A War Fought by Unknown Heroes
Winston Churchill once said of World War Two that it was not a war of princes or chieftains, but of peoples and causes; a war fought by unknown heroes. Here we acknowledge the unknown heroes that Churchill was referring to as well; our fallen heroes as well as those that fought for our freedoms and returned with their memories. We remember and honour in our hearts the Allied heroes, war veterans and all the affected people, who valued freedom in their life above all else.
Click on the buttons below to view an alphabetical listing of Honorees, both living and passed. If you know of someone who should be recognized here, from any country, please contact us today!
Harold L. Alexander
Sergeant, US Signal Corps
Bronze Star, 7 Battle Stars. My Dad, Harold L. Alexander, served in the 79th Division and joined after Pearl Harbor in early 1942. He was in the Signal Corps. and finished WWII as a Sargent. He never talked about the war much. I know he received the Bronze Star and had 7 battle stars as well. I didn't even know how many metals he had till after he passed away. We were watching the movie "The Longest Day" and I asked him, "Daddy did you land on the 1st wave or the 2nd?" He just sat there for a few minutes with his head down and finally turned and said "Son, I landed on the 2nd wave. If I had landed on the 1st wave, you probably wouldn't be here."
Corporal, Nursing Orderly in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (W.A.A.F)
Lydia Alford was the first of three women known as "the Flying Nightingales" to land in a battle zone after D-Day. She was a nursing orderly in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (W.A.A.F), and flew on the first RAF transport plane to evacuate the wounded from the Normandy battlefields. The "Flying Nightingales" had to cope with treating soldiers suffering from a horrifying array of injuries, ranging from field amputations, extensive burns, colostomy wounds, and severe facial injuries.
Burton Oscar Allen
Private First Class, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. Burton O Allen was born on 28 April 1925 and died on 27 September 1985 at age 60. He was buried in Wilmington National Cemetery Section 11 Site 135-B, Wilmington, NC.
Forest V. Amelio
Private First Class, US Army, Company L, 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge . Killed In Action 10 December 1944 near Haganau, France. Buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery St. Avold, France. Plot E Row 45 Grave 30· He was thirty years old at the time of his death.
Private First Class, US Army, Company L, 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division
Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar, European African Middle Eastern Campaign avec la Bronze, Service Star pour la bataille de Normandie, World War II Victory Medal . Born 5 November 1923, Robert Bailey was killed In Action, 8 July 1944, at the age of 20 near La Haye du Puits. Shrapnel in the back. Buried at the Coleville Cemetery, Normandy.
Fred W. T. Baker
SSgt, Troop B, 3rd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
Silver Star, Purple Heart Fred William Theodore Baker was the son of Neal and Kathryn Baker. He was born in Rock Valley, Iowa on 1 July 1921. He had three sisters, Mrs. Paul Davis, Mrs. Duane Johnston, and Mrs. P. A. Elofson. In January 1939, Baker enlisted in the U.S. Army and started his training at Ft. Meade, South Dakota. In July 1944, he arrived in England and his rank was moved to Staff Sergeant. Sergeant Baker served in the army from 14 January 1939 until 1 September 1944. He was killed in action in Thionville, France. Sergeant Baker was buried in the Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial in France and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. member of Troop B, 3d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) on 1 September 1944 in Thionville, France. Staff Sergeant Baker was on an advance reconnaissance mission with his platoon which was attempting to capture a bridge that the enemy was trying to destroy. On receiving word that his platoon commander, who was across the bridge, was seriously injured, Staff Sergeant Baker drove across in his vehicle, dismounted in utter disregard for his own personal safety, to assist the commander, and take charge of the platoon. While so engaged Staff Sergeant Baker was shot and mortally wounded.
Corporal, US Marines, Scout / Sniper, First Scout Company, First Division, Guadalcanal
On 8 December 1941, Fred Balester, Jr., seventeen years old and in his first year at Bucknell Junior College in his home town of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, rushed off to join the Army Air Corps. Not qualifying for flight training, he joined the Marines. He was discharged in March 1945. He became a scout and Balester was point on 60-70 scout missions, eventually being dubbed "Snowshoes" for his delicate and stealthy step.
William P. Barber, Sr.
Technical Sergeant, 35th Regiment, 25th Infantry Division
Combat Infantryman Badge, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon with 1 Battle Star, Good Conduct, Philippine Leberation Ribbon with 1 Battle Star, Occupation Ribbon, and the Philippine Independence Ribbon. . Fought in Luzon, the Philippines from 1944 to 1945 as a radio operator and rifleman with the 35th Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Communications Chief, Technical Sergeant, and later in the Army of Occupation in Japan. Submitted by William Barber, Sr.
William Robert Beall
Major, 504 Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division
Bronze Star, Purple Heart . 11 December 1913 - 24 September 1943. Major Beall was one of the first paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne and one of the first to jump the night of 9 July 1943 to help liberate Sicily. He was KIA at Chiunzi Pass in the Italian Campaign. At the time, he was in command of his unit, the famed 3rd battalion of the 504, later known as the Devils in Baggy Pants. Excerpt from "All American, All the Way" by Phil Nordyke: Major William R. Beall, the 3rd Battalion, 504th executive officer, was acting as the battalion commander while Major Emory S. "Hank" Adams recovered from malaria. Sergeant Robert Talon, with Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 504th, was digging his foxhole on a hillside when Beall and his aide approached: "Beall had his orderly construct the major's foxhole into the side of a terrace with about four feet of soil on top of it. This would prevent shrapnel from hitting him when we were attacked with aerial artillery bursts. About 22:30, a shell hit about thirty feet from me. Moments later a runner from one of the line companies, lost in the dark, fell into my foxhole, saying he had a message for Major Beall. I said "He's just a few feet away" and then I called in a low voice, "Major Beall?" No answer… Then I called again. No answer. Suddenly my heart seemed to jump into my throat as I thought about the dirt on top of the major's foxhole. As quickly as I could, I scrambled over to his foxhole. It had caved in and buried him under four feet of dirt. I called for help and medics. We dug as fast as we could with hands and helmets." Lieutenant Moffat Burris, the 3rd Battalion S-2, was nearby: "I was one of those who started digging frantically with his hands as I tried to reach the major in time". After digging frantically in the darkness, they uncovered Major Beall. Talon could tell that they were too late. "When we reached his body, we didn't need the medic to tell us that he was dead." Buried: Plot F Row 9 Grave 30, Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.
Sydney Lee Bebee
Private, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart Born in Malta, Private Sydney Lee Bebee was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Bethuel Rholand Bebee. He moved to the United States when he was a child and lived near Stevensville, Montana. He had only served a short time before he was killed while fighting in France. 4 October 1923 - 26 July 1944. Buried at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Colleville-sur-Mer, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France. Plot F Row 14 Grave 23.
314th Infantry Regiment, Co L, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart (2) Edward Biohm received 2 Purple Hearts for fighting his way thru Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe from 6/13/44 to 11/28/45. He lost many friends during that time and was haunted by the memories for the rest of his life. On November 26, 2017, he left those memories behind him.
10th Armored Division, 11th Tank Battalion Combat Reserve
Blase was drafted in 1942 and served in Europe with a tank company. His company arrived at Cherbourg in September 1944, and he first encountered resistance at Metz, along the Maginot Line. In an excerpt from WWII Oral History Interviews in Scott County History he talks about fear. “...when we went through the first encounter around Metz, a person was scared – you didn't know if you were going to live the next day. You were scared. But as time went by, you kind of got hardened to that, and I guess it didn't mean that much to a person anymore. You've gone so far without getting killed or hurt so you just...I remember the time when we were in a woods in a forest. There was bombs coming in and somebody said, "How about if we make a cup of coffee?" So we jumped out and run in behind the tank and make a cup of coffee - it didn't matter. But yeah, from the beginning you were scared."
Rene S. Bowers
315th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart (2) .WWII vet with 2 purple hearts and a bullet still in his leg as a permanent souvenir. With 2 visits to field hospitals, only to be sent back into battle. A veteran of the 79th Infantry, 315th Regiment, Company I.
Homer L. Braddock
Master Sergeant, US Army, 544th Transportation Company
Homer Braddock was born in Arkansas and moved to Michigan in 1935. Braddock landed at Normandy and earned five battle stars. He is currently a member of the VBOB and VFW in Corunna, Michigan. His company commander made a visit to our farm here in Michigan two years ago. As his nephew, I went on the 60th Anniversary trip to Belgium in 2004 and walked in his footsteps. In the Village of Sprimont, Belgium, I met a 66 and 68 year old man and woman, respectively, who then were only six and eight. I have photos of the 544th in Sprimont and pictures of Uncle Homer and men in his company being awarded medals for the Ardennes Campaign. Capt. Lipcon told of the German captured trying to drive a Jeep loaded with explosives into US lines. They executed him the next day. Submitted by nephew, Gary Higgins.
Henry M. Camper
S SGT, 222nd Infantry, 42 Division
Purple Heart Killed 3 March 1945. Henry was from Buchanan, Va. Son of a farmer and one of 16 children.
Pasquelle "Pat" Capparelle
Staff Sergeant, Co B, 150th Combat Engineer Battalion
Bronze Star, Purple Heart . As part of the 150th Combat Engineer Battalion, Staff Sgt Pat Capparelle assisted in building 26 bridges, including two over the Rhine River. Several of those bridges were built under fire from small arms, artillery, mortars and Luftwaffe aircraft. After 5-6 months in England, they landed on Omaha Beach in mid-June, 1944. The 150th built and fought their way out of Normandy and took part in the Battle of the Bulge. They were acquired into Patton's Third Army and went with him through Germany and finally ended up in Czechoslovakia. At some point, they were building a bridge and the Germans fired on them. A Senior Sergeant was shot and couldn't move. In the face of bullets everywhere and no cover, Pat ran over to him and dragged him to safety. For this he received the Bronze Star. Submitted by grandson, Michael Fanell
Albert Joseph Caprara
PFC, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart . KIA fighting in Europe. Left behind a wife and son.
PFC, 315th Infantry Regiment, Co. H, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart . On 15 November 1944, PFC John Ciesielski, of the 315th Regiment, 79th Infantry Division , Company H was severely wounded . He was riding in a Jeep when he and his driver were both shot. He was eventually rescued by Frenchmen in the area. The jeep's driver died. Ciesielksi was partially disabled and passed away in 1962 as blood clots from his wound caused a coronary thrombosis.
Albert R Cilurso
Sergeant, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal . Entered the Service From: Massachusetts. Date of Death: January 7, 1945. Buried in Plot D Row 41 Grave 36, Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.
1st Sergeant, 739th Field Artillery
Purple Heart . In 1943, Ernest Coffman, an Pennslyvanian, volunteered for the US Navy but was turned down due to bad eye sight. He was later drafted into the US Army and was assigned to the 739th Field Artillery Battalion (8 Inch Howitzers). In July 1944, Coffman arrived in Britain on the SS Queen Elizabeth, and crossed the English Channel for Normandy on August 30, 1944. He served as a cannoneer and fired upon Isle de Cezembre, Fort Driant, and other Nazi held forts along the Moselle River. On Oct. 27, 1944, Coffman was wounded when shrapnel hit his ankle while jumping head first into a foxhole. This wound caused him to stay out of combat for the rest of the war and also resulted in Coffman receiving the Purple Heart. He returned to the US in May 1945 and continue to serve his nation until his retirement as a 1st Sergeant in 1969.
Private First Class, Co.E, 345th Regt, 87th Infantry Division
Purple Heart . From Newark, NJ, Frank was KIA, 17 December 1944 in the Saar Basin. During very heavy shelling and machine gun fire, Frank bravely went forward to find the machine gun. That was the last he was seen. Frank was a very good soldier and a great comrade, giving his life for his country and the people of europe to free them of bondage. He is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold (Moselle), France. Submitted by James Hennessey.
Milton B. Conger
Private First Class, US Army, L Co., 3rd Bn, 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division
Combat Infantry Badge . Milton "Pete" Conger was born on October 1, 1924, in rural Kansas. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. Milton grew up in Kit Carson County, Colorado, and entered the Army immediately following graduation from high school. In the Forest of Parroy, Milton and one of his buddies captured four German soldiers. Mr. Conger received the Combat Infantry Badge and the Croix-de-Guerre from the French in 1997. After the war, Milton returned home to Colorado where he worked as a carpenter and building contractor, operating Conger Construction. Milton and his wife Marjorie raised three daughters: Linda Kay (Malm), Nancy Lee (Brown), and Connie Rae (Ogle). Mr. Conger was a charter member of VFW Post 6491 and was also a member of American Legion Post 60. Milton Conger passed away at Good Samaritan Society Loveland Village on Sunday, 16 October, 2011.
Private First Class, 2nd Battalion, Co. C, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart . 31 August 1916 - 24 September 1948.
William Cross, Jr.
Lt Col, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart, Bronze Star, CIB . 1917-2015. Landed on Utah Beach, 11 June 1944. Suffered serious injury to his leg from German mortar fire while leading his
troops up a hill outside of La Haye du Puits, France, 8 July 1944.
Private, 315th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster . KIA 11 January 1945. Plot C Row 11 Grave 19, Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.
Private First Class, US Army, 3rd Bn, 325th Glider Infantry, 82nd Airborne
Bronze Star (3), Distinguished Unit Citation, Purple Heart . Born 27 September 1919, Joseph Milford Cupp passed away on 27 March 2010. Joe was inducted into the United States Army on March 24, 1942, rising to the rank of Private First Class serving in company "I" of the 194th Glider Infantry, later reorganized in March of 1944 as the 3rd Battalion, 325th Glider Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division. Joe received occupational specialty training as mortar gunner. He landed on the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day invasion of the European continent and fought in the later campaigns of the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhineland. He was wounded in combat in during the Battle of the Bulge in the Adrienne Belgium. He received 3 Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Ribbon, a Distinguished Unit Citation, a Combat Infantryman Badge and a Glider Badge. He was honorably discharged form the Army on September 19, 1945 at the separation center at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. After leaving the service of his country, Joe was trained as a Linotype Operator, first working for the Greenville Sun newspaper in Greenville, Tennessee and later at the Cincinnati Enquirer, retiring in 1980. He enjoyed dancing and he attended numerous 82nd Airborne reunions. He was a huge basketball fan and once shot 23-3 point shots in a row. He had resided in Madison since 1978 and he was a favorite sight shooting hoops in his driveway on Michigan Road. Joe was known for his patriotism and his love of country. He loved to share his experiences during World War II with younger generations by giving talks at local schools and youth organizations. He was a member of the Jefferson Post # 9 of the American Legion, Post 1969 of Veterans of Foreign Wars, a member of the Madison Moose Lodge and a member of Calvary Baptist Church. Joe died Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 10:16 a.m. at The Water's of Clifty Falls in Madison, Indiana.
Private First Class, US Army, I Co., 3rd BN., 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart . My uncle was a member of I Co., 3rd Btn., 314th Infantry. He was KIA 11/14/44 at Fremonville. He was 19 years old and was killed by mortar fire while crossing a railroad into a field. He was also at the rest area before his death at Luneville, where I understand Private Melvin W. Johnson did the same. I have a letter from my Uncle "Boogie's" (nickname) squad leader describing how and where he died. I have two sons in the Army at present and they are fascinated by the history of our military family during WWI, II, Korea. My oldest son was in Desert Storm, he spent one year in Iraq, with a return trip this coming year. My youngest will be going there later in '05. I found your web site very interesting, and feel a lot of pride in all the Americans who served and now serve. Thank you for sharing. Sincerely, Cindy McKnight