He was graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts here.  He had acted on the stage and in radio shows and had produced and directed various plays in a stock company theatre in Saugerties, N.Y., and at the Roerich Museum here.

Besides his widow, he leaves two children, the Misses Tovia and Margaret Gilpin; his mother, Mrs. Mary Gilpin of Philadelphia; a sister, Mrs. Carl Freedman of Miami, Fla., and a brother, PFC Leonard Gilpin of the Army, now in France.

The image below is a 2016 Google street view of the Gilpin family’s wartime residence, at 125 West 16th Street in New York.

______________________________

Some other Jewish military casualties on Wednesday, December 20, 1944, include…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Bass, Robert M., T/5, 33601453, Purple Heart (Lae, New Guinea)
United States Army
Mr. Joseph H. Bass (father), 4613 Conshohocken Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1924
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot A, Row 5, Grave 58
The Jewish Exponent 8/24/45
American Jews in World War II – 510

Bernstein, Mike, Pvt., A/487
Canada, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Irish Regiment of Canada
Mr. and Mrs. Max and Sarah Bernstein (parents), Sgt. Leonard Bernstein (brother), 61 Markham St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Born Toronto, Ontario, 2/16/23
Villanova Canadian War Cemetery, Bagnacavallo, Italy – III,A,5
The Jewish Chronicle 8/10/44
Canadian Jews in World War Two – Volume II, 10

Blank, Sara Rachela Shoshana, Sgt., W/PAL/203880
England, Auxiliary Territorial Service
Ramleh War Cemetery, Ramleh, Israel – W,32
The Jewish Chronicle 1/12/45
We Will Remember Them, Volume 1 – 64, 239

Cohen, Gerald I., Pvt., 36649720, Purple Heart
United States Army, 106th Infantry Division, 423rd Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Helen Cohen (parents), Lawrence (brother), 6622 North Ashland Ave., Chicago, Il.
Born 9/7/24
Westlawn Cemetery, Norridge, Chicago, Il. – Buried 6/13/49
Chicago Tribune 6/12/49
American Jews in World War II – 96

Devor, David, Pvt., B/103198
Canada, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, Irish Regiment of Canada
Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Kate Devor (parents), John, Sidney, and Berko (brothers), 59 Havelock Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Born 1924
Villanova Canadian War Cemetery, Bagnacavallo, Italy – II,A,4
Canadian Jews in World War Two – Volume II, 10

Ehrenkranz, William, 2 Lt., 0-925973, Co-Pilot, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 455th Bomb Group, 740th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Dora Ehrenkranz (parents), 16 Edwin Place, Newark, N.J.

Possibly from Toms River, N.J.
MACR 14245; B-24J (serial number not listed); Pilot: Capt. William J. Stewart, Jr.; 10 crewmen – no survivors
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Ky. – Section E 229
Casualty List 3/8/45
American Jews in World War II – 231

Lt. Ehrenkranz was the co-pilot of a B-24 Liberator which crashed – due to very poor visibility – eight miles north of San Marco, Italy, while returning from a mission to the Pilsen Skoda Works in Czechoslovakia.  The collective grave includes the following crewmen:

T/Sgt. Robert L. Rausch – Radio Operator (Aurora, Il.)
S/Sgt. Joseph P. Schulte – Flight Engineer (Okmulgee, Ok.)
Capt. William J. Stewart, Jr. – Pilot (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
F/O Harold A. Thompson – Navigator (Detroit, Mi.)

Fortgang, Leo, PFC, 32295977, Purple Heart
United States Army, 77th Infantry Division, 306th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Sarah Fortgang (mother); Murray Fortgang (brother), 100 Columbia St., New York, N.Y.; Mrs. Carol Sommers (daughter)
Born 1/29/15
Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, N.Y. – Section J, Grave 15584
Casualty List 3/20/45
American Jews in World War II – 312

Glick
, Philip Paul, Pvt., 32944161, Purple Heart

United States Army, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, K Company
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob and Margaret Glick (parents), Hudson, N.Y.
Born N.Y., 6/29/25
Cedar Park Cemetery, Hudson, N.Y.
Times Union (Albany) – 6/4/46
American Jews in World War II – 322

Goldberger
, Stanley R., PFC, 36633963, Purple Heart

United States Army, 28th Infantry Division, 112th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Alexander Goldberger (father), 3319 West Cullon Ave., Chicago, Il.
Born 1923
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot H, Row 12, Grave 65
American Jews in World War II – 100

______________________________

Gross, Samuel (Samuel Yehuda bar Mordechai ha Kohane), Sgt., 33470424, Gunner (completed 6 missions)
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 484th Bomb Group, 825th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Edith Gross (wife); Samuel A. Gross, Jr. (son), 5440 Tabor Road, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mr. and Mrs. Max (4/1/53-74) and Pauline (2/5/79-83) Gross (parents), 2655 S. Fairhill St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 7/29/22

No Missing Air Crew Report; Aircraft: B-24 Liberator
Mount Sharon Cemetery, Springfield, Pa. – Section K; Buried 11/28/48
The Jewish Exponent 1/26/45
Philadelphia Record 1/19/45
Philadelphia Inquirer 12/26/48
American Jews in World War II – 527

The photos show the matzeva and military grave marker of Army Air Force Sergeant Samuel Gross (Samuel Yehuda bar Mordechai ha Kohane). 

Comparing the information on the grave marker – denoting that Samuel served in the 825th Bomb Squadron of the 484th Bomb Group – with the photographic portrait (in remarkably good condition after seven decades) mounted in Sgt. Gross’ matzeva presents a quandary: 

Samuel’s uniform carries the emblem of the Army’s 13th Armored Division (the Black Cats), rather than the winged “15” of the 15th Air Force. 

Perhaps he was initially attached to the 13th Armored, and then transferred to the Army Air Force?

______________________________

Grossman, Mordecai M., Pvt., 36598374, Purple Heart (Wounded 12/20/44; Died of Wounds 12/23/44)
United States Army, 5th Infantry Division, 11th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Leo Grossman (father), 2688 Glynn Court, Detroit, Mi.
Born 1/3/25
Wayne State University student
Machpelah Cemetery, Ferndale, Mi. – Section L, Lot 16, Grave 503D; Buried 4/26/49
The Jewish News (Detroit) 1/26/45, 2/9/45
American Jews in World War II – 191

The articles below are from the above mentioned issues of The Jewish News, of Detroit.  A transcribed version of Abraham Caplan’s tribute to Mordecai – the ethos of whose life seems strikingly reminiscent of that of Jochanan Tartakower (“The Brief War of An Only Son”) – is presented below.

To Mordecai Grossman

Killed in Action in France
December 23, 1944

BY ABRAHAM CAPLAN

Slacken not the tempo of the Hora,
Though he no longer sets the pace of the dancing.

It was not the dance which so enthralled him;

This whirling of young people was but the token
Of a nation, old so long, coming again into flower.

Tall, broad-shouldered, kerchief around his neck.
His untutored voice singing his beloved Hebrew.

He looked beyond the driving preparatory tasks
Assigned to him by other fervent youths
To fruitful exertions as workman and Halutz
In the land which was sweeter to him than very life.

This restless child of freedom who divined his mission
Hurled himself into the battle at the enemy’s gates
And challengingly fought his war and died
For majestic liberation – Israel’s and the worlds.
_____

Slacken not the tempo of the Hora.
You who knew and greatly loved him.

Remember the sacrifice which daringly he brought
And keep the name of your fallen comrade glowing
With the unabating flame of pure, adoring hearts.

_____________________________

This picture, by KChaffeeB, shows Mordecai’s matezva at Machpelah Cemetery, in Ferndale, Michigan.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

______________________________

Halperin, Abraham, Pvt., 32905614, Purple Heart
United States Army, 106th Infantry Division, 423rd Infantry Regiment
Mr. Barnett Halperin (father), 1401 Bryant Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot I, Row 6, Grave 25
American Jews in World War II – 340

Hanzel, Abraham, PFC, R-1764 (Dunkirk, France)
1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, 1st Armored Brigade
Czechoslovakia, Sokolovce, okres Piesany; 10/29/16
Adinkerke Military Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium – H,10
http://www.army.cz/acr/vuapraha/db/index.php
Zide Československém Vojsku na Západé – 246

Lackovic, Ladislav, Pvt., J-935 (Dunkirk, France)
1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, 1st Armored Brigade
Czechoslovakia, Šarfia, okres Modra; 3/27/18
Adinkerke Military Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium – H,11
http://www.army.cz/acr/vuapraha/db/index.php
Zide Československém Vojsku na Západé – 246

Laderman, Matthew A., Cpl., 32882335, Gunner (Waist), Air Medal, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 459th Bomb Group, 757th Bomb Squadron
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Celia Laderman (parents), 25-12 Steinway St., Long Island City, N.Y.
Born 1/12/25
MACR 10691; Aircraft: B-24J 42-51837; Pilot: 2 Lt. Joseph A. Doyle, Jr.; 10 crewmen – 2 survivors
Wellwood Cemetery. Farmingdale, N.Y.
Casualty List 3/29/45
American Jews in World War II – 370

Levy
, Raymond D., PFC, 11048119, Purple Heart

United States Army, 82nd Airborne Division, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, C Company
Winthrop, Ma.
Cemetery Location Unknown
http://www.ww2-airborne.us/units/504/504_honor_kl.html
American Jews in World War II – 170

Mand
, Ben, T/Sgt., 32971808, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

United States Army, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Previously wounded ~ 10/20/44
Mrs. Sonia Mand (wife), 1450 Parkchester Road, Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1911
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot H, Row 4, Grave 25
Casualty List 3/29/45
American Jews in World War II – 386

Masor
, Joseph, Pvt., 42103947, Purple Heart

United States Army, 10th Armored Division, 3rd Armored Tank Battalion
(parents), 108 Oraton St., Newark, N.J.
Born 1914
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium – Plot E, Row 13, Grave 9
American Jews in World War II – 246

Ojalvo, Leon Joseph, S 1C, 7120266, Purple Heart
United States Navy, LST-359
Mr. Joseph Ojalvo (father), 1476 Wilkins Ave., Bronx, N.Y.

Tablets of the Missing at Brittany American Cemetery, St. James, France
American Jews in World War II – 401

Pilnick
, Eugene, PFC, 12226924, Purple Heart

United States Army, 87th Infantry Division, 347th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Robert Pilnick (father), 376 East 98th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 10/25/25
Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, N.Y. – Section H, Grave 8616
Casualty List 2/15/45
American Jews in World War II – 405

Reidman
, Samuel, Pvt., 42037464, Purple Heart

United States Army, 101st Airborne Division, 321st Airborne Field Artillery Battalion
Mrs. Beatrice Reidman (wife), 215 Mount Hope Place, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1915
Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France – Plot B, Row 44, Grave 30
Casualty List 2/22/45
American Jews in World War II – 411

Rosen
, William, Pvt., 32693280, Purple Heart

United States Army, 10th Armored Division, 54th Armored Infantry Battalion
Mrs. Ruth Rosen (wife), 508 Horne Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1922
Henri-Chapelle Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium – Plot F, Row 13, Grave 37
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Veytsman
, Lev Lazarevich (Вейцман, Лев Лазаревич), Sergeant [Сержант]

U.S.S.R., Military Air Forces – VVS, 109th Riga Red Banner Aviation Regiment – Long Range
Aerial Gunner / Radio Operator
Aircraft: Probably Il-4
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume V – 338
[Книги Памяти еврееввоинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945 гг – Том V – 338]

Zelmyer
, Milton L., T/Sgt., 31034748, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart

United States Army, 77th Infantry Division, 307th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Sarah Zelmyer (mother), 8 Edgemont Road, Brighton, Ma.
Born 1919
Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot D, Row 16, Grave 126
American Jews in World War II – 186

______________________________

Lieutenants Kaufman and Silverman were passengers in a C-47A (43-16066) of the Army Air Force’s 815th Base Unit, which crashed 6 miles south of Ironton, Missouri.  Piloted by 2 Lt. James E. Gibson, there were no survivors among the aircraft’s five crew and passengers.  This incident is described in Volume 3 (covering August 1944 through December, 1945) of Anthony Mireles extraordinarily comprehensive Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945.

Kaufman, Julian, 2 Lt., 0-819534, Navigator (flying as passenger)
Mr. and Mrs. Harry A. and Fanny Kaufman (parents); Bernard, Maurice, Mildred, Sheldon, and Stanley (brothers and sister), 921 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 5/2/22
Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, N.Y. – Section 1, Block 5, Harry & Meyer Kirschenbaum Society – Buried 12/24/44
Brooklyn Eagle 4/28/43
American Jews in World War II – 212, 359

Silverman, Harold, 2 Lt., 0-711037, Pilot (flying as passenger), Purple Heart
Mr. Joseph Silverman (father), 3652 Reading Road, Cincinnati, Oh.
Born Cincinnati, Oh.; 10/11/15
Walnut Hills Cemetery, Cincinnati, Oh. – Section 7, Lot 34, Grave 7
American Jews in World War II – 500

______________________________

Like Lieutenants Kaufman and Silverman, Lieutenant Julian E. Berger and Corporal Stanley Saffer lost their lives during a flying accident in the United States.  Their aircraft, B-24J Liberator 42-109686 of the 112th Army Air Force Base Unit, Squadron E, piloted by 2 Lt. James E. Webster, crashed  2 miles south of Granby, Massachusetts, while on a training mission.  Both airmen, along with bombardier 2 Lt. George E. Bennett of Brockport, New York, jumped from their aircraft in an attempt to parachute to safety, but the three did not survive.  The incident was reported in the Syracuse Herald-Journal, Niagara Falls Gazette, The Knickerbocker News (Albany), and Malone Evening Telegram.

Lt. Webster, his co-pilot, and an aerial gunner were seriously injured when the bomber crash-landed, while four others crewmen received injuries in parachute landings.  Akin to the C-47 mentioned above, the loss of this aircraft is also chronicled in Volume 3 (page 1003) of Anthony Mireles’ massive reference work, Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945. 

Berger, Julian Edwin, 2 Lt., 0-2070237, Bombardier
Mr. and Mrs. William M. and Annie (Reamer) Berger (parents), 2804 Hilldale Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Miss Elaine Berger (sister)
Born 1925
Oheb Shalom Cemetery, Baltimore, Md.; Buried 12/24/44
Baltimore Sun 12/22/44
Jewish Times (Baltimore) 12/29/44
American Jews in World War II – 135

This portrait of Lieutenant Berger appeared in the Jewish Times (of Baltimore) on December 29, 1944.

Saffer, Stanley, Cpl., 12226364, Gunner (Nose Gunner)
Mr. and Mrs. Albert [died 9/13/80] and Della (Forman) [died 9/16/68] Saffer (parents), 200 Marcy Place, Bronx, N.Y.
Patricia Douglas and Steve Saffer (niece and nephew)
Born 1925
Mount Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, N.Y. – Path 18 Right, Gate 4, Grave 43, Rostover Society; Buried 12/24/44
American Jews in World War II – 425

This portrait of Corporal Saffer can be found at his commemorative profile at the Registry of the World War II National Memorial.  The image was donated by his niece and nephew, Patricia Douglas and Steve Saffer.

______________________________

Many names are listed above. 

Even more names – of men taken prisoner by the Germans on December 20, 1944 – are presented below. 

The large number of POWs is attributable to these men (primarily from the famous 28th “Keystone”  Infantry Division) having been captured on the fourth day of the Battle of the Bulge. 

Prisoners of War (United States Army – Ground Forces – European Theater)

Aronowitz, Bernard, Pvt., 42134961, 103rd Infantry Division, 409th Infantry Regiment
Baskin, Jack, Pvt., 35912487, 103rd Infantry Division, 409th Infantry Regiment
Bayarsky, Joseph, S/Sgt., 32248209, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Bernstein, Albert J., PFC, 36014907, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Bloom, Nathan, PFC, 32248834, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Brill, Leonard, Pvt., 32248813, 8th Infantry Division, 28th Infantry Regiment
Epstein, Melvin, Sgt., 42046239
Falstein, Lawrence I., PFC, 36694283, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Feldman, Hyman, Sgt., 31038475, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Flatow, Joseph, Pvt., 32937317, Luxembourg, 110th Infantry Regiment
Fox, Irwin, Sgt., 42044375, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Fried, Philip K., Pvt., 12220163, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Friedman, Arthur, Pvt., 35913924, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Golden, Max, PFC, 42126564, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Goldstein, Jack, Pvt., 32086599, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, Headquarters Company
Goodman, Julius L., Pvt., 36694176, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Gottlieb, Eli D., PFC, 42045939, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Grainsky, Milton, 2 Lt., 0-1017355
Greengold, Martin, PFC, 32247936, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Gross, Sidney, PFC, 42130690, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Herzstein, Norman J., PFC, 32071886, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Himmelfarb, Solomon, T/4, 32866308, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Horowitz, Aaron, Sgt., 32885417, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Hurwitz, Harlan E., Pvt., 31261986, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Jaffie, Herman, PFC, 32970744, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Kaplan, Frank L., Sgt., 36266213, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Katz, Sam, S/Sgt., 32257570, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment

______________________________


Kimmelman
, Benedict B., Capt., 0-351208, 28th Infantry Division, Headquarters Regiment, Silver Star, Bronze Star medal
Dental Surgeon
POW at Stalag 4B (Muhlberg)
Mrs. Rita (Apfelbaum) Kimmelman (wife); Mark (son), 2930 N. 8th St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Dr. Simon Kimmelman (father), 2127 Pine St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born Philadelphia, Pa.; 7/20/15 – Died 8/5/99
The Jewish Exponent 3/23/45, 11/30/45
Philadelphia Inquirer 4/24/45, 5/27/45, 6/8/45, 6/14/45
American Jews in World War II – 532

This photo of Captain Kimmelman (incorrectly captioned “Kinnelman”!) appeared in the Philadelphia Bulletin on June 15, 1945

I had the good fortune to meet and interview Doctor (formerly Captain) Kimmelman in January of 1991, concerning his experiences in the Army – “in general” – and as a Jewish prisoner of war of the Germans, in particular.  Our talk touching on a variety of related (and perhaps not-so-related!) topics, as well. 

I hope to present audio files of our conversation in the future.

Until that hopeful moment (!), here is a photo of Dr. Kimmelman in dental school, which I received as a memento of our meeting.

______________________________

Kuttner, Arthur P., Pvt., 42036123, 8th Infantry Division, 28th Infantry Regiment
Leibowitz, Nathan, PFC, 32248777, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Lenetsky, Benjamin, T/4, 33051351, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Levine, Jack E., Pvt., 32903168, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Osterman, Horace, Pvt., 12221283, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Perlman, Julius, PFC, 42131929, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Plushner, Sam, PFC, 42129871, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Pupkin, Saul A., S/Sgt., 32244156, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Rotaple, David, Pvt., 32883105, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Sagat, Milton S., Pvt., 36771506, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Samuels, Jack I., PFC, 35055434, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Schmertzler, Jack, PFC, 42036661, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Schwartz, Melvin, PFC, 32084390, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Segal, Robert, Pvt., 13178319, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Seiden, Morton, PFC, 42093573, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Silvey, Mortimer I., Pvt., 32785612, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Spector, Sidney, Cpl., 32218375
Stern, Paul, T/5, 12110879, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Stresow, Daniel, PFC, 32105789, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment
Wolinsky, Harry, PFC, 32195287, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Wormser, Donald L., S/Sgt., 32247980, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment

______________________________

Of soldiers captured on December 20, 1944, the eleven men listed below, part of a contingent of 350 men (entirely Privates and PFCs) would, after having been imprisoned at Stalag 9B (Bad Orb, Germany) be segregated from their fellow POWs and sent to a sub camp for American POWs at Berga an der Elster (also known as “Berga-am-Elster”), Germany, known as Arbeitskommando 625.  This event is one of two known incidents in which the Germans separated American Jewish prisoners of war from their fellow POWs.  The group of 350 was comprised of soldiers known to have been Jews (77 men), the remaining 273 having been men with – in the perception and belief of their captors – “ethnic” surnames; individuals who were “trouble makers”; and, soldiers simply arbitrarily chosen to complete the contingent. 

Of the 350 soldiers, 76 did not survive, a fatality rate of 22%.

A similar event – with an altogether different conclusion – occurred at Stalag Luft I, at Barth, Germany, in January of 1945, and involved the segregation of an undetermined number (probably the majority of) the approximately 300 Jewish POWs at that camp.  In the case of Stalag Luft I, however, the Jewish POWs remained at the camp until its liberation by Soviet Troops.    

The ordeal of the 350 POWs at Berga-am-Elster has been covered in two books and one documentary film.

The books – both released in 2005 – are:  Soldiers and Slaves : American POWs Trapped by the Nazis’ Final Gamble, by Roger Cohen and Michael Prichard, and, Given Up For Dead : American GIs in the Nazi Concentration Camp at Berga, by Flint Whitlock.  A review of Whitlock’s book by John Robert White can be found at H-Net Reviews, under the title Fitting Berga into the History of World War II and the Holocaust.  

The documentary, Berga: Soldiers of Another War, was the subject of reviews and discussions by the International Documentary Association (Kevin Lewis – Remembering the POWs of ‘Berga’: Guggenheim’s Final Film Celebrates His Army Unit) and The New York Times (Ned Martel – G.I.s Condemned to.Slave Labor in the Holocaust).  The last project of documentary film-maker Charles Guggenheim, Soldiers of Another War was released in May of 2003, eight months after his death.

The eleven men listed below, all of whom survived captivity, were among the 350:

Blaiss, Amiel L., Pvt., 7008153, 28th Infantry Division, 112th Infantry Regiment
Dantowitz, Philip, Pvt., 11120234, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Fahrer, Samuel, Pvt., 32720856, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, B Company

______________________________

Goodman, Sydney L., Pvt., 36889334, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, M Company
POW at Stalag 9B (Bad Orb) and Berga-am-Elster
Mrs. Grace K. Goodman (wife), 3250 Calvert St., Detroit, MI. (Townsend 8-9766)
Mr. Nathan Goodman (father)
Born Detroit, Mi., 9/4/17; Died 12/26/05
Casualty List 6/4/45
Jew News (Detroit) 4/6/45, 6/8/45, 1/5/2006
American Jews in World War Two – Not Listed

The image below shows Private Sydney Goodman and his daughter in front of the family home on Calvert Street, well prior to Sydney’s departure for Europe. 

______________________________

Lemberg, Meyer, PFC, 36607755, 28th Infantry Division, 112th Infantry Regiment
Levkov, Harry, PFC, 32262238, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters Company
Lipson, Sidney Jacob, Pvt., 11083155, 28th Infantry Division, 112th Infantry Regiment, L Company
Lubinsky, Sanford Melvin, PFC, 35555186, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters Company
Melnick, Bernard, PFC, 32828896, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, Cannon Company
Shapiro, William J., Pvt., 42040855, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment
Steckler, Daniel D., PFC, 32961312, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, M Company

______________________________

A small number of the Jewish Privates at Bad Orb managed to avoid being segregated and sent to Berga-am-Elster, thus remaining at Stalag 9B until the camp’s liberation.  Among these fortunate men was Private Edwin H.J. Cornell (family name originally Cohen) of Rochester, New York, who received the moral support, solidarity, and practical advice of his very good friend Private First Class Frederick Stetler Roys of Michigan.  Also a member of K Company, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, Frederick was likewise captured on December 20, 1944.

Cornell, Edwin H.J., Pvt., 42028822, 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, K Company
POW at Stalag 9B (Bad Orb, Germany)
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon H. and Helen E. Cornell (parents), S1C Harvey B. Cornell (brother), 383 Barrington St., Rochester, N.Y.
Born Rochester, N.Y.; 10/20/22
Casualty List (Liberated POW) 5/11/45
Rochester Times-Union 10/20/43, 5/15/44, 4/19/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

An article in the Rochester Times-Union, on May 3, 1944, showing Edwin, his sister Arlene, and brother in law Sergeant Fred B. Kravetz.

Old Newspapers

Edwin’s portrait, as it appeared in a Rochester Times-Union news item of April 19, 1945, announcing his liberation.   

Edwin 47 years later, in 1992.  He passed away on October 24, 2014.

______________________________

Edwin’s friend, Private Frederick Roys at home in Muskegon, Michigan, prior to being deployed overseas. 

Postwar:  Fred’s marriage to Catherine A. Wrege on November 18, 1945, at Percy Jones Hospital, Calhoun, Michigan.  Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to Everett and Elfrieda (Stetler) Roys in February of 1925, Fred passed away in Michigan in August of 1994.  Two years before – in 1992 – Fred related his wartime (and postwar) story to me in very (very) great detail.  Perhaps someday I’ll add excerpts of that interview to this post…

______________________________

Wounded in Action

Kane, Morton, Pvt., 42058863, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster (in Germany)
United States Army, 103rd Infantry Division, 411th Infantry Regiment, A Company
KIA subsequently – on 3/21/45
Mrs. Esther B. Katz (mother), 1273 Clay Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Born 1924
Casualty Lists 3/12/45, 4/17/45, 4/19/45
American Jews in World War II – 355

Farkowitz, Eugene, PFC, Purple Heart (in France)
United States Army, Armored Division
Wounded previously – ~ 10/20/44
Mr. Adoph Farkowitz (brother), 63-139 Alderton St., Forest Hills, N.Y.
Born Austria, 1915
Butcher in brother’s Manhattan shop
Casualty Lists 12/20/44, 4/12/45
American Jews in World War II – 305

Evaded Capture – Returned to Duty (Circumstances Unknown)

Ginsburg, Howard A., 2 Lt., 0-2056696, Bombardier
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 455th Bomb Group, 741st Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Anna N. Ginsburg (mother), 609 West Washington St., Chicago, Il.
MACR 10714; Aircraft: B-24G 42-78166, “Rosalie Mae”; Pilot: 1 Lt. Donald L. Bone; 10 crewmen – all survived
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

References

Dublin, Louis I., and Kohs, Samuel C., American Jews in World War II – The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom – Compiled by the Bureau of War Records of the National Jewish Welfare Board, The Dial Press, New York, N.Y., 1947

Kulka, Erich, Zide Československém Vojsku na Západé, Naše Vojsko, Praha, Czechoslovakia, 1992

Mireles, Anthony J., Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945 – Volume 3: August 1944 – December, 1945, Appendices, Indexes, McFarland & Company Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, 2006

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

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

Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume V [Surnames beginning with А (A), Б (B), В (V), Г (G), Д (D), Е (E), Ж (Zh), З (Z), И (I), К (K)], Maryanovskiy, M.F., Pivovarova, N.A., Sobol, I.S. (editors), Union of Jewish War Invalids and Veterans, Moscow, Russia, 1998

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: The Gans Brothers – Sgt. Ralph Gans – January 31, 1945


The Second World War was characterized by near-universal military service among the warring nations, either voluntarily, or through conscription.  As such, multiple members of a single family – fathers and sons; sets of brothers – would find themselves wearing the uniforms of their countries, serving in combat or military support duties on land, in the air, or at sea.  Sometimes, this would occur in the same geographic theater of operations; sometimes, even in the same branch of service. 

Sometimes, fate – or God – would cast a favorable face upon a family: All its members would return, and resume their civilian lives in the fullness of time.  Or, like soldiers throughout history, they would be transformed, traumatized, or inspired (often in reinforcing or contradictory combination) by their military experiences, and embark – by decision or chance – upon new and unanticipated paths through life.

Sometimes, God – or fate – would cast an entirely difference “face” upon a family, perhaps manifesting what is known in Hebrew (most notably in the book of Isaiah) as an aspect of “hester punim”.  (Perhaps; perhaps.)  For such a family, the course of life would unalterably, irrevocably altered… 

In that sense, while my prior posts about Jewish soldiers reported upon in The New York Times have by definition covered specific individuals, in 1945, for the Gans family of the Bronx, life indeed took that different course.  The Gans brothers – Ralph (Rafael bar Yaakov) and Solomon (Zalman bar Yaakov) – lost their lives in military service with four weeks of one another, and their loss was covered in the Times on April 17 of that year.

Ralph, born in 1920 and the older of the two, lost his life in England on January 31 under non-combat circumstances while serving with the Ordnance Corps.  Solomon, a Second Lieutenant who had been enrolled at City College, was killed in combat while serving in I Company, 253rd Infantry Regiment, 63rd Infantry Division on January 3. 

The sons of Jacobs and Mary Gans of 494 Claremont Parkway (East 171st St.) in the Bronx, their obituary appeared in the Times on April 17.  They are buried adjacent to one another at Mount Lebanon Cemetery, in Glendale, N.Y. (Workmen’s Circle Society, Block WC, Section 5, Line 28): Solomon in Grave 12, and Ralph in Grave 13.

(While this post covers both brothers, information about other Jewish servicemen is limited to those soldiers who became casualties the same day as Sgt. Gans: January 31, 1945.  As such, a second post will repeat the biographical information (above) about the Gans brothers, and present information about Jewish military casualties on January 3, 1945.)

Bronx Family Loses Its Only Two Sons

War Department notification of the deaths of Lieut. Solomon Gans and T/Sgt. Ralph Gans, only sons of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Gans of 495 East 171st Street, the Bronx, has been received.

Previously reported missing, Lieutenant Gans, 22 years old, was killed in action in France Jan. 3, while attached to the 253rd Infantry.  He was a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School and had completed three years at City College before entering the Army, on June 16, 1943.

Sergeant Gans, 25, died in England on Jan. 31, according to the War Department.  Also a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School, he worked for the Noma Electric Company prior to induction.  He entered the Army on Jan. 20, 1942, and was serving with an ordnance battalion at the time of his death.

This image, by S. Daino, shows the matzevot of Ralph and Solomon, at Mount Lebanon Cemetery. 

Some other Jewish military casualties on Wednesday, January 31, 1945, include…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Averbakh, Leonid Borisovich (Авербах, Леонид Борисович), Junior Lieutenant [Младший Лейтенант]
U.S.S.R., Red Army, 26th Tank Corps, 25th Tank Brigade
Tank Commander
Born 1908
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume V – 82
[Книги Памяти еврееввоинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945 гг – Том V – 82]

Benamou, Paul, Sous-Lieutenant, Legion d’Honneur, at Durenentzen, Haut-Rhin, France
France, Armée de Terre, Bataillon de Choc (Nieme)
“At Durenentzen, on 31 January 1945, was one of the first to enter the village at the head of his men.  Hunted the enemy from house to house, to the edge of the church.  Fell gloriously as he reached the last objective assigned to him.”
(A Durenentzen, le 31 janvier 1945 fut un des premiers à pénétrer dans le village à la téte de ses hommes.  Chasse l’ennemi de maison en maison, jusqu’aux abords de l’église.  Tombe glorieusement alors qu’il atteignait le derneir objectif qu’on lui avait assigné.)
Place of burial unknown

Livre d’Or et de Sang – 126-127

Beylin, Yuriy Evseevich (Бейлин, Юрий Евсеевич), Guards Sergeant [Гвардии Сержант]
U.S.S.R., Red Army, 8th Guards Army, 259th Autonomous Tank Regiment
Tank Commander (T-34)
Born 1925
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume IX – 69
[Книги Памяти еврееввоинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945 гг – Том IX – 69]

Brachman, Max, PFC, 32904506, Purple Heart
United States Army, 9th Infantry Division, 39th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. and Rose Brachman (parents), Freida and Min (sisters), Bronx, N.Y.
Born 8/25/11; Father died 12/26/44
Place of Burial – Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, N.J.
New York Times Obituary Page Memorial Section 1/31/46
American Jews in World War II – 282

Buschnoff, Frederick M., Pvt., 12221150, Purple Heart (In Belgium)
United States Army
Mr. and Mrs. Emil and Lena Buschnoff (parents), PFC Milton E. and Robert L. Buscnhoff (brothers), 473 West End Ave., New York, N.Y.
Born 1926
Place of Burial – unknown
Casualty List 3/8/45
The New York Times (Obituary Page) 2/14/45, 1/31/47
American Jews in World War II – 287

Cohen, Haskell D., Sgt., 32736088
United States Army, 84th Infantry Division, 335th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Bessie L. Cohen (mother), 52 Hanover St., Rochester, N.Y.
Born 1926
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium – Plot E, Row 7, Grave 13
American Jews in World War II – 290

Falk, Mark, Pvt., 13941547
England, British Army, Pioneer Corps
Mrs. Sophie Falk (wife), Merton Park, Surrey, England; Mr. and Mrs. Hersz and Rosa Falk (parents)
Born 1899
Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium – V,B,18
We Will Remember Them (Volume I) – p. 267

Grinberg
, Mark Yakovlevich (Гринберг, Марк Яковлевич)

Lieutenant [Pilot (Bomber – Flight Commander) [Командир Звена] Лейтенант]
U.S.S.R., Military Air Forces – VVS, 5th Bombardment Aviation Corps, 640th Bombardment Aviation Regiment
Killed in crash (accident) of A-20G Havoc attack bomber; 3 crewmen – no survivors
Born 1919
Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume I – 408
[Книги Памяти еврееввоинов, павших в боях с нацизхмом в 1941-1945 гг – Том I – 408]

Harman, Marvin A., Pvt., 42041845, Purple Heart
United States Army, 78th Infantry Division, 311th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Ruth C. Heimowitz (mother)
Mr. Sydney N. Craig (uncle), 5606 15th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1926
Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Holland – Plot B, Row 21, Grave 14
Casualty List 3/14/45
American Jews in World War II – 341 (Incorrectly gives surname as “Harmin”)

Saperstein, Eugene, PFC, 42007276, Medical Corps, Silver Star, Purple Heart
United States Army, 104th Infantry Division, 413th Infantry Regiment, G Company
Mr. Samuel Saperstein (father), 1204 Fairmount Ave., Elizabeth, N.J.
Born Elizabeth, N.J., 9/3/24
Place of Burial – unknown
Casualty List 3/31/45
American Jews in World War II – 252

Semhoun, Michel Moise, at Guewenheim, Haut-Rhin, France
France, Armée de Terre, 6eme Régiment de Tirailleurs Marocains
Tlemcen, Algeria
Born 2/22/25
Place of burial unknown
Au Service de la France – 147

Wajc
, Jakub, 2 Lt.

Poland, Polish People’s Army, 7th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Benedikt Wajc (father)
Place of burial unknown
Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Army in World War II (Volume I) – 72

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Three of the servicemen lost this day – Co-Pilot 2 Lt. Bernard “Benny” Jacobs, Radio Operator S/Sgt. Martin Feldman, and Flight Engineer / top turret gunner S/Sgt. Harry J. Ofsa – served in the same air crew.  Members of the 38th (“Sunsetter”) Bomb Group’s 405th (“Green Dragons”) Bomb Squadron (5th Air Force) their B-25J Mitchell (serial number 43-36201), piloted by 2 Lt. James J. Benjamin, was lost during an attack against three Japanese destroyers south of Taiwan.

As reported by Sgt. Walter B. Kuzla in Missing Air Crew Report 13759:

“As this aircraft was starting making its run I noticed a few bursts of ack-ack coming from the destroyer.  I don’t know whether the ack-ack hit the aircraft or it hit the mast but it seemed to wing over and crash into the water and exploded.  [sic]  All four bombs made direct hits on the destroyer.  It is believed that this destroyer sank a few minutes later.”

On March 8, Major Edward J. Maurer, Jr. supplemented the Report with the following information:

“The left engine of Lieutenant Benjamin’s airplane appeared to be burning when the plane was about two hundred yards from a destroyer and immediately afterward the plane exploded and hit hard into the water, the remaining airplanes in the flight then formed in formation and circled the area for signs of any survivors, but it was definitely ascertained that there were none.”

Biographical information about the men is presented below.  Though I have no idea about the number of sorties their crew had completed before January 31, the level of the awards they received (Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and Purple Heart) suggests – due to the lack of multiple Oaf Leaf Clusters for the Air Medal denoting over 5 missions – that they were a members of a relatively new crew. 

______________________________

Feldman, Martin, S/Sgt., 32903672, Radio Operator, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart
Mr. Reuben Feldman (father), 588 E. 93rd St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Casualty List 5/10/45
American Jews in World War II – 307

______________________________

Jacobs, Bernard (“Benny”), 2 Lt., 0-815149, Co-Pilot, Purple Heart
Born Somerville, Ma., 8/6/16
Mrs. Sylvia Jacobs (wife), 34 Beale Road, Waltham, Ma.
Casualty List 5/7/45
American Jews in World War II – 165

This image of Lt. Jacobs, provided by Barkas, appears at his FindAGrave profile.

______________________________

Ofsa, Harry J., S/Sgt., 39571347, Flight Engineer, Air Medal, Purple Heart
Mrs. Anita R. Ofsa (wife), Steven (son – YOB 1944), 1319 North Washburn St., Minneapolis, Mn.
Mr. and Mrs. Simon [12/6/87-4/3/39] and Beulah (Bachrach) [5/29/92-52/29/53] Ofsa (parents); Mrs. Doris Jean (Ofsa) Kohn (sister)
Born Williamson, West Viriginia, 3/15/18
American Jews in World War II – 203

From his FindAGrave profile, this image of S/Sgt. Ofsa, provided by Laurie, presumably shows him in pre-war civilian life. 

S/Sgt. Ofsa’s family created a symbolic matzeva in his memory, as seen in this image, provided by Alan Bachrach.  The matzeva is found at Temple Emanuel Cemetery, in Roanoke, Virginia. 

______________________________

This is an excellent representative view (from pinterest) of B-25J Mitchell bombers of the 405th Bomb Squadron, immediately and distinctively indentifiable by their vivid, green “dragon head” nose markings.  The aircraft in the rear, 44-30921, probably (?…) survived the war, as there is no Missing Air Crew Report for the plane, and it does not appear at Aviation Archeology’s  USAF  / USAAF Accident Report database

This is a beautiful example of an original (early 1945) Australian manufactured 405th BS “Green Dragon” squadron patch (from Flying Tiger Antiques), as intended to be worn on aviator’s flying jacket.  In the same way that there were many stylistic variations of the “dragon head” insignia on 405th BS Mitchell bombers, so were there stylistic variations in the squadron uniform patch, other images of which can be easily found.

______________________________

From the Missing Aircrew Report for B-25J 43-36201, the following page presents information about the plane and crew as well as the mission on which they were lost, while the next page gives the crew’s next of kin and home addresses.

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This page, also from MACR 13759, shows – as denoted by a small “x” – the location of the Mitchell’s loss.  The Google map beneath covers the same area in a smaller scale, showing the location of the plane’s loss via Google’s red locator arrow. 

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Prisoners of War

Silverstein, Martin, PFC, 32975882, Purple Heart
United States Army
POW at Stalag 12A (Limburg an der Lahn)
Mr. Benjamin Silverstein (father), 197 Utica Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mrs. Helen Weiseltheir (?), 901 Carroll St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1924
Casualty List 4/19/45
American Jews in World War II – 445

Zeiler, Albert I., Pvt., 42130938, Purple Heart
United States Army
POW at Stalag 9C (Bad Sulza)
Mrs. Florence F. Zeiler (wife), 344 New Lots Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Casualty List 5/15/45 (Liberated POW)
American Jews in World War II – 477

Zelman, Paul, Cpl., 33308496
United States Army, 9th Infantry Division, 60th Infantry Regiment
POW at Stalag 12A (Limburg an der Lahn)
Mrs. Miriam Zelman (wife); Barbara Lee Zelman (daughter; YOB 1948), 826 Collins Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Mrs. Bessie Zelmanov (mother), 844 Sheridan Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Born Russia, 3/6/18
Casualty List (Liberated POW) 6/5/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Wounded in Action

Asch, Clifford M., Trooper, D/143297
Canada, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
Mr. Michael Asch (father), 3482 Northcliffe Ave., Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Canadian Jews in World War II – Part II: Casualties – 85

Benichou, Albert, Aspirant, Char (Chef de Section), Croix de Guerre, Medaille Militaire, at Village de Durrenentezn, Haut-Rhin, France
France, Armée de Terre, Nieme Battailon de Choc
On the night of 31 January to 1 February 1945, on the attack of the village of Durrenentezn (Haut-Rhin), he brilliantly distinguished himself by pushing his section behind the tanks, securing the capture of 82 prisoners including 2 officers.  Wounded in the action; refused care; retained the command of his section pursuing the fight until the complete annihilation of any enemy resistance at Durrenentezn.  (Dans la nuit du 31 janvier au 1er février 1945, à l’attaque du village de Durrenentezn (Haut-Rhin), s’est brillamment distingué en poussant sa section derrière les chars, réussissant la capture de 82 prisonniers dont 2 officiers.  Blessé dans l’action, a refusé les soins, a conservé le commandement de sa section poursuivant la lutte jusq’à l’anéantissement complet de toute résistance ennemie à Durrenentezn.)
Wounded subsequently, on 4/13/45

Livre d’Or et de Sang – 148, 173

Other Incidents

Aviator – Returned with crew after aircraft last seen heading to Yugoslavia

Dondes, Paul, Cpl., 11100425, Radio Operator, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 454th Bomb Group, 739th Bomb Squadron
Mr. Israel Dondes (father), 153 Loomis St., Burlington Vt.
MACR 11831; Aircraft: B-24J 44-41134; Pilot: 2 Lt. Artist H. Prichard, Jr., 11 crewmen – all survived
American Jews in World War II – 576

Aviators – Reported missing, but returned to duty (circumstances unknown)

Mandel, Harold, Sgt., 42059203, Ball Turret Gunner
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 451st Bomb Group, 724th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. May Mandel (mother), 1842 Anthony Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
MAVR 11830; Aircraft: B-24L 44-49460; Pilot: 1 Lt. Lloyd O. Boots; 10 crewmen – all survived
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

Stein, Leonard, Cpl., 35059185, Flight Engineer
United States Army Air Force, 15th Air Force, 460th Bomb Group, 762nd Bomb Squadron
Mr. Sam Stein (father), 791 East 105th St., Cleveland, Oh.
Born 1924
No MACR; B-24H 41-28805; No other information available
Mentioned in AFHRA Microfilm Roll BO 609, Frame 871
American Jews in World War II – Not listed

References

Bell, Dana (Illustrated by Don Greer, Betty Stadt and Dana Bell), Air Force Colors Volume 3: Pacific and Home Front, 1942-47, Squadron / Signal Publications, Carrollton, Tx., 1997

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

Dublin, Louis I., and Kohs, Samuel C., American Jews in World War II – The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom – Compiled by the Bureau of War Records of the National Jewish Welfare Board, The Dial Press, New York, N.Y., 1947

Freeman, Roger A., Camouflage and Markings – United States Army Air Force, 1937-1945, Ducimus Books Limited, London, England, 1974 (“North American B-25 Mitchell U.S.A.A.F, 1941-1945”, pp. 217-240)

Maryanovskiy, M.F., Pivovarova, N.A., Sobol, I.S. (editors),Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume I [Surnames beginning with А (A), Б (B), В (V), Г (G), Д (D), Е (E), Ж (Zh), З (Z), И (I)], Union of Jewish War Invalids and Veterans, Moscow, Russia, 1994

Maryanovskiy, M.F., Pivovarova, N.A., Sobol, I.S. (editors), Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume V [Surnames beginning with А (A), Б (B), В (V), Г (G), Д (D), Е (E), Ж (Zh), З (Z), И (I), К (K)], Union of Jewish War Invalids and Veterans, Moscow, Russia, 1998


Maryanovskiy, M.F., Pivovarova, N.A., Sobol, I.S. (editors), Memorial Book of Jewish Soldiers Who Died in Battles Against Nazism – 1941-1945 – Volume IX [Surnames beginning with all letters of the alphabet], Union of Jewish War Invalids and Veterans, Moscow, Russia, 2006

Meirtchak, Benjamin, Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Armies in World War II: I – Jewish Soldiers and Officers of the Polish People’s Army Killed and Missing in Action 1943-1945, World Federation of Jewish Fighters Partisans and Camp Inmates: Association of Jewish War Veterans of the Polish Armies in Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1994

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

References – No Author Listed

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

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

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: The Gans Brothers – 2 Lt. Solomon Gans – January 3, 1945

The Second World War was characterized by near-universal military service among the warring nations, either voluntarily, or through conscription.  As such, multiple members of a single family – fathers and sons; sets of brothers – would find themselves wearing the uniforms of their countries, serving in combat or military support duties on land, in the air, or at sea.  Sometimes, this would occur in the same geographic theater of operations; sometimes, even in the same branch of service. 

Sometimes, fate – or God – would cast a favorable face upon a family: All its members would return, and resume their civilian lives in the fullness of time.  Or, like soldiers throughout history, they would be transformed, traumatized, or inspired (often in reinforcing or contradictory combination) by their military experiences, and embark – by decision or chance – upon new and unanticipated paths through life.

Sometimes, God – or fate – would cast an entirely difference “face” upon a family, perhaps manifesting what is known in Hebrew (most notably in the book of Isaiah) as an aspect of “hester punim”.  (Perhaps; perhaps.)  For such a family, the course of life would unalterably, irrevocably altered… 

In that sense, while my prior posts about Jewish soldiers reported upon in The New York Times have by definition covered specific individuals, in 1945, for the Gans family of the Bronx, life indeed took that different course.  The Gans brothers – Ralph (Rafael bar Yaakov) and Solomon (Zalman bar Yaakov) – lost their lives in military service with four weeks of one another, and their loss was covered in the Times on April 17 of that year.

Ralph, born in 1920 and the older of the two, lost his life in England on January 31 under non-combat circumstances while serving with the Ordnance Corps.  Solomon, a Second Lieutenant who had been enrolled at City College, was killed in combat while serving in I Company, 253rd Infantry Regiment, 63rd Infantry Division on January 3. 

The sons of Jacobs and Mary Gans of 494 Claremont Parkway (East 171st St.) in the Bronx, their obituary appeared in the Times on April 17.  They are buried adjacent to one another at Mount Lebanon Cemetery, in Glendale, N.Y. (Workmen’s Circle Society, Block WC, Section 5, Line 28): Solomon in Grave 12, and Ralph in Grave 13.

(While this post covers both brothers, information about other Jewish servicemen is limited to those soldiers who became casualties on the same day as Lt. Gans: January 3, 1945.  As such, the earlier post (about Sgt. Ralph Gans) presented the same biographical information about the Gans brothers as “this” post.  That post included information about Jewish military casualties on January 31, 1945.)

Bronx Family Loses Its Only Two Sons

War Department notification of the deaths of Lieut. Solomon Gans and T/Sgt. Ralph Gans, only sons of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Gans of 495 East 171st Street, the Bronx, has been received.

Previously reported missing, Lieutenant Gans, 22 years old, was killed in action in France Jan. 3, while attached to the 253rd Infantry.  He was a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School and had completed three years at City College before entering the Army, on June 16, 1943.

Sergeant Gans, 25, died in England on Jan. 31, according to the War Department.  Also a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School, he worked for the Noma Electric Company prior to induction.  He entered the Army on Jan. 20, 1942, and was serving with an ordnance battalion at the time of his death.

This image, by S. Daino, shows the matzevot of Ralph and Solomon, at Mount Lebanon Cemetery.

Some other Jewish military casualties on Wednesday, January 3, 1945, include…

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Bank, Louis, PFC, 32117222, Purple Heart
United States Army, 44th Infantry Division, 71st Infantry Regiment
Mr. Sam Bank (father), 2459 East 23rd St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Casualty List 2/22/45
Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, N.Y. – Section H, Grave 10353
American Jews in World War II – 269

Danchik, Samuel, Cpl., 32622948, Purple Heart
United States Army, 100th Infantry Division, 398th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Max Danchik (father), 826 Park Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mrs. Lillian Danchik (sister in law), 217 Hart St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mr. Maurice Gherman (friend)
Born 1921
Place of Burial – unknown
Casualty List 2/22/45
American Jews in World War II – 295

Druskin, Zalman, Pvt., at Liepaja (region), Latvia
U.S.S.R., Red Army, 16th Lithuanian Rifle Division, 294th Infantry Brigade
Mr. Shepsel Druskin (father)
Born 1919
Road to Victory, p. 293

Gildenberg, Isaac, Pvt., 42124609, Purple Heart
United States Army, 99th Infantry Division, 394th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Lena Y. Gildenberg (mother), 386 South 2nd St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Born 1925
Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Glendale, N.Y. – Block WC, Section 5, Line 24, Grave 5, Society Workmen’s Circle
American Jews in World War II – 320

Gross, Harold J., Cpl., 35280304, Purple Heart
United States Army, 2nd Armored Division, 66th Armored Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Julia Gross (mother), 10511 Greenlawn Ave., Cleveland, Oh.
PFC Lawrence Gross (brother)
Address also 1400 South Kenmore, Los Angeles, 6, Ca.
Born 12/16/17
Place of burial: Los Angeles, Ca.
Cleveland Press & Plain Dealer, February 24 & 25, 1945, October 26, 1948 (at Cleveland Veterans Memorial)
American Jews in World War II – 489

Hafter, Ralph Lewis, EM 1C (Electrician’s Mate 1st Class), 3825644, Purple Heart
United States Navy, Submarine USS Swordfish (SS193)
Mrs. Mae Mary Agnes Hafter (wife), 6922 Southeast Morrison St., Portland, Or.
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Date of 1/3/45 is conjectural; See the following references:
Account of the loss of the USS Swordfish (at “On Eternal Patrol”)
Account of the loss of the USS Swordfish (by Ed Howard, at Subsowespac.org)
Crew list of the USS Swordfish (at “On Eternal Patrol)
American Jews in World War II – 506

Heymann, Gerhard E., PFC, 32799312, Belgium (Wounded 1/3/45; died same day)
United States Army
Mr. and Mrs. Julius and Hanna (Braun) Heymann (parents), 42-42 Ithaca St., Elmhurst, N.Y.
S2C Werner L. Heymann (brother)
Born Landau in der Pfalz, Germany, 5/8/24
WW II Memorial database gives name as “Gerard”, while Long Island Star Journal gives name as “Gerald”
Tablets of the Missing at Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France
Aufbau 2/9/45
New York Times 2/23/45
Long Island Star Journal 2/21/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Hurwitz, Julius Nathaniel (“Jay”), 2 Lt., 0-698120, Navigator
United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 498th Bomb Group, 875th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Ruth (Marks) Hurwitz (wife), 560 West Hudson Ave., Dayton, Oh.
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel [1886-1950] and Freeda [1888-1990] Hurwitz (parents), 701 Lexington Ave., Dayton, Oh.Dayton Daily News 11/18/43, 12/3/43
Riverview Cemetery, Dayton, Oh. (at FindAGrave.com)
American Jews in World War II – 490

Julius Hurwitz, originally in training as a pilot at the 63rd Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment, in Coffee County, Georgia, was presumably reassigned to navigation training. 

Julius and his entire crew were lost on their first combat flight, a bombing mission to port facilities and urban areas of Nagoya, Japan.  Their aircraft, B-29 42-24748 (“T square 42“, piloted by 1 Lt. Richard C. Stickney), the loss of which is covered in MACR 10853, crashed on Anatahan Island, an island in the Marianas about 75 miles north of Saipan. 

As reported in the Stickney crew’s Missing Air Crew Report, “When last contacted [the] aircraft did not report difficulty of any kind,” while the plane did not respond to attempts at radio contact.  Similarly, it is notable that the MACR makes no reference of damage to the aircraft by anti-aircraft fire or enemy fighters, attributing no specific cause for the plane’s disappearance.

According to MACR, the B-29, “…had entered the crater at the Northeast side of the island through the lowest point in the rim of the crater, encircled to the left and crashed head-on into the higher peaks on the Southeast side.  The aircraft exploded and burned and partially buried itself in the mountain side.”

Though the cause of the plane’s loss will be forever unknown, it is notable that the description of Anatahan Island included in the MACR mentions, “…the crater rim rises to an elevation of 2,585 feet.  Inside the rim there is a relatively level grassy area two miles long and one mile wide.  Elsewhere on the island slopes are steep and furrowed by deep ravines.”  Given what seems to have been a controlled descent by T Square 42 into the crater – through the lowest point on the rim – perhaps (perhaps) Lieutenants Stickney and Langdon were attempting to make a controlled landing within the crater.

Well, perhaps…  It is a moot point, now.

______________________________

Information presented in Marianas Air-Sea Rescue Bulletin Number 4, issued in June of 1945, may be based on the knowledge acquired during the search and recovery effort for Lt. Stickney’s crew from March 1 through March 5, 1945.  This 23-page-long document presents information about specific islands within the Marianas archipelago – between Iwo Jima and Saipan – in terms of suitability as locations for ditching, survival, and eventual rescue.  The islands covered comprise Pajaros, Maug, Asuncion, Agrihan, Pagan, Alamagan, Guguan, Sarigan, Anatahan, and Medinlla.  The Bulletin describes each island in detail, presenting topographic maps and panoramic aerial photos for each, concluding with a 3-page-long summary of detailed rules for survival at sea and on land, which lists islands based on whether they are uninhabited, or, sparsely inhabited islands, along with latitude and longitude coordinates. 

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The Bulletin’s map of the relative positions of these islands is shown below:

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The description of Anatahan Island follows below:

Confidential

ANATAHAN.

Jap survivors of small Merchant ships and escapees from SAIPAN make up the total population of 7 to 29, according to native evacuees.  At one time they had 2 heavy machine guns and several rifles which the natives were forced to keep in condition by pressing oil from coconuts.  No natives remain.

With this information in mind, it would be well to choose a spot well away from the NORTHWEST BEACH for any proposed ditching. The SOUTHWEST BEACH, due SOUTH of the high peak on the WEST end of the island, offers the best haven.  Watch out that you don’t come a cropper on the offshore rocks – and there are many.  The boulder beach is not the softest place to land but your rubber raft should cushion the shock.  Once ashore you will find some shelter in the shacks on the beach or in rocky caves.  Coconuts, bananas, papaya and seafood will give you a subsistence mean with such items as the edible flying fox or fruit bat and the giant monster lizards to supplement the diet.   Water in the cisterns MUST be boiled.

Don’t attempt a crash landing or bailout in the crater!  The floor is deceivingly Irregular and highly inaccessible to the outside world!

All in all, ANATAHAN is not a ditching haven and should be bypassed for greener pastures.

______________________________

The topographic map of Anatahan Island – show below – illustrates the seamount’s rugged topography.  (Unfortunately, the contour interval – 50 feet? – 100 feet? – does not appear to be given.)  Strikingly noticeable is the absence of any contours within the volcanic crater.  Perhaps this feature remained unmapped due to the recognition that the terrain within was unsuitable for emergency landing by aircraft. 

This page also includes a panoramic view of the island. 

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This high resolution air photo of Anatahan, at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Insitute’s website, gives an appreciation of the extremely rugged nature of the currently uninhabited island.

This image of the crater rim, from the Photostream of Southern Methodist University, also reveals the forbidding nature of Anatahan’s terrain. 

Additional information about this incident can be found in the history of B-29 42-24748, at Pacific Wrecks

The image below, from the blog of William C. Atkinson, former radar-navigator in the 874th Bomb Squadron, 498th Bomb Group, shows most of the crew members lost on the mission of January 3. The men (left to right) are the following:

Front Row

AMG – Boyd, Jack L., Sgt.
Gunner – Quinn, John P., Sgt.
Thomas (not on fatal flight)
Gunner (Central Fire Control) – Merriweather, James O., Sgt.
ROM – Haynes, Paul M., Sgt.
Elec. Sp. Gunner – Zeone, Edward M., Sgt.

Rear Row

H.A. Brandt (not on fatal flight)
Pilot – Stickney, Richard C., Jr., 1 Lt.
Co-Pilot – Winslow, Langdon G., 2 Lt.
Bombardier – Thompson, Richard F., 2 Lt.
Navigator – Hurwitz, Julius N., 2 Lt.

Flight Engineer 2 Lt. Howard G. King, Howard G. and Radar Countermeasures operator Sgt. John E. Burns do not appear in the photo.

This photo of Julius’ matzeva, from his FindAGrave biographical profile, is by Mary Downing-Mahan (“gravehunterMary“). 

Melinsky, Abraham, PFC, 31242242, Purple Heart, Medical Corps
United States Army, 26th Infantry Division, 328th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Louis and Jennie Melinsky (parents), 3 Lamont St., Roxbury, Ma.
Born 1915
Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Plot G, Row 10, Grave 27
American Jews in World War II – 171

Minsker, Faivel, Pvt., at Mezotne, Latvia
U.S.S.R., Red Army, 16th Lithuanian Rifle Division, 294th Infantry Brigade
Mr. Shmuel Minsker (father)
Born 1919
Road to Victory, p. 293

Pruzan, Murray, T/5, 32992938, Medical Corps (near Phillipsbourg, France)
United States Army, 70th Infantry Division, 275th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Medical Detachment
Mrs. Pauline Pruzan (mother), 1446 Carroll St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mount Judah Cemetery, Ridgewood, Queens, N.Y. – 1-BB2-R09, Wolkovisker Society
Casualty List 9/11/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Robbins, Lawrence, Cpl., 12049477, Purple Heart
United States Army
Mr. and Mrs. Morris and Helen Rabinowitz (parents), Raymond and Robert (brothers), 325 West 86th St., New York, N.Y.
Born 1924
Acacia Cemetery, Ozone Park, N.Y. – Lots 216-217, Marks Goldstein
Casualty List 3/14/45
The New York Times (Obituary Section) 1/6/46
American Jews in World War II – 414

Roberts, Sidney J., PFC, 12111003, Purple Heart
United States Army, 70th Infantry Division, 275th Infantry Regiment
Mr. and Mrs. Louis and Tillie F. Rabinowitz (parents), 33-21 69th St., Jackson Heights, N.Y.
Born 1924
City College of New York Class of 1945
Epinal American Cemetery, Epinal, France – Plot B, Row 24, Grave 30
Casualty List 2/22/45
Long Island Star Journal 2/21/45
American Jews in World War II – 414

Schaeffer, Samuel, Sgt., 32916161, Aerial Gunner, Purple Heart
United States Army Air Force, 8th Air Force, 801st Bomb Group, 406th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Rose Schaeffer (mother), 89 Heddon Terrace, Newark, N.J.
Born 2/6/20
MACR 15974, Aircraft: B-24H 42-52650, “Cancer”; Pilot: 1 Lt. Roy L. Hendrix; 10 crewmen – no survivors
Isserman Cemetery, Newark, N.J.
Casualty List 2/22/45
American Jews in World War II – 252

Wasserman, Gerald, Sgt., 32887164, Purple Heart
United States Army, 84th Infantry Division, 335th Infantry Regiment
Mrs. Anna Wasserman (mother), 1506 Boston Road, New York, N.Y.
Born 1925
Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, N.Y. – Section H, Grave 10449
Casualty List 3/8/45
American Jews in World War II – 465

Wolfe
, Marvin L., PFC, 36639407, Purple Heart

United States Army, 63rd Infantry Division, 255th Infantry Regiment, L Company
Mrs. Sylvia Wolfe (mother), 5480 South Cornell St., Chicago, Il.
Born 11/1/23
Westlawn Cemetery, Norridge, Chicago, Il.
American Jews in World War II – 121

Prisoners of War

Cole, Sidney L., 2 Lt., 0-1185213, Purple Heart
United States Army, 776th Field Artillery Battalion
POW at Stalag 4F (Hartmannsdorf-Chemnitz, Germany)
Mrs. Lena Cohn (mother), 79 Shoreham Road, Buffalo, N.Y.
Casualty List (Liberated POW) 6/20/45
American Jews in World War II – 293

Becker
, Meyer D., S/Sgt., 36035573

United States Army, 87th Infantry Division, 346th Infantry Regiment
POW at Stalag 13C (Hammelburg, Germany) (German POW # 98440)
Mrs. Beatrice L. Becker (wife), 6810 East End Ave., Chicago, Il.
Born Illinois, 8/3/17
Casualty List (Liberated POW) 6/12/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Fine
, Howard L., Cpl., 35077112

United States Army, 70th Infantry Division, 275th Infantry Regiment
POW at Stalag 4B (Muhlberg, Germany)
Mrs. Bessie E. Fine (mother), Route 1, Laura, Oh.
Casualty List (Liberated POW) 6/11/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Klein
, Leonard, 2 Lt., 0-556880

United States Army, 70th Infantry Division, 275th Infantry Regiment
POW – location of camp unknown
2 Lt. Arthur Klein (brother)
Mr. Charles Klein (father), 109 States Ave., Atlantic City, N.J.
Born 1923
Philadelphia Bulletin 1/30/45
Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Record (Liberated POW) 5/9/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Rosen
, Murray, Pvt., 12096956, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

United States Army, 70th Infantry Division, 275th Infantry Regiment
POW at Stalag 12F (Forbach Bei Saarbrucken, Germany)
Mr. Jacob Rosen (father), 159 Delancey St., New York, N.Y.
Casualty Lists 4/20/45, 4/24/45, Liberated POW List 5/25/45
American Jews in World War II – 416

Wounded in Action

Applebaum, Herbert, PFC, 33775404, Wounded in Belgium
United States Army
Born 1926
Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Betty Applebaum (parents), 1025 Wagner Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born Philadelphia, Pa., 12/4/25
Jewish Exponent 2/23/45
Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Record 2/18/45
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Novick, Joseph, Pvt., 33467896, Purple Heart, Wounded in Belgium
United States Army
Mr. and Mrs. Isadore and Anna Novick (parents), 924 N. 6th St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born Philadelphia, Pa., 10/27/21
Philadelphia Record 3/17/45
American Jews in World War II – 541

Lenger, Robert J., Cpl., Purple Heart, Paratrooper
United States Army
Mr. Fred Lenger (uncle), 175-47 Underhill Ave., Flushing, Queens, N.Y.
Pvt. Carl Lenger and Sgt. Joseph Lenger (brothers)
Born Germany, 1919
Casualty Lists 9/21/44, 3/12/45
Long Island Star Journal 3/12/45
American Jews in World War II – 375

Other Incident (An aviator rescued after “ditching” in the Pacific Ocean…)

Lynch, Bertram Gerald, Capt., 0-669240, Bombardier / Navigator
United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 497th Bomb Group, 871st Bomb Squadron
Aircraft ditched on January 3; Five survivors rescued by January 5
Mrs. Shirley (Golden) Lynch (wife), Ross D. Lynch (son), 1934 Spring Drive, Louisville, Ky.
MACR 10901, Aircraft: B-29 42-63418, “A square 50”, “JUMBO – KING OF THE SHOW”; Pilot: Capt. Howard M. Clifford; 11 crewmen – 5 survivors
Chaplain Cederbaum Files at Center for Jewish History, New York, N.Y.
American Jews in World War II – 129

______________________________

Captain Lynch was one of the survivors of the crew of “JUMBO – KING OF THE SHOW”, a B-29 which was ditched northwest of Saipan during the evening of January 3.  Though all crewmen were aboard the aircraft, uninjured, and at their assigned ditching positions at the time of the plane’s water landing, only five men eventually reached life rafts (four crewmen in one, and one in another).  These men were rescued by the USS Grayson on January 5 and 6, respectively. 

As stated in MACR 10901, “Capt. Clifford and crew ditched at 2127Z 3 January 1945 due to engine trouble and lack of gasoline.  Capts. Clifford and Lynch, Lt. Whitely and Sgt. Lodato were picked up 6 miles west of plane at 16 28 N, 144 38 E on 5 January 1945 by the Destroyer Grayson.  Sgt. Smith, who was alone in the raft, was picked up at 16 27 N, 144 19 E at 09 40 K 6 January 1945, by the Destroyer Grayson.  No one was seriously injured.  Capt. Lynch who was slightly injured is being hospitalized.”

“Upon interrogation, the following facts were obtained in regards to the other crew members who are still missing:
Lt. Heiden the co-pilot, was out of the water and last seen hanging on the wing.
Lt. Barnes wasn’t observed.
All the remaining crew members with the exception of Martin, Tail Gunner, are certain to have gotten out.
The search is still being continued.”

As is sometimes encountered in Missing Air Crew Reports covering aircraft lost at sea – where at least some men were rescued – the MACR only lists the next-of-kin and addresses of airmen still missing at the time the Report was actually created. 

Along with Captain Lynch, the survivors were:

Airplane Commander: Capt. Howard M. Clifford
Navigator-Bombardier: 2 Lt. Montford S. Whiteley
Radio Operator: Sgt. Piere V. Lodato
Gunner (Left Blister): Sgt. H.J. Smith, Jr.

Those presumed to have been killed in the ditching (or in the case of Lt. Heiden known to have survived, but not rescued) were: 

Co-Pilot: 2 Lt. Robert L. Heiden
Flight Engineer: 2 Lt. Harold C. Barnes
Radar Operator: Sgt. William R. Fast
Gunner (Central Fire Control): Sgt. Jack F. Estes
Gunner (Right Blister); Sgt. Oscar L. Niece, Jr.
Gunner (Tail): Sgt. Delmas D. Martin, Sr.

The following two images, from MACR 10901, show the crew roster, and next, the list of still-missing crewmen.

These three images (the format of which is doubtless immediately familiar to anyone who has researched MACRs) are post-war Casualty Questionnaires completed by Captain Lynch, and Sergeant Smith, in response to efforts to resolve the status of the missing crewmen. 

Remarkably, images of JUMBO exist in both photographic print (now, JPG) and film (now, MP4) format. 

The print?…  Presented below, is an official Army Air Force picture of the JUMBO’s nose art, which quite appropriately is a baby elephant carrying a bomb in his trunk.  The picture (number A-55324AC / A45730, for those interesting in a visit to the National Archives!) is show below, both in its original appearance as a photographic print attached to an 8 ½ by 11 filing card, and, as a cropped and enhanced digital image. 

The film?…  Show below, is a newsreel (clip # “638274042”) from the Sherman Grinberg Library Collection, credited to Pathe Newreels. at the Getty Image Archive.  With a creation date of December 1, 1944, the location is given as the Northern Marianas Islands.

Fortunately, the Getty Image website presents a complete breakdown of the subject matter in the one-minute-long film, which is listed as follows:

Movie World War II: B-29s and their names

1) Generals Emmett O’Donnell and Haywood Hansell, and, Vice Admiral John Hoover talking together
2) O’Donnell and Hansell walking
3) B-29 “DAUNTLESS DOTTY
4) 3 B-29s on tarmac
5) Crewman paints boxing dog on nose of B-29
6) Other painted B-29s:
6A) “JUMBO – KING OF THE SHOW
6B) Close-up of JUMBO
6C) Close-up of “Miss Behavin
6D) Close-up of “Special Delivery

JUMBO can be seen at the 41 – 53 second interval.

References

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

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

USS Swordfish

Crew list of the USS Swordfish (at “On Eternal Patrol”) http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-swordfish-193.htm

Account of the loss of the USS Swordfish (at “On Eternal Patrol“)

Account of the loss of the USS Swordfish (by Ed Howard, at “Subsowespac.org”)

Julius N. Hurwitz

498th Bombardment Group Information (at “William C. Atkinson” / aka “AKINSOPHT”)

World War II Flight Training Museum and 63rd Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment (at wwiiflighttraining.org)

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Second Lieutenant Herbert Forman – May 23, 1944

A war ends. 

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

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

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

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

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

Eighth Air Force Pilot Lost in Action Over Europe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The account proceeds…  

From the Clouds to the Deck

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

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

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

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

Wick continued,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herbert Schultz recalled,

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

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

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

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

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

______________________________

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

The MACR for Lt. Forman is presented below:

This is the MACR for Lt. Schultz:

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

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

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

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

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

What about Lt. Forman? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That answer is unknown.

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

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

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

______________________________

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

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

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

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

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

______________________________

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

American Jews in World War II – not listed

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

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

______________________________

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

Ben Avraham
, Avraham Pall, Pioneer, 12648

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

Black
, Bernard, Gunner, 558769V

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

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

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


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


Fried
, Carl Melvin, Pvt., D/82925

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

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

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

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

Greystoke
, Peter, F/O, 143106

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

Kaufman
, Louis Nathan, Trooper, 6850444

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

Krolman
, Norman Martin, Lt.

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

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

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

Szkolnik
, Jean Antoine, at Monte Schierani, Italy

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

Waldman
, Tobias, Trooper, 7911691

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Incident…

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

Wounded in Action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rankin
, Harry, Cpl., K/52258

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

Prisoner of War (Europe)

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

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

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

References

Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Websites

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

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

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

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

World War II Casualties (at Wikipedia)

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

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

A note…

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

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Sgt. Simon Fogelman – Forward to Memory – December 14, 1944

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

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

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

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

Top Row

Rabbi Morris M. Mathews

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

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

Middle Row

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

Bottom Row

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

Simon’s portrait, and caption

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

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

Brooklyn Honor Student Killed With Third Army

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

______________________________

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

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

His story was an enigma.  He was an enigma.

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

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

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

______________________________

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

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

AG 200.6                                                                                       25 April 1944

Subject  :  Award of Silver Star.

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

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

C I T A T I O N

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

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

______________________________

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

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

AG 200.6                                                                                         25 July 1944

SUBJECT  :  Award of Oak leaf Cluster

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

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

C I T A T I O N

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

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

______________________________

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

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

17 January 1945

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

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

Dear Mrs. Frost:

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

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

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

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

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

______________________________

Lt. Frost’s Purple Heart Citation.

______________________________

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

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

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

The Jewish Exponent
September 24, 1948

Lt. Albert G. Frost

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

______________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Katsev
, Bentsel, Pvt. (Saldus, Latvia)

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

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

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


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

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


Kushner
, Ruben, Pvt., 32631835, Purple Heart

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

Libkovitz
, Benyamin, Pvt. (Jaunberze, Latvia)

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

______________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

______________________________

Killed (non-battle)

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

Prisoners of War (Europe)

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

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

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

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

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

Prisoners of War (Asia)

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

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

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

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

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

Queenie“, from the 40th Bomb Group website.

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

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

Wounded

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

______________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

______________________________

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

Acknowledgements

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

References

The Forward (at National Library of Israel)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Lieutenant (JG) Eugene V. Erskine – May 19, 1945

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.

____________________

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.

____________________

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 Saturday, May 19, 1945, include…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

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

Kalish, Norbert, 2 Lt., 0-41915, Purple Heart (Killed at Okinawa)
United States Marine Corps, 6th Marine Division, 22nd Marine Regiment, 1st Battalion, B Company
Mr. Julius Kalish (father), 301 West 15th St., Linden, N.J.
Born 11/5/22
Casualty List 5/13/45
Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Iselin, N.J.
American Jews in World War II – 240

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

Died Non-Battle

Silverstein, Marvin M., Pvt., 32982076
United States Army Air Force, 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

Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – Plot A, Row 9, Grave 105
American Jews in World War II – Not Listed

Prisoner of War

Zack, Milton E., 2 Lt., 0-707368, Navigator-Bombardier
United States Army Air Force, 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
MACR 14472; Aircraft: B-25J 43-36140, Pilot – 2 Lt. Raymond B. Lewis, 6 crewmen – 3 survivors
Casualty List 6/29/45
American Jews in World War II – 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)
http://www.40thbombgroup.org/45th.pdf
http://www.40thbombgroup.org/memories/Memories59.pd
American Jews in World War II – 143

Reference

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

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Sergeant Michael E. (“Mickey”) Drucker – May 7, 1944

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

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

Now Listed as Killed In New Guinea Mission

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

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

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

____________________

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

____________________

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

____________________

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

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

____________________

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

____________________

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

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה.

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

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

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

Aviator – Prisoner of War

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

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

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

References

General

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

B-24D 42-40525 “Toughy

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

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

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

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

Collection at Veterans History Project (General Description)

Digital Collection

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

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

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

Max Friedland

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

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

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

Soldiers from New York: Jewish Soldiers in The New York Times, in World War Two: Second Lieutenant Richard H. Davis – October 18, 1944

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 Wednesday, October 18, 1944, include…

Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Herman, Bernard L., 2 Lt., 0-817213, Co-Pilot, Purple Heart
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin C. and Molly Herman (parents), 7301 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Place of burial unknown
Baltimore Sun 2/6/45

American Jews in World War II – 140

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

Mrs. Celia Stern (mother), 1656 47th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Place of burial unknown
Casualty List 2/6/45

American Jews in World War II – 455

Lieutenant Herman and T/Sgt. Stern, members of the 67th Bomb Squadron, 44th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, 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

United States Army Air Force, 8th Air Force, 44th Bomb Group, 68th Bomb Squadron
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
MACR 9654, B-24J 42-50596, “Flak Magnet”, “WQ * O”, Pilot – 1 Lt. Edward C. Lehnhausen, 9 crewmen – no survivors
Wellwood Cemetery, East Farmingdale, N.Y.
American Jews in World War II – 474

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

United States Army Air Force, 8th Air Force, 390th Bomb Group, 568th Bomb Squadron
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.
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
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo. – Section 84, Grave 235-239 (Buried 10/16/50)
American Jews in World War II – 465

Fiegelman, Joseph, PFC, 33603325, Purple Heart, 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
United States Army, 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 II – 520

Gordon
, Oscar, Pvt., 31406940, Purple Heart

United States Army, 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 II – 64

Marcus
, Herbert, Pvt., 32802905, Purple Heart

United States Army, 35th Infantry Division, 320th Infantry Regiment
Mr. Abraham Marcus (father), 4701 12th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England – Plot F, Row 7, Grave 102
Casualty List 11/28/44
American Jews in World War II – 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
East Ham (Marlow Road) Jewish Cemetery, Essex, England – Block U, Grave 21
The Jewish Chronicle 10/29/44
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 II – Volume I – 46, 52
Canadian Jews in World War II – Volume II – 34

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 II – Volume I – 38

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 in Action

Dienstman, Samuel, Pvt., 33778251, Purple Heart (Mediterranean Theater)
(Captured on January 27, 1944, and escaped)
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.
Born Pa., 1924
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
United States Army, 30th Infantry Division, 119th Infantry Regiment
(Also wounded ~ 9/22/44)
POW at Stalag 6G (Bonn)
Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Mary (Feber) Nadelman (parents), 58 E. 1st St., New York, N.Y.
Born N.Y., 1/6/26
Casualty Lists 11/22/44, 4/1/45, 7/6/45
American Jews in World War II – 398

Peters
, Abraham, Pvt., 42087543, Purple Heart

United States Army, 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 II – 405

Strauss
, Arthur, PFC, 32648586

United States Army, 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 II – Not Listed

Prisoner of War (Aviator)

Love, Harry Wilson, 2 Lt., 0-777006, Bombardier (On fourth mission)
United States Army Air Force, 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
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
Casualty List 3/7/45
American Jews in World War II – 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 B-17G.  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 B-17, 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. 

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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. 

____________________

____________________

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

Books

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

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

Kulka, Erich, Zide Československém Vojsku na Západé, Naše Vojsko, Praha, Czechoslovakia, 1992

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

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

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

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

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

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

Websites

44th Bomb Group

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

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