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It's amazing what keeps turning up after decades and decades. We see that all the time here on the forum. 


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Body of St. Louis-born WWII soldier listed as missing will go to central Illinois for burial

  • The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.
    • Oct 22, 2017

Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello



The remains of a St. Louis-born man who was listed as missing in action after a battle in the Netherlands during World War II will be heading to central Illinois for burial Wednesday.

The remains of Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello will arrive in St. Louis a little after 3 p.m., according to PJ Staab II of Staab Funeral Home in Springfield. There will then be a procession up Interstate 55 to the town of Sherman, Ill., where Aiello lived after moving from St. Louis as a child.

Aiello was born in 1909 in St. Louis. Three years later, his family moved to Sherman where he attended grade school. After finishing the eighth grade, Aiello became a coal miner at the age of 13.


Aiello’s family moved to Springfield in 1918. Aiello later owned and operated a restaurant in Springfield, but primarily worked as a coal miner until he entered the Army in 1942.

Within two years, Aiello advanced to the rank of staff sergeant and was assigned to a glider infantry regiment. He was involved in the D-Day Invasion and later in 1944 his unit was assigned to Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands.


Operation Market Garden called for glider and airborne troops to seize bridges in the Netherlands and hold them until British armor units arrived. The operation, portrayed in a book and the 1977 movie “A Bridge Too Far,” failed.


Military records indicate Aiello went missing Sept. 30, 1944, during fighting near the bridge at Nijmegen. While no remains were officially identified as his, the military issued a presumptive finding of death a year later.

Aiello was 35 when he went missing. About eight years ago, the military disinterred a set of remains that were later identified as Aiello. Relatives in the Springfield area provided DNA samples to confirm the identity.

Aiello will be buried at Camp Butler Cemetery at 10 a.m. Saturday. The ceremony at the cemetery is open to the public.




I was curious to know which unit this soldier belonged since the article did not state it.. After a little cyber snooping I found he was a member of the 401st GIR, 101st Airborne Division.



Welcome home Staff Sergeant Aiello


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Welcome home Staff Sergeant Aiello. Rest in peace.

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Remains of Massachusetts airman lost in WWII identified


Remains of Massachusetts airman lost in WWII identified

This undated photo released Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2017, by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, shows Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Richard M. Horwitz, of Brookline, Mass. Horwitz was one of 11 crew members on a B24 Liberator last seen after the Feb. 28, 1945 attack on a railroad bridge in Northern Italy during World War II. The agency said his remains, recovered in 2015, will be buried with full military honors on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Boston. (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency via AP)


BOSTON (AP) — The remains of a U.S. Army Air Forces officer who went missing after a bombing run over northern Italy in World War II are coming home.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says the remains of 2nd Lt. Richard M. Horwitz, of Brookline, will be buried Sunday in Boston with full military honors.

The 22-year-old Horwitz was one of 11 crew members on a B24 Liberator last seen after the Feb. 28, 1945 attack on a railroad bridge.


It was determined in 1948 it had crashed in the Adriatic Sea.


The wreckage was located by an Italian citizen off the coast of Grado, Italy in 2013, and remains were recovered in 2015.

Horwitz's remains were identified through historical evidence, dental and bone analysis and by comparing DNA to a relative.





Welcome home Sir

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The DPAA (http://www.dpaa.mil/) are really unsung heroes of our day. Every week I am hearing about US servicemen being returned to the US after being missing for 75 or more years. It is truly remarkable. I am glad that we in the US still have the will and desire to search for all of our missing servicemen.

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Plane that led Normandy invasion discovered, restored

Plane that led Normandy invasion discovered, restored

This Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, photo shows a C-47 called "That's All, Brother," that was discovered and currently being restored at Basler Turbo Conversions in Oshkosh, Wis. The plane carried the first paratroopers who stormed the beaches of Normandy during World War II. The group, Commemorative Air Force, started a campaign to restore the relic with hopes to fly the aircraft over Normandy in 2019 for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.(WLUK/Alex Ronallo, via AP)


OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — A plane that led the invasion of Normandy during World War II has been saved from a junkyard and is being carefully restored in Wisconsin.

The C-47, called "That's All, Brother," carried the first paratroopers who were dropped behind German lines at Normandy. The aircraft led the more than 800 other C-47s also carrying paratroopers.

The plane was lost for 70 years and was accidentally discovered by an Air Force historian at the Basler Turbo Conversions junkyard in Oshkosh in 2015, WLUK-TV reported . The historian was researching Col. John Donalson, the man who flew the plane on D-Day.


"The airplane is much more than an aircraft. It's a time machine," said Keegan Chetwynd, the curator for the Commemorative Air Force, a nonprofit that works to preserve aircraft.

The group started a campaign to restore the aircraft, raising about $380,000 in 30 days, Chetwynd said. Employees at Basler have spent more than 22,000 hours restoring "That's All, Brother" to former glory.

"(It) provides that tangible connection for the next generation of people so that they know, when they read it in a history book, that it was real," Chetwynd said.


Workers tested out "That's All, Brother's" engines for the first time in a decade on Thursday. Despite a hydraulic leak, the test was a major achievement, Chetwynd said. Crews will test the engines again today.

Their hope is to fly the aircraft over Normandy in 2019 for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.


"That's kind of why the rush is on and why we're doing all of this in the dead of winter in Wisconsin," Chetwynd said.

The aircraft is expected to conduct a European tour in 2019 and then will likely return to the U.S. to resume regular operations.


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Ah, gotta show this to my hubby! Thanks for posting.

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US Army hero dog during WWII receives posthumous medal

US Army hero dog during WWII receives posthumous medal

The Dickin Medal, worn by Military working dog Ayron who received the PDSA Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, on Chips' behalf, in London, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. Chips was a US Army dog who protected the lives of his platoon during the invasion of Sicily in 1943. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)


LONDON (AP) — A U.S. Army dog that attacked a machine-gun nest during World War II was posthumously awarded Britain's highest honor for animal bravery on Monday.

Chips, a German shepherd-husky cross, was awarded the Dickin Medal for actions during a 1943 beach landing in Sicily. According to the U.S. soldiers, Chips raced into an Italian machine-gun nest, attacking an enemy soldier by the throat and pulling the gun from its mount.

The medal was awarded by veterinary charity PDSA in a ceremony at the Churchill War Rooms in London. The honor was accepted by 76-year-old John Wren of Southold, New York, whose father donated Chips to the war effort in 1942.


Lt. Col. Alan Throop, who attended on behalf of the U.S. Army, said that shortly after the battle Chips was recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. The awards were later rescinded because army policy didn't allow animals to receive medals.

Chips suffered scalp wounds and powder burns in the battle but survived the war, returning to his owners in Pleasantville, New York.

The medal was awarded on the 75th anniversary of the Casablanca Conference, at which British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt plotted wartime strategy. Chips served as a sentry at the conference and met both leaders.


"It has taken over seven decades, but Chips can now finally take his place in the history books as one of the most heroic dogs to serve with the U.S. Army," PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin said.

Since 1943, the Dickin Medal has recognized gallantry by animals serving with the military, police or rescue services. Recipients include 33 dogs, 32 messenger pigeons, four horses and a cat.






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Very cool!  

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A WWII aircraft carrier was lost in the battle for Australia. A tech billionaire just found it.

By Kristine Phillips March 6 at 4:09 PM Email the author 

The first torpedo hit the USS Lexington’s port side at about 11 a.m. on the last day of the Battle of the Coral Sea, a critical point in the United States’ war against Japan. Within minutes, another torpedo struck, followed by three bombs from Japanese dive bombers.

Fires raged, but they were under control two hours later. Still, the consecutive hits from the Japanese navy would eventually spell the end of the aircraft carrier known as Lady Lex. Fuel tanks from underneath were ruptured, causing an explosion that shook the warship. Capt. Frederick C. Sherman ordered his men up to the flight deck.

By 5 p.m., he yelled, “Abandon ship!”

Men jumped into the warm water and were immediately rescued by nearby cruisers and destroyers. Sherman and his executive officer,  Cmdr. M.T. Seligman, were the last ones to leave before Lady Lex sank into the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942, the end of the four-day naval battle between Allied forces from the United States and Australia, and the Imperial Japanese Navy. A little more than 200 crew members died — part of the price the United States paid to help protect its ally, Australia, from Japan during World War II.

About 2,770 survived, including Wags, the captain’s dog.

The remains of Lady Lex would stay undiscovered on the floor of the Coral Sea for the next 76 years — until they were found by a billionaire who spends some of his fortune finding the lost wreckage of previous wars. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen on Monday announced the discovery of the USS Lexington about 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia, two miles below the surface of the Coral Sea.

[ ‘We knew the ship was doomed’: USS Indianapolis survivor recalls four days in shark-filled sea ]

“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” Allen said. “As Americans, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who served and who continue to serve our country for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.”

Allen, a Seattle-based entrepreneur and philanthropist who also invests in environmental causes, had bought a 250-foot research vessel called R/V Petrel and retrofitted it with state-of-the-art equipment capable of diving 3½ miles deep, according to his website. Allen has used the vessel in expeditions that led to the discovery of several historic warships and artifacts.

The USS Indianapolis was discovered on the bottom of the Philippine Sea in August, more than 70 years after a Japanese submarine fired six torpedoes toward the 610-foot heavy cruiser, causing it to break in pieces. About 800 of the nearly 1,200 crew members made it off the ship before it sank, but many died of dehydration, shark attacks and starvation as they floated helplessly in shark-infested waters for four days.

Last year, President Trump paid tribute to the veterans who served during the Battle of the Coral Sea, which the Defense Department describes as a “crucial turning point in the war against Imperial Japan in the Pacific.”

Wreckage from the USS Lexington, a World War II aircraft carrier that sank on May 8, 1942. A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen found the wreckage on March 4. (Paul Allen via Agence France-Presse)

“In those Pacific waters, we forged iron bonds between our countries. Few peoples in the world share ties in history, affection and culture like the Americans and Australians. Those ties are sealed with the blood of our grandfathers and fathers and those same ties are now the priceless heritage we celebrate so beautifully tonight,” Trump said during the May speech.

The Battle of the Coral Sea, which lasted from May 4 to May 8, 1942, came at an unsettling time for the United States, Australia and their allies. Allied forces had been experiencing mounting defeats, while the Japanese military had been continually succeeding, beginning with the attack on Pearl Harbor months earlier. In Australia, people had begun to expect an imminent invasion by Japan.

By April 1942, Australia had become a target for the Japanese. Leaders of Japan’s navy had begun devising ways to capture Port Moresby and the islands of Tulagi, New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa — located east and northeast of Australia — partly to cut off communications with the United States and leave it vulnerable to Japanese invasion.

[ Unsealed 75 years after the Battle of Midway: New details of an alarming WWII press leak ]

Occupying Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby under a plan known as Operation MO would “provide the Imperial Japanese Navy with a secure operating base on Australia’s northern doorstep,” according to the Royal Australian Navy. The planning dragged on until the middle of April, when carrier-launched U.S. bombers led by Jimmy Doolittle attacked the Japanese home islands. The attacks, though minimal, gave Operation MO a renewed sense of urgency.

The military forces behind Operation MO included an armada of destroyers, cruisers, aircraft carriers and submarines. The U.S. Navy had received signal intelligence on Japan’s intentions, but that “was barely enough advantage for the fleet to take on and force the Japanese to retreat,” according to the Defense Department.

Japan managed to capture Tulagi, which is part of the Solomon Islands, east of Papua New Guinea, on May 3. The Battle of the Coral Sea raged for the next four days. In the end, both the Japanese and the Allies portrayed themselves as victors, though both sides suffered severe losses.

“In a sense they are both right,” according to the Royal Australian Navy.

Wreckage from the USS Lexington, a World War II aircraft carrier that sank on May 8, 1942. A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen found the wreckage on March 4. (Paul Allen)

The Americans lost more ships than the Japanese. But the Allies prevented Japan from capturing Port Moresby — its main objective. By the time the USS Lexington was sunk on May 8, Japanese forces were not in a position to keep advancing. Their aircraft carrier Shoho had been sunk. A second carrier, Shokaku, had been severely damaged, while a third, Zuikaku, was low on fuel. Adm. Shigeyoshi Inouye, leader of Operation MO, decided to postpone the invasion of Port Moresby.

Many say that if it were not for the damage the Japanese forces suffered, the Americans would not have defeated them in the next battle a month later. The Battle of Midway, which raged from June 4 to June 7, 1942, resulted in the deaths of about 360 Americans — compared with more than 3,000 Japanese casualties.

Historians Jonathan B. Parshall and Anthony P. Tully described the American assault on the Japanese fleet as “the single most decisive aerial attack in naval history.” The Battle of Midway — arguably because of the Battle of the Coral Sea — helped turn the tide of war in the Pacific theater.

Michael E. Ruane contributed to this report.  


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The five Sullivan brothers, serving together, were killed in World War II. Their ship was just found.

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. March 20 at 3:54 PM Email the author
An underwater video image courtesy of Paul Allen shows wreckage from the USS Juneau, a U.S. Navy ship sunk by Japanese torpedoes 76 years ago and found in the South Pacific.  (Paul Allen via AP)

Thomas Sullivan was getting ready for work in Waterloo, Iowa, when three men in Navy uniforms walked up to his front door.

“I have some news for you about your boys,” one of the officers said, according to an excerpt of the conversation in the Red State blog.

All five of Sullivan’s sons had enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the Pearl Harbor attack, and on that January morning in 1943, he wanted to know which one wasn’t coming home.

“All five,” the officer said.

The Sullivan brothers — George, Madison, Albert, Francis and Joseph, who was also known as “Red” — were already famous for insisting on serving together.

They were honored 11 months after a Japanese torpedo sank their ship, the USS Juneau, in the southwestern Pacific. Some called their deaths the greatest sacrifice of the greatest generation. Others said their story was exploited by a U.S. government desperate to get a nation to accept the sacrifices of war.

Either way, people across the country pored over the Sullivan brothers’ story, examining the smallest details of their lives, their service, their violent deaths.

But one thing has remained hidden until now:

Their final resting place.

A team funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen recently discovered the wreckage of the USS Juneau 2.6 miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, near the Solomon Islands.

For years, Allen’s team has been combing the Pacific for ships that sank decades ago.

The team has used advanced technology such as side-scan sonar and submersible drones to locate several ships, including the USS Indianapolis and the USS Ward.

But finding the final resting place of the USS Juneau connected their endeavor with a part of U.S. history that still reverberates today in both memory and policy.

The Sullivan brothers have been memorialized with a museum wing, a school and two Navy ships. And the brothers’ deaths led to “sole survivor” policies, which exempt people who have lost a family member from the draft or military service. They were the subject of a 1944 war movie, “The Fighting Sullivans.”

It all began with an emotional Sunday dinner in 1941.

The brothers had heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor over the radio during dinner on Dec. 7, 1941, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Their thoughts immediately turned to Bill Ball, a friend stationed in Hawaii who, they later learned, died in the attack. The Sullivan brothers, all in their 20s, wanted to take up the fight.

[ The savage fight for Guadalcanal: Jungle, crocodiles and snipers during World War II ]

The Navy at first balked at their request to serve on the same ship but ultimately relented.

“I was talking to an ensign the other day,” Red Sullivan wrote a friend, according to the Courier. “From the way he talked, all five of us brothers are going to get on the same ship. I wish the rest of you guys could go along.”

That ship was the USS Juneau: a ship that carried nearly 700 men and was almost as new to the war effort as Red Sullivan was. It was commissioned about a year before it sank.

The USS Juneau specialized in defending other vessels from warplanes. It performed patrol and escort duties in the North Atlantic and Caribbean and then was dispatched to the Pacific, where it was involved in several battles, including the naval battles of Guadalcanal.  In its final battle, it served as part of a protective screen for cargo vessels and transports as U.S. forces tried to keep their grip on the Pacific foothold.

The Juneau held its own during fierce, nighttime fighting.

But it was badly damaged by a torpedo during the costly American victory. (In total during the naval battles near Guadalcanal, American and Japanese forces lost two dozen ships apiece). Badly listing to one side, it limped away with other ships.

But the Japanese submarine I-26 was lurking nearby. One of its torpedoes missed the USS San Francisco but struck the USS Juneau near where it had been previously hit — and near the compartment where munitions were stored.

The rest happened in a flash, according to declassified documents obtained by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier:

I saw the spot where the Juneau had been. The only thing visible was tremendous clouds of grey and black smoke. … The men told me that the Juneau appeared to explode instantaneously and appeared to break in two, both segments of which sunk in 20 seconds. … The signalman on the bridge of the Helena was in the process of taking a message from the Juneau and had his glass trained on the signalman of that ship and reports that the signalman was blown at least 30 feet in the air.

Three of the Sullivans died in that initial blast. Two made it into life rafts but died in the ensuing days at sea, waiting for rescue.

In death, they went from being a famous footnote to national heroes. Their mother christened a new destroyer with the Sullivan name, and the U.S. government alluded to the family’s sacrifice when asking people to buy war bonds.

The appeal was both simple and effective: The Sullivan family gave so much. Can the rest of us pitch in, too?

As one woman told the Associated Press, according to a recounting of the Sullivans’ story: “And now I wonder how the sugar and coffee hoarders feel.”

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Thanks for sharing this with all of us. Sad as always of course, but glad to hear this has been found.

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