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MEN OF THE 16TH REGIMENT

U.S. FIRST DIVISION, WORLD WAR II

 

 

 

 

 

From left to right:
Col. George A. Taylor, 16th Infantry commanding officer; Major Carl W. Plitt, S-3; Major Charles E. Tegtmeyer. Regimental Surgeon; Major John H. Lauten, S-2; and Captain William Friedman, S-1. Photo taken during amphibious exercise in England, early 1944.

 

 

 

 

 

Colonel Frederick W. Gibb, commander of the 16th during the European campaign.

Biographical information:

Gerald N. Bianchi

Walter Bieder

Fred Bisco

Kenneth Bleau

Joseph W. Brady

Bruce S. Buck

Clarence Colson

Curt Colwell

Raymond R. Curley

Vincent T. DiGaetano

Edmund W. Duckworth

Stan Dzierga

Calvin Ellis

George W. Eswein

Lawrence J. Fitzsimmons

Richard J. Gallagher

Eusebio Galvan

Herbert Goldberg

Fred W. Haight

Raymond Maurice Holladay

Jesse B. Hamilton

James A. Hillerby

Edward J. Klimowicz

James Krucas

Robert E. Lee

Kenneth Peterson

John F. Plichta

Louis J. Ramundo

Elmer Frederick Reese

Richard Sims

Joseph W. Slaydon

John M. Spalding

Phil Streczyk

Charles E. Tegtmeyer

Virgil Tilley

Joseph A. Toth

Ed Wozenski

 

Gerald N. Bianchi, medic, (Pfc.) Bronze Star (3 August 1944, Normandy); Silver Star (19 September 1944, Germany); Purple Heart (23 January 1945, Belgium). Killed in Germany, 30 March 1945.  

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Walter Bieder (Sgt. after D-Day) Silver Star, Bronze Star, and a medal from the Russians apparently for not missing a day in combat from Sicily to the war's end. After Streczyk was evacuated, Colwell took over the platoon. After Colwell was wounded, Bieder became platoon sergeant. See Walter Bieder interview and sound and picture file.

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Fred Bisco (Sgt.) attended Lincoln High School in Harrison, New Jersey where he was captain of the soccer team.  He was drafted on August 7, 1941 and shipped overseas with the 1st Division in July 1942. Bisco fought in North Africa and Sicily before landing, for his last day on earth, in Normandy.

Photo: Fred Bisco

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Kenneth Bleau (1st Lt.) Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Distinguished Service Cross, posthumously. Bleau entered the service from Herkimer County, New York (a Malcolm Blue, also a 2nd Lt. and also from Herkimer County, is on the New York State Honor list as DOI.) Ken Bleau was killed on 1 August 1944. It’s said that Bleau was shot by his own men during a tragic episode near St. Lô. He is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery, St. James, France (Plot D, Row 13, Grave 7)

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Joseph W. Brady (T-Sgt) enlisted in the Infantry at Fort Devens, Massachusetts in March 1939. In August of 1942 he went overseas with the First Division, making three major invasions: North Africa, Sicily and Normandy. Joe was wounded in North Africa on March 28, 1943 and after a month's respite in the hospital  he rejoined his outfit, Company M, a machine gun company of the 16th Infantry, near Bizerte.
During the Sicily campaign T-Sgt. Brady fearlessly proceeded over terrain swept by intense hostile mortar, machine gun, and small arms fire, selected advantageous gun positions, located targets of opportunity, and directed effective machine gun fire on attacking forces. His undaunted courage and daring initiative enabled his company to distort five enemy machine gun nests, resulting in 10 of the enemy killed and 50 taken prisoner. For this he was awarded the Silver Star. On D-Day in Normandy, T-Sgt. Brady led parts of his platoon successfully through a minefield on Omaha Beach under intense enemy fire, and returned via the same route to repeat this with the rest of his men. This earned him the Bronze Star. After recovery from wounds received July 28, 1944 T-Sgt. Brady was transferred to the 9th Air Force. Before his discharge on July 2, 1945 he had been awarded the Silver star, Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation, Purple Heart with Cluster, Combat Infantryman's Badge, ETO Ribbon, Pre-Pearl Harbor Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal. Brady passed away on July 13, 1983 in Leominster, Massachusetts.
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Bruce S. Buck (S/Sgt. after D-Day) Silver Star, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. Buck was born 21 August 1921. His civilian occupation was listed as "Truck Driver Light 7-36.260". Buck sent me this note on his entry into the war:

Inducted 9 February 1943 Ft. Warren, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Nine days to report back. Mitchell to Shelton and back. Active service 18 February 1943. After all day ride from Gering (via South Torrington) to Cheyenne Wyoming to Denver. Truck to Fort Logan to active duty. 11 pm before could have anything to eat. Processed next morning then onto Fort Belvoir, Virginia, via train. Was to get 8 week basic training as an engineer then 13 weeks cook and baker school. That was cut short. Got some of each then onto Shenago, Pennsylvania, then to Norfolk, Virginia. June 6 1943 via USS West Point to Casablanca, North Africa, June 13 1943. Via 40 and 8 boxcar RR to Oran. Truck to replacement in Tunisia, North Africa. LCI to Sicily.
See Bruce Buck interview.

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Clarence Colson (S/Sgt after D-Day) Distinguished Service Cross. See Clarence Colson interview and sound and picture files: part one (very large file) and part two.

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Curt Colwell (Sgt.) Curt Colwell (who died in 1996) took over the platoon after Streczyk was evacuated (Walt Bieder took over as platoon sergeant when Colwell was wounded). For photo, see column at left.

I spoke to Colwell's sister, Mae about her brother, and this is what she said:

Coal mining was about the only thing he ever did do. After he got 18, he worked at Vicco. That's where him and Virginia, his wife, got married. And that's where they lived when he went into the service. And they didn't call him. He volunteered to go. As soon it [Pearl Harbor] happened, he got really tore up about it and he just volunteered and went in.

Curtis...he was always a real good man. And I was proud of him. He was really a good brother to me. He was two years older than I am. And we were together...my two older brothers were more together and he and I were more together. You know, like in our ages.

My dad was in the First World War and Curtis was in the Second. And then my younger brother was shot down at Inchon. He's shot through both knees. And they brought him out. And he was decorated by Eisenhower, we had his picture. That was French Colwell. And then I lost a nephew in Vietnam. Stepped on a landmine. So our family has done their part in these things, but without them, I don't know what would happen to us all.

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Raymond R. Curley (Pfc.) Silver Star and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf cluster. He was killed in Germany on 30 March 1945, and is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetary, Margraten, Netherlands (Plot B, Row 5, Grave 9).

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Vincent T. DiGaetano (Sgt. after D-Day) Purple and three Oak Leaf Clusters. See Vinny DiGaetano interview and sound and picture file.

Vinny passed away on October 30, 2006.

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Edmund W. Duckworth (1st Lt.) Silver Star and an Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart. He entered the service from Pennsylvania. After the 1st Division returned to England from Sicily, he married an English girl, Audrey Travers (their wedding was registered in Bridport district during the quarter starting 1 April 1944). Duckworth was killed on 6 June 1944, and is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery, St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France (Plot I, Row 19, Grave 12).  *Note 1*

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Stan Dzierga (Sgt. after D-Day) Silver Star and Purple Heart. Stan Dzierga interview and picture file.

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Calvin L. Ellis (T/Sgt. at time of death). Killed November 25, 1944. Awards: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. See A Letter from Germany and 16-E on D-Day.

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George W. Eswein (Pfc. at time of death). Killed 23 March 1943. (See page, Colson's squad)

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Lawrence J. Fitzsimmons (M/Sgt) Distinguished Service Cross. See article in thumbnail. The "top kick" of E Company, Fitzsimmons was born 3 May 1914 and died 13 February 1951. He is buried near Richard Gallagher in the Distinguished Serviceman section of Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island.

Fitzsimmons gravestone, Calverton National Cemetery, Long Island, New York. (Photo by Lynn Weingarten)

Fitzsimmons obituary appeared in New York Times on 15 February 1951:

WON D.S.C., DIES A HERO

1st Division Man Hurt Fatally in Fire Rescue Attempt

M/Sgt. Laurence J. Fitzsimmons, Sixteenth Infantry, First Division, a winner of the Distinguished Service Cross, died Feb. 13 of severe burns suffered in Hokkaido, Japan, while attempted to save another man in a fire in the enlisted men’s club, according to word received here yesterday. Sergeant Fitzsimmons, who lived at 4 West 104th Street, was born in New York May 3, 1914, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Fitzsimmons. During World War II he served with the First Division in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, Belgium, and Germany. He received the Distinguished Service Cross from General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower for courage and leadership displayed during the initial landings on the Normandy coast June 6, 1944. 

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Richard J. Gallagher (S/Sgt after D-Day) Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart. Gallagher was born 11 October 1919 and died 24 November 1944.

Gallagher gravestone, Calverton National Cemetery, Long Island, New York.

(Photo by Lynn Weingarten)

Gallagher was dead two days when the New York Times ran the following article:

BROOKLYN BOY GETS DSC

Richard J. Gallagher Decorated for Gallantry in France

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 (AP)—The War Department announced today award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Pfc. Richard J. Gallagher, 131 Grant Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. Three other soldiers from New York received the Silver Star.  They are: Staff Sgt. Peter J. Santi, 68 ½ Pine Street, Binghamton; Pvt. Marco A. Barraco, 202 S. Main Street, Mount Morris, and Pvt. Dwight M. Wilson, 539 Fulton Street, Waverly. The four, all infantrymen, were decorated for their part in operations in France in June. Capt. Charles F. Brewster, Jr., of 274 Sherman Avenue, Teaneck, N.J. has received the Legion of Merit for services at Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands.

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Eusebio Galvan (S/Sgt.) Photo at left (courtesy of Joseph R. Galvan). Silver Star with OLC, Purple Heart. See Letter from Germany, Silver Star Citation, and Military Record.

Galvan served in all the First Division's campaigns: Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. 

Photo: Eusebio Galvan

 

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Herbert Goldberg (1st Lieutenant) Author of the 16th Inf. Medical Detachment History.

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Fred W. Haight entered the service in 1941 from Jamestown, New York with James A. Hillerby and Clarence Colson.

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Jesse B. Hamilton (Pfc.) Silver Star (listed as 18 May 1944 which may be an error); Silver Star Oak Leaf Cluster (3 September 1944, Belgium); Purple Heart (26 February 1945, Germany).

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James A. Hillerby entered the service from Jamestown, New York with Fred W. Haight and Clarence Colson. "He was captured in Sicily," Colson says. "They were holding off the Germans pretty good there until they run out of ammunition and then they got captured. He told me when he got home here."

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Raymond Maurice Holladay (Staff Sgt.). Holladay's niece, Yvonne Holladay Silcox, writes:

My uncle, Staff Sgt. Raymond Maurice Holladay was a double recipient of the Purple Heart during World War II. The only documentation we have on the first Purple Heart are from newspaper articles after his death.  It states, “Sgt. Holladay was awarded the Purple Heart upon being wounded in North Africa in 1943.” The other article states, “Sergeant Holladay was a veteran of the African campaign, having received the Purple Heart as a result of wounds from shell fragments in that sector. He returned to duty in France after having been in a military hospital for several months, his family said.”

He entered the Army at Mobile, Alabama on February 15, 1940.  He was killed at the Battle of St. Lo, Normandy France on July 17, 1944.  He was 21 years old. He was originally buried in the American Cemetery, Blossville, Normandy, France.  He was buried in Row 5, Plot S.  His body was moved to the National Cemetery, Virginia Street, Mobile, Alabama on June 4, 1948.  He is buried in Section 7, Site 2101.

 According to the letters, in the spring of 1941, he was in Company E, 16th Infantry, Fort Devens, Massachusetts (see the E Company roster). At Christmas, 1942, I have a letter with an APO address and a comment “N. Africa”.   Others simply stated “still in N Africa.”

I know that he came home when he was wounded.  I was a very small child.  There was much distress when he choose to return to the army.  I suppose that is when he went to France.

The letters return marked “deceased” were addressed to S/S Raymond Holladay, CO. L. 330th Inf., APO 83, New York.

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Edward J Klimowicz (Pfc.) was a medic in E Co. 2nd Bn. He was born in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania and resided in Levittown, Pennsylvania after the war. His decorations include: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, EAME Medal w/5 Bronze Stars and 1 Bronze Arrowhead, WW2 Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, Medical Badge Army of Occupation Medal (Germany). Edward Klimowicz died in May 2006. 
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James Krucas (2nd Lt., G Company) Krucas joined G Company in April 1944.

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Robert E. Lee (Pfc.) was killed in the Hürtgen Forest on 24 November 1944. He was 21 years old, and had won the Silver Star and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. Before entering the service, Lee had lived at 735 Spruce Street in Camden, New Jersey. He was brought home for burial and now lies at rest at the Calvary Cemetery, State Highway 70 and Hampton Road, Cherry Hill, New Jersey. (Thanks to Phil Cohen of Camden for this information and for his valiant work on behalf of Camden veterans. For more, visit www.dvrbs.com/CamdenWW2-RobertLee.htm.) 

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Kenneth Peterson (S/Sgt). Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple with Oak Leaf Cluster. This obituary appeared in New Jersey papers on 28 October 1998:

KENNETH PETERSON OF PASSAIC, FORMER FIRE CHIEF, WWII HERO

Kenneth F. Peterson, a retired Passaic fire chief and the city’s most decorated World War II veteran, died of natural causes Monday at the New Jersey State Fireman’s Home in Boonton.  He was 78.

Mr. Peterson, who was born in Passaic, joined the Fire Department in 1945 and rose through the ranks to become its chief from 1978 to 1990.  After his retirement, he moved to Clinton.

“Chief Peterson was a dedicated firefighter and an individual who tried to do the best that he could,” said Imre Karaszegi, who served as business administrator for the city from 1983 to 1990. “He was chief during the 1985 Labor Day fire.  That was probably one of the most trying times in the city’s history,” Karaszegi said, adding that the fire was something that took its toll on everyone involved.

The Fire Department’s current chief, Lou Imparato, said he and his men were very sad to hear of Peterson’s passing.  “But he lived a very long and rewarding life, and I think that his family should be proud of all his accomplishments,” said Imparato, alluding also to Mr. Peterson’s heroic military career.

In World War II, Mr. Peterson participated in the Normandy invasion with the U.S. Army’s First Division and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for his single-handed capture of several pillboxes on the beachhead.

He later participated in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was wounded; he recovered and returned to his unit only to be wounded again in Germany.  Staff Sgt. Peterson was also awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.  In 1951 he was awarded New Jersey’s Distinguished Service Medal by the Gov. Alfred E. Driscoll.

Mr. Peterson was a member of Local 13 of the Fireman’s Benevolent Association, the New Jersey Fireman’s Relief Association, and the New Jersey Exempt Fireman’s Association.  He was also past commander of the American Legion Gerald V. Carroll Post 161, a member of Disabled American Veterans Post 1, the Catholic War Veterans, the Passaic Oldtimers, and the Passaic Democratic Club. He was also past commander of the Army-Navy Legion of Valor National Association.

Mr. Peterson was a parishioner of St. Nicholas R.C. Church, where he served on the parish council and was a member of the church’s Holy Name Society and Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

Contributions may be made to the New Jersey Fireman’s Home, or to the Parkinson’s Foundation for Research.

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Clarence Colson remembers that John F. Plichta (Pfc. in October 1941) was "real nice looking fellow. He was with us in Sicily but killed after that."

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Louis J. Ramundo (Sgt.) was killed on 6 June 1944.

He is buried in the Normandy American Cemetary, St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France (Plot H, Row 12, Grave 8).

Lou Ramundo's headstone, photo by Chuck Solomon.

 

This article appeared in the Philadelphia Post on 16 August 1944:

4-FRONT VETERAN KILLED IN FRANCE

City Soldier Met Death on D-Day

A Philadelphia infantryman, veteran of four campaigns, was killed on D-Day. Sergeant Louis J. Ramundo, 24, son of Mr. and Mrs.Casperino Ramundo, 6814 Paschall Ave., was killed on June 6 in France. He was inducted in January 1942 and went overseas two years ago. A veteran of the North African, Sicilian, and Italian campaigns, he received the Silver Star for gallantry during the Sicilian campaign. He attended West Philadelphia High School and was employed by the General Electric Company. An uncle, John Vignola, is a house sergeant at the 12th and Pine Sts. Police station.

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Elmer Frederick Reese (Sgt. after D-Day) Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart (Reese was wounded on 30 March 1945, in the same action that killed Ray Curley).
These three short clippings (undated but from spring and summer 1943) published by his hometown newspaper tell the story of his early service:

Pvt. Fred Reese, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Reese, Fourth avenue, College Hill, who left April 1st for Camp George G. Meade, Md., is now located at Camp Wheeler, Ga. He states in letters home that the weather is fine there and the temperature 92 degrees.

Pvt. Fred Reese, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Reese, has completed his basic training at Camp Wheeler, Ga. He is now home on a ten-day furlough and will return Friday to Camp Butner, North Carolina.

Pvt. Fred Reese, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Reese, 4032 Fourth avenue has arrived safely "somewhere" in England. He has been in service since April 1, '43.

This clipping is from spring 1945:

Sgt. Fred Reese, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Reese, has returned to the Woodrow Wilson hospital Staunton, Va., for treatment after spending a 30 day convalescent furlough at his home.

Sgt. Reese was wounded March 30, while in action in Germany. He served with the 16th Infantry of the First Division, First Army. Reese wears the Combat Infantryman's badge, the bronze star, European Theatre of Operations ribbon, Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal, an arrowhead for D-Day, three battle stars and the Presidential unit citation. He served overseas 22 months.

Fred Reese passed away on December 2, 2007.

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Richard Sims (Sgt. after D-Day) Silver Star and Purple Heart. He was killed on 25 November 1944, and is buried in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetary, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium (Plot A, Row 17, Grave 30).

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Joseph W. Slaydon (S/Sgt) Silver Star, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster,  Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. Slaydon was born on 2 August 1907 in Reidsville, Rockingham Co., North Carolina (and inducted from Caswell Co., NC). Unmarried at the time of his induction on 2 September 1942, at Fort Bragg, NC, he was listed as 5' 8" tall, blue eyes, brown hair, 135 lbs. He had formerly worked as a doffer in a cotton mill. He served as Platoon Guide (Military Occupational Specialty #745), combat infantryman, with eleven months nine days service in the ETO. He sailed for Europe on 5 March 1943, arriving on 19 March 1943, and departed on 13 February 1945, arriving back in the United States on 19 February 1945. Slaydon fought in the Sicily and Normandy Campaigns, was twice wounded (6 June 1944 and 20 November 1944). Slaydon was discharged on 15 December 1944 "For the Convenience of the Government" with a total of two years five months service. His early discharge may well have been the result of his second wound. He died in October of 1969, probably in Spray, Rockingham Co., North Carolina. *Note 2 *

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John M. Spalding (2nd Lt. on D-Day, promoted to 1st Lt. later). Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart. He died on 6 November 1959 and is buried in Owensboro, Kentucky. See Spalding D-Day narrative, medical report, John Spalding homecoming and picture file

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Phil Streczyk (T/Sgt.) Distinguished Service Cross, British Military Medal, Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart. For more, see see Phil Streczyk homecoming and picture file.  The undated article below is from the Streczyk family scrapbook.

East Brunswick Soldier
Accumulates Decorations

Sergeant Phillip Streczyk, East Brunswick Township infantryman is just about one of the most decorated men from Middlesex County in the European war area and if his past exploits may be used as a yardstick for the fuss he raises with the Nazis in the future, his chest will be weighed down when he returns home.

Here’s the list:

 The Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Good Conduct ribbon, the British Military Medal for Gallantry, the Silver Star, an Oak Leaf cluster to add to the Silver Star, and lately the coveted Distinguished Service Cross.

The Silver Star was first awarded to Sergeant Streczyk for his courage during operations in the Sicilian invasion and later, in the Italian campaign, he won a similar award in the form of the Oak Leaf cluster to the original medal.

His British Military Medal, presented to him personally by General Sir Bernard Montgomery was awarded for “gallantry on D-Day in clearing enemy trenches” as Allied assault troops stormed inland from beachheads in Normandy. His sister, Mrs. Sophie Semchenko, RFD No. 1, New Brunswick, has among her possessions the front page of a London newspaper showing a picture of General Montgomery pinning the medal on her brother’s uniform.

Sergeant Streczyk, 25 years old, entered service in September 1941 and went overseas in June 1942. His brother, John, is with the Seabees on Marshall Islands and his nephew, Stanley Semchenko, is with an infantry outfit at Camp Blanding, Fla.

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Charles E. Tegtmeyer (Major) Commanding officer of the 16th Infantry Medical Detachment (and author of the Medical Detachment Comments and Criticisms on Operation Neptune). He was awarded the DSC for heroism on D-Day.

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Virgil Tilley (Pfc.) was born 29 September 1923. Notice of his death appeared in the Chattanooga Times on 17 November 1986.

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Joseph A. Toth was from Scranton, Pennsylvania. He entered the service in September 1940 and joined the First Division at Fort Deven. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant in North Africa, and later to Tech. Sergeant. Toth was awarded the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster. See homecoming and Silver Star citation.

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Ed Wozenski (Captain on D-Day, Brigadier General after Korea). Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star. See Ed Wozenski interview and sound and picture file.  Wozenski (born 29 July 1915, died 26 July 1987) was Regular Army. He left the States as a lieutenant in E Company and was promoted to captain in North Africa (according to History of Company "E", the previous captain had been taken prisoner at El Guettar during "the famous bayonet charge to take Hill 606".) Wozenski won his first Silver Star in the drive to Bizerte.
Ed Wozenski was (and is) beloved by his men. A clue as to why can be found in a handwritten note on one of his citations.  At the bottom of the page, Wozenski wrote (perhaps to a family member): "Motto--don't believe all that you read. Love, Ed." These are three of Wozenski's medal citations (information kindly provided by Rene C. Provost, Col. (Ret) AUS, Military Administrative Officer):

10 August 1943 [Silver Star, Oak Leaf Cluster]
EDWARD F. WOZENSKI, 0351415, CAPTAIN (then FIRST LIEUTENANT), Infantry. For gallantry in action. Captain Wozenski organized and led a co-ordinated attack on a strategic enemy position. His brilliant leadership and keen tactical judgment insured the success of the operation.

15 October 1943 [Distinguished Service Cross]
EDWARD F. WOZENSKI, 0-351415, Captain, 16th Infantry, for extraordinary heroism in action on 11 July 1943 in the Gela-Niscemi sector, Sicily. Captain Wozenski, with about fifty men and officers, was holding a vital hill when the enemy counterattacked with about ten tanks and approximately a battalion of infantry. The tanks surrounded the hill firing at point blank range when Captain Wozenski seized a rocket gun and, while constantly exposed to tank, artillery, machine gun and small arms fire, moved from point to point firing on the tanks and encouraging and directing his men to do likewise. He personally knocked out two tanks, one of them by firing into its rear after it had passed over his foxhole. Captain Wozenski's superbly heroic, calm determined conduct inspired his men to resist in an apparently hopeless situation and was a prime factor in the defeat of the enemy's counterattack.
By command of
Lieutenant General PATTON

Award of Oak Leaf Cluster to Distinguished Service Cross [for D-Day]
Captain Edward F. Wozenski, 0351415, 16th Infantry, United States Army. For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 6 June 1944, in France. On D-Day, Captain Wozenski's company suffered numerous casualties in reaching the fire-swept invasion beach. Boldly, he moved along the beach, at the risk of his life, to reorganize his battered troops. The reorganization completed, he courageously led his men through heavy machine gun and small arms fire across the beach and toward an enemy dominated ridge. Demoralizing fire from a powerful installation on the ridge threatened to stop the attack. Ordering his men to deploy to the flanks of the enemy position, Captain Wozenski, with great valor, advanced alone to within 100 yards of the emplacement. With cool and calm efficiency, he engaged the fortification single handedly with rifle fire to divert attention of the enemy from the flanking movement. Upon observing this valiant soldier, the enemy directed the fire of its machine guns on him but Captain Wozenski, with complete disregard for his own safety, continued the harassing fire until his men reached their positions safely. His inspired troops charged the strongpoint vigorously and completely destroyed it, inflicting numerous casualties upon the enemy. By his superb leadership and fearless courage, Captain Wozenski exemplified the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

COURTNEY H. HODGES
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Commanding

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NOTES

* 1 *   Information provided by  Peter John, Archival Research, Bristol, England.  [Return]
 

* 2 *   Information provided by LTC Sion H. Harrington III, USAR (Ret.), Military Collection Archivist & Coordinator, Military Collection Project, North Carolina Division of Archives and History.  [Return]