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Essays from leading historians introduce you to some of the topics covered by the army's wartime surveys, with highlights from relevant studies, questions and answers, and handwritten soldier responses.

WWII Soldier

Trump recalled the morning of Jan. 24, 1945, when Conner ran alone toward an attacking battalion of 600 German soldiers and six towering Panzer tanks in the frigid cold to direct American artillery rounds. The first lieutenant's actions saved dozens of American lives in the 3rd Infantry Division, the president said.

To date, the Army credits Conner with four Silver Stars, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, the French Croix de Guerre and the American Defense Service Medal. Conner's relatives acknowledged the soldier might have earned more awards.

After Pauline presented Conner's war records to Chilton, Chilton asked if he could pursue the Medal of Honor on Conner's behalf. At the time, Conner could no longer speak or walk because of kidney and heart failure. Chilton began an extensive process that included compiling legal documents, interviewing soldiers who served alongside Conner and writing dozens of letters to members of Congress.

PRICE: In September, about the time his wife got that letter, his unit was ordered to cross the flood-swollen Moselle River, not far from the German border, but was forced back in fierce fighting. Hundreds of American soldiers were killed, wounded or captured. Many drowned trying to swim to safety. Write his name in your notebook, another soldier told a war correspondent hours after Wright vanished. He's a fighting man. He swam across the river, brought a boat and paddled it back under fire so some of the wounded could get back. What a guy.

After the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-1945, the Army was desperate for reinforcements, and Black soldiers were allowed to volunteer for combat. Carter was assigned to the 56th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 12th Armored Division,

On March 23, 1945, Carter was riding atop a tank as it was hit by a German rocket. He led three soldiers away from the blaze and tried to cross a field. Two were killed by enemy fire and the other was seriously wounded. Carter continued to make the trek but was shot five times as he looked to escape.

Pinned down by eight German soldiers, Carter killed six of them and captured the two survivors, using them as human shields as he crossed the battlefield. Those prisoners provided the Allies with important details about German positions. At the time, Carter was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and promoted to sergeant first class.

The soldier was devastated by the end of his Army career. He was 46 years old when he died in 1963 of lung cancer that was attributed to shrapnel that remained embedded in his neck. Carter was one of seven Black WWII service members who were recognized by President Bill Clinton with the Medal of Honor on Jan. 12, 1997.

His story is being told in "Medal of Honor: Edward Carter Jr.," the latest issue of the Association of the United States Army's graphic novel series about Army soldiers who have been awarded the medal. You can view or download a free copy at the AUSA website.

Carter's story is the first in AUSA's new series for 2023. Upcoming books this year will feature World War I hero Samuel Woodfill, Vietnam War helicopter pilot Bruce Crandall and Iraq War soldier Alwyn Cashe.

In its 2022 series, AUSA previously released books about Delta Force soldiers Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart, World War II Buffalo Soldier Vernon Baker, Korean War veteran Ralph Puckett and Civil War veteran Tom Custer. All books from the previous four series are still available to read online or for download.

Research can usually be done from the comforts of your own home computer. Once you have uncovered the basics about your soldier, you can begin to dig deeper with records of foreign cemetary internments, veteran pensions and medals. Access to these can be found in the links below.

Megellas is the most-decorated soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge. He was born and raised in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and graduated from Ripon College.

Fusaro was studying chemical engineering at UC when he was called up from the U.S. Army Reserves to serve in the Signal Corps. He was deployed to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to learn more about the latest wireless communications. Then he went to Germany to teach other soldiers how to install this essential communications equipment that allowed military leaders to talk over secure lines.

Fusaro captured a black-and-white photo of hundreds of American sailors and soldiers celebrating in the streets that day. After the war, Fusaro returned to UC, earning a degree in chemical engineering.

When he landed on the island, Onoda joined forces with a group of Japanese soldiers who had been sent there previously. The officers in the group outranked Onoda and prevented him from carrying out his assignment, which made it easier for the United States and Philippine Commonwealth forces to take the island when they landed on 28 February 1945. Within a short time of the landing, all but Onoda and three other soldiers had either died or surrendered. Onoda, who had been promoted to lieutenant, ordered the men to take to the hills.

Onoda continued his campaign as a Japanese holdout, initially living in the mountains of Lubang Island in the Philippines, with three fellow soldiers (Private Yuichi Akatsu, Corporal Shōichi Shimada and Private First Class Kinshichi Kozuka).[6] During his stay, Onoda and his companions carried out guerrilla activities and engaged in several shootouts with the local police.[7]

One of the four soldiers, Yuichi Akatsu, walked away from the others in September 1949 and surrendered to Philippine forces in March 1950, after six months on his own. This seemed like a security problem to the others and they became even more cautious. In 1952, letters and family pictures were dropped from an aircraft urging them to surrender, but the three soldiers concluded that this was a trick. Shimada was shot in the leg during a shoot-out with local fishermen in June 1953, after which Onoda nursed him back to health. On 7 May 1954, Shimada was killed by a shot fired by a search party looking for the men. Kozuka was killed by two shots fired by local police on 19 October 1972[7] while he and Onoda, as part of their guerrilla activities, were burning rice that had been collected by farmers. Onoda was now alone.

On 20 February 1974, Onoda met a Japanese man, Norio Suzuki, who was traveling around the world, looking for "Lieutenant Onoda, a panda, and the Abominable Snowman, in that order".[4] Suzuki found Onoda after four days of searching. Onoda described this moment in a 2010 interview: "This hippie boy Suzuki came to the island to listen to the feelings of a Japanese soldier. Suzuki asked me why I would not come out...".[1] Onoda and Suzuki became friends, but Onoda still refused to surrender, saying that he was waiting for orders from a superior officer. Suzuki returned to Japan with photographs of himself and Onoda as proof of their encounter, and the Japanese government located Onoda's commanding officer, Major Yoshimi Taniguchi, who had long surrendered and since become a bookseller. Taniguchi went to Lubang Island, and on 9 March 1974, he finally met with Onoda and fulfilled a promise he had made back in 1944: "Whatever happens, we'll come back for you". Taniguchi then issued Onoda the following orders:

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Martha Cameron, a World War II nurse and veteran, poses for a picture in 1944 while she was as a 1st Lt. U.S. Army nurse. Cameron turned 100 years old on Sept. 5, 2018 and was honored by MacDill Air Force Base military service members and French Army soldiers on her birthday at her residence in Tampa. (courtesy photo)

"It is very powerful that Gertrude Svarny remembered him and has taken the time to honor his memory every Memorial Day to go up to his gravesite and to place the United States flag on his grave," said Michael iqyax̂ Livingston, a cultural heritage specialist with the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association. Livingston worked with others to get a grave marker for the World War II soldier.

"We really don't know why this grave was not marked," Livingston said. "Times were different back in the 1940s. It was basically open-faced racism against people of color, including soldiers of color. And so that might have been a play in it."

The medal and other items belonging to Private Oliver Buchanan Jr., including photographs, were found by a Cullman County man who was renovating a house in Fairview. The items were found in a box from the War Department addressed to a Mrs. Laura N. Buchanan, Route 2, Arab. The box contained a boxed Purple Heart, a Combat Infantry Badge, khaki garrison cap, wristwatch with a leather band, ring, cigarette lighter, ink pen, pocketknife, and a leather wallet that held five faded black and white photos and his social security card. One photo shows a soldier, possibly Private Buchanan, with two people; another shows a woman with a small child. Three other photos are individual portraits of a soldier, and two women. No names are marked on any of the photos.

Mullican provided more information about both Buchanan soldiers and their family, sharing an article from The Advertiser-Gleam from May 28, 2022, in honor of Memorial Day, recounting the story of the two brothers who died during World War II.

This recasting of the war from the German perspective has been largely based on individual memoirs, diaries and interviews, many of which emerged long after the war ended. However, it was generally assumed that, because of the totalitarian nature of the Nazi military, no comparable records existed that could reveal what those who were actually doing the fighting and killing, the German soldiers, thought and felt about the war and their role in it. 041b061a72

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