Moselwein, the Somme, D-Day & Go For Broke

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JMead11, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    At Epinal American Cemetery there are 5 sets of brothers buried side by side....Imagine if you can, the great tragedy it would have been to lose two children to this war.

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  2. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    At Epinal American Cemetery there are 5 sets of brothers buried side by side....Imagine if you can, the great tragedy it would have been to lose two children to this war.

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  3. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    On March 3, 1945, a transport plane went down killing 16, including seven USO entertainers. One of them was this man, Gaius W. Young, a wrestler. Wrestling exhibitions were very popular, and the wrestlers were very glad to get to entertain the troops....

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    When one studies the history of professional wrestling in North America, the number of travel-related deaths incurred by the boys (and girls) is staggering. While there appears to be no record of any wrestlers who ever died while traveling by train, the numbers lost in car or plane wrecks would easily fill more a sizeable book, if told in detail.

    It happens that the bloodiest wreck in wrestling history came during World War II, when no less than half a dozen mat men died in a plane crash. It happened in France on March 3, 1945, about midway in a flight from England to Paris. Dead in the wreckage -- along with ten other inhabitants of the plane -- were George Mack, Jack Ross, Gerald (Kid) Chapman, Harold (Al) Sabath, Gaius W. Young and Ben Reuben, all of whom were taking part in a USO wrestling tour for the benefit of Allied troops. A seventh member of the troupe, Al Williams, apparently was not aboard the doomed plane and thus survived.

    (Ironically, the European division of the Air Transport Command announced at the time that the accident marred a safety record of five millions miles of flying by that division during which there had been no loss of life in a plane accident.)

    Williams returned home to headline a Fred Kohler-promoted Chicago show at the end of the month, proceeds earmarked for the widows and children of his dead colleagues. Kohler apparently had struck the original deal with the USO, as all seven men were (or had been recently) working for his booking office. (Williams went on to wrestle around Chicago for many more years, becoming a fixture on the early national telecasts out of Marigold Garden as tag-team partner for rough, tough Rudy Kay.)

    The biggest "name" wrestler of the ill-starred troupe was Ben, or Benny, Reuben, a national AAU middleweight champion before World War I, who was chief trainer to Earl Caddock in the run-up to the latter's world heavyweight title win over Joe Stecher in April 1917. Reuben, by then, had turned pro himself (at the insistence of the AAU, who accused him of working an exhibition with professional light heavyweight Ernest Kartje) and remained a top hand in the middleweight ranks for the next decade. He wrestled a series of major bouts with top stars of the era like Johnny Meyers, Mike Yokel, Walter Miller, Ralph Parcaut and Paul Prehn, among others.


    Reuben, in fact, briefly claimed a version of the middleweight championship when he defeated Yokel in the late teens, only to lose the distinction in a subsequent tangle with Meyers. By the time of WWII, Reuben was working as a referee and booker in Kohler's office, his prime wrestling days behind him.

    Mack was another old hand who, more than a decade previously, had been an employee of the wrestling "trust" headed by Ed (Strangler) Lewis. In fact, during widely publicized 1927 hearings by the Illinois legislature into the veracity of wrestling matches, Mack had testified in defense of Lewis.

    Chapman, although nicknamed "Kid," was really no kid. He was 40ish, and had been working out of the Chicago offices of Kohler for nearly a decade, often billed as being from Texas. Sometimes, ballyhoo would declare him to be "the pride of the Panhandle." Kohler always seemed to have a passion for billing wrestlers from Texas, whether they were or not. Sabbath was another man in his stable who was said to hail from the Lone Star State.

    Young, variously known as Gay or Gaius, his full name, had played collegiate football at St. Cloud (Minn.) Teachers College before joining the wave of gridders that trooped into the mat business in the 1930s. Ross was probably the most traveled of the wrestlers who died in the crash. But, like all the rest, he had been working for Kohler's office in the fall of 1944 when the deal was struck to join the USO-Camp Shows tour in February and March 1945.

    In the more than three score years that have passed since their deaths, the six grapplers listed above have become little more than a footnote to wrestling history. But, by contributing their lives, they assured themselves of a permanent place of honor on the roll of all those Americans who fought to win history's most devastating world war.


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  4. mudskimmer

    mudskimmer n00b

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    A truly brilliant record of your travels, one of the best.:wave

    Full of important history, really love the old photos when shown against the current views.
  5. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    Glad you are enjoying it.....and I really thought I would be done with it by now....there is not much more to go really. But alas, I am heading out for another Moselwein trip tomorrow. Will be gone a month, doing the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, and who knows what else. A full month this time though. So I guess this will have to wait a bit till I get back. Sorry I was not faster to finish this one sooner.
  6. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    and then there was this marker....2d Lt. Bradley B. Clark....now you might not know Bradley B. Clark......but you surely knew his brother.....Dick Clark...

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    from this link...
    https://371stfightergroup.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/echoes-of-war-remembering-2d-lt-bradley-b-clark/


    Bradley B. Clark was a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot who flew with the 371st Fighter Group’s 406th Fighter Squadron in late 1944. His combat service was unfortunately brief, ending in December, 1944, but his service and sacrifice are remembered to this day.

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    For many Americans, the name of Bradley Clark’s brother, a man named Dick Clark, evokes memories of television’s American Bandstand and the sounds of music through many years. Dick Clark’s persona was one of musical enthusiasm, but it hid a sad family loss, as his older brother and only sibling, Bradley B. Clark, was killed in action during World War II.

    It was December 23rd, 1944. Frisky had just completed a wintry move from Dole Airfield (Y-7) to Tantonville Airfield (Y-1). There was no slack for the group in this move, as the Battle of the Bulge was underway to the north, and the precursors for another German offensive on the western front, Operation Nordwind, were underway. The 371FG was still part of the 1st Tactical Air Force (Provisional), primarily supporting the Franco-American 6th Army Group (US Seventh Army, French First Army) along the southern part of the western front.

    The ground was frozen on the 23rd, and mud was suddenly no longer a problem for operations at Tantonville. The 406th Fighter Squadron flew only one mission that day, an armed reconnaissance mission of nine aircraft led by squadron leader Major Delaney. The mission was airborne by 0930, and flew to find targets of opportunity in an area ranging around Homburg, Landau, Neustadt and Kaiserslautern.

    The Jugs were flying in the vicinity of Mannheim, Germany when the ships were jumped by eight Me-109’s. Lt. Clark, who had joined the squadron only the month before (November 23), was reportedly hit by the enemy fighters, and went missing from the rest of the squadron in the swirling dogfight. Lt. Miller shot down one of the Me-109’s in return, and the P-47’s returned to base without Lt. Clark.

    But Lt. Clark had survived the dogfight, his aircraft damaged, and he himself perhaps wounded. At 1135, as he approached Tantonville, his aircraft crashed about one mile west of Omelmont, and he was killed instantly.

    2d Lt. Bradley Clark received the Air Medal and the Purple Heart for his military service. He was buried in the Epinal American Cemetery in Epinal, France, at Plot B, Row 24, Grave 9. But this is not the end of his story.

    Nearly 70 years later, on September 22, 2012, grateful and kind citizens of France unveiled a bronze plaque memorial to Lt. Clark, in Omelmont. They were joined by members of the Clark family which helped convey a greater meaning to the ceremony.
  7. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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  8. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    Epinal Cemetery also has civilian women buried there.....this woman was from Texas....


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  9. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    Artillery Commander
    7 Jul 44 - Brig. Gen. Edmund W. Searby was killed in the bloodiest month of the 80th Infantry division.....


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  10. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    Born in Roy, Washington, on June 13, 1921, Kandle joined the Army from Redwood City, California in September 1940.[1] He served in Europe as a first lieutenant with the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. On October 9, 1944, near La Forge, France, he led his platoon in the capture of a German stronghold and the destruction of two machine gun emplacements. Then, with his men providing supporting fire, he attacked a fortified house and forced the Germans inside to surrender. He was killed in action two months later and, on May 11, 1945, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions near La Forge.

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 9 October 1944, at about noon, near La Forge, France, 1st Lt. Kandle, while leading a reconnaissance patrol into enemy territory, engaged in a duel at pointblank range with a German field officer and killed him. Having already taken 5 enemy prisoners that morning, he led a skeleton platoon of 16 men, reinforced with a light machinegun squad, through fog and over precipitous mountain terrain to fall on the rear of a German quarry stronghold which had checked the advance of an infantry battalion for 2 days. Rushing forward, several yards ahead of his assault elements, 1st Lt. Kandle fought his way into the heart of the enemy strongpoint, and, by his boldness and audacity, forced the Germans to surrender. Harassed by machinegun fire from a position which he had bypassed in the dense fog, he moved to within 15 yards of the enemy, killed a German machinegunner with accurate rifle fire and led his men in the destruction of another machinegun crew and its rifle security elements. Finally, he led his small force against a fortified house held by 2 German officers and 30 enlisted men. After establishing a base of fire, he rushed forward alone through an open clearing in full view of the enemy, smashed through a barricaded door, and forced all 32 Germans to surrender. His intrepidity and bold leadership resulted in the capture or killing of 3 enemy officers and 54 enlisted men, the destruction of 3 enemy strongpoints, and the seizure of enemy positions which had halted a battalion attack.


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  11. zookster

    zookster Chupacabra

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    :clap

    Thanks for picking this report back up. Excellent as always!
  12. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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  13. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    Yeah, I kinda got distracted, but messages kept coming in asking me to get back on it....so I thought I better...
  14. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    AWARD, POSTHUMOUS, OF SILVER STAR MINORU YOSHIDA, 39087324, Private First Class, Infantry, Company E, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army.

    For gallantry in action on 31 October 1944 in France. When his patrol was subjected to a surprise enemy attack, Private First class YOSHIDA crawled under fire to a position from which he could engage the enemy with a BAR. Disregarding enemy fire directed upon him, Private First Class Yoshida neutralized part of the enemy fire but simultaneously drew fire from other enemy positions. Although fatally wounded in his heroic action, he enabled his patrol to secure cover relieving it from an untenable position. Private First Class Yoshida's gallantry at the sacrifice of his life exemplified the traditional valor of the American Soldier. Entered military service from Stockton, California. Next of kin: Mr. Toshiro Yoshida of Rohwer Relocation Center., McGhee, Arkansas.

    In addition to the Silver Star, Minoru Yoshida was awarded the Expert Rifleman and Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Distinguished Unit Citation.


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  15. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    When you see this marker for Turuo Fujioka, it says Wyoming on it. But he was not from Wyoming. He was from Los Angeles. He was rounded up and put in the Santa Anita Assembly Center. He was eventually sent to Heart Mountain in Wyoming, halfway between Cody and Powell, Wyoming. His parents were from Japan, but he has never attended schools in the Japanese language, nor had had he ever even been to Japan. He finished high school while in Heart Mountain.

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    Teruo "Ted" Fujioka, born on June 12 1925 in California, is seen here in the center of this photo looking at a poster for the senior class play of which he was student body president. This is in one of the internment camps where Japanese Americans had been relocated to. Despite being imprisoned, he still loved America and one of the things he sought to do while being held in Heart Mountain in Wyoming was get a flag pole put up so the American flag could be flown in front of the school there.
    In 1943 he volunteered for the United States Army after graduating from high school.
    He served in the 442nd Anti-Tank Co. of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He was killed by shrapnel on November 6, 1944 in the Vosges Mountains of France and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
    On November 22, 1944, the flag that flew on that very same pole he helped get put in place at Heart Mountain was lowered to half-mast as word of the death of Teruo "Ted" Fujioka arrived at the camp.
    Today his remains are located in the Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial in France.
  16. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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  17. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    I could just keep going on and on, and there are so people I would like to take note of, but page after page does not keep most people looking, so I will just put up some of the rest, the most significant in Epinal and get out of the cemetery.....


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    Cote, Roger E.
    UNIT
    U.S.Army OSS Jedburgh Team Augustus (codename Indiana)

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  18. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    Very little has been recorded about 2nd Lt. Joseph E. Gordon's military career.

    Gordon of Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from flight training on Feb. 8, 1944, at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. He soon deployed to Italy with the 99th Fighter Squadron, part of the 332nd Fighter Group.

    On Aug. 12, after escorting bombers to Toulon, France, to destroy radar stations, fighters from the 332nd Fighter Group began to draw ground fire. P-51 Mustangs flown by Gordon and 1st Lt. Langdon E. Johnson were hit by anti-aircraft fire; both pilots were killed.

    Gordon is buried at Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial in France. According to a government database, he was awarded a Purple Heart.



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  19. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    He distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 23 and 24 December 1944, near Bennwihr, France. Early in the attack S/Sgt. Kefurt jumped through an opening in a wall to be confronted by about 15 Germans. Although outnumbered he opened fire, killing 10 and capturing the others. During a seesaw battle which developed he effectively adjusted artillery fire on an enemy tank close to his position although exposed to small arms fire. When night fell he maintained a 3-man outpost in the center of the town in the middle of the German positions and successfully fought off several hostile patrols attempting to penetrate our lines. Assuming command of his platoon the following morning he led it in hand-to-hand fighting through the town until blocked by a tank. Using rifle grenades he forced surrender of its crew and some supporting infantry. He then continued his attack from house to house against heavy machinegun and rifle fire. Advancing against a strongpoint that was holding up the company, his platoon was subjected to a strong counterattack and infiltration to its rear. Suffering heavy casualties in their exposed position the men remained there due to S/Sgt. Kefurt's personal example of bravery, determination and leadership. He constantly exposed himself to fire by going from man to man to direct fire. During this time he killed approximately 15 of the enemy at close range. Although severely wounded in the leg he refused first aid and immediately resumed fighting. When the forces to his rear were pushed back 3 hours later, he refused to be evacuated, but, during several more counterattacks moved painfully about under intense small arms and mortar fire, stiffening the resistance of his platoon by encouraging individual men and by his own fire until he was killed. As a result of S/Sgt. Kefurt's gallantry the position was maintained.

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  20. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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