February 10, 2008

Casualties Co. A, 109th Engineers

Co. A, 109th Engineering Company - 35 Killed, About 75 Wounded
KILLED

# NAME Serial # Rank DATE CAUSE


1 Pardy, James G. 20717379 Pvt. 09/13/42 Acc. DNB
2 Bean, Willard W. 32375007 Pvt. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
3 Christensen, Robert 20717345 CPL 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
4 La Fave, Cleo W. 37036991 Pfc. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
5 Loesch, Roger S. 20717375 Tech 5 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
6 Marchison, Michael 6209408 Pvt. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
7 Moore, Walter 34118829 Pfc. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
8 ONeil, James J. 37026381 Pvt. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
9 Ortmayer, Leland R. 20717409 Pfc. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
10 Satre, Wayne K. 20717501 Sgt. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
11 Stanton, William R. 11052735 Pvt. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
12 Thomas, Joseph R. 33059862 Pvt. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
13 Yaworski, John C. 32376944 Pvt. 03/30/43 Mine Ex. KIA
14 Fitzpatrick, Thomas 32748115 Pvt. 10/31/43 ? DOW
15 Crichton, Scott 0-420183 1st Lt. 06/05/43 Mine DNB
16 Sorenson, Henry 20717471 Sgt. 11/02/43 Plane KIA
17 Koopman, Henry M. 37036762 Pfc. 11/02/43 Plane DOW
18 Weiss, Wilfred P. 37036777 Tech 5 11/02/43 Plane KIA
19 BeJensky, Michael 0-1102622 1st. Lt 12/03/43 Mine KIA
20 Poulos, George 16146150 Pvt. 12/07/43 ? KIA
21 Brenner, Lester M. 36181993 Pvt. 01/04/44 ? DOW
22 Garber, Russell G. 35553055 Pvt. 04/25/44 Mor KIA
23 Loebe, Carl F. 36822200 Pvt. 04/25/44 Mor KIA
24 Comeau, Leo J. 31207277 Pfc. 05/22/44 Mor KIA
25 Spencer, Philip J. 39837388 Pvt. 05/22/44 Mor KIA
26 Minier, Gene F. 20717466 Tech 5 05/22/44 Mor KIA
27 Pahl, Jack A. 20717795 Sgt 05/25/44 ? KIA
28 Cawley, Andrew G. 32394799 Pvt. 06/01/44 ? KIA
29 Waters, Veloris E. 20717489 Pvt. 06/26/44 ? KIA
30 Adams, Houston J. 31024344 Pvt. 07/16/44 R/MG KIA
31 Skala, Leonard C 32251714 Tech 5 08/02/44 ? DNB
32 Haley, George W. 20717488 Tech 5 08/??/44 Mine KIA
33 Horner, Austin V. 0-1695581 2nd Lt. 10/05/44 Mine KIA
34 Rector, Clifford B. 33530954 Pvt. ? ? KIA
35 Nazarchyk, Michael 33357739 Cpl. 12/23/44 cave-in DNB


WOUNDED & INJURED Incomplete Morning Reports

# NAME Serial # Rank DATE CAUSE

1 DeBoer, Roger 20717508 Sgt. 04/02/43 MG WIA
2 Keller, Joe NMI 37025946 Pfc. 11/02/43 Plane WIA
3 Davis, Lester J. 20717526 Tech 5 11/02/43 Plane WIA
4 Gile, Dene W. 20717365 Sgt. 11/02/43 Plane WIA
5 Burkett, Walter A. 37036755 Tech 5 11/02/43 Plane WIA
6 Quiring, Henry P. 37936760 Pfc. 11/02/43 Plane WIA
7 Katowicz, Joseph W. 12017386 Pvt. 11/02/43 Plane WIA
8 Rolf, Charles H. 37036988 Tech 5 11/04/43 Art/M WIA
9 Stevenson, Barry A. 31091899 Pvt. 11/07/43 Art/M WIA
10 Suillivan, Dennis M. 20717386 Cpl. 11/24/43 Art/M WIA
11 Erickson, Carl E. 37158876 Pvt. 11/24/43 Art/M WIA
12 Davis, Lester J. 20717526 Tech 5 12/01/43 art/m WIA
13 Wishard, Fred W. 39236751 Pvt. 12/01/43 art/m WIA
14 Hermson, Donald L. 37037031 Pfc. 12/03/43 ? WIA
15 Hohman, Fred W. 39399728 Pvt. 12/03/43 ? WIA
16 King, Welby W. 0-442472 1st Lt. 12/03/43 mine WIA
17 Flanagan, James H. 11064174 Pvt. 12/04/43 ? WIA
18 Ahearn Dennis P. 32763454 Pvt. 01/04/44 plane WIA
19 Babcock, Francis G. 32350326 Pvt. 01/04/44 plane WIA
20 Blanco,Adam E. 38261511 Pvt. 01/04/44 plane WIA
21 Brenner, Lester M. 35181993 Pvt. 01/04/44 plane WIA
22 Corcoran, Charles 32346362 Pfc. 01/04/44 plane WIA
23 Judice, Camile J. 38409374 Pfc. 01/04/44 plane WIA
24 Larson, Edwin K. 37081697 Pfc. 01/04/44 plane WIA
25 Plener, William L. 35600507 Pfc. 01/04/44 plane WIA
26 Hytholt, Dale M. 20717403 Sgt. 01/04/44 plane WIA
27 Sheets, Sam A. 0-1109003 2nd. Lt. 01/04/44 plane WIA
28 Tubet, Mitchell 35426113 Pvt. 01/04/44 plane WIA
29 Wright, Albert B. 32315939 Pvt. 01/04/44 plane WIA
30 1st Platooon - Capt Hummel, SS Hullinger, Sgts. Gile, Hauske, & Pauley & men attached to133rd Inf for a week trek up mountain past Venafro
32 Karge, Theron F. 0-3-79222 1st. Lt. 01/24/44 Art/M WIA
33 Garbo, Sam J. 34635475 Pvt. 02/11/44 R/Mg WIA
34 Harding, Daniel S. 20717368 Sgt 02/11/44 R/Mg WIA
35 Gile, Dene W. 20717365 Sgt. 02/15/44 ? WIA


Moved to Anzio

37 Urban, Joe NMI 35179871 Sgt. 03/25/44 Art/M WIA
38 Lugo, Ralph NMI 39337545 Pfc. 03/25/44 Art/M WIA
39 Andrews, Lawrence 39913540 Pvt. 04/28/44 mine WIA
40 Madison, William E. 36433736 Pvt. 04/28/44 mine WIA
41 Waters, Veloris E. 20717389 Pvt. 04/28/44 exh.
42 Harding, Daniel H. 20717368 Sgt. 04/29/44 mine WIA
43 Jaeger, Edward J. 20717461 SSgt. 04/29/44 mine WIA
44 Stanko, George 32376864 Tech 5 05/04/44 exh.
45 Van Hove, Arnold A. 20717354 Tech 5 05/03/44 ? WIA
46 Canfield, Leo H. 20717148 Cpl. 05/07/44 Accd.
47 Britton, William P. 37043301 Pfc. 05/20/44 R/Mg WIA
48 Phillips, Harold H. 20717523 Sgt. 05/20/44 R/Mg WIA
49 Western, John J. 33741933 Pvt. 05/20/44 R/Mg WIA
50 Brich, Richard J. 20717395 Cpl. 05/22/44 Art/M WIA
51 Hoskins, Edward E. 20717567 Sgt. 05/22/44 exh.
52 Urban, Joe NMI 39179871 Sgt. 05/22/44 exh.
53 Brazil, Anthoney C. 31234938 Pfc. 05/23/44 R/Mg WIA
54 Pahl, Jack A. 20717795 Sgt. 05S/23/44 R/Mg WIA
55 -Hullinger, Clifford 20717453 1st Sgt. 05/24/44 Appendix
56 Monge, Ernest 32322185 Pvt. 05/24/44 ?
57 Brown, Arnold W. 20717337 Sgt. 05/27/44 R/Mg WIA
58 Pahl, Jack A. 20717798 Sgt. 06/01/44 R/Mg KIA
59 Schilling, Russell R. 0-1105795 1st. Lt. 06/01/44 Mine WIA
60 Chipman, Ralph S. 34735245 Pvt. 07/05/44 AC-LOD
61 Dunn, George 33417364 Pfc. 08/02/44 Mine WIA
62 Tanoury, Anthony J. 36864767 Pfc. 08/21/44 Burns WIA
63 Johnson, William R. 34281159 Pvt. 09/02/44 ? WIA
64 Lazaro, Joseph C. 31079260 Pfc. 09/08/44 Mine WIA
65 DeCrease, Angelo 35747831 Pfc. 09/12/44 Wreck
66 Merritt, Charles J. 39837344 Pvt. 09/12/44 Wreck
67 Hendon, Perrin P. 36758654 Pvt. 09/12/44 Wreck
68 Leonard, Arthur W. 36826911 Pvt. 09/12/44 Wreck
69 Parker, Clifford L. 36417548 Pvt. 09/12/44 Wreck
70 Wishard, Fred W. 39236751 Pvt. 09/12/44 Wreck
71 Bauer, Erwin A. 0-1108957 1st. Lt. 09/16/44 Art/M WIA
72 Horner, Austin V. 0-1595581 2nd Lt. 09/16/44 Art/M WIA
73 Davids, Donald L. 20716054 Tech 5 09/24/44 Art/M WIA
74 Babcock, Francis G. 32350826 Pvt. 09/29/44 ? WIA
75 Bumpus, William R. 36902461 Pvt. Oct. 4 Art/M WIA


DEATH CASUALTY BIOGRAPHIES -109TH COMBAT ENGINEER BATTALION
(WORLD WAR II 1942 -1945)

2 BADER, CHARLES E. - Technician 5th Grade - Company "C" (Butte County, South Dakota): Charles Bader was originally a National Guardsman with Company "F" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Sturgis, South Dakota. The date was October 31, 1943. Company "C" was near Ailano, Italy, and Charles Bader had decided to bury a nearby dead German. As Bader had finished burying the German, he stuck the shovel into the loose dirt nearby and tripped a "Bouncing Betty" mine. The mine canister sprung up out of the ground and sprayed all around with metal fragments. Bader had extensive perforation wounds of his right thigh and arm, and the left side of his abdomen. Bader's left leg was also fractured in several places. Bader died at (18:15) hours at the 109th Medical Battalion Clearing Station. "It is believed several men were wounded from the blast. (See also: Fitzpatrick, Thomas J. #19). Bader is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (I) - Row (12) - Grave (71).

3. BEAN, WILLARD W. - Private - Company "A": On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Willard Bean in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66) .

4. BELENSKY, MICHAEL W. - First Lieutenant - Company "A" - 2nd Platoon - Platoon Leader (Washington, D.C.): Lieutenant Belensky joined the Battalion during its training in Ireland. Belensky was first wounded on November 25, 1943, While the 2nd Platoon was preparing a bridge by-pass. Belensky received a penetrating wound in his left arm. Belensky was sent to the aid 109th Medic's Clearing Station, and he returned to the Company on November 26, 1943. The 133rd Infantry was trying to flank the German positions at Mt. Pantano. On December 3, 1943 a "Bouncing Betty" mine killed Lieutenant Belensky, and the Company Commander was wounded in the blast. Belensky's death was the second time he had been wounded in action. Belensky is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (C) - Row (1) - Grave (38).

5. BESTGEN, LEO T. - Technician 4th Grade - Company "C" (Sturgis, South Dakota) Leo Bestgen was a National Guardsman with Company "F" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Sturgis, South Dakota. After the fighting in Tunisia ended, the Engineers conducted an Engineer school. On or about June 5, 1943, there was a demonstration on disarming mines. Lieutenant Scott Crichton was carrying a German "butterfly" bomb when it exploded. The blast killed Leo Bestgen and Lt. Scott Crichton. (See also: Crichton, Scott M. 15b). Bestgen is buried at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia in Plot (I) - Row (20) - Grave (8).

6. 
BIANCHETTI, LOUIS E. - First Lieutenant - Company "B" - Company Headquarters (New Jersey):  Lieutenant BIANCHETTI joined the Battalion while it was training in Ireland. It is believed BIANCHETTI was lightly wounded in his left thigh by an artillery shell fragment on or about December 1, 1943, west of Scapula, Italy. BIANCHETTI led quite a few reconnaissance patrols in North Africa and Italy. Lieutenant BIANCHETTI was killed on April 10, 1944, while leading a detail on the Anzio beachhead about five miles northeast of Casale Campomorto, Italy (toward Cisterna di Latina); this village has been renamed Campoverde in 1958. BIANCHETTI and Sgt. Robert A. Harris led a detail to lay mines out in front of Company "C" - 135th Infantry's positions. The detail came under fire, and Sgt. Harris withdrew his men. At that point, they discovered that two of the men from the detail were missing. BIANCHETTI went out with some men to find the two missing men. 
They had just located the missing men when the Germans opened up on the group with machine gun fire. Lieutenant BIANCHETTI was severely wounded in the chest, and Pvt. Joseph King was wounded in the leg. The group withdrew, and was not able to evacuate BIANCHETTI. A search party went out the following night to recover Bianchetti's body. BIANCHETTI is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (J) - Row (6) - Grave (51). These coordinates match with the grave of Bianchetti Louis E. in Nettuno Cemetery

7. BLEDSOE, DERALD G. - Staff Sergeant - Company "B" (Fall River County, South Dakot
a): Derald Bledsoe was a National Guardsman with Company "D" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Hot Springs, South Dakota. In North Africa, Sergeant Bledsoe went on some reconnaissance patrols with the 34th Reconnaissance Troop, and he regularly led reconnaissance parties for Company "B". Sergeant Bledsoe was promoted to staff sergeant on November 14, 1943. On February 3, 1944, Company "B" was bivouacked one and one-half miles west of Portella, Italy. Company "B" was working on widening the mule trails south and east of Cairo, Italy so that the weapons carriers could drive on them. They also were keeping the trails open, taping trails for night movement. The Company was under constant artillery fire while working in this vicinity. On February 6, 1944, Sergeant Bledsoe was killed by German artillery fire, along with Pfc. Goeden and Pfc. Wolf. (See also: Goeden, Emil A. #22; Wolf, Valentine J. #65).

7b. BREAULT, RAY M. Sergeant - Company "B" 2nd Platoon (Minnehara County, South Dakota): Corporal Ray Breault was promoted to sergeant on November 14, 1943. After the 34th Division was relieved in late July 1944, the units of the division went to a rest camp near Rosignano, Italy. A mine school for selected personnel from each of the units in the 34th Division was started at the rest camp. NCOs from each units of the 109th Engineers taught the school. On August 2, 1944, a truck loaded with men from the 109th Engineers and other units of the 34th Division blew up at Vada, Italy. The truck had been parked at the time when someone tossed a fuzzed mine into the back of the truck during the class that day and blew up the truck. Sergeant Raymond was one of the men in the truck who were killed. The official cause of the explosion was never determined. (See also: Maxvold, Lawrence E. #36b; Raymond, Enoch W. #47; Skala, Leonard C. #53).

9. BRZOZOWSKI, ARTHUR E. - Private (Cuyahoga County, Ohio): Arthur Brzozowski was killed in action on January 3, 1944. Brzozowski's death was the second time he had been wounded in action. (See also: Brenner, Lester M. #8; Estrada, Jose #17; Raymond, Harold M. #48). Brzozowski is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (E) -Row (1) - Grave (23).
10. CALLOWAY, MARVIS - Sergeant - Company "B": Marvis Calloway joined Company "B" as a corporal on May 1, 1942. Calloway was promoted to sergeant on December 9, 1942. Sergeant Calloway was seriously}' wounded by a mine explosion in the vicinity of Livorno, Italy on July 22, 1944, and died after being evacuated to the medics on that same day. (See also: Boyd, Robert G. #7; Cullers, Hollie G. #16).

11. CHRISTENSEN, ROBERT L. "BOB" - Corporal - Company "A" (Lake County, South Dakota): Bob Christensen was a National Guardsman with Company "A" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Medison, South Dakota. On March 30, 1943, Company}' "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Bob Christensen in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" -was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66) .

13 COMEAU, LEO J. - Private First- Class - Company "A" (Essex County, Massachusetts): Leo Comeau was promoted to Pfc. on November 8, 1943. During the night of May 22, 1944, Leo Comeau was a member of a four-man detail to clear a path for the infantry's breakout from the beachhead. The four were making a gap in the wire and minefield in front of the 133rd Infantry's positions when they came under heavy mortar fire. Comeau and at least one other man from this detail were killed in this incident. (See also: Spencer, Philip J. #56). Comeau is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (G) - Row (1) - Grave (16).

14. CORBETT, DEWEY E. - Private - Company "C": De\-ley Col.-bett was a member of a platoon from Company "C" (led by 1 Lt. T. F. Karge) that was assigned to the 168th Infantry. Private Dewey Corbett was seriously wounded by flying shrapnel during a shelling. Corbett was evacuated to the hospital where he died on March 28, 1943.

15 CRICHTON, SCOTT M. - 1st Lieutenant - Company "C" - Platoon Leader (Brookings, South Dakota): Scott Crichton was a National Guardsman with Company "B" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Brookings, South Dakota. It is believed that Crichton was a sergeant, and received his commission as a 2nd Lt. when the unit went to Camp Claiborne. Crichton was assigned to Company "c" in Northern Ireland on April 8, 1942. Crichton was promoted to 1st Lt. Later while in Northern Ireland. Crichton took part in the Algiers landings on November 8, 1942. Crichton accompanied the troops of the 168th Infantry on numerous patrols in Tunisia. On February 26, 1943, Crichton was leading a reconnaissance patrol and was fired upon by the Germans. Crichton narrowly escaped with his life. He was forced to lay motionless in a slit trench for six hours until he could escape. He later found four bullet holes in his field jacket where the bullets tore across the back. Crichton had another close call at Hill 609. 's platoon prepared a wadi crossing for the tanks to cross over at the foot of Hill 609. The platoon was under constant artillery fire during this time, and one artillery round impacted only a few feet from RICHTON. It had been a dud round. RICHTON surely would have been killed if the round had exploded. After the fighting in Tunisia ended, the Engineers conducted an engineer school near Mateur, Tunisia. On or about June 5, 1943, there was a demonstration on disarming mines. Lieutenant Scott Crichton was carrying a German "butterfly" bomb when it exploded. The blast killed Lt. Scott Crichton and Leo Bestgen. (See also: Bestgen, Leo T. 4b).

19 F'ITZPATRICK, THOMAS J. - Private - Company "C" (Schenectady County, New York): The date was October 31, 1943, and Company "C" was near Ailano, Italy. Charles Bader had just finished burying a dead German when his shovel tripped a "Bouncing Betty" mine. The mine canister sprung up out of the ground and sprayed all around with metal fragments. Fitzpatrick had severe head injuries from the explosion, and he was dead upon arrival at the 109th ~1edical Battalion's Clearing Station. It is believed several men were wounded from the blast. (See also: Bader, Charles E. #2). Fitzpatrick is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (G) - Row (1) - Grave (42).

22. GOEDEN, EMIL A. - Private First Class - Company "B": It is believed that Emil Goeden joined the 109th Engineers at Camp Claiborne in 1941. Goeden was a corporal at Ft. Dix when the unit was re-organized into a battalion at Camp Claiborne in February 1942. Goeden was promoted to sergeant on December 11, 1942. After the end of the North African campaign, Goeden was demoted to a private because he went AWOL for two days during May 1943. Goeden was promoted to Pfc. on July 19, 1943. On February 3, 1944, Company "B" was bivouacked one and one-half miles west of Portella, Italy. Company "B" was working on widening the mule trails south and east of Cairo, Italy so that the weapons carriers could drive on them. They also were keeping the trails open, taping trails for night movement. The Company was under constant artillery fire while working in this vicinity. On February 6, 1944, Pfc. Goeden was killed by German artillery fire, along with Sgt. Bledsoe and Pfc. Wolf. (See also: Bledsoe, Derald G. #6; Wolf, Valentine J. #6S).

23. HALEY, GEORGE W. - Technician 5th Grade - Company "A" (Brookings, South Dakota): George Haley was a National Guardsman with Company "B" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Brookings, South Dakota. Haley was later transferred to Company "A". It is thought that Haley was killed in action sometime during October 1944.

22. HORNER, AUSTIN V. - Second Lieutenant (New Castle County, Delaware): Second Lieutenant Horner was killed in action on October S, 1944. Horner's death was the second time he was wounded in action. Horner is buried at the American cemetery near Florence, Italy in Plot (G) - Row (13) - Grave (lS).

23 JOHNSON, VIRGIL O. - Technician 5th Grade - Company "B" - 1st Platoon (Medison, South Dakota): Virgil Johnson was a National Guardsman with Company "A" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Medison, South Dakota. Johnson was later transferred to Company "B" - 109th Combat Engineer Battalion. Private Johnson was promoted to Pfc. on October 26, 1942, and to Technician 5th Grade on November 23, 1942. The Engineers sometimes had problems with getting the infantry units they were supporting to provide them with men to help them. One example of this \~as on April 13, 1944, Virgil Johnson and another man, by the name of Barton, were sent to the 13Sth Infantry to lay wire. Once they got there, the infantry outfit would not supply them with a work detail to help them lay the wire. On the night of April 22, 1944, Virgil Johnson went out on another work detail on the Anzio beachhead, about one and one-half miles northwest of Isolla Bella, Italy. Johnson was sent up to lay mines in front of an infantry company. Johnson was accidentally shot and killed by the troops of the 13Sth Infantry while he was out in front of the company positions laying mines.

24 KAISER, BENJAMIN L. "BEN" - Technician 5th Grade - Company "B" (Hot Springs, South Dakota): Ben Kaiser was a National Guardsman with Company "D" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Kaiser was promoted to Pfc. on July 1, 1942, and to Technician 5th Grade on January lS, 1943. Kaiser went on detached service with the 13Sth Infantry on November 8, 1942, and rejoined the company in Africa on January 9, 1943. During the night of July 18, 1944, 3rd Platoon of Company "B" became the first troops to enter Leghorn. The platoon was clearing mines on the road from Gabbro to Leghorn. They encountered no Germans, so they continued into town thinking it had already been liberated. Once they made their way into Leghorn, they discovered there weren't any American troops there. A short while later, a patrol from the 91st Division arrived. On July 20, 1944, Company "B" set up camp on the outskirts of Leghorn,. The company found that Leghorn and the surrounding area had been heavily mined. On that day, Ben Kaiser and John Machnik were killed by an S-mine on the beach one-half mile south of Vada, Italy. Kenneth A. Helseth and Roy T. Franze were wounded in the blast. (See also: Machnik, John F. #35).

25 KIPP, HOWARD F. - Private First Class - Company "B" - 1st Platoon (New York County, New York): Darl W. Gray recalls that there was a kid by the name of Kipp who was accidentally shot and killed on or about June 21, 1944. The Battalion was moving by truck to the Grocetto, Italy vicinity. Kipp was involved with trading a German or Italian pistol while riding in the truck: A loaded American (.45 caliber) pistol was also being handled, and Kipp was accidentally shot from about two feet away. Gene Pfeifer was sitting right across from Kipp when he was shot. Pfeifer thought that Kipp was dead when he was lifted out of the truck. It is believed that Kipp died on or about July 26, 1944.

26. KLINE, CARL J. - Staff Sergeant - Company "B" (Hot Springs, South Dakota): Carl Kline was a sergeant with South Dakota National Guard Company "0" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Kline was promoted to staff sergeant on September 12, 1942. On March 31, 1943, the battalion was in a cactus patch north of Dj. Touile, which was still held by the Germans. The Germans had been sending harassing fire into the valley, but the location of the German guns could not be located. This prevented any advance on the Germans in this valley. During the morning, a company of American tanks, and a tank destroyer battalion attacked toward Dj. Touile. Their mission was to make a thrust toward the Germans in order to locate the enemy gun positions. The engineers had a perfect view of the operation. Enemy artillery and mortar fire forced the tanks to withdraw. By early in the afternoon, the tanks had withdrawn and got into a position where the enemy guns could not get to them. With no tanks to fire upon, the Germans discovered the presence of the engineers, and began to shell the Battalion area at (13:25) hours. The concentrated barrage lasted forty minutes. There were about thirty-six shell bursts, and another twenty-two "dud" .shells, hit the battalion area. Two men were killed during this shelling. Staff Sergeant Kline was killed from a direct hit on his slit trench. (See also: Peterson, Melvin E. #45). Kline is buried at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia in Plot (C) -Row (4) - Grave (7).

27. KOLBE, RICHARD F. - Private - Company "B" - 3rd Platoon (Cuyahoga County, Ohio): Richard Kolbe joined Company "B" as a replacement in North Africa on May 1, 1943. During the entire day of November 9, 1943, an area south of Montequila, near Hill 321, was swept for mines. Sergeant Murray's squad worked from (08:30) hours until (12:00) hours. Sergeant Calloway's squad worked the detail from (13:00) hours until (17:00) hours. The details discovered many S-mines and Teller mines. This included (44) mines in a draw leading up to Hill 321. At (17:00) hours, S/Sgt. Russell White discovered an S-mine. White called Kolbe to come over with the mine detector. Apparently the s-mine was booby-trapped, because it exploded as Kolbe came over to S/Sgt. White. Kolbe was seriously wounded by the blast, while White was killed. Kolbe received lacerations of his back and head in the explosion. Kolbe was evacuated to the 109th Clearing Station, then to the 15th General Hospital, where he died on November 10, 1943. (See also: White, Russell W. #63).

28. KONICEK, DONALD L. - Private - Company "C" (Tama County, Iowa): On March 26, 1943, Private Don Konicek was killed instantly when he triggered a mine while helping to clear a minefield. Konicek is buried at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia in Plot (F) - Row (4) - Grave (1). \

29. KOOPMAN, HENRY M. Private First Class - Company "A" - 2nd Platoon - Weapons Squad: On November 1, 1943, Company "A" was moving to a new bivouac area. It was just after (16:00) hours when several German fighter planes swept up through the valley. The low-flying aircraft bombed and strafed the vehicles from the 2nd Platoon with (20-mm) cannon fire. Bombs were dropped on both sides of the half-track. Sergeant Henry Sorenson, Tech 5 Wilfred Weiss, Tech 5 Lester Davis, and Pfc. Joe Keller were operating the (.50 caliber) machine guns and returning fire. Weiss had just called for more ammunition, and Henry Koopman, Dene Gile, and Walter Burket were taking ammo out from the side well of the half-track was hit by a bomb blast, and set on fire. Koopman, and the others were wounded in the blast. Koopman received a severe shrapnel wound in his neck. Koopman died from his wounds in the hospital on November 17, 1943. (See also: Sorenson, Henry #55; Weiss, Wilfred P. #62).

32. LA FAVE, CLEO W. - Private First Class - Company "A" (Gregory County, South Dakota): On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Cleo La Fave in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66).

34. LOESCH, ROGER S. - Technician 5th Class - Company "A" - Driver (Kingsbury County, South Dakota): Roger Loesch was a National Guardsman with Company "A" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Medison, South Dakota. On March 30, 1943, Company "A" "Tas laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Roger Loesch in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66). Loesch is listed as Missing In Action at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia.

36. MARCHISEN, MICHAEL W. - Private - Company "A" (New Jersey): On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Michael Marchisen in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Moore, Walter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66). Marchisen is buried at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia in Plot (H) - Row (2) - Grave (5).

36 MAXVOLD, LAWRENCE ELMER - Technician 5th Grade - Headquarters and Service Company (Beadle County, South Dakota): Lawrence E. Maxvold was originally with Company "B", serving as a Pfc. Maxvold was transferred to Headquarters and Service Company on June 29, 1942. Maxvold was promoted to Tech 5 while with Headquarters Company. After the 34th Division was relieved in late July 1944, the units of the division went to a rest camp near Rosignano, Italy. A mine school for selected personnel from each of the units in the }4th Division was started at the rest camp. NCOs from each unit of the 109th Engineers taught the school. On August 2, 1944, a truck loaded with men from the 109th Engineers and other units of the 34th Division blew up at Vada, Italy. The truck had been parked at the time when someone tossed a fuzzed mine into the back of the truck during the class that day and blew up the truck. Sergeant Raymond was one of the men in the truck who were killed. The official cause of the explosion was never determined. (See also: Breault, Ray M. #; Raymond, Enoch W. #47; Skala, Leonard C. #53).
.
37. MC CRAY, LEE D. - Corporal - Company "B": Lee McCray was promoted to Pfc. on March 11, 1942, and to corporal on October 1, 1942. On March 9, 1943, eight men from Company "B" were wounded from a minefield explosion near Rohia, Tunisia. Corporal McCray was seriously wounded in the explosion, and evacuated back to the hospital. It is believed that Mc Cray died at a British hospital (8th Evacuation Hospital) on March 16, 1943.

38. MC LAUGHLIN, ROBERT - Private - Company "C" (New York): On November 5, 1943, the 1st and 3rd Platoons of Company "C" were checking for mines and booby-traps in an area one mile south-west of Santa Maria Olivetto - Campobasso, Italy. There were numerous S- Mines and trip wires found and disarmed. Robert Mc Laughlin was killed at (14:00) hours on that day when he accidentally stepped on an S-Mine. Mc Laughlin is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (I) - Row (13) - Grave (47).

39. MINIER, GENE F. - Technician 5th Grade - Company "A" (Brookings, South Dakota): Clif Hullinger remembers Gene Minier well. The two went to college together at SDSC (South Dakota State College) and went into the Guard together. Gene Minier was a National Guardsman with Company "B" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Brookings, South Dakota. Minier's father was a Major in the South Dakota National Guard. Minier was later transferred to Company "A". It is believed that Minier was killed at Anzio. Sergeant Edward J. Jaeger was with Minier when he died. Jaeger was Minier's squad leader and Jaeger took his squad out one night at Anzio. Minier was seriously wounded and Jaeger carried Minier out piggyback to the aid station. Jaeger found that Minier was dead by the time he got him back to the aid station.

39 MOORE, ISAAC C. - Private - Headquarters and Service Company (Polk County, Iowa): It is believed that Isaac Moore joined the Engineers at Camp Claiborne in 1941. Moore was serving with Company "B" when he was promoted to Pfc. on July 1, 1942. Moore was transferred to Headquarters and Service Company on November 18, 1942. Moore died from some sort from a non-battle-related injury on June 19, 1943. (See also: Hansen, James W. #23b). Moore is listed as Missing In Action at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia

40. MOORE, WALTER - Private First Class - Company "A": On r1arch 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Walter Moore in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66) . \

41. ONEIL, JAMES J. - Private - Company "A" (Hennepin County, Minnesota): On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing James O'Neil in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, vvayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66). O'Neil is buried at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia in Plot ©) - Row (7) - Grave (4).

42. ORTMAYER, LELAND R. - Private First Class - Company "A" (Miner County, South Dakota): Leland Ortmayer was a National Guardsman with Company "A" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Medison, South Dakota. On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Bob Christensen in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; O'l~eil, James J. #41; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66). Ortmayer is buried at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia in Plot (B) - Row (2) - Grave (7).

43. PAHL, JACK A. - Sergeant - Company "A" (Lawrence County, South Dakota): Jack Pahl was corporal with National Guard Company "E" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Lead, South Dakota. Pahl was transferred to Company "C" - 109th Combat Engineers at Fort Dix in 1942. Pahl was transferred to Company "A" while in Ireland. Pahl was eventually promoted to sergeant also. It is believed that Pahl was killed during the Anzio breakout near Cisterna, Italy during late May 1944.

43 PARDY, JAMES G., JR. - Private - Company "A" (Kingsbury County, South Dakota): James Pardy was an original South Dakota National Guardsman with Company "A". It is believed that Pardy took up a residence in Lincoln County, Arkansas while training at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. On September 11, 1942, Pardy was riding a dispatch motorcycle in the town of Irvinestown, Northern Ireland when he was struck and run over by an Irish farmer on a tractor. Pardy was severely injured with a fracture of his left femur, patella and tibia. It is believed that Pardy died of shock on or about September 13, 1942. Pardy was initially buried in the Belfast City Cemetery on September 16, 1942. Pardy is buried at the American cemetery at Cambridge, England in Plot (0) - Row (6) - Grave (94).

44. PARLEE, ROGER T. - Technician 5th Grade - Company "B" (Beadle County, South Dakota): Roger Parlee was Pfc. with Company "C" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Huron, South Dakota. It is believed that Parlee was transferred to Company "B" - 109th Combat Engineer Battalion. Parlee was promoted to Technician 4th Grade on June 1, 1942. Parlee was demoted back to January 22, 1943. Parlee was promoted back to Tech 4 on February 8, 1943. Almost a month later, the First Sergeant busted Parlee back to a private on March 7, 1943. Parlee was promoted to Pfc. on June 19, 1943. Parlee was later promoted to Technician 5th grade on May 14, 1944. Parlee was killed on July 21, 1944, about two miles north of Leghorn, Italy when an anti-tank mine exploded. The Company Commander, Lt. Mangler, was wounded in the explosion, along with T/4 Snyder. Snyder died from his wounds after being evacuated. (See also: Snyder, Donald B. #54) .
.
45. PETERSON, MELVIN E. - Private First Class - Company "B" (Mower County, Minnesota): Melvin Peterson was an original with the National Guard. Peterson was assigned to Company "B" on March 23, 1942. Peterson was promoted to Pfc. on December 4, 1942. On March 31, 1943, the battalion was in a cactus patch north of Dj. Touile, which was still held by the Germans. The Germans had been sending harassing fire into the valley, but the location of the German guns could not be located. This prevented any advance on the Germans in this valley. During the morning, a company of American tanks, and a tank destroyer battalion attacked toward Dj. Touile. Their mission was to make a thrust toward the Germans in order to locate the enemy gun positions. The engineers had a perfect view of the operation. Enemy artillery and mortar fire forced the tanks to withdraw. By early in the afternoon, the tanks had withdrawn and got into a position where the enemy guns could not get to them. With no tanks to fire upon, the Germans discovered the presence of the engineers, and began to shell the Battalion area at (13:25) hours. The concentrated barrage lasted forty minutes. There were about thirty-six shell bursts, and another twenty-two "dud" shells, hit the battalion area. Two men were killed during this shelling. Pfc. Melvin Peterson was killed from a direct hit on his slit trench. (See also: Kline, Carl J. #28). Peterson is buried at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia in Plot (H) - Row (7) - Grave (11).

47. RAYMOND, ENOCH W. "JACK" - Sergeant - Company "B" (Rosebud, South Dakota): Darl W. Gray recalls that Sergeant Raymond was a half-blooded Sioux Indian who grew up near Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Gene Pfeifer and Jack Raymond grew up together. The two lived only a few miles from each other. They went to school together and attended the same church. Jack Raymond was promoted to Technician 5th Grade on July 1, 1942. Raymond was promoted to corporal on October 7, 1943, and to sergeant on April 12, 1944. After the 34th Division was relieved in late July 1944, the units of the division went to a rest camp near Rosignano, Italy. A mine school for selected personnel from each of the units in the 34th Division was started at the rest camp. The school was taught by NCOs from each unit of the 109th Combat Engineers. On August 2, 1944, a truck loaded with men from the 109th Engineers and other units of the 34th Division blew up at Vada, Italy. The truck had been parked at the time when someone tossed a fuzed mine into the back of the truck during the class that day and blew up the truck. Sergeant Raymond was one of the men in the truck who were killed. The official cause of the explosion was never determined. (See also: Breault, Ray M. #7b; Maxvold, Lawrence E. #36b; Skala, Leonard C. #53).

51. SATRE, WAYNE K. - Sergeant - Company "A" - Squad Sergeant (Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota): Sergeant Wayne Satre was a National Guard private with Company "B" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Brookings, South Dakota. Satre was later transferred to Company "A" - 109th Combat Engineer Battalion and promoted to sergeant. On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Sergeant Satre in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. Lt's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66). Satre is buried at the American cemetery near Carthage, Tunisia in Plot (H) -Row (3) - Grave (8).

52. SIEP, CHARLES F. - Private First Class - Company "C" - 1st Platoon (Kingsbury County, South Dakota): Charles Siep was a National Guardsman with Company "B" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Brookings, South Dakota. It is thought that Siep was transferred to Company "A", and later transferred to Company "C". During November 1943, Company "C" was clearing mines and working on improving infantry trails northwest of Montequila, Italy. On November 22, 1943, 1st Platoon of Company "C" was clearing mines in the bivouac area for the 3rd Battalion - 168th Infantry near Montaquilla, Italy. Charles Siep was part of that mine clearing detail on that rainy November day. It is believed that Private Bernard Maurer was operating the detector and found a "Bouncing Betty" mine at about (11:30) hours. Siep uncovered the mine, and was about to disarm it when it bounced up and exploded. Siep was killed by the blast, and Maurer was wounded. The blast had caused a compound fracture of Siep's left arm, and he had shrapnel wounds in his shoulder and face.

54. SNYDER, DONALD B. - Technician 4th Grade - Company "B" (Fall River County, South Dakota): Donald Snyder was a National Guardsman with Company "0" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Hot Spring, South Dakota. Donald Snyder was promoted to Technician 4th - Grade on July 1, 1942. It is believed that Donald Snyder was awarded the Bronze Star medal (date and circumstance unknown). Snyder died on about July 21, 1944 when he was seriously wounded about two miles north of Leghorn, Italy by an anti-tank mine explosion. Roger Parlee was killed immediately, and the Company Commander, Lt. Mangler, was wounded in the explosion. Snyder died from his wounds after being evacuated. (See also: Parlee, Roger T. #44).

55. SORENSON, HENRY - Sergeant - Company "A" - 2nd Platoon - Weapons Squad (Roslyn, South Dakota): Henry Sorenson was a National Guard Pfc. with Company "B" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Brookings, South Dakota. Sorenson was later transferred to Company "A" - 109th Combat Engineer Battalion, and promoted to sergeant. On November 1, 1943, Company "A" was moving to a new bivouac area. It was just after (16:00) hours when several German fighter planes swept up through the valley. The low-flying aircraft bombed and strafed the vehicles from the 2nd Platoon with (20-mm) cannon fire. Bombs were dropped on both sides of the half- track. Sergeant Henry Sorenson, Tech 5 Wilfred Weiss, Tech 5 Lester Davis, and Pfc. Joe Keller were operating the (.50 caliber) machine guns and returning fire. Weiss had just called for more ammunition, and Henry Koopman, Dene Gile, and Walter Burket were taking ammo out from the side well of the half-track was hit by a bomb blast, and set on fire. Sorenson and Weiss disregarded this and continued firing until they became severely wounded by an explosion. It is believed that Ellison and Harding pulled Sorenson from the fire. Sorenson's left wrist was broken and he had multiple lacerations on his chest, left thigh, and left leg. Sorenson was in shock, and was taken to the 109th Medical Battalion's Clearing Station, where he died at (21:30) hours. Henry Sorenson was posthumously awarded a Silver Star medal for his devotion to duty in the face of such grave danger. (See also: Koopman, Henry M. #31; Weiss, Wilfred P. #62).

56 SPENCER, PHILIP J. - Private - Company "A" (Glenn County, California): Philip Spencer joined Company "A" as a replacement on November 21, 1943. During the night of May 22, 1944, Philip Spencer was a member of a four-man detail to clear a path for the infantry's breakout from the beachhead. The four were making a gap in the wire and minefield in front of the 133rd Infantry's positions when they came under heavy mortar fire. Spencer and at least one other man from this detail were killed in this incident. (See also: Comeau, Leo J. #14). Spencer is buried at the Americar, cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (D) - Row (12) - Grave (13).

57. STANTON, WILLIAM R. - Private - Company "A": On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing William Stanton in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or .artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, 11ichael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58; Yaworski, John C. #66).

58. THOMAS, JOSEPH R. - Private - Company "A": On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A" with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing Joseph Thomas in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" wa.s killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Iflalter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Yaworski, John C. #66).

59. TURNER, WILLIAM L. "BILL" - Private - Company "" (Lead, South Dakota): Bill Turner was a National Guard corporal with Company "E" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Lead, South Dakota. Turner was transferred to Company "C" - 109th Combat Engineer Battalion at Fort Dix in 1942. Turner and five other engineer buddies joined the British commandos while in Ireland. Turner took part in the landings near Algiers, and several commando raids. The other buddies who joined the commandos were: Le Roy Anderson; Jerry Gorman; Richard Griffin; Andrew Hjelvik; Kenneth Scissions. Turner returned to Company "C" at Maktar, Tunisia sometime during March 1943. It is believed that Bill Turner was slightly wounded on October 31, 1943. Charles Bader had set off a "Bouncing Betty" mine while burying a dead German. The mine canister sprung up and sprayed all around with metal fragments. On November 4, 1943, the 1st and 2nd Platoons of Company "C" cleared mines from both sides of the Vo1turno River and the trail leading to the main road. Bill Turner was severely wounded on November 4, 1943. Turner had multiple wounds in his abdomen. Turner was evacuated to the 109th Clearing Station. Turner died from his wounds on December 17, 1943. Turner is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (D) - Row (15) - Grave(38) .

60. WATERS, VELORIS E. - Private - Company "A" (Lake County, South Dakota): Veloris Waters was a National Guardsman with Company "A" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Medison, South Dakota. Waters was killed on June 26, 1944.

61. WAYNE, MILTON J. - Sergeant - Company "B" (Steele County, Minnesota): Milton Wayne was promoted to Pfc. on February 17, 1942. Wayne was promoted to corporal on January 30, 1943, and to sergeant on August 1, 1943. During the advance on Cecina, Italy, Company "B" was assigned to sweep the roads leading through the towns of Surereto, Castagneto, and Bibona. A mine explosion killed Sergeant Wayne on July 1, 1944, while on a minesweeping detail about two miles south of Cecina, Italy.
.
62. WEISS, WILFRED P. - Technician 5th Grade - Company "A" - 2nd Platoon - Weapons Squad (Pipestone County, Minnesota): On November 1, 1943, Company "A" was moving to a new bivouac area. It was just after (16:00) hours when several German fighter planes swept up through the valley. The low-flying aircraft bombed and strafed the vehicles from the 2nd Platoon with (20-mm) cannon fire. Bombs were dropped on both sides of the half-track. Sergeant Henry Sorenson, Tech 5 Wilfred Weiss, Tech 5 Lester Davis, and Pfc. Joe Keller were operating the (.50 caliber) machine guns and returning fire. Wilford Weiss had just called for more ammunition, and Henry Koopman, Dene Gile, and Walter Burket were taking ammo out from the side well of the half-track was hit by a bomb blast, and set on fire. The half-track had been hit, and set on fire. Weiss and Sorenson disregarded this and continued firing until they became severely wounded by an explosion. It is believed that Ellison and Harding pulled Weiss to safety. Weiss had shrapnel wounds in his right shoulder and right thigh. Weiss was taken to the 109th Medical Battalion's Clearing Station, where he died on November 4, 1943. (See also: Koopman, Henry M. #31; Sorenson, Henry #55).

63. WHITE, RUSSELL W. - Staff Sergeant - Company "B" - 3rd Platoon (Fall River County, South Dakota): Russell White was a sergeant with Company "B" - 109th Engineer Regiment out of Hot Springs, South Dakota. White was later promoted to staff sergeant while with Company "B". The First Sergeant demoted White to sergeant on May 13, 1942. White was promoted back to staff sergeant on June 1, 1942. During the entire day of November 9, 1943, an area south of Montequila, near Hill 321, was swept for mines. Sergeant Murray's squad worked from (08:30) hours until (12:00) hours. Sergeant Calloway's squad worked the detail from (13:00). hours until (17:00) hours. The details discovered many S-mines and Teller mines. This included (44) mines in a draw leading up to Hill 321. At (17:00) hours, S/Sgt. Russell White discovered an S-mine. White called Kolbe to come over with the mine detector. Apparently the S-mine was booby-trapped, because it exploded as Kolbe came over to White. White was killed with severe lacerations to his head. Kolbe was seriously wounded by the blast, and later died from his wounds. (See also: Kolbe, Richard F. #29) . White is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (H) - Row (9) - Grave (36).

65 WOLF, VALENTINE J. - Private First Class - Company "B" (Steele County, Minnesota): Valentine Wolf was a National Guard original. Wolf was promoted to Pfc. on May 1, 1943. On February 3, 1944, Company "B" was bivouacked one and one-half miles west of Portella, Italy. Company "B" was working on widening the mule trails south and east of Cairo, Italy so that the weapons carriers could drive on them. They also were keeping the trails open, taping trails for night movement. The Company was under constant artillery fire while working in this vicinity. On February 6, 1944, Pfc. V. Wolf was killed by German artillery fire, along with S/Sgt. Bledsoe and Pfc. Goeden. (See also: Bledsoe, Derald G. #6; Goeden, Emil A. #22). Wolf is buried at the American cemetery near Nettuno, Italy in Plot (I) - Row (11) - Grave (63).

66. YAWORSKI, JOHN C. - Private - Company "A" (Broome County, New York): On March 30, 1943, Company "A" was laying mine fields in the wadis near Qued Zeroud (in the vicinity of Hadjeb el Aioun, Tunisia) to block the possibility of an enemy tank attack through there. At about (12:00) hours, a huge smoke cloud billowed into the sky followed by a tremendous roaring explosion. A truck from Company "A” with a load of (450) mines had exploded, killing John Yaworski in the blast. The cause of the explosion was unknown. The truck was standing still, and the neutralized mines were being unloaded. It's suspected that the explosion was triggered by the activation of an unexploded aerial bomb or artillery shell. An entire twelve-man squad from Company "A" was killed. (See also: Bean, Willard W. #3; Christensen, Robert L. #13; La Fave, Cleo W. #32; Loesch, Roger S. #34; Marchisen, Michael W. #36; Moore, Walter #40; O'Neil, James J. #41; Ortmayer, Leland R. #42; Satre, Wayne K. #51; Stanton, William R. #57; Thomas, Joseph R. #58).

UNCONFIRMED ADDITIONS

1. NAZARCHYK, MICHAEL - Corporal - Company "A” (Columbia County, Pennsylvania): Michael Nazarchyk joined Company "A" as a replacement sometime while the company was in North Africa. Nazarchyk was eventually promoted to corporal. It is believed that Nazarchyk died from an accident on December 23, 1944.

2 comments:

  1. I am looking for any details regarding the circumstances under which my Uncle Goerge Poulos was killed as the cause on this blog was a question mark. Among his effects which i inherited, were some classified documents on the Tunisian campaign, Sicily, and Italy where he was killed. where he had circled whom i fugured were his buddies. William Cawley KId, and a Cammille J. Judice who i still believ is alive and in Port Aurthur Texas.
    If anyone can tell me anything regarding his cause of death and details, please email me at worldclasswiring@gmail.com or call 219-933-3059
    Best wishes, and with respect,Christopher Poulos

    ReplyDelete
  2. While reading this blog I came across the name of Pvt. Joseph King. My father's name was Joseph King from Reliance, SD. I was wondering if it was the same man. I know he was with the 34th Division during WW2 and was in Africa and Italy. In the blog it was mentioned that Pvt. Joseph King was wounded in the leg. If anyone could let me know any more information about this Joseph King I would greatly appreciate it. Please email me at rinder@mit.midco.net Thank you so much. Rhonda King

    ReplyDelete