Corporal, Nursing Orderly in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (W.A.A.F)
Lydia Alford was the first of three women known as "the Flying Nightingales" to land in a battle zone after D-Day. She was a nursing orderly in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (W.A.A.F), and flew on the first RAF transport plane to evacuate the wounded from the Normandy battlefields. The "Flying Nightingales" had to cope with treating soldiers suffering from a horrifying array of injuries, ranging from field amputations, extensive burns, colostomy wounds, and severe facial injuries.
Forest V. Amelio
Private First Class, US Army, Company L, 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge
Killed In Action 10 December 1944 near Haganau, France. Buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery St. Avold, France. Plot E Row 45 Grave 30· He was thirty years old at the time of his death.
Corporal, US Marines, Scout / Sniper, First Scout Company, First Division, Guadalcanal
On 8 December 1941, Fred Balester, Jr., seventeen years old and in his first year at Bucknell Junior College in his home town of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, rushed off to join the Army Air Corps. Not qualifying for flight training, he joined the Marines. He was discharged in March 1945. He became a scout and Balester was point on 60-70 scout missions, eventually being dubbed "Snowshoes" for his delicate and stealthy step.
William P. Barber, Sr.
Technical Sergeant, 35th Regiment, 25th Infantry Division
Combat Infantryman Badge, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon with 1 Battle Star, Good Conduct, Philippine Leberation Ribbon with 1 Battle Star, Occupation Ribbon, and the Philippine Independence Ribbon
Fought in Luzon, the Philippines from 1944 to 1945 as a radio operator and rifleman with the 35th Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Communications Chief, Technical Sergeant, and later in the Army of Occupation in Japan. Submitted by William Barber, Sr.
Homer L. Braddock
Master Sergeant, US Army, 544th Transportation Company
Homer Braddock was born in Arkansas and moved to Michigan in 1935. Braddock landed at Normandy and earned five battle stars. He is currently a member of the VBOB and VFW in Corunna, Michigan. His company commander made a visit to our farm here in Michigan two years ago. As his nephew, I went on the 60th Anniversary trip to Belgium in 2004 and walked in his footsteps. In the Village of Sprimont, Belgium, I met a 66 and 68 year old man and woman, respectively, who then were only six and eight. I have photos of the 544th in Sprimont and pictures of Uncle Homer and men in his company being awarded medals for the Ardennes Campaign. Capt. Lipcon told of the German captured trying to drive a Jeep loaded with explosives into US lines. They executed him the next day. Submitted by nephew, Gary Higgins.
Pasquelle "Pat" Capparelle
Staff Sergeant, Co B, 150th Combat Engineer Battalion
Bronze Star, Purple Heart
As part of the 150th Combat Engineer Battalion, Staff Sgt Pat Capparelle assisted in building 26 bridges, including two over the Rhine River. Several of those bridges were built under fire from small arms, artillery, mortars and Luftwaffe aircraft. After 5-6 months in England, they landed on Omaha Beach in mid-June, 1944. The 150th built and fought their way out of Normandy and took part in the Battle of the Bulge. They were acquired into Patton's Third Army and went with him through Germany and finally ended up in Czechoslovakia. At some point, they were building a bridge and the Germans fired on them. A Senior Sergeant was shot and couldn't move. In the face of bullets everywhere and no cover, Pat ran over to him and dragged him to safety. For this he received the Bronze Star. Submitted by grandson, Michael Fanell
1st Sergeant, 739th Field Artillery
In 1943, Ernest Coffman, an Pennslyvanian, volunteered for the US Navy but was turned down due to bad eye sight. He was later drafted into the US Army and was assigned to the 739th Field Artillery Battalion (8 Inch Howitzers). In July 1944, Coffman arrived in Britain on the SS Queen Elizabeth, and crossed the English Channel for Normandy on August 30, 1944. He served as a cannoneer and fired upon Isle de Cezembre, Fort Driant, and other Nazi held forts along the Moselle River. On Oct. 27, 1944, Coffman was wounded when shrapnel hit his ankle while jumping head first into a foxhole. This wound caused him to stay out of combat for the rest of the war and also resulted in Coffman receiving the Purple Heart. He returned to the US in May 1945 and continue to serve his nation until his retirement as a 1st Sergeant in 1969.
Private First Class, Co.E, 345th Regt, 87th Infantry Division
From Newark, NJ, Frank was KIA, 17 December 1944 in the Saar Basin. During very heavy shelling and machine gun fire, Frank bravely went forward to find the machine gun. That was the last he was seen. Frank was a very good soldier and a great comrade, giving his life for his country and the people of europe to free them of bondage. He is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold (Moselle), France. Submitted by James Hennessey.
Milton B. Conger
Private First Class, US Army, L Co., 3rd Bn, 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division
Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge
Milton "Pete" Conger was born on October 1, 1924, in rural Kansas. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. Milton grew up in Kit Carson County, Colorado, and entered the Army immediately following graduation from high school. In the Forest of Parroy, Milton and one of his buddies captured four German soldiers. Mr. Conger received the Combat Infantry Badge and the Croix-de-Guerre from the French in 1997. After the war, Milton returned home to Colorado where he worked as a carpenter and building contractor, operating Conger Construction. Milton and his wife Marjorie raised three daughters: Linda Kay (Malm), Nancy Lee (Brown), and Connie Rae (Ogle). Mr. Conger is a charter member of VFW Post 6491 and is also a member of American Legion Post 60.
Private First Class, US Army, 3rd Bn, 325th Glider Infantry, 82nd Airborne
Bronze Star (3), Distinguished Unit Citation, Purple Heart
Born 27 September 1919, Joseph Milford Cupp passed away on 27 March 2010. Joe was inducted into the United States Army on March 24, 1942, rising to the rank of Private First Class serving in company "I" of the 194th Glider Infantry, later reorganized in March of 1944 as the 3rd Battalion, 325th Glider Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division. Joe received occupational specialty training as mortar gunner. He landed on the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day invasion of the European continent and fought in the later campaigns of the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhineland. He was wounded in combat in during the Battle of the Bulge in the Adrienne Belgium. He received 3 Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Ribbon, a Distinguished Unit Citation, a Combat Infantryman Badge and a Glider Badge. He was honorably discharged form the Army on September 19, 1945 at the separation center at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. After leaving the service of his country, Joe was trained as a Linotype Operator, first working for the Greenville Sun newspaper in Greenville, Tennessee and later at the Cincinnati Enquirer, retiring in 1980. He enjoyed dancing and he attended numerous 82nd Airborne reunions. He was a huge basketball fan and once shot 23-3 point shots in a row. He had resided in Madison since 1978 and he was a favorite sight shooting hoops in his driveway on Michigan Road. Joe was known for his patriotism and his love of country. He loved to share his experiences during World War II with younger generations by giving talks at local schools and youth organizations. He was a member of the Jefferson Post # 9 of the American Legion, Post 1969 of Veterans of Foreign Wars, a member of the Madison Moose Lodge and a member of Calvary Baptist Church. Joe died Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 10:16 a.m. at The Water's of Clifty Falls in Madison, Indiana.
Private First Class, US Army, I Co., 3rd BN., 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division
My uncle was a member of I Co., 3rd Batn., 314th Infantry. He was KIA 11/14/44 at Fremonville. He was 19 years old and was killed by mortar fire while crossing a railroad into a field. He was also at the rest area before his death at Luneville, where I understand Private Melvin (www.privateletters.net) did the same. I have a letter from my Uncle "Boogie's" (nickname) squad leader describing how and where he died. I have two sons in the Army at present and they are fascinated by the history of our military family during WWI, II, Korea. My oldest son was in Desert Storm, he spent one year in Iraq, with a return trip this coming year. My youngest will be going there later in '05. I found your web site very interesting, and feel a lot of pride in all the Americans who served and now serve. Thank you for sharing. Sincerely, Cindy McKnight