John E. McAuliffe
Private First Class, US Army, M Company, 347th Regiment, 87th Infantry Division
Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal, German Occupation Medal, Combat Infantry Badge
I was a member of the heavey weapons Company; 81mm mortars; and participated in the Ardennes Campaign; Rhineland and Central Germany Campaigns. I am a member of the VBOB National Org. and have founded the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the VBOB and serve as President. I have made four returns to Belgium and Luxembourg joining the people of Belgium and Luxembourg celebrating their liberation and freedom. It is a distinct pleasure and honor to do so. Thank you for placing my thoughts on your wonderful web-site, so that all may appreciate and understand the sacrifices these soldiers made for the Freedom of our friends in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Thanks too you for this site honoring the WW-II Veterans. God Bless You and yours and "Carry On". Submitted by John "Mac" McAuliffe.
Thomas Roberts (Bob) Millar
Flying Officer, Royal Australian Air Force
1939-45 Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Australia Service Medal 1939-45, Polish Home Army Medal 1939-1945, Warsaw Insurgents Cross 1944
Bob was born in Narromine NSW and educated in Sydney becoming Dux of his schools in 1932 and 1934. He graduated from Sydney University in 1939 with a Bachelor of Economics degree and then obtained an administrative position with the Sydney Gaslight Company. In January 1942 he married Elizabeth Grace Thompson before enlisting in the RAAF on 22nd May of that year as a volunteer for flying duties. Their daughter, Anne Elizabeth , was born on 3rd February 1943.
In January 1944, Bob was transferred to Italy joining 205 Group 104 Squadron RAF until July 1944, taking a Leading Bombaimer course during part of June /July 1944. He was stationed at Foggia Main Air Base, west of Bari and took part in sorties to Italy, Yugoslavia, Austria, Hungary and Romania. He also flew numerous sorties to Warsaw dropping supplies to beleaguered partisans who had risen against the German occupation forces.
On 12 October 1944, 16 Liberators of 31 Squadron and 4 of 34 Squadron SAAF took off on a supply dropping mission to Italian partisans in the mountains of northern Italy. There were 4 different drop zones with five planes allotted to each site. Each plane had 8 crew. They took off in late afternoon knowing that they would be flying in the night as they approached the north. Bob was aboard 31 SAAF Liberator KH158 piloted by Major Urry, SAAF - drop zone [DZ] "Morris" ENE of Genoa. The crew was truly representing the Commonwealth being composed of 5 SAAF, 2 RAF & 1 RAAF as follows:
- Major S.S. Urry SAAF, age 29 born South Africa, 1st Pilot
- Lt G.A. Collard SAAF, age 19 born South Africa, Navigator
- 2nd Lt P.J.Lordan SAAF, born South Africa, Air Gunner
- WO 1 L.B. Bloch SAAF, born South Africa, Air Gunner
- Lt N.W. Armstrong SAAF, born South Africa, Air Gunner
- F/O G.E. Hudspith RAF, age 29 born England, 2nd Pilot
- Sgt R.C. Fitzgerald RAF, age 19 born England, Sgt Air Gunner
- F/O T R Millar RAAF, age 28 born Australia, Observer/Bombaimer
The weather was bad with poor visibility and few crews were able to see the drop site fires so many drops were aborted. Of the 20 planes that set out 6 failed to return. Four crashed high in the mountains, one crashed near Cantalupa but the sixth disappeared without a trace. The wreckages of the crashed planes were eventually found but there was no news of the sixth Liberator. The crew members of the sixth Liberator, KH158, with Bob among the crew members, were officially posted missing - a sad ending for brave men. The disappearance of KH158 has yet to be solved. ~ Submitted by daughter, Anne Elizabeth (Millar) Storm.
Royal Australian Air Force
Alan Monaghan died 7 September 2007. He was a true hero. On 8 July 1944, he managed to keep control of the Lancaster ME831 which was on fire, in order to allow his crew members to bale out of the aircraft. The six crew jumped and landed safely and Alan jumped just before the Lancaster crashed in Normandy. He baled out so low that he broke a foot when he landed but he managed to evade capture, and spent his escape time in a house in Saint-Pierre-des-Fleurs. ~ Submitted by Loic Lemachand, Normandy France
Private First Class, US Army, Co. M, 2nd Platoon, 302nd Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division
European African Middle Easter Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Badge
James Osman entered the US Army in September 1943. He was transported to Scotland via the Queen Elizabeth in August 1944. He was captured during a Nazi counterattack on the city of Nennig, Germany on January 21, 1945. He was interred in Stalag XIIA and transferred in late February 1945 to Stalag IXB in Bad Orb, Germany. He was liberated on April 2, 1945. ~ Submitted by son, James Osman.