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!
John E. McAuliffe
Private First Class, US Army, M Company, 347th Regiment, 87th Infantry Division
Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal, German Occupation Medal, Combat Infantry Badge . I was a member of the heavey weapons Company; 81mm mortars; and participated in the Ardennes Campaign; Rhineland and Central Germany Campaigns. I am a member of the VBOB National Org. and have founded the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the VBOB and serve as President. I have made four returns to Belgium and Luxembourg joining the people of Belgium and Luxembourg celebrating their liberation and freedom. It is a distinct pleasure and honor to do so. Thank you for placing my thoughts on your wonderful web-site, so that all may appreciate and understand the sacrifices these soldiers made for the Freedom of our friends in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Thanks too you for this site honoring the WW-II Veterans. God Bless You and yours and "Carry On". Submitted by John "Mac" McAuliffe.
Thomas Roberts "Bob" Millar
Flying Officer, Royal Australian Air Force
1939-45 Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Australia Service Medal 1939-45, Polish Home Army Medal 1939-1945, Warsaw Insurgents Cross 1944 . Bob was born in Narromine NSW and educated in Sydney becoming Dux of his schools in 1932 and 1934. He graduated from Sydney University in 1939 with a Bachelor of Economics degree and then obtained an administrative position with the Sydney Gaslight Company. In January 1942 he married Elizabeth Grace Thompson before enlisting in the RAAF on 22nd May of that year as a volunteer for flying duties. Their daughter, Anne Elizabeth , was born on 3rd February 1943.
In January 1944, Bob was transferred to Italy joining 205 Group 104 Squadron RAF until July 1944, taking a Leading Bombaimer course during part of June /July 1944. He was stationed at Foggia Main Air Base, west of Bari and took part in sorties to Italy, Yugoslavia, Austria, Hungary and Romania. He also flew numerous sorties to Warsaw dropping supplies to beleaguered partisans who had risen against the German occupation forces.
On 12 October 1944, 16 Liberators of 31 Squadron and 4 of 34 Squadron SAAF took off on a supply dropping mission to Italian partisans in the mountains of northern Italy. There were 4 different drop zones with five planes allotted to each site. Each plane had 8 crew. They took off in late afternoon knowing that they would be flying in the night as they approached the north. Bob was aboard 31 SAAF Liberator KH158 piloted by Major Urry, SAAF - drop zone [DZ] "Morris" ENE of Genoa. The crew was truly representing the Commonwealth being composed of 5 SAAF, 2 RAF & 1 RAAF as follows:
Major S.S. Urry SAAF, age 29 born South Africa, 1st Pilot
Lt G.A. Collard SAAF, age 19 born South Africa, Navigator
2nd Lt P.J.Lordan SAAF, born South Africa, Air Gunner
WO 1 L.B. Bloch SAAF, born South Africa, Air Gunner
Lt N.W. Armstrong SAAF, born South Africa, Air Gunner
F/O G.E. Hudspith RAF, age 29 born England, 2nd Pilot
Sgt R.C. Fitzgerald RAF, age 19 born England, Sgt Air Gunner
F/O T R Millar RAAF, age 28 born Australia, Observer/Bombaimer
The weather was bad with poor visibility and few crews were able to see the drop site fires so many drops were aborted. Of the 20 planes that set out 6 failed to return. Four crashed high in the mountains, one crashed near Cantalupa but the sixth disappeared without a trace. The wreckages of the crashed planes were eventually found but there was no news of the sixth Liberator. The crew members of the sixth Liberator, KH158, with Bob among the crew members, were officially posted missing - a sad ending for brave men. The disappearance of KH158 has yet to be solved. ~ Submitted by daughter, Anne Elizabeth (Millar) Storm.
Doris "Dorie" Miller
Ship's Cook, Third Class, USS West Virginia, DD 48
Navy Cross Doris Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for heroic actions onboard the battleship 'West Virginia' (BB 48) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Dorie arose that day at 6 AM to begin work. When the Japanese attack occurred, he immediately reported to his assigned battle station. Miller was a former football player and a Navy boxing champ so his job was to carry any of the injured to safer quarters; this included the mortally wounded ship's captain. Miller then returned to deck and saw that the Japanese planes were still dive-bombing the U.S. Naval Fleet. He picked up a 50-caliber Browning antiaircraft machine gun on which he had never been trained and managed to shoot down three to four enemy aircraft. In the chaos of the attack, reports varied, and not even Miller was sure how many he hit. He fired until he ran out of ammunition; by then the men were being ordered to abandon ship. The West Virginia had been severely damaged and was slowly sinking to the harbor bottom. Of the 1541 men onboard during the attack, 130 were killed and 52 wounded. On 1 April 1942, Miller was commended by the Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, and on 27 May 1942 he received the Navy Cross for his extraordinary courage in battle. His rank was raised to Mess Attendant First Class on 1 June 1942.
1st Lieutenant, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Lester was born on December 30, 1916 in South Carolina(?). His parents Furman and Lillie were born in South Carolina and North Carolina, respectively. Lester had three younger sisters.
He enlisted in the army and was accepted for officer training. He became a first lieutenant in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division. Serving as a lieutenant in a rifle company was a high risk position. The 79th ID was in action in France within 2 weeks of D-Day. By the end of June it had take the important Normandy harbor of Cherbourg from the Germans. It participated in numerous actions across the advance through France. By September, the 79th ID had reached the Belgium border.
During the first couple of weeks of September, the 79th ID captured over 2,200 German. It was given a few days rest and on September 18, the 314th IR was presented with a USO show headlined by Bing Crosby. Nearby enemy action required the men to begin leaving the show in sections so that by the end, the audience was gone.
On September 20, the 3rd Battalion was given the thankless task of establishing a bridgehead across the Meurthe River near Fraimbois, France. The enemy was well positioned in heavy woods on the other side of the river and there was no cover for the GIs. The 3rd Battalion took heavy casualties and had to result to hand-to-hand fighting to dislodge the Germans. About 160 men were wounded and 31 were killed, including Lt. Miller, killed in action on September 22.
His grave is at Riverside Cemetery in Dillion, South Carolina.
Royal Australian Air Force
Alan Monaghan died 7 September 2007. He was a true hero. On 8 July 1944, he managed to keep control of the Lancaster ME831 which was on fire, in order to allow his crew members to bale out of the aircraft. The six crew jumped and landed safely and Alan jumped just before the Lancaster crashed in Normandy. He baled out so low that he broke a foot when he landed but he managed to evade capture, and spent his escape time in a house in Saint-Pierre-des-Fleurs. ~ Submitted by Loic Lemachand, Normandy France
Joseph M. Molloy
Private, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division
Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal. Died 7 September 1944. Buried: Plot A Row 37 Grave 34, Epinal American Cemetery.
Robert K. Nimmons
PFC, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart. KIA. 23 August 1915 - 5 July 1944. From South Carolina.
Donald P. Nixon
PFC, A Co., 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Combat Infantry Badge. No information found.
T. L. Nordstrom
Captain, 315th Infantry Regiment, Co. F, 79th Infantry Division
Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Two Presidential Unit Citations. Awarded the two Presidential Unit Citations for his company around Embermanil and as part of the 2nd Battalion in Hatten.
Private First Class, US Army, Co. M, 2nd Platoon, 302nd Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division
European African Middle Easter Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Badge . James Osman entered the US Army in September 1943. He was transported to Scotland via the Queen Elizabeth in August 1944. He was captured during a Nazi counterattack on the city of Nennig, Germany on January 21, 1945. He was interred in Stalag XIIA and transferred in late February 1945 to Stalag IXB in Bad Orb, Germany. He was liberated on April 2, 1945. ~ Submitted by son, James Osman.Osman Western Union and Stalag Documents
Charles E. Osmun
S SGT, I Company, 3rd Btn, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Purple Heart. Charles enlisted 24 Mar 1944 at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was assigned to I Company, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division. The 4th ID crossed the Sauer River in January and overran German positions in Fouhren and Vianden, Luxembourg. Halted at the Prüm River in February by heavy enemy resistance, the division finally crossed on 28 February near Olzheim, Germany, the day that Sgt Osmun was killed in action. Olzheim is just inside Germany, 18 miles due east of St. Vith, Belgium.
Carl Edward Ostenson
2nd Lieutenant, E Company, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart. Originally from Montana, 2nd Lieutenant Ostenson was killed in action while fighting in the Foret de Parroy, 4 October 1944. He is buried at Epinal American Cemetary, Plot A, Row 11, Grave 121.