Home > News & Advice > Culture & History > They Fought Nazis

They Fought Nazis

by Jessica Campbell

That’s why everyone calls them the “Greatest Generation.”

Among the deaths this week that have moved us profoundly, two stand out together. One was that of a supercentenarian who survived the brutalities of the Holocaust and whose long, full life was a repudiation of the Nazis who took his family from him. The other was a 32-year-old woman standing up for her fellow Americans in the face of hatred, and paying the ultimate price.

As we remember Yisrael Kristal and Heather Heyer, we also pay tribute to a few of the many recently passed who fought against the Nazis during World War II. It’s why they’ve been called the “Greatest Generation”: They fought Nazis in the hopes that we wouldn’t have to.

Alfred Bucci (1922–2017) Polk City, Florida

“He was on the third boat that touched down on Omaha Beach and was the only soldier in his regiment to survive the Nazi barrage on D-day.”

Read more

Lester Van Loon (1924–2017) Wautoma, Wisconsin

“Lester served in the Army during WW II with the 11th Armored Division and the 21th Armed Infantry. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Lester experienced the horrors of war by liberating Nazi concentration camps. He referred to the war as, ‘Man’s inhumanity to man.'”

Read more

Genevieve Ruth Chapman (c. 1922–2017) Bloomington, Minnesota

She “enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps as 2nd Lieutenant (WWII) … deployed with the 77th Field Hospital to Tavistock, England … before being sent to St. Valery-en-Caux, Camp Lucky Strike (89th Division), a RAMP Camp (Recovered Allied Military Personnel) treating the newly released allied prisioners of war, many suffering from malnutrition. After the German surrender, her unit was sent to Germany, first to Kassel and then Nuremberg (315th General Hospital). She attended the Nuremberg Trials when Goring and other Nazi criminals were on trial.” 

Read more

Norman Caulk (1921–2017) Boise, Idaho

“Dad served in the army in World War II and spent 2 years in the European theater. That service included his claim to fame as a survivor of the sinking of the Leopoldville in the English Channel on Christmas Eve 1944 as well as being awarded the Bronze Star for heroism and courage while saving another soldiers life under fire from Nazi Forces. We are proud of his service.”

Read more

Deacon Walter Butler Sr. (c. 1923–2017) Springfield, Massachusetts

“A World War II Army veteran, he earned the coveted Purple Heart while stationed in Normandy, France.” 

Read more

Kenneth Curry (1923–2017) Calgary, Alberta, Canada

“While serving in Germany during the final stages of the war Ken was one of the liberators of the Bergen-Belsen Death Camp where they found more than 10,000 unburied dead. Although Ken did not talk much about his war experiences, he did often mention the time whereby he noticed movement during the burial of these victims and, due to his quick actions, he was able to save a 16 year old female from the mass burial and delightedly stated that she was helping out in the kitchen just three weeks later. Because of his ability to speak both Polish and German, Ken went on to work with the Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence service hunting escaping Nazi SS criminals by interviewing concentration camp victims.”

Read more

Harry Wilson (1920–2017) Orange County, California

“Harry was drafted into the Army where he served for 3 years in Europe fighting the Nazis. He fought bravely for his country and was involved in many infamous World War II battles such as: The Battle of the Bulge, The Remagen Bridge Head and the Ruhr Pocket. It was during these ferocious battles that Harry developed an unflinching hatred of war, guns and gun violence.”

Read more

Maria Dixon-Watts (1924–2017) Urbana, Ohio

“Mia Linssen Dixon was a patriot in World War II as an active member of the Dutch Resistance Movement from 1940 through 1944.”

Read more

Bruce Victor Eby (1926–2017) St. Clair Shores, Michigan

“He survived the Battle of the Bulge only to stay and take part in the release and relocation of Jews and other captives from Nazi Concentration Camps.”

Read more

James Luther Butler (1923–2017) Lynchburg, Virginia

“He spent more than two years in Germany with the Corps of Engineers and was a clerk typist. He later served in the Pacific zone. He was a Corporal in the United States Army from December 14, 1944 to January 14, 1946. He received the American Theater Service Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.”

Read more

Gerhard Joseph Fonken (1928–2017) Austin, Texas

“Dad’s life followed a common, but by no means ordinary, early 20th century American theme. He immigrated as a baby through Ellis Island with his mother and brother, escaping the hardscrabble chaos and brutal economic depression of Weimar Germany … In 1935, Dad and his family returned to Germany for an extended visit with relatives and to consider moving back, but made a quick return to the States after witnessing the fevered spectacle of a Nazi rally, including a speech by Hitler … Upon graduation from high school, Dad enlisted in the army and served with the infantry in Europe during the WWII occupation period.”

Read more

Fede “Fay” Barone (1926–2017) Tallyville, Delaware

“Fay fought with the Italian Resistance during WWII against the Nazis.”

Read more

John Rhoid Foster (1920–2017) Richmond, Virginia

“He and his crew, members of the 18th Bomb Squadron, 34th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, flew their first mission in the B-17 “Bottoms Up” on September 17, 1944 over Arnhem in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Johnny went on to fly a total of 30 bombing missions over France and Germany, completing his last one over Dülmen, Germany on March 26, 1945. He returned to base in England on numerous occasions in a badly damaged aircraft carrying wounded and dying crew members. On one mission a flak hit caused fuel loss, which necessitated the pilot of Johnny’s Flying Fortress to abort the trip back to England, flying instead over East Prussia and to the safety of an air base in the Soviet Union. There, the crew was warmly welcomed by their Russian counterparts, feted with vodka, fed and given a place to sleep.”

Read more

Clifford Allen (1926–2017) Plainwell, Michigan

“He was born March 28, 1926 in Warrior, Alabama where he lived until he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Cliff served the United States Army and Air Force with pride and dedication.”

Read more

Herman Freudenberger (1922–2017) Houston, Texas

“Professor Freudenberger was born in Eberbach, Germany in 1922 and escaped the Holocaust in 1934 thanks to a little known American Jewish foster program which allowed him to join the Berlozheimer family in Chicago, Illinois. He volunteered for the U.S. Army at age 19 to fight against the Nazi malignancy in his birth country, honorably discharged as a Staff Sargent Millitary Intelligence, in 1946.”

Read more

Fred A. Vandermeulen (1927–2017) Arlington, Texas

“Fred was born on July 31st, 1927 in The Netherlands. Fred’s life was one of service to others. During WWII he and his entire family supported the Allies in the underground during the Nazi occupation.” Read more


Ilse Adams (1920–2017) Augusta, Georgia

“She survived the horrors of World War II along with her two sisters, Meta and Charlotte, although their parents did not. Forced to work in a Nazi POW camp, her English skills led to work for the Allies after the war…” Read more

Nicholas Gentile (1920–2017) Miami, Florida

“Nick was a highly decorated WWII hero and veteran of the Allied Invasion of Normandy. As part of the U.S. Army’s 63rd Infantry Division, he fought his way across France and into Germany, participating in the decisive Rhineland Campaign. Ending in Landsberg, Germany in late April 1945, his unit captured several concentration camps in the region, liberating more than 900 Jewish prisoners.” Read more

Elbert T. Hudson (1921–2017) Los Angeles, California

“During World War II, Hudson flew a P-51 Mustang as member of the Tuskegee Airmen, escorting bombers on 23 combat missions in the Mediterranean theater of operations.” Read more

Neal Hawkins (1922–2017) Emmett, Idaho

“Fighting across Europe and culminating in the Battle of the Bulge, he experienced the true horror of the Nazi regime when participating in the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp.” Read more

Amy Ashworth (1924–2017) Ojai, California

“Amy grew up in the Netherlands, the youngest of nine children in a blended family. As a young woman she worked as a nurse during World War II in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam an experience that proved to be formative in her life-long passion for justice…” Read more

Harry R. Burgess (1925–2017) Des Moines, Iowa

“He served in Europe in the 89th Infantry Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Harry was also recognized (1995) by the Jewish Community Relations Commission of Greater Des Moines as an allied soldier who participated in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.” Read more

Florence McInally (1924–2017) Ventura, California

“During World War II, she started her work life in Hull and beginning in 1943 was involved in German radio communications decoding with the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park, which led to the defeat of the Nazis. Florence never spoke of this top-secret position until a few years ago when it was officially released as public information.” Read more

Joe Lee Amerson (1926–2017) Fort Worth, Texas

“An Army veteran, he was an ordnance truck driver and marksman during World War II.”  Read more

Georgette Shelden (1924–2017) Lakeport, California

“During her teenage years Georgette’s life dramatically changed with the death of her father and the rise of Hitler’s Nazi Germany bringing about WWII. As the Germans descended upon Georgette’s hometown of Valence, she left her school and joined the French Underground … Georgette left her family behind and went to live and work with the Resistance for 6 months … During this time, Georgette became a courier. Georgette served as a link in a message relay system; getting critical information to groups hiding in the high mountains of France. Many of the documents Georgette carried was information instrumental in the sabotage and destruction of trains carrying munitions to the Nazis. Georgette also helped forge passports for many Jewish people trying to flee the country.” Read more

Joe Cannon (1923–2017) Lacon, Illinois

“He enlisted in the Army at age 19, serving his country as a fighter pilot in the 357th Fighter Group, flying 72 missions over Nazi Germany.” Read more

Gertrude Slom Merlin (1920–2017) Wilmington, North Carolina

“She, her three sisters, her brother, and her parents lived a happy life in Sosnowiecz prior to the invasion of Poland by the Nazis in September 1939. Under occupation, she hid from the Nazis for several months, but was eventually taken from her home in the middle of the night, just as has been portrayed in many movies. She never saw her parents, two of her sisters, or her brother again … She ended up in the worst of the extermination camps, Auschwitz/Birkenau, where she was forced to work in an ammunition factory. Being secretly resistant, she attempted to sabotage the Germans by filling shells with incorrect amounts of powder.” Read more 

Georgette Amelie Beirlant Davisson (1924–2017) Laguna Woods, California

“During the German occupation of Belgium in world War II, the Beirlant family was expelled from their home by the Nazis who used it as their local headquarters. In 1940, Georgette was mobilized as an active member of the Red Cross, to care for wounded civilians and military. During the liberation, she remained at her post on the front line for 11 days in the field hospital … She herself had become a war casualty, suffering head wounds which required reconstructive surgery, and left permanent scarring.” Read more

Herman Cranman (c. 1924–2017) Savannah, Georgia

“During World War II he flew 34 missions over Nazi occupied Europe. His bomber group participated in some of the most dangerous missions over Ploesti, Romania and other enemy targets and they were often escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen. Herman was shot down over Hungary on July 14, 1944 and held as a Prisoner of War in Germany until he was liberated by General George S. Patton in Nuremberg on April 28, 1945.” Read more

Earl Dewitt Bobo Jr. (1922–2017) Poinciana, Florida

“During his tour in Normandy, he was honored with a European African Middle Eastern Service medal, a good conduct medal as well as the World War II victory medal.” Read more

Francis Thomas Barley (1927–2017) Homosassa, Florida

“While stationed in Europe at the close of WWII, Frank was assigned the duty of guarding Nazi prisoners who were awaiting war crimes trial.Read more

Leokadia Z. Rowinski (c. 1924–2017) Holyoke, Massachusetts

“In 1939, after the Nazis occupied Poland, Leokadia secretly continued her education even though this was a crime punishable by death. She joined the Polish Home Army and as a member of the Underground Resistance received intensive training as a war nurse and later as a communication technician, acquiring knowledge of radio, field telephone, map reading and use of firearms. Captured after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, she spent six months in three German POW camps.” Read more

Takashi Frank Sugihara (1921–2017) Tustin, California

“His college education was interrupted by World War II and his family’s relocation to Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming. As soon as his 4C (enemy alien) status was lifted, he volunteered to serve in the US Army’s 442 Regimental Combat Team (442nd), the Japanese-American Army combat unit, where he received the Bronze Star …  In 2011, along with other surviving veterans of the 442nd, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of extraordinary patriotism, courage and selflessness in combat in spite of discrimination and adversity at home.” Read more

Robert Garza (1924–2017) San Antonio, Texas

“His unit was part of the Normandy-France D-Day invasion landing on Utah Beach. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the war.” Read more

John C. “Pappy” DeVanie (1924–2017) Austin, Texas

“He served with the 509 Parachute Infantry Battalion as a Pathfinder in Operation Dragoon establishing a second front against the Nazi’s in Southern France. He jumped into the darkness on an early August morning and fought the Nazis with valor and distinction.” Read more

Mathilde van Dillen-Clinton (1919–2017) San Francisco, California

“The Nazis invaded her beloved Holland in 1940 and, in 1943 she met and married a young Dutch intelligence officer, Paul van Dillen. Together they joined forces with the underground Dutch Resistance Movement to help secure the food supplies for Holland. They had a number of dangerous encounters with the Nazis, which Babes later chronicled in her book, Give Terry A Bone.” Read more 

Willie Roy Aaron (1925–2017) Canton, Georgia 

“Immediately upon graduation from Commercial High School in Atlanta, he enlisted in the US Army and quickly rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant during World War II (1943-1945) … He experienced intense fighting in the Battle of Normandy, the Battle of The Bulge, the Ardennes Rhineland Campaign, and the Central Europe Campaign. His combat units of assignment were the 631st Tank Destroyer Company in Southern France, the 3rd US Army during the 100-mile march to Bastogne, Belgium and the Battle of The Bulge, and Company A, 512th Military Police Battalion during the liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps.” Read more

Molly Blatt (c. 1920–2017) Brookline, Massachusetts

“Molly left Germany alone at age 18. Her father died in Gurs prison camp. The Nazis murdered many of her relatives. Her mother and brother Henry fled in 1940, but he was drafted into the army and died in combat … Until her final days, Molly, a consummate storyteller, recounted vivid details of the rise of the Nazis … Immigration restrictions by the United States led directly to the murder of many Jews by the Nazis. No one could enter the country without an affidavit from an American citizen.” Read more

Charles Leidl DeTemple (1925–2017) Fern Prairie, Washington

“Charles graduated from Camas High School before serving with the 70th Infantry Division in France and Germany during WWII. In September 2015, Charles was presented with the French Medal of Honor for his part in liberating France.” Read more

Henry Beben (1921–2017) Warren, Ohio

“In 1942, Henry joined the Army Air Force, and served as a top turret gunner in the 303rd Bombardment Group — known as the original “Hell’s Angels” — stationed at Molesworth, Cambridgeshire, England. On January 11th 1944, Staff Sergeant Henry Beben and his B17 crew flew in the First Division attack … on an aircraft factory in Oschersleben, Germany. The First Division engaged enemy aircraft over 400 times while flying through constant flak from antiaircraft fire, successfully reaching the target and inflicting significant damage. However, in that single raid 42 heavy bombers were lost. Over 430 airmen failed to return to Molesworth: Henry and his crew were among them…” Read more

Raymond Cloutier (1924–2017) Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Mr. Cloutier served in WW2 as a radio operator in the US Army for the European Theater Operation. He landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, France and earned a Bronze Star for his bravery during the Battle of the Bulge. He participated in the liberation of the Nazi internment camp at Nordhausen.” Read more

Patrick J. Clune (1922–2017) Prairie Village, Kansas

“He served in the 34th Bombardment Group earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Oak Leaf Clusters and completed 36 missions over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.” Read more

Gilbert Herrera (1921–2017) Folsom, California

“During World War II, Gilbert served his country as a member of the Army Air Corp. He saw combat in the European Theater, including Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.” Read more

Renate Ragsdale (1927–2017) Great Falls, Montana

“During World War II, she was taken by the Nazi’s and forced to work as a seamstress for them. She spent 2 years in the concentration camp before escaping…” Read more

Earle H. Klock (1925–2017) Walnut Creek, California

“On October 6, 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and subsequently served in World War II with the U.S. Seventh Armys 45th Infantry Division (the Thunderbirds) in the European Theatre. His service included invasion of southern France on August 15, 1944, fighting north through France, and liberating cities including Grenoble. For heroic achievement in action on December 7, 1944 near Oberbronn, France whereby then Private Klock volunteered to carry wounded men across an open field as mortar and artillery fire were directed upon him, Earle was awarded the Bronze Star. He and his fellow soldiers spent most of that winter in the Vosges Mountains, breaking through in the spring to fight as far north as Nuremberg, Germany, and then on to Munich as their final objective. On April 29, 1945, Earle took part in the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany.” Read more

Daniel Kovner (1921–2017) Agoura Hills, California

“Danny, a member of what is known as the ‘Greatest Generation,’ joined the Army during World War II in September 1942. He was a member of the US Army 250th Field Artillery Battalion. During the war he was stationed in England and drove through France, Austria and Germany. He stated that the worst day of his life was the day he and his division liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, Germany. A memory that haunted him all his life.” Read more

Anne-Marie De Moret (1925–2017) Tampa, Florida

“She served in the French underground during the Nazi occupation during World War II.” Read more

Quirino Colaizzi (d. 2017) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“During his service in the Italian Army, Quirino was held captive by the Nazi forces for six months. He emigrated to America in 1956 and became a proud US citizen.” Read more

Santo Recupero (1924–2017) Camarillo, California

He was “part of the ‘Greatest Generation’ as he bravely fought in the US Army’s artillery division in WW2. During his tour of duty, he participated in the Battle of the Bulge, D Day +3, and helped liberate a Nazi death camp. All experiences which shaped and stayed with him the rest of his life.” Read more

George Domitrovich (1923–2017) Portland, Oregon

“On Feb. 6, 1945, after completing its 10th mission over Normandy, it was shot down. George bailed out and was immediately captured by Nazi Germans and held captive as Prisoner of War until war’s end.” Read more

Merle Garrett (1923–2017) Chillicothe, Ohio

“As an awarded Army Air Force Staff Sergeant, he and his B-17 crew were shot down September 6, 1943, and went missing in action. They were held captive in Stalag 17B Nazi Prison Camp for 22 months.” Read more

Henry Long (c. 1924–2017) Watchung, New Jersey

“Mr. Long proudly served in the United States Army Air Corps, 15th Air Force, in World War II … He was a man of peace who fought against tyranny. Long set the Air Force flying record, by completing 50 combat missions in 65 days. He volunteered and was selected by Major Ascani to fly in the lead plane on a Top Secret Classified Mission into Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia, to support the Slovak National Uprising. His crew landed behind enemy lines to bring supplies and rescue flyers, and leaders of the uprising.” Read more

Sam Sorokin Landers (1919–2017) Laguna Hills, California

“Sam was a WWII veteran and POW. He was captured in France in 1944 and was incarcerated at three Nazi POW camps: Stalag 3A Luckenwald, 3B Elb River, and 12A Limburg. He was freed by Russian troops in April 1945.” Read more

Everett C. Powell (1924–2017) Hendersonville, North Carolina

“He enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 and fought in World War II as an Infantry Rifleman. After being wounded by shrapnel in 1944, he was captured by the Nazis and imprisoned in a camp in Neubrandenburg, Germany.” Read more

Gene Russell (1923–2017) Olathe, Kansas

“Shortly after school, he answered the call of duty by joining the army in 1943, to fight in WWII. His unit, a part of the famed 12th Armored Division, ‘Hellcats,’ was captured in Germany following the D-Day Invasion and he spent 99 days in Stalag 5A. He never talked about this. When questioned about his time in the German POW camp, he showed no malice toward his captors. He simply said, ‘the Germans were suffering too.'” Read more

Max Fuentes (1926–2017) San Antonio, Texas

The Greatest Generation lost one of its greatest members on June 7th, 2017 … He served in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. The Rhineland campaign advanced from Paris to the Rhine beginning August 25, 1944 and the Central Europe campaign comprised the Western Allied invasion of Germany. The Central Europe campaign was the decisive Allied victory that secured the fall of Nazi Germany…” Read more

Penina Krupitsky (1924–2017) Little Rock, Arkansas

“Born in Chernovitz, Romania, Nina was only 15 when the area was occupied by the USSR and 17 when she had to flee Nazi invaders. Nina was a Holocaust survivor and while serving as an interpreter during World War II, she met her husband of 64 years, Emmanuel.” Read more

Joseph Rogillio (1918–2017) Baton Rouge, Louisiana

“He served in WWII as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, 506th PIR (The Screaming Eagles). He parachuted into occupied France on D-Day and fought in the hedgerows of Normandy. He parachuted into Holland and fought his way up the ‘Hells Highway’ in Operation Market-Garden. He was one of the ‘Battling Bastards of Bastogne’, surrounded by the Germans at Bastogne on Christmas 1944, in the Battle of the Bulge. He ended the war at Berchtesgaden, drinking liberated Nazi booze, in Hitler’s Eagles’ Nest.” Read more

Joseph E. Fluet (c. 1926–2017) Fall River, Massachusetts

“An Air Force veteran of WWII, he served as a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator stationed in Italy where he flew on 35 missions.” Read more

Thomas Allen Fitzgerald (1923–2017) Alexandria, Virginia

“As a B-17 bombardier aboard his airplane, the “Ground Pounder,” he flew 30 missions over Nazi Germany. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.” Read more

Karl Haeuser (1922–2017) Cayucos, California

“Karl was captured by Nazi Germany while serving in France and was sent to Stalag Luft 4 near Grosstychow, Prussia, which is now Tychowo, Poland. There were 6,660 American POW’s held there.” Read more

Ludwig Hahn

Ludwig Hahn (1923–2017) Miami, Florida

“In November 1938 following Kristallnacht, Lou and his father were arrested by Nazi soldiers and imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp along with thousands of Jewish men. The ‘final solution’ was yet to come, so the prisoners were soon released. In early 1939, Lou’s parents sent him to England on the Kindertransport, a rescue mission that saved thousands of Jewish children. A few weeks later, he would turn 16 and be ineligible. He never saw his mother and father again … He spent the next two years living as an orphan in England … he was able to immigrate to America … A week shy of his 20th birthday, Lou enlisted in the U.S. Army and began basic training in Alabama. On completion, he became a U.S. citizen and shipped off to North Africa with the 525th Ordnance Company to repair tanks on the front lines. He saw service in Egypt and Italy, participating in the brutal battle at Anzio, where he lost many comrades.” Read more

Arch Handy (1925–2017) Bel Air, Maryland

“In 1944, the US Army began recruiting young men with exceptional test scores into a specialized training program … He entered this Army unit after his eighteenth birthday … he was assigned to the Seventh Army, 100th Infantry Division, 398th Regiment (nicknamed by the French citizens the “Sons of Bitche” due to the battle for Bitche, a western French town leading to the second most famous flag rising of World War II), with which he served as a combat infantryman, arriving in the southern invasion at Marseilles, France, in three European campaigns, viz., Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe, including fighting alongside the French 1st Army and French Resistance fighters, the Battle of Bulge, and Operation Northwind. He assisted in the liberation of several slave labor camps in southern Germany.” Read more

Egon Oscar Hoenig (1919–2017) Livingston, New Jersey

“As a warrant officer, Egon landed on Omaha Beach two days after D-Day, drove a Jeep through the streets of Paris the day before liberation, and participated in military engagements as the Allies progressed across France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia to liberate Europe from Hitler’s tyranny. In one of the most meaningful and poignantly sad moments in his life, this included being one of the first units to liberate the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald.” Read more

Nelly Janssen (1928–2017) Algonquin, Illinois

“A notable aspect of Mom’s formative years involved growing up in Nazi occupied Holland. Her parents ran a Jewish underground railroad in their home, while under the full view of a Nazi general occupying a neighbor’s home.” Read more

Jean R. Arcand (1924–2017) Middletown, Connecticut

“A proud member of the greatest generation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII and held the position of aerial photographer when his aircraft, the Passionate Pirate was shot down on Dec. 25, 1944. Many crew members did not survive, but he and two others landed successfully by parachute in Innsbruck, Austria. He was captured by the Nazis and became a POW at Wetzler and Nurnberg and was marched to Moosburg where he was liberated by Allied Forces on April 29, 1945.”   Read more

Maria Andzelm Kershenbaum (c. 1929–2017) Red Bank, New Jersey

“Maria received the Yad Vashem Medal and Certificate of Honor and was designated as one of the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ by the Israeli government (the distinction is awarded to a non-Jewish person who risked his or her life, freedom, and safety to save Jews from the threat of deportation or death). The recognition Maria received was for the part she played, as a young teenager, helping two Jewish men escape from the Nazis. Her family built a box (put in the ground like a grave), and hid them in a barn and cared for them for two years.” Read more

Alexander Kaminski (1920–2017) Charleston, South Carolina

“Alexander had planned to attend college, but was called to active duty, serving with the Polish Artillery unit and was on the front line when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. He eventually made his way to Scotland to train as a paratrooper and then back to Germany following D-Day.” Read more

Oscar M. Garcia (1921–2017) Arlington, Virginia

“He was an officer and a combat engineer in the North African Campaign during WWII. He was later transferred to Salzburg, Austria where he met his wife, Ernestine E. Bruckmayer of 60 years.” Read more

Andrew Jackson Frost (1922–2017) Glendale, Arizona

“Andrew proudly served overseas as a sergeant in the military during World War II, enlisting in 1942 and receiving awards of distinction for his service. He was Honorably Discharged in 1946.” Read more

Leo Kania (1924–2017) Middletown, Connecticut

“On Christmas Eve 1943 Leo … shipped out on the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary sailed unescorted … dodging Nazi submarines as she raced across the Atlantic … the 100th was part of the D-Day invasion, landing at Normandy at Omaha Beach. Leo and the 100th went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, and then escorted the French Army into Paris during the liberation … After Europe surrendered, he was assigned to a military prison to guard some of the most dangerous SS officers.” Read more

Patricia Doris Fulstone-Arnold-Bissing (1924–2017) Auburn, California

“Patricia was a true American Patriot she enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and served throughout the WWII.” Read more

Frederick Douglas Dees Sr. (1925–2017) New Orleans, Louisiana

“He entered the military (ARMY) on October 9, 1943. He received 100% Honorable Discharge as a World War II Veteran on May 1, 1946. He made it well known that he was a World War II Veteran until his death.” Read more

Chester R. Sattiaux (1925–2017) Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania

“He was a World War II veteran who took part in the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France. He received the Purple Heart for his injury during a heroic rescue of a fellow soldier.” Read more

Lyman Jee (c. 1927–2017) San Francisco, California

“At age 17, he served in the United States Army Air Force from 1945 to 1946 at the end of World War II.” Read more

Philip H. Snoberger (1924–2017) Ft. Pierce, Florida

“After graduating high school from the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, N.M. in 1943, he was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army. Phil served in WWII during 1944 and 1945 in the 14th Armored Division (“The Liberators”). As a part of the Seventh Army he was stationed in France and Germany, participating in many horrific battles and the liberation of POW’s and Nazi work camps.” Read more

Herbert R. Tschummi (1924–2017) East Windsor, Connecticut

“He enlisted in the US Army at age 19 where he served the Yankee Division 104th Infantry. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and continued his service throughout Europe where his unit liberated several Nazi work camps.” Read more

Warren G. H. Reed (1921–2017) Newport News, Virginia

“During operations in Europe, he was one of the first three men to encounter the locked gates of the concentration camp at Ohrdurf, Germany. Upon opening of the gates by a tank destroyer, the world first became aware of the true horrors of the Nazi regime.” Read more

Charles William Tait (1923–2017) Seattle, Washington

“When Pearl Harbor came, he immediately added intensive Japanese to his studies of German and Russian. He entered the Army in early 1943, serving first as a translator of intercepted Japanese cables, and later as a German translator for American forces on the front lines in Europe. He volunteered for additional duty in Germany when the fighting ended, serving with a special counterintelligence company assigned to track down Nazi war criminals who had gone into hiding.” Read more

Raymond J. McMahon Jr. (1921–2017) Pawtucket, Rhode Island

“Mr. McMahon served on the prosecution team that investigated Marshal Erhard Milch at the Nuremburg Germany trials in 1946-1947. Milch, a former deputy under Hermann Goering, was later charged and convicted of Nazi War Crimes.” Read more

John Wallace (1926–2017) Edmond, Oklahoma

“John was a WWII Veteran, post war, notably as a guard with the Nazi War Trials in Nuremburg, Germany. Dad will be missed. He was a good man.” Read more

Zdenek Hruza (d. 2017) St. Louis, Missouri

“As a teenager he fought the Nazis on Prague’s streets…” Read more

More Stories