World War II 1943 Memorial Page

 
This page is dedicated to the young servicemen of Berrien County who gave their lives during World War II. This section includes those 38 men who lost their lives in 1943. There were about 120 men who gave their lives in 1944. That section is being worked on and will be added in the future.

Even if you have no personal or family connection to these heroes, I encourage you to read this section to honor their memory and the sacrifices they made for all of us. Each one was a promising young man with their whole life ahead of them. They should not be remembered as mere statistics, but as individuals who had hopes and dreams of a future that was never to be. They had parents, siblings, spouses and children whose lives would forever be changed by their loss.

We owe a debt to these men that can never be repaid. The least we can do is never forget them.

 

Bert H. Agens

Bert was born about 1912, the son of Dean E. Agens and Maud E. (Crain) Agens. Bert was the fourth of six children.

Bert was one of Benton Harbor's earliest casualties in 1943. He was with the 126th Infantry 32nd Division and died in the Southwestern Pacific during the New Guinea campaign on December 7, 1942.

Bert is honored at the Fort William McKinley monument in Manila, Philippines. His last known status is listed as missing.

Bert was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

The following is from an interview with local serviceman Dick Gardner...

Dick can give you quite a picture on the New Guinea campaign, too, for he was in on that historic push over the Owen Stanley mountains in 1942. "We were experimental troops," says Dick, "and many of the lessons we learned as to equipment needed have proved invaluable in other island invasions since."

That campaign cost the lives of two Benton Harbor buddies, Cpl. Wilbur Ueck and Pfc. Bert Agens.

Surviving Bert were his parents, and siblings, Mrs.Paul Buwa, Jane, Theodore, Evelyn and Dean Jr.

Bert's mother, Maud, was born on December 10, 1876 in Lincoln, Michigan, the daughter of Nicholas and Mary Cain. She had lived in Benton Harbor for 30 years before her death in June of 1943.

Martin LeRoy Barmore

Martin was born about 1922, the son of Roy Edgar Barmore and Frances Marie (Potter) Barmore. He was one of four children.

He was a graduate of the Benton Harbor high school, and was a former carrier boy for The News-Palladium.

Martin, who was 22, was an electrician's mate, third class, of the United States Naval Reserves which left Berrien County in 1941, three months after he enlisted.

Martin was aboard the U.S.S. Juneau which sunk during the battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. A personal letter from Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, was received by Martin's parents on July 28, 1943.

The letter was as follows: My Dear Mr. Barmore:

Eight months have now elapsed since the loss of the U.S.S. Juneau, during the battle of Guadalcanal, on 13 November, 1942. This lapse of time in view of the circumstances surrounding the disaster as officially reported by close witnesses, forces me reluctantly to the conclusion that the personnel missing, as a result of the loss of the Juneau, were in fact killed by enemy action. Among them was your son, Martin Leroy Barmore, Electrician's mate third class, United States Naval Reserve.

This letter will extend to you my sincere and personal sympathy in your great loss and my hope that you may find comfort in knowledge that your son gave his life for his country, upholding the highest traditions of the Navy. The Navy feels the loss of his services and shares in your sense of bereavement.

The bravery of those who made possible the victories at Guadalcanal will long be remembered by a grateful people.

Sincerely Yours,

Frank Knox

Besides his parents, Martin was survived by his three sisters, Shirley, Marlene and Norma who were living at home at the time.

Martin's father, Roy, was born on August 22, 1897 in Buchanan, Michigan. He was a veteran of World War I, and a member of the American Legion and the Eagle's Lodge in St. Joseph. He was a salesman for the H.O. Wilson Company. He had lived in Benton Harbor for 23 years at the time of his death on December 27, 1943. Roy was survived by his wife and daughters, and also his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Barmore of Buchanan. He is buried in City Cemetery.

Martin's mother, Francis, was born on September 28, 1898 and passed away on June 20, 1975. She was a member of the Gold Star Mothers, Chapter 17.

Roy and Francis were married on April 18, 1920.

Arthur Bishop Jr.

Arthur was the son of Arthur T. and Dorothy Bishop of South Bend. He was one of five children. Arthur graduated from Washington Clay high school near South Bend in June, 1941, where he was an athlete and a stretcher bearer in the medical corps.

He was married to Betty and was inducted into the army in March of 1942. He was sent overseas in August.

Arthur was killed in action in Italy on October 21, 1943....the exact same day that his only child, Arthur, was born in South Bend. Betty and the baby resided in South Bend.

Surviving Arthur were his parents, and siblings, George, Hiram, Edward and Mary Ellen.

Arthur's father passed away on February 1, 1950.

Ronald M. Bishop

Ronald was born on March 6, 1915 in Coloma, Michigan, the son of A.H. and Ruth Bishop.

Ronald graduated in June of 1934 from Benton Harbor High School. On September 4, 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was married to his wife Violet on November 25, 1942 at Miami Beach, Florida.

On November 15, 1943, word of Cpl. Ronald Bishop's death was received by his relatives. He was 28 years old and a member of the U.S. Army Medical Corps of Miami Beach, Florida. He passed away at Nautilus Hospital there.

Surviving Ronald was his father, who lived on Pearl Street in Benton Harbor, his mother, Mrs. Ruth Wilson who lived in Los Angeles, California, and a sister, Mrs. Olive Stone who lived in Los Angeles.

       

Robert G. Carlson

Robert was born on December 10, 1919 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of John Carlson and Agnes (Larson) Carlson who were married on October 11, 1915.

Robert attended St. Joseph High School where he was a football and basketball star. He graduated from there in 1936 at the age of 16. He then attended Central Michigan College at Mount Pleasant, where he was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma national fraternity, of which he was president in his senior year. He received the annual Chippewa gold key award for high scholarship, athletic ability and campus accomplishments. In college, Robert also starred in athletics and majored in mathematics, while also taking studies to fit him to be an athletic coach. During college breaks, he served as a life guard at Waterworks beach in St. Joseph, where he was extremely popular.He graduated from college in 1941.

Robert enlisted in the U.S. Naval Air Corps in December of 1941. He studied at Miami, Florida and received his wings and ensign commission in September of 1942. Since November, 1942, he had been stationed at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, New York.

On April 1, 1943, Official word was received from Lieut. Curtis of the Naval Air station at Floyd Bennett Field, that Robert was missing from an operational flight that took place on March 31. The plane took off from Quonset, Rhode Island, after it had been grounded there for two days due to bad weather. This was a routine flight with three other aviators. Only one returned safely. A second wire was received on April 2, that stated "Deeply regret Robert has not yet been located. All possible search is being conducted by army, navy, coast guard and civilian authorities." On April 5, a message was received stating that part of Roberts plane, bearing its number, and his helmet with his name inside, had washed ashore near a Long Island Coast Guard station. This message also stated that they were still trying to recover his body and that an inventory was being made of all his personal belongings.

On Sunday, May 2, 1943 word was received via telegram from the Navy department, that Robert's body had been located and identified by naval authorities. The body was shipped to St. Joseph with naval escort and arrived the evening of May 6, 1943. He was taken to Kerlikowske's mortuary, until the funeral service took place. The casket would not be opened in accordance with naval regulations.

Navy authorities in Washington wired Ensign Bruce Karnes, captain of the St. Joseph port, to provide a full naval escort and firing squad from the enlisted men on duty in the area for the funeral services. Members of the St. Joseph American Legion post would also join in the military rites. The Rev. Louis Danner, pastor of Saron Lutheran church, officiated at the services.

Funeral services were held at Saron Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 8, 1943 at 4 p.m. Several local patriotic organizations attended the rites in a body. They included the Navy Mothers, the Army Mothers, the American Legion and auxiliary, and the V.F.W. and auxiliary.

Many friends and schoolmates of Ensign Carlson in army and navy uniforms also attended.

At Riverview cemetery, where the body was laid to rest in the family lot, an honor guard composed of U.S. Coast Guards on duty, in charge of Chief Glen Beck, fired a salute over the flag-draped casket.

Walter Arend, of the American Legion, sounded taps.

Twin city aviators flew over the burial ground and paid their respects as services were conducted at the grave. J.P. Harvey and Edwin Dwan dropped wreaths from the sky, and Charles Knipschild and Lester Brown flew overhead and dipped in honor of Ensign Carlson.

During the impressive services at the grave, the chimes of the Singing Tower were played. Three lieutenants and three ensigns of the U.S. navy, on duty here, were pallbearers. They included Lt. H.L. Quinn, Lt. W.A. Frenniger, Lt. W.W. Bradfield, Ensign L.P. Voigt, Ensign J.W. Lawrence, Jr., and Ensign C.H. Arrington.

Surviving Robert were his parents, and two siblings, Evar C. Carlson and Viola C. Carlson. Evar was also in the military. He was a Motormachinist and served overseas. Evar passed away on May 22, 1991 in St. Joseph. Viola was married to Lt. Nelson (Bert) Linenfield on July 28, 1944 in St. Joseph. She passed away on January 4, 1994.

Also surviving Robert was his finance', Gertrude Kreager of Zanesville, Ohio. Gertrude was also Viola's maid of honor at her wedding.

Robert's parents were divorced in August of 1945.

Wells "Buzz" Worth Carroll

Wells was born November, 1895 in Michigan, the son of Warren and Elia (Riford) Carroll.

Wells grew up in Benton Harbor and served in the Navy during World War I.

By 1930, he was married to Grace and they had two children, Warren and Elizabeth. They were living in Maplewood, New Jersey and Wells was working as a General Manager at a factory. He had also worked in the manufacturing business in Toledo, Ohio. He left an executive position in the east to take a navy commission during World War II.

In November, 1943, Wells held the rank of Lieut. Commander and was serving aboard the Liscome Bay which was one of the new "baby flattop" escort carriers. Wells was a fire control and salvage officer. They were in the Gilbert Islands in the Southwest Pacific, when their ship was torpedoed. Along with the Liscome Bay, the famous submarine, Wahoo, was lost.

In early December, friends and family were still holding on to the hope that Wells would be found alive, but by December 7, 1943, he was formally reported missing in action.

By December 14th, all hope was gone when the Associated Press reported the story of Wells heroic death.

The Liscome Bay sank in a mass of flames and spectacular explosions near Nakin Island in the Gilbert Islands. It was struck by a Japanese torpedo on the starboard side at 5:13 a.m. on November 24.

In August of 1944, the Navy Cross was awarded to Wells posthumously.

The following account sums up the heroic actions of this great man.

The Navy Cross has just been awarded posthumously to the late Lieut. Commander Wells Worth (Buzz) Carroll, who perished last November when his ship, the aircraft carrier Liscome Bay, was torpedoed and sunk by the Japs off Makin island in the Pacific.

The citation which accompanied the award, bestowed by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal in behalf of the president says:

"For extraordinary heroism while serving as first lieutenant of the U.S.E. Liscome Bay during action against enemy Japanese forces off Makin island, Gilbert Islands, on Nov. 24, 1943. Although severely wounded when his ship was struck by a hostile torpedo, Lieut. Commander Carroll refused medical attention and, completely disregarding his own safety, courageously attempted to operate his fire protection aparatus and to restore pressure in the fire mains despite continuous ammunition explosions, tremendous structural damage and raging fires. Realizing the futility of further efforts to save the vessel, he immediately proceeded to lead other officers and men through the forward part of the ship to the flight deck and skillfully supervised the evacuation of several wounded men, unselfishly offering assistance and encouragement to others less seriously injured than himself, and refusing to allow a shipmate to search for a life jacket for him. Lieut. Commander Carroll's inspiring leadership and self-sacrificing efforts under extremely perilous conditions reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service."

The heroism of this one-time twin city boy in the Liscome Bay tragedy is already growing into something of a tradition in Pacific naval circles and fighting.

Capt. John G. Crommelin, who commanded the Liscome Bay and survived the torpedoing, some months after the tragedy wrote to Mrs. Elia Carroll of St. Joseph, mother of Mr. Carroll, an unusual tribute of her son's service and last heroic minutes aboard the torpedoed and fire-swept Liscome Bay, Wrote Capt. Crommelin:

"To say that Buzz Carroll was the officer most beloved and admired by the crew of the Liscome Bay is a gross under-statement. To say that Buzz more than deserved this admiration and faith is equally short of the mark. His gallant and heroic conduct above and beyond the call of duty during the last hour of the Liscome Bay will be an inspiration to Navy men until the end of time.

"It is impossible to estimate accurately the number of lives he saved but the almost superhuman strength, courage and intelligence which he demonstrated were indelibly impressed upon the minds of all who witnessed his efforts to save his ship and then save his shipmates. Badly wounded and burned, Buzz carried on until all living personnel were evacuated from the shattered area around his battle station, and then he and the few living members of his gallant repair party made their way to the topside via the route through which they had escorted many dazed and confused men. On the flight deck one of his men noted that Buzz did not have a life jacket and insisted on going back into the burning ship to search for a life belt for the officer he so much admired. To prevent the man from further risking his life, Buzz jumped into the sea-the last officer off the ship.

"He was the last seen by Dr. John Bennett Rowe, who held him in his arms and tried to revive him. This splendid action on the part of Dr. Rowe while swimming in the open sea is not only a tribute to this gallant officer, but also a measure of esteem with which your son was held. Buzz Carroll's job was done, and the great heart which kept him going beyond the concept of human endurance stopped forever...Buzz Carroll proved himself one of the greatest men our country has yet produced."

Lieut. Commander Carroll was survived by his widow, a daughter and a son. The family resided in the east, on Long Island. The son, Capt. Warren (Mike) Carroll, had recently visited with his mother at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Cress, in Edgewater. Only 20, Capt Carroll won a leave home after 30 bombing missions over Germany and other enemy held territory. Mrs. Cress was a sister of Lieut. Commander Carroll, who was born in Benton Harbor, the only son of the late Warren Carroll, long-time Benton Harbor abstracter. An uncle of the hero of the Liscome Bay is Attorney I.W. Riford.

"Buzz" Carroll was a World War II volunteer for the navy, for he was well beyond selective service call in years. As a youngster he served a hitch in the navy and then in the last war was again in naval service. Joining up a year before he lost his life, he was commissioned a lieutenant commander and ordered to a west coast port, where he sailed for the southwest Pacific aboard the Liscome Bay, a baby flat top, for his lamented rendezvous with destiny.

The following account was given by Captain John G. Crommelin Jr., of Montgomery, Alabama. Crommelin was chief of staff of Rear Admiral Henry M. Mullinix who was lost with the ship.

Crommelin cited Lt. Cmdr. Buzz Carroll, of Long Island, N.Y., an enlisted man in the last war for unselfish heroism.

Carroll was cut across the stomach from shoulder to hip, but he went below decks to help trapped men free themselves, and lugged wounded men to escape hatches.

"Finally one enlisted man said "Mr. Carroll, you wait here and I'll get you a life jacket." and started into a burning compartment." Crommelin related.

"When Carroll saw the enlisted man was determined to go into the raging fires, he relented, and promised he'd work his way topside. But half way up flames hit him and knocked him down and he slipped into the water when the young enlisted man ordered him to."

Dr. Rowe, who was in the water swimming from one man to another to give first aid, found Carroll with his head hanging down. Carroll failed to respond to the doctor's ministrations, and Rowe said later the man had lost too much blood while helping others.

Crommelin said he believed Admiral Mullinnix, of Attica, Ind., failed to escape the ship because of exhaustion. The flag officer had been on the job day and night during the Gilbert Islands invasion because "he wanted to do his beat for his fliers."

Capt. Irving D. Wiltsie of Riverdale, N.Y. the carrier's skipper who also was lost, was on the bridge when the torpedo struck, Crommelin said.

"Deliberately, calmly, Wiltsie lowered himself to the hangar deck which was burning fiercely," the officer related. "He conferred with the executive officer, then went into the flaming sectors to make a careful inspection, refusing to walk off his ship."

Wells was survived by his mother, Elia, who was living in St. Joseph at the time. Also surviving was his sister Harriett Cress, executive secretary for the Berrien County Red Cross. His uncle, I.W. Riford of Benton Harbor was a prominent attorney in the area.

Also surviving Wells was his wife, Grace who was living in Long Island, New York along with their daughter Elizabeth. Their son, Warren, was 20 years old and a co-pilot in the Army Air Corps stationed in England at the time. At the age of 18, Warren had joined the Army Air Corps. He was commissioned as a bombing pilot and served with the Eighth Army Air Corps which was involved in the aerial blitz over Germany. He was there on D-day and completed 30 bombing missions.

His late father, Warren, originally from Iowa, was an attorney and long time operator of the Carroll abstract office in Benton Harbor.

In April of 1949, Inventory was filed in Lt. Cmdr. Carroll's estate. In June, final account was filed, and in August, the estate was closed.

Bernard F. "Bud" Clarke

Bernard was born on January 28, 1917, the son of Frank Clarke and Theresa (Lynch) Clarke. Frank and Theresa were married on July 17, 1913 in Berrien County.

Bernard graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School. He had worked as an electric welder for Clark Equipment company in Buchanan and volunteered for service in the Army in 1941. He was inducted on April 22, 1941. He spent 11 months at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, before going to Australia.

Bernard was married to Cleo...last name unknown at this time.

Bernard was a Sergeant serving with the 32nd division near Buna in New Guinea by the Sanananda track. On December 2, 1942, he and another sergeant volunteered to go ahead of the lines to rescue a wounded officer. They reached the officer and Bernard had returned with a medical aide. When about to return to the American lines, they were discovered by Japanese, who poured hand grenades and rifle fire into the group, fatally wounding both Sgt. Clarke and Sgt. Leland L. Sharp of Montgomery, Mich.

On April 27, 1943, The Silver Star was awarded to Bernard posthumously by Lieut. General Robert L. Eichelberger, commander of American combat forces in the Southwest Pacific, and was the second citation received by the St. Joseph boy for outstanding bravery in action. The other was the Order of the Purple Heart.

The citation reading in part "-ordered his men to abandon him so they might save themselves." He was however, carried to a first aid station, where he died within a short time.

Bernard's body was interred in a military cemetery in New Guinea and was returned home on the evening of February 21, 1949 along with five other Berrien County men. Military guard of honor met the body. He was taken to the Kerlikowske funeral home until the time of services.

The funeral took place at St. Joseph's Catholic church at 9:30 a.m. on February 23, 1949. Fr Patrick Kenny officiated and burial was in the Cemetery of the Resurrection. A children's choir sang the response. Following the church services, military graveside rites were held under the direction of the Twin City Veterans Council, with A.R. DeFields in charge and with G.M. Spaulding as bugler. The firing squad was composed of Walter Anderson, Herbert Fetke, Frank Carlson and Arthur Haas. George Nelson was color bearer.

Members of the Navy Mothers and the Gold Star Mothers attended the services in groups.

Sister Cecilia Mary presided at the organ.

Pall bearers were: Vincent Donnelan, George W. Gray, Lloyd Huff, Joseph Dwan, Hilding Peterson, Warren Layman, Mark Eggleston and Stephen Lynch.

Surviving Bernard, was his wife, Cleo, a brother, William Clarke, who was also a Sergeant during the war. He was an instructor at Camp Van Doren, Mississippi and also a Japanese prisoner of war for four years. Also his mother, Mrs. Theresa Clarke who was living on State Street, and his father, Frank who was living in Miami, Florida.

Bernard's father was a Colonel in the military. In 1946, he was host to Great Britain's former prime minister, Winston Churchill, during his Miami Beach, Fla., visit. Frank passed away in 1953 and is believed to be buried in Bleding, Michigan where his family lived.

Bernard's mother, Theresa, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John V. Lynch who were pioneer residents of the area. She was employed as a masseuse at the Whitcomb hotel from 1930 until Oct. 4, 1961, when she suffered a stroke while at work. After being hospitalized, she moved to Mesa, Arizona to live with her son, William. Theresa passed away on February 2, 1962 in Mesa, Arizona at the age of 77. She is buried in the Cemetery of the Resurrection, St. Joseph.

At the time of her death, her obituary indicates that her husband was Frank Clarke. It is believed that Frank was a career military man, and although they remained married, they usually lived apart.

Jimmie Eugene Covert

Jimmie was born May 04, 1924, the son of Clyde Howard Covert, and Viola A. (Dewey) Covert. Clyde and Viola were married in Three Oaks, Michigan on June 4, 1917.

Jimmie enlisted in September of 1940. He went to Africa with the first invasion army in November of 1942. On March 29, at the age of 19, Jimmie was killed in Tunisia, North Africa.

At the time that Jimmie's parents were notified of his death, they were also advised that another son of theirs, Staff Sgt. Howard L. Covert, age 21, was reported missing in flight over enemy territory. He had also enlisted in September of 1940, one day ahead of his brother Jimmie.

Clyde and Viola Covert had eight children. The entire family was deeply involved in the war effort. Clyde Sr. worked at the Dachel-Carter ship building plant in Benton Harbor, and Viola was employed in the defense section of the Warren Featherbone Co., Three Oaks.

Another son, Clyde Jr., was in the coast guard as a machinist's mate, second class. At the time, he was stationed at Little Creek, Virginia. He had been in the Coast Guard for five years at that time.

A daughter, Joan, was working as a riveter at the Biggs Airplane company, Evansville, Ind. and her sister, Geraldine, was employed at Kingsbury, Ind., in defense work.

The youngest daughter in the family, Sue, 12, did her share by helping with the housework.

Two younger sons, Jack and David, were too young for service, but eagerly looked forward to the time when they could join.

Jimmie is buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Chikaming Township. He was survived by his parents, and seven siblings, Geraldine "Gerry" Covert (she married Charles Glossinger. Gerry passed away on January 2, 1996), Clyde Vernon (passed away on July 12, 1975), Howard "Hop" (passed away on January 4, 1999), Norma "Joan" (she married William Hamann in 1943. Joan passed away on June 10, 1985), Jack, Dave and Sue.

Jesse "Abe" Albert Craft, Jr.

Jesse was born on August 12, 1920 in Benton Harbor, the son of Jesse Albert Sr. and Anna Craft.

In civilian life, he worked for the NYA as a surveyor on WPA projects.

Jesse enlisted on August 1, 1940, and was sent to Fort George Lewis, Washington, where he served under General "Ike" Eisenhower, who was at that time in command of the post.

Jesse was among the first troops to land November 8, 1942 in French Morooco.

On Saturday, May 15, 1943, Jesse's mother received notification from the war department, that her son had been killed in action on March 31, 1943 in Tunisia, North Africa.

In his letters home from North Africa, he repeated his determination to help get the war over quickly, so he could come back home and "fish in the Old St. Joe."

On the day he died he wrote to her, and his mother received the V-mail letter April 12. He said "I will write this a bit late this time the wrote every week due to lack of something to write on. Well, by now, I suppose you are doing a lot of worrying, so I want to stop it. I took out $10,000 insurance, so if I get it you will know by collecting my insurance." The letter continued with messages for relatives and closed "Love and luck to all."

Memorial services were held at the Methodist Peace Temple in Benton Harbor Sunday afternoon, June 6, at 3 o'clock.

The Rev. Glenn M. Frye, Peace Temple pastor, and the Rev. Ernest L. Snodgrass, pastor of the First Baptist church, officiated. Organ selections were played by Warren Colby.

Members of the patriotic and service organizations attended. Members of V.F.W. Fruit Belt Post 1137 and auxiliary were urgently requested to attend the services.

Jesse was survived by his mother, and five brother: Frank, Charles, John Edward, who was a Corporal serving at Fort George Lewis Washington at the time, and served with the 96th division of the U.S. Army until he received a disability discharge after being wounded at a western base, and Robert, who was a Private of the local company 307 of the Michigan state troops at the time. Also surviving were his four sisters: Mildred, June, Mrs. Maryann Krajecki and Mrs. Marge Adams. His two grandmothers, Mrs. Jane Craft of Muskegon, and Mrs. Edward Lilly, of Attica, Indiana.

Douglas C. Dahlberg

Douglas was born in 1915 in Minnesota, the son of Albert Arthur and Clara O. Dahlberg, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Douglas lived in Benton Harbor for at least two years. He was employed as a salesperson in the shoe department at J.C. Penny. While there, he met his finance', Miss Marie Guse, of 774 McAllister Avenue, Benton Harbor. She was the head office girl at the Penny's store.

He enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in the Air Corps on January 5, 1942, from Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He was 70 inches tall, and weighed 143 pounds.

He was one of the few men to be awarded the Distinguished Flying cross, the Air Medal, and other citations. He and the crew of the Liberator bomber he piloted are credited with repeatedly blasting Japanese installations. At least two Japanese vessels were sunk by Dahlberg's bomber.

The Distinguished Flying Cross he was awarded is the highest aviation honor. It is given to American airmen for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight.

Douglas met his death on December 19, 1943 when a four-engined Army bomber in which he was a passenger crashed on a California mountainside. The plane was enroute to the United States carrying airmen home for Christmas after months in the Pacific. At least nine men were killed.

The big craft, evidently off its course in a heavy fog, plowed into a mountain just west of Sausalito, California. The plane was only a few minutes from its Hamilton Field destination after an over-water flight from a Pacific air base.

Douglas was a lieutenant and was up for captaincy.

Douglas is buried in Minnesota.

Survivors included his parents, finance', and a brother Paul who was two years younger then Douglas. His father, Albert, was born March 3, 1890 and passed away on March 20, 1962, and his mother, Clara, passed away on December 31, 1953...both in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Raymond Dunning

Raymond was born on January 1, 1923 in Bridgman, the son of Robert H. and Lois Dunning.

Raymond graduated from Bridgman high school in 1921.

On September 26, 1943, he was an aviation cadet and nearing completion of his training course in Pensacola, Florida when a fatal plane crash occurred, and resulted in Raymond's death. Word from the Navy department was received by his mother that night.

Raymond's body was sent from Pensacola to the Hall funeral home in Bridgman on September 29.

Funeral services were held at the Bridgman Congregational Church at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 30, 1943. Rev. Frederic Williams conducted the services.

Surviving Raymond was his mother, Lois, of Bridgman and his three brothers, Robert, Don, who was serving in the Army, and Richard, who was a sports writer for the Herald-Press-News Palladium newspaper and passed away on February 17, 1989. Also, two sisters, Mrs. Evelyn Granke and Mrs. Viola Siders of Muskegon. Raymond's father had passed away four years before.

Ray L. Evans

Ray was born about 1916, the son of Lawrence E. and Maude M. Evans of Benton Harbor. It is believed that Ray was their only child.

In 1930, the family was living on Pearl Street in Benton Harbor. Lawrence was working as an auto mechanic. Also living with them is Ray's widowed grandmother, Anna, who is a Practical Nurse. Her husband was Jacob.

Ray was possibly married and had a son.

In a September 1943 list, Ray's name appears among those who gave their life. He was killed in action in the Southwest Pacific on December 26, 1942. Ray had attained the rank of corporal.

Ray's name appears on a plaque at the foot of a flagpole dedicated to memory of Industrial Rubber employees who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.

Ray's parents made the first donation to the Red Cross War Fund in February 1945, in honor of their son.

William Gano

William was born on December 3, 1904, near Eau Claire, Michigan, the son of Ancil H. and Huldah (Price) Gano who were married in Berrien County on November 21, 1891.

He enlisted in the artillery on May 29, 1931, and served continuously until discharge in 1940. Three of those nine years were spent in the Panama Canal Zone as an artillery sergeant.

He was inducted into Army service again in 1942. He arrived in North Africa on September 1, 1943. After only 52 days there, William was killed in action in Tunisia on October 22, 1943. Word was received by his brother, Allen Gano.

After his body was returned home, William was buried in Plot D 12, Rock Island National Cemetery, Moline, Illinois on June 23, 1948.

Surviving William were his brothers, Allen, Lyle and Jay, and a sister, Mrs. Gustav Schiming. All of them lived in Benton Harbor.

James F. Jennings

James was born about 1919 in Michigan, the son of Earl A. and Marita Jennings.

The only information found so far, is that James was a AAF bombardier on a Flying Fortress. He was killed in action over Hanover, Germany in 1943.

His parents were former residents of St. Joseph, but at the time of his death were living in Logansport. His father was involved in automobile sales as his occupation.

Joseph L. Klimek

Joseph was born about 1919 in Michigan, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Casmer F. Klimek.

In 1930, Joseph was living with his family in Bertrand township. His father was born in Nebraska, his mother in Indiana.

Joseph was a Corporal with the 127th Infantry, 32nd Division. He was killed in action on January 18, 1943 in the Southwest Pacific.

Joseph is honored at the Fort William McKinley Monument in Manila, the Philippines where he is buried. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal.

Joseph's father may have passed away before him, and his mother was living in Niles. He also had at least the following siblings: Dorothy, Agnes, John, Stella, Clara and Elizabeth.

Joseph's father was living in Niles in 1917 where he registered for the World War I draft.

Frank J. Lehocky

Frank was born on February 24, 1920 in Chicago. The only known information about his parents at this time is that his mother's maiden name was Mikel.

When Frank was two years old, his parents took him back to Czechoslovakia, where they were from. In 1940, Frank came back to America and lived with his uncle, Joe Mikel of Bridgman.

He was inducted into the Army in 1941 and saw action in the battle of North Africa, in which he was wounded, and was awarded the Order of the Purple Heart for bravery in action in that campaign.

After recovery from his wounds, Pfc. Lehocky was sent to Italy where he served with the 135th Infantry, 34th Division. On October 27, 1943, Frank was killed in action in Italy. Frank's uncle was notified by the U.S. war department.

Frank's name was added to the Berrien County's Gold Star roster, and he is buried and honored at the Monument: Sicily & Rome, Italy.

Besides his uncle, Frank was survived by his brother, John Lehocky, who was serving in India as a ground mechanic in the U.S. Air Corps.

Edward A. LeRoy

Edward's name is among those killed during the war in 1943. His name also appears on September 16, 1943 as one of the men killed for which a poem was dedicated too. The only information known at this time is that he was from Niles.

Leo Edward Locke

Leo was born on January 18, 1916 in Benton Harbor, the son of Leo Benjamin and Anna D. Locke.

Leo graduated in June, 1934 from Benton Harbor high school. He took a business and commerical course at the Twin City Business college. After completing his business course he worked one and one-half years for Jack Bailey in the Bailey Advertising company. He then went to work for the Benton Harbor Malleable Industries as order clerk in the production department. He was with the Malleable four and one-half years until the time of his enlistment in the service. He was a prominent member of St. John's Catholic church. He was a former president of the young People's club of the church, and officer in the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Knights of Columbus bowling team, and former secretary of St. John's Athletic association.

Leo enlisted in the Army Air Corps on December 13, 1941, six days after Pearl Harbor. He was first stationed at Wichita Falls, Texas, then at Spokane, Washington., Douglas, Arizona., and Laredo, Texas. On August 22, he left Tampa, Florida., for South America, and handled administrative work with the headquarters company of his mapping squadron.

On September 15, 1943, Leo's parents received a telegram with the news of their son's death as a result of a plane crash in Latin America.

The telegram from the War department at Washington D.C. read as follows: Secretary of War asks that I assure you of his deep sympathy in the loss of your son, Sgt. Leo Edward Locke. Report stated that he died, date unreported, in Latin America area. Letter follows: Signed Maj. Gen. Ulio Adjutant General.

Sgt. Locke was believed to have been aboard a transport plane that was lost since September 4 in Latin America. An Associated Press dispatch on September 9 stated, "The U.S. Army transport plane that has been lost since Saturday September 4, on a flight from Manos, Brazil to Cali, Colombia, was found wrecked in the Andes mountains of western Colombia. all eight occupants were dead. The victims were members of the U.S. Army photographic unit based at Cali."

It was reported to his parents that his body would not be returned until after the war.

On September 24, 1943, Leo's Will was filed with Probate Jodge Malcolm Hatfield. His will was executed Sept. 21, 1942, while he was stationed at Felts Field, Spokane, Washington, and was witnessed by three other soldiers. His estate, valued at $950 in personal property stipulated that the 20 shares of Paramount Corporation stock shall be given to his sister, Doris Ross, Chicago, and the residue to his parents.

Memorial services were held at 9:30 a.m., Monday, September 27, 1943 at St. John's Catholic Church.

Solemn requiem high mass was celebrated by the Rev. Fr. G.A. Witteman, assisted by the Rev. Fr. Victor Fortino, and the Rev. Fr. Francis L. Sharp, pastor of the St. Mary-Of-The-Lake parish of New Buffalo, preached the sermon.

A catafalque, covered by an American flag, was erected in the front aisle of the church.

Service men of all branches of the armed forces were requested to attend the services for their deceased comrade, and occupy front reserved seats.

Among the relatives and many friends who attended the services for the deceased were members of the Knights of Columbus, St. John's Altar society, students of St. John's school, Mothers of World War II, Army Mothers, Navy Mothers, service men of the Army and Navy and the American Legion.

Besides his parents, Leo was survived by his sister, Mrs. Doris Ross of Chicago and an uncle and aunt, James Locke and Mrs. Otto North, both of Benton Harbor.

William F. Lucas

William was born about 1916 in Indiana, the son of George H. Lucas and Genevieve (Chapman) Lucas.

It appears that this family was living in Columbus, Indiana, and William's mother had passed away on November 21, 1920 at the age of 38. His father remarried shortly after that.

William's grandmother, Mrs. William Chapman, resided in Benton Harbor.

William received his commission as Captain in the Marine Air Corps in April of 1943. He was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, where he had been an instructor for a year and a half.

Sometime between April and December of 1943, William was killed in a plane crash in the Southwest Pacific.

Surviving William was his father, and his grandmother Georgia (Blanchard) Chapman of Benton Harbor, however, she passed away soon after. Georgia was born on September 17, 1868 in Union City, Pennsylvania, and passed away on September 24, 1943 in Benton Harbor. She was married to William Chapman in June of 1891 in Shelbyville, Indiana and they resided in Benton Harbor since their marriage. William passed away in January of 1943. They are both buried in Crystal Springs Cemetery.

William had no known siblings.

George Harold Miller

On a December 31, 1943 list of men killed is George Harold Miller of Niles, Michigan. His name also appears on September 16, 1943 as one of the men killed for which a poem was dedicated too. No further information can be found.

Valentine Lester Paul

On a December 31, 1943 list of men killed is Valentine Lester Paul of Buchanan, Michigan. No further information can be found.

Charles L. Price

Charles was born about 1918 in Michigan, the son of Cisso T. and Cora Price.

In 1930, Charles was living with his family in Sodus, Michigan. He was a Corporal and was killed in action in December, 1942 in New Guinea.

Charles's father passed away on January 12, 1943 and his mother on October 22, 1943. They are buried in New Troy Cemetery, New Troy, Michigan.

Besides his parents, Charles was survived by his siblings, Clarabelle, Edna, Mable, Goldie, Elzria, Frank, William and James.

Charles Wesley Pulliam Jr.

It is unknown when Charles was born. The only reference found to his parents is that his mother was Mrs. C.W. Phillips of Benton Harbor.

Charles was serving on the U.S.S. Quincy when it sunk on August 9, 1942 in the Battle of Savo Island which was part of the Guadalcanal Campaign.

Charles is honored at the Fort William McKinley Monument in Manila, Philippines. He was also awarded the Purple Heart Medal.

He was inducted from Michigan, and his rank at time of death was Fireman Second Class, United States Navy.

Walter R. Radde

Walter was born about 1912 in Michigan. He was the son of Theodore and Theresa Radde who were both German immigrants and married in February, 1911.

In 1930, Walter was working as a helper at the door factory where his father was a machinist.

Walter married Clara Schulz and entered the service from St. Joseph on April 2, 1942, with the infantry. He was attached to the Fifth army in Italy and attained the rank of Private First Class.

Walter became ill in Italy and was transferred to a hospital in Tunisia where he passed away on December 14, 1943.

A memorial service was held at St. Peter's Evangelical Church on Sunday, January 2, 1944, at 2 p.m. The memorial services were conducted by the Rev. E.A. Kuhn. The choir sang three song and there was a large floral tribute for the soldier.

Walter's body did not return home until February, 1949, when 434 Michigan men (12 from Berrien County) who died in the war were returned home. A total of 5,806 war dead arrived on the west coast aboard the army transport Dalton Victory, bearing veterans who were temporarily interred in cemeteries in Iwo Jima, Tinian, Guam, Saipan and Hawaii. This ship carried eight of the Berrien county veterans who gave their lives during the war.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 1949 in the soldier's section of Riverview Cemetery.

Services were conducted by Rev. E.A. Kuhn, pastor of St. Peter's Evangelical church. They were largely attended and there was a large floral tribute.

Pallbearers, all Amvets, were Merlin VanBrocklin, Ruth Gintert, Henry Preis, Morris Jones, R. Wayne Stephenson and Robert Thomson.

Color guard was composed of Clarence and Earl Sill, John Fitzner and Ronald Moore, the firing squad consisted by Herbert, Roy and Rolland Lausch and Leroy Meier and bugler was Henry Meyer.

Surviving Walter were his parents, his wife Clara, and four sisters, Marie (passed away October 29, 1996), Erna (passed away March 8, 1973), Ella (passed away March 19, 1978), Helen, and his brother Arnold who was a S/Sgt Waist Gunner with a 15th Air Force bomber crew, serving in Italy in World War II. Arnold received a Purple Heart for wounds and many other awards. He completed 50 missions over enemy territory.

John Willard Randall

John was born on May 2, 1912 in Beloit, Wisconsin, the son of Louis M and Maude Randall.

John was educated at the Chicago Latin School and at Northwestern University at Evanston, of which he was a graduate. John was working on the editorial staff of the Toledo, Ohio Times newspaper up until the time he enlisted in the Navy. He was married to Marguerite, in Toledo on January 1, 1939. John and Marguerite had two daughters.

John joined the Navy in 1942. He served in the Sicilian campaign and was promoted on July 1, 1943 from ensign to Lieutenant, and had been recommended for the Navy Cross.

John was reported missing in the Middle East on August 28, 1943, during naval action with the allied invasion of Sicily after the Nazi Africa corps was defeated in North Africa. Word was received by his parents who lived in Higman Park. By September 10, 1943, John was reported killed in action by the Navy department.

His body had been found and would be shipped home at the end of hostilities.

John's body was returned to Benton Harbor on Tuesday, March 1, 1949, and taken to the Dean mortuary.

Services were held on Wednesday, March 2, 1949 and attended by members of his family and immediate friends. Graveside services were conducted in Crystal Springs cemetery at 11 o'clock that morning, with the Rev. Donald S. Bourne, associate pastor of the First Congregational church, officiating.

Besides his wife and children, John was survived by his parents, and his sister, Dorothy Louise.

Allen Marshall Sayers

Allen was born about 1921 in Michigan, the son of A.H. Sayers and Laura (Marshall) Sayers.

In 1930, Allen and his sister, Shirley, were living with their grandmother, Anna Marshall, in St. Joseph. Anna was a 47 year old widow, and was also caring for her own children, Lloyd, Lou Alice, Benjamin, Samuel and Grace. They lived at 808 Michigan Avenue.

Allen was a graduate of St. Joseph High School, where he was actively and prominently indentified with student activities, and where he starred in football. He was working at the Nineteen Hundred Corporation before entering the military.

On July 31, 1943, Allen was killed in action in the Southwest Pacific, Solomon Islands.

Memorial services were held at the First Evangelical church on December 5, 1943 by the Rev. L.E. Burgess. At this time, his parents were listed as Mrs. Laura Sayers and A.H. Sayers, both of Chicago. Music was provided by the church choir, accompanied by Ruby Rose.

A bouquet of flowers from the church and a certificate were presented to Mrs. Sayers by the Rev. Burgess after his eulogy to the deceased soldier.

Out-of-town persons present included Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Shoup, aunt and uncle of the deceased, and Pfc. Sayers' fiancee, Miss Loretta Wegner, all from South Bend, Ind.

Clyde L. Shaffer

Clyde was born in 1918, the son of Clyde Franklin Shaffer and Ulrica May (Spencer) Shaffer of Buchanan, Michigan.

Sgt. Shaffer was killed in action in the North African theatre of war (possibly in Sicily) on August 10, 1943 according to a telegram received by his parents on September 8.

Clyde is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan, Michigan.

Clyde was survived by his parents who lived at 902 Victory Street in Buchanan, a sister Alma May who passed away on December 12, 2000 in Buchanan at the age of 87. She was married to Harry F. Stewart on June 10, 1939 in Niles, Michigan, and also sisters Maxine and Winifred, and brothers, Robert and Richard. There are also three other brothers and two sisters who have not been identified as yet.

Raymond Thomas Sharai

Raymond was born on August 24, 1915 in Sodus, Michigan. Raymond was raised by his aunt, Lara Sharai Thomas and her husband Amos who had passed away before 1943.

On November 16, 1940, Raymond married Mary Azzorolo in South Bend, Indiana, and they were living at 932 Bishop street in Benton Harbor. Raymond was also a vocalist and a member of the Ancient Order of Gleaners. Raymond and Mary had one daughter.

Raymond had been serving in the military for 18 months and had the rank of Private when he was seriously wounded in North Africa. He was sent back to the United States and passed away on June 26, 1943 at Bushnell Hospital in Brigham, Utah.

The Berrien county chapter of the Red Cross started Mrs. Sharai west to see her husband when medical authorities reported his condition as serious. As soon as word of his death was received the Red Cross intercepted her at Omaha, and she was returned home.

Raymond's body was sent on the Pere Marquette railroad, and arrived at the Reiser mortuary at 1:28 on June 30.

Funeral services with full military rites took place on ?? at the Reiser Chapel in Benton Harbor with the Rev. F.M. Barden of the Sodus United Brethren Church. There was a large group of patriotic organizations, as well as friends, and relatives. Present were representatives of the American Legion auxiliary, the V.F.W. auxiliaries, Nos. 1459 and 1137, the Army Mothers of World War II, and the Fruit Belt post of Navy Mothers. Karl Schlabach, Benton Harbor school band director, sounded taps.

Pallbearers were members of Co. D., Michigan State Troops, directed by Capt. John Null, and included Staff Sgt. El Cox, Pvt. Henry Hadley, Pfc. H. Alberts, Pvt. E. Gogolin and Pvt. D. Easterling.

Raymond is buried at Crystal Springs cemetery.

Surviving Raymond were his wife and daughter, the aunt who raised him, Laura Sharai Thomas, his sisters Mrs. Lula Rozinskik and Mrs. Edna Metzger, and two step-brothers, Lt. Melvin Carrell and Sgt. John Deetjen.

It is believed that Raymond's parents were William Sharai who passed away in 1921, and Edith (Doolittle) Sharai who passed away in 1960.

Olin A. Stafford

Olin was born on November 17, 1917 in Mississippi, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Callie C. Stafford.

Olin never lived in Benton Harbor, but his parents and three younger brothers lived there for several years. He also had two other brothers in the military.

Cadet Olin Stafford enlisted in the Air Corps at Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been employed by the National Bank for six years. He was a member of the National Guard at Sanatoba, Miss., serving as company clerk.

He had served in the Air Corps for eight months when he was fatally injured in the crash of a training plane near Gadsden, Alabama on May 18, 1943. The accident occurred while they were on a routine cross country training flight. Olin died in the post hospital at nearby Camp Siebert, at Gadsden.

Olin's body was brought to the Dean's mortuary in Benton Harbor.

Funeral services were conducted at Dean's mortuary on Monday, May 24, 1943 with the Rev. Ernest L. Snodgrass of the Benton Harbor First Baptist Church, officiating.

Casket bearers were members of the Michigan State Troops: Captain John Null, Troopers Thiel, Gogolin, Maul, Huber and Mickel.

Burial was in Crystal Springs cemetery.

Olin's parents received a wire of condolence from the officers and employees of the First National Bank of Memphis, which stated that a gold star had been placed on the bank's service flag in his memory.

His name also appeared on the Benton Harbor roll of honor which was constructed beside the Municipal building by the Kiwanis club. As of November, 1943, there were approximately 1,600 names of those gone from Benton Harbor to their nation's services.

Surviving Olin were his parents, his brothers Lonnie, Arlen, Clifford, Thomas, MacHoward and James, and his sisters, Mrs. Ora Davis and Mrs. Vera Fitzgerald.

Donald Stakley

Donald was born about 1915, the son Clayton T. Stakley and Frances W. (Haines) Stakley who were married on September 6, 1913 in Warren County, Indiana.

Donald was married to Alice. She was working as a clerk at the McLellan store. Donald entered the military on April 2, 1942 and attained the rank of Corporal. Donald's greatest hobby was fishing.

Donald was overseas exactly one year and was serving with an anti-aircraft battery in Sicily with the American Fifth Army during the invasion of Sicily and on the beaches of Salerno. He was killed in action in Italy on October 9, 1943 at the age of 28. Only a few days before, his wife had packed and mailed several Christmas gifts for her husband.

Donald received the Order of the Purple Heart posthumously.

Memorial services were held at the First Baptist church in St. Joseph at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, November 15, 1943, with the Rev. L.H. Broeker officiating.

Donald's body was returned to Benton Harbor in February of 1949. Place of burial is unknown at this time.

Surviving Donald besides his wife and parents, was a brother, Sgt. Clayton Stakley who was stationed at Camp Stewart, Georgia, and passed away in Crescent City, Florida on May 13, 2002 at the age of 79. Also surviving were his brothers, Robert, Jack and Dick, and three sisters Betty, Margaret who passed away on October 1, 2001, and Mrs. Mina Marutz.

Donald's father was a caulker at Dachel-Carter Shipbuilding corporation, and served with the Michigan State Militia in World War I. His mother, Frances passed away on May 14, 1985.

Lowell E. Symons

Lowell was born about 1922, the son of Odgen E. and Georgia Symons.

Lowell was inducted into service from Indiana, and attained the rank of Master Sergeant. He was with the 23rd Bomber Squadron 5th Bomber Group.

Master Sgt. Lowell was killed in action in the South Pacific on July 27, 1943. Word was received by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Broderick, well known farmers in Hagar township. Lowell once resided on one of the Broderick farms with his mother who was Mrs. Georgia Durham at the time of his death, and she was living in Greentown, Indiana.

Lowell is honored at the Fort William McKinley Monument in Manila, Philippines, where his last known status is listed as missing. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Additional Army Awards.

Lowell had at least two siblings, Lois and Mary.

James Roy Templeton

James was born on February 6, 1921, the son of Ulysses Grant and Emma Templeton. Ulysses was born in Virgina, Emma in Missouri. They later moved to Benton Harbor.

James was employed at the Kingsbury Ordnance plant in Kingsbury, Indiana before enlisting in the naval reserve in September of 1942. He then transferred into the Navy in April of 1943 where he was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia with the rank of Seaman 2nd class.

A telegram was received by his parents which stated that James had been washed overboard at Hampton Roads off the Virginia coast at 7:30 a.m., Friday, November 19, 1943. His body had not yet been recovered, but a thorough search was being conducted.

According to the official report given to his parents at the end of November, James was serving as coxswain of a motor launch aboard a U.S. ship, and at 7:30 on the morning of Nov. 19, he had tied up his launch at the boom and was climbing the ladder to board the ship when a heavy sea struck, breaking his hold on the ladder. The body had not been found. In the official letter, which expressed deepest sympathy, it was said that the local sailor drifted some yards after falling into the water, and finally went under. At this time, he had attained the rank of Seaman 1st class.

James's body was recovered and was sent home via the Pere Marquette at 7:41 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, 1944 and taken to the Reiser Mortuary.

Funeral services were held at the Reiser Chapel at 2:30 p.m., Saturday ??. Speaker at the services was F.G. Whitmyer of Elkhart, Ind. Mrs. Marvin Conway and Mrs. Oscar Burtzlaff sang "In the Sweet Bye and Bye" and "Rock of Ages," accompanied by Mrs. M.J. White who presided at the organ.

Among the large attendance were the Navy mothers and the Mothers of Word War II, each group attending in a body. There was a profusion of flowers. One large floral piece in the form of a ship's anchor was sent by Templeton's shipmates.

The pall bearers were Ben Neuman, Alfred Kroenig, Oscar Burtzlaff, Glenn Freeman, Warren Alden, and Thomas Dickson. Burial was at Crystal Springs cemetery in Benton Harbor.

Surviving James were his parents. No information can be found to indicate any siblings.

Wilbur E. Ueck

Wilbur was born about 1919, the son of Richard R. and Minnie Ueck of Benton Harbor.

Wilbur and a number of his buddies enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 12, 1941. He was assigned to the famous 32nd Red Arrow Division and served in the Anti Tank Company. During the first months of 1942, the Red Arrow Division was sent to the east coast to be shipped to Europe. While in Boston, General Douglas MacArthur recalled this division to San Francisco, Calif., and from there the division went to Australia for six months.

Wilbur's division was sent to New Guinea, where he was killed in action. Two separate accounts are given as to his death date. One is in reference to his parents receiving The Purple Heart for wounds he received in action resulting in his death on December 4, 1942 in New Guinea. The other states that on October 1, 1942, Wilbur and his division were sent to New Guinea, where he was killed in action three days later.

Wilber is listed on the Benton Harbor Gold Star roll of honor, and was mentioned in the following interview with Dick Gardner: Dick can give you quite a picture on the New Guinea campaign, too, for he was in on that historic push over the Owen Stanley mountains in 1942. "We were experimental troops," says Dick, "and many of the lessons we learned as to equipment needed have proved invaluable in other island invasions since."

That campaign cost the lives of two Benton Harbor buddies, Cpl. Wilbur Ueck and Pfc. Bert Agens.

Wibur was a member of St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran church in Benton Harbor.

The known siblings of Wilbur were Arthur C., Clara A., and Lucille V. Wilbur was the youngest.

Harry L. Walters

Harry, unknown date of birth, was the son of Mrs. Dolphe Walters.

Harry was a Captain with the 70th Fighter Squadron 18th Fighter Group. He was missing and presumed dead on October 23, 1943, place unknown.

Harry is honored at the Fort William McKinley Monument at Manila, Philippines. Last known status is listed as missing.

Harry was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Additional Army Awards.

Alvan E. Wenger

Alvan was born on January 28, 1924 in St. Joseph, Michigan, the son of Samuel and Lillie (Mak) Wenger. The family later moved to Buchanan, Michigan, then Baroda.

Alvan enlisted in the Army on November 15, 1942. In April of 1943, Alvan graduated as an expert airplane mechanic from the airplane mechanic school at Keesler Field, Mississippi. He was trained in the Liberator Bomber school at that field. His rank was Corporal. In May of 1943, Alvan was stationed at Willow Run, Ypsilanti, Michigan. By the end of July, 1943, Alvan has finished training at Harlinger Field, Texas and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He received his wings at graduation exercises at Harlinger Field, and was then stationed at Salt Lake City, Utah.

On September 4, 1943, Alvan was one of 10 men killed when an army bomber crashed near Sioux City, Iowa. He was a member of the 475th bomber crew.

Alvan's body arrived home on September 7, 1943 in a sealed casket and was taken to the Kerlikowske mortuary. His body was escorted by Sgt. Arthur Steinbrenner of the bomber squadron at Sioux City.

Funeral services were held at the Trinity Lutheran church in Glendora, at 2 p.m., on Thursday, September 9, 1943, with the Rev. E.J. Jeschke officiating. It was one of the largest funerals ever held in the Baroda vicinity.

Music was by the children's choir, which sang "Abide With Me." and by the congregation accompanied by Arthur Krueger, principal of the parachial school.

The casket draped with an American flag, was carried by Sgt. Steinbrenner, Allen Larson, C.A. P., of Niles, Cpl. Monty Cotainia of Tennessee, formerly of Stevensville, Pvt. Leon Zordel, DeLosse Dunbar and Lavone Phillippi of Baroda. Members of the American Legion formed an honorary escort.

Burial was at Hinman cemetery, where military rites were conducted, with taps and a volley fired over the grave. The flag which had draped the casket was presented to Alvan's mother.

Those from outside Berrien county who were here to attend the funeral included Acting Cpl. Irving Wenger, who arrived last Tuesday night from Drew Field at Tampa, Fla., called from the south by the death of his brother; Mrs. Elinore White and Mrs. Anna Holmes of Chicago; the Fred Rudies, Mrs. Mary Peters and Mrs. Henry Mak of Calumet City, Ill.

Burial was at Hinman Cemetery.

Besides his parents, Alvan was survived by his brothers, Kenneth, LeRoy, who was inducted into service in June of 1944, Ralph, who was a Private in the military and served in Germany, Ralph passed away on February 3, 2005 at the age of 87. Also a brother, Irving, who was stationed at Drew Field in Tampa, Florida. Irving served in England, Belgium, Holland, France and Germany as a telephone and radio operator. In 1945, he received the Bronze Medal for 43 days of continuous action in Germany. Also, his sisters, Mrs. Evelyn Johns who passed away on April 12, 2002 at the age of 86, and Eleanor. Also, his two grandmothers, Mrs. Mary Mak and Mrs. Mary Wenger.

Russell Weyrouch

Russell was born about 1920, the son of Jacob Weyrouch.

Before entering the service, Sergeant Weyrouch was assistant traffic manager at the G. and W. Electric company, Chicago, and later was employed at the Modern Plastics Corp., Benton Harbor.

Russell was living with his sister, Mrs. Mildred Paul of Hilltop Road in St. Joseph and was engaged to be married to Miss Electra Lyon of Lake Shore Drive in St. Joseph.

He enlisted in the Army Air Forces Dec. 10, 1941, and was trained at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, Las Vegas, Nevada and Chanute Field, Illinois, where he received his staff-sergeant's rating. He was turret gunner and technician on a F-24 bomber.

Russell's sister, Mildred, was notified by the War Department in Washington, D.C. in mid June of 1943, that her brother was involved in an airplane accident, and had been reported missing and presumed dead on December 12, 1942. Also, that he was buried in Greenland. The exact date of the tragedy is unreported, due to insufficient information radioed from the base to Washington.

Russell's last letter home was dated Dec. 5, 1942 "somewhere in Greenland".

Surviving Russell besides his finance' were his father, and a brother, George, both of Chicago, the sister in St. Joseph, and two other brothers in service, Pvt. Raymond Weyrouch on active duty, and Pvt. Paul Weyrouch, San Diego, Calif.

His relatives were endeavoring to have the body shipped to the United States for services and burial at Rosehill cemetery, Chicago.

Donald Keith Winters

Little is known about Donald at this time. The only reference was found in a list of names to whom a poem printed in the newspaper was dedicated too. The poem was dedicated to Berrien county men who have given their lives in World War II.

Anthony "Tony" Zelkowski Jr.

Tony was born October 11, 1914 in Elkton, Michigan, the son of Anthony "Tony" and Mary Zelkowski who were married in 1910.

Before enlisting in the service June 6, 1941, Tony was employed at the Auto Specialities Manufacturing Co., St. Joseph.

Tony served in the Moroccan and Tunisian campaigns.

On August 6, 1943, Tony was wounded in action with the U.S. Army infantry in Sicily. He received medical attention at an overseas hospital. The Order of Purple heart medal was awarded. He mailed the medal to his sister, Miss Stella Zelkowski at the Eleanor Club, Benton Harbor, who received it September 21.

Tony returned to his unit after his recovery, and on November 12, 1943, he was killed in action in Italy. His sister, Miss Stella Zelkowski of Benton Harbor, received the news from the War Department around December 8.

At the time of his death, his parents were living in Detroit. Sadly, after his mother received the news of her sons death, she died of a heart attack at her home on December 15, 1943. She was born on August 15, 1890 in Poland and her and Tony Sr. were married in 1910. They came to Michigan in 1912, and in the 31 years since, had lived in Elkton, Benton Harbor and Detroit. She is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit.

Also surviving Tony Jr., besides his parents, were 10 siblings, four of whom were serving in the military at the time. They were: Pvt. Walter Zelkowski, 23, of the U.S. Infantry, stationed in the South Pacific and had been overseas for 16 months. Ensign Stanley Zelkowski, 22, of the U.S. Maritime service in Atlantic water and who had been in service for four years. Cpl. Leo Zelkowski, 20, who entered service the previous February and was stationed with the Army Quartermaster Corps at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Pvt. Zigiment Zelkowski, 18, who had been in service for eight weeks and was stationed at Camp Croft in South Carolina.

Also surviving Tony Jr. were his brothers Peter, Paul and John, and his sisters, Miss Stella Zelkowski of Benton Harbor, Mrs. Josephine Cherry of Detroit, and Miss Sophie Zelkowski.

Tony's brother, Stanley, served in the Merchant Marines for 14 years. He was serving as Chief Engineer on the SS Mission. His ship was returning from nine month's duty in Korean waters, when he suddenly took seriously ill. When the ship arrived in Galveston, Texas, Stanley was in a coma. He passed away 48 hours later on January 11, 1953 in a Galveston hospital. His brother, Private John Zelkowski was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas at the time, and was at his brother's bedside at the time of his death. Stanley was born July 7, 1921 in Elkton, Michigan, and he is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit.

 

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