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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bronx Petty Officer Is Killed Off Okinawa

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

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

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

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

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

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

Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wounded

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

References

USS Longshaw (at Hazegray.org)

USS Longshaw (at NavSource Naval History)

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

USS Longshaw (at Wikipedia)

USS Longshaw (at Wrecksite)

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

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

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

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

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

Navy Bomber Pilot Killed In the Pacific on May 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some other Jewish military casualties on 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: Stuart E. Adler

Notice about Hospital Apprentice Stuart E. Adler appeared in a Casualty List published in The New York Times on May 17, 1945.  His obituary, transcribed below, was published on on August 9 of that year.

Stuart was attached to the 1st Marine Battalion, 21st Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division when he was killed on Iwo Jima.  Born on May 2, 1926, he is buried at the Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Chevra Anshe Ragole, Section 4, Post 440)

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Slain Hospital Apprentice Honored by His Comrades

Hospital Apprentice Stuart Adler, 18 years old, who was killed on March 15 on Iwo Island by a Japanese sniper’s bullet, has been honored by his comrades, who have named a company street on Iwo in his memory.

In a recent letter to his mother, Mrs. Betty Lee Adler of 245 East Gunhill Road, Maj. Gen. G.B. Erskine, Marine Corps, praised the youth’s “devotion to duty”.

Enlisting in the Navy on Feb. 8, 1944, shortly after his graduation from DeWitt Clinton High School, he was attached to the First Battalion, Twenty-First Marines, during the Iwo Campaign.  He was killed when he went to the aid of a wounded marine.

A younger brother, Robert; a sister, Faith, and his father, David Adler, also survive.

This is a contemporary view – from apartments.com – of the Adler family’s wartime residence: 245 East Gunhill Road, in the Bronx. 

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Some other Jewish casualties on Thursday, March 15, 1945 include…
Killed in Action

– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –

Saperstein, Charles, MoMM1C, 6425696, Motor Machinist’s Mate
United States Navy, Probably crew member of LCT(6) – #36
Mr. Herman Saperstein (father), 32 Lakeview Drive, Silvermine, Norwalk, Ct.
Memorialized on Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Casualty List 5/27/45
American Jews in World War II – 69

Finkelstein, Albert Jacob, HA1C, 7109973, Hospital Apprentice
United States Navy, 5th Marine Division, 31st Replacement Battalion (attached)
Mr. Samuel Finkelstein (father), 1445 Saint Marks Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Place of burial unknown
Casualty List 6/30/45
American Jews in World War II – not listed

Wounded in Action

Avram, Ben George, G/Sgt., 230296, Gunnery Sergeant
United States Marine Corps, 5th Marine Division, 28th Marine Regiment, Headquarters and Service Company
Mrs. Catherine Avram (wife); Alice (daughter), 2725 N. 29th St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 1911
Philadelphia Inquirer, and, Philadelphia Record 5/17/45
The Jewish Exponent 5/25/45
American Jews in World War II – not listed

Percoff, Manuel, PFC, 884682
United States Marine Corps, 5th Marine Division, 28th Marine Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters Company
Mr. Sam Percoff (father), Laurel, Mississippi
Casualty List 6/6/45
American Jews in World War II – 206

Swartzs, John Leonard, Cpl. 863329
United States Marine Corps, 2nd Armored Amphibious Division, C Company
Mrs. Rosalind M. Swarts (wife), 225 West End Ave., New York, N.Y.
Born January 14, 1912, New York, N.Y., Died August 17, 2003
American Jews in World War II – 459

Reference

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