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Mi Seal 2 Lg

Bill Beigel Researches Michigan WWII Casualties, MIAs, and POWs

These summaries are posted to honor these selfless men from Michigan who served and lost their lives. This list includes Medal of Honor recipient 1st Lt. George H. Cannon ~ Bill Abel, Andrew W., TEC5, Camp McCoy, died of “poisoning acute, carbon tetra chloride, adema, pulmonary”, 12/21/44 at Station Hospital, Fort Sheridan, IL. TEC5 Abel was on temporary duty assisting the Postal Department as a truck driver. While at Antlers Hotel in Milwaukee fell asleep in bed; a fire occurred, and...
American Legion Badge1
American Legion Badge1
American Legion Badge1
American Legion Badge1

Brooklyn honors immigrant son, SGT John Sardiello

SGT John Sardiello was born on August 17, 1918.  Like many of the men who served in World War 2, he was the descendant of immigrants. His parents, Joseph and Mildred (Millie), came to the United States in 1913.  Joseph Sardiello established a mattress-making business in Brooklyn. On January 24, 1941, Sardiello entered the Army, and was assigned I Company of the 119th Infantry Regiment, part of the 30th Infantry Division He was killed in the ferocious post D-Day fighting in the...
Francis Brown Wai, Medal of Honor Winner
Francis Brown Wai, Medal of Honor Winner
Francis Brown Wai, Medal of Honor Winner
Francis Brown Wai, Medal of Honor Winner
Francis Brown Wai, Medal of Honor Winner
Francis Brown Wai, Medal of Honor Winner
Francis Brown Wai, Medal of Honor Winner
Francis Brown Wai, Medal of Honor Winner

Medal of Honor Recipient Capt. Francis Wai

Francis Brown Wai was born on April 14, 1917, in Hawaii. Francis was the son of Kim Wai and Rosina Wai. Kim Wai had immigrated to Hawaii from China; in Hawaii, where he established himself as a successful banker and was both well-known and well-regarded. Francis, Kim's eldest child, had three brothers and one sister. Francis was an avid athlete and graduated from Hawaii's elite Punahou High School in 1935. He attended Sacramento Junior College from 1936 - 1937, where he played quarterback in...
333rd FS, 318th FG, 7th Army Air Force
333rd FS, 318th FG, 7th Army Air Force
333rd FS, 318th FG, 7th Army Air Force
333rd FS, 318th FG, 7th Army Air Force
333rd FS, 318th FG, 7th Army Air Force

Memorial Day: 1945

Memorial Day, May 30, 1945.  The War in Europe is over, but the bloody struggle in the Pacific continues on, with no end in sight. P-47 "Jugs" of the 318th Fighter Group were raiding targets on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.  This mission was a so-called “Heckler” mission. These raids had no specific target; the intent was to harass and attack whatever target they might come across. The weather was bad; it was listed as “completely closed in” at the base of the 318th on the...
Just Plain Lonesome Nichols Crew
Just Plain Lonesome Nichols Crew
Just Plain Lonesome Nichols Crew
Just Plain Lonesome Nichols Crew
Just Plain Lonesome Nichols Crew

“Presumed Deceased, Remains Not Recovered”

It was Tuesday, May 30, 1944.  Memorial Day. 83 B-17’s of the 1st Bombardment Division were in the air. Their target was the aircraft industry factories at Dessau, Germany, where the Elbe and Mulde rivers converge in Saxony. According to Squadron records, the crew of B-17 tail # 42-39975, nicknamed “Just Plain Lonesome”, of the 1st Bombardment Division’s 91st Bomb Group, had averaged 16 missions flown each.  A tested, veteran crew. But at about 11:15 AM, the ‘Flying Fort’...
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885

“Maxwell House”

The desperate search for 2nd Lt. Peter Pokrifcsak The letter was dated July 2, 1944.  Like so many tens of thousands written during the War, it was a plea for information, any information at all.  It was written by Ellen Kroboth, girlfriend of 2nd Lieutenant Peter G. Pokrifcsak and friend of his family. (Ellen's last name is misspelled in the typed letter.) Chaplain Frank L. Whitney: I am writing on behalf of Lt. Peter Pokrifcsak’s family and myself.  We want to thank you very...
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III

B-Beer

Like many young Americans, Carl Joseph Van Horn, of Columbus, Ohio, was eager to “get into the fight.” So, in July of 1941, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, and was trained as a navigator. When America entered the war in December of 1941, Van Horn stayed with the RCAF, while being assigned 12th Replacement Depot of the United States Air Corps. While flying out of Coningsby, he flew a number of night missions, as Commonwealth crews typically did. He was credited with flying...
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke

Caboose Blue Section

It was June 6, 1944. The 4th Fighter Group, flying the P-51 Mustang, was on a fighter sweep over Northern France in support of the D-Day landings taking place that day. No one saw the Mustang, piloted by 1st LT Harold L. Ross, Jr., of Greensboro, NC, go down. The only description of his last mission came from 1st LT Ralph K. "Kidd" Hofer, himself shot down and killed less than a month later, on July 2, 1944. “I was leading ‘Cobweb Red Section.’ We were split up due to abortives, so...
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts

“Ace”

It was May 22, 1944. The 61st Fighter Squadron was over Rotenburg, Germany. Flight Officer (soon to be promoted to 2nd Lieutenant) Evan D. McMinn, of Pittsburgh, with the 56th Fighter Group (http://www.56thfightergroup.co.uk/index.html), described what happened next: Flight Officer McMinn had become an “ace,” the designation awarded when five or more enemy aircraft had been destroyed. Two weeks later, on D-Day, June 6, 1994, the newly-promoted 2nd Lieutenant McMinn was with his...
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast

“Hit By My Own Blast”

The target of the 353rd Fighter Group on June 6, 1944, was a grouping of German armored trucks and other vehicles, six miles south of Mortain, France. A P-47 Thunderbolt, piloted by Flight Officer Earl W. Green, dove towards the target. His flight leader, Captain James N. Poindexter (himself shot down and killed over Germany months later, on January 3, 1945) reported that: F/O Green, 23 years old, from Klamath Falls, Oregon, had been in the military just short of four years. He was...
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