You are on page 1of 7

Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee

Waterbury Jewish War Dead - World War II


Names taken from the Jewish War Veterans Memorial, Stillson Road. Waterbury CT

Apirian - US Army Air Corps Corporal Robert H. Apirian, 20th Air Force - born in
Waterbury 1925, died in 1945, at age 20, when the plane he was in collided during a
training mission. His mother and father were from Russia. They lived at 36 Hawkins
Street, Waterbury, off Cooke Street. US Army serial number 11104438, enlisted
04/17/1943. He was a Radio Operator aboard a B-29 Superfortress. On August 17,
1945, at 2128 CWT, Boeing B-29 # 44-86276 and B-29 # 42-93895 collided in mid-air
and crashed about three miles west of Weatherford, Texas, killing 18 fliers and seriously
injuring two others. Co-pilot F/O Edwin F. Smith and gunner Cpl. Earl E. Wischmeier
were able to parachute to safety from B-29 # 42-93895. B-29 # 44-86276 took off from
Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico; B-29 # 42-93895 took off from Clovis Army Air
Field, New Mexico. Both airplanes were on separate training flights. The collision
occurred at about 15,000 feet. The co-pilot of 42-93895 observed the starboard wing
and engines of B-29 # 44-86276 approaching from the right front. An instant later the
airplanes collided nearly head-on. The starboard wing of B-29 # 44-86276 collided with
the starboard wing of B-29 # 42-93895. Both airplanes burst into flames in the collision
and went out of control, both breaking up and trailing flames as they tumbled to earth.
The co-pilot bailed out of the co-pilot window and his shoe was cut by the number-three
propeller. The gunner was able to break out the plexiglass side gunner's dome and bail
out. B-29 # 42-93895 was on auto pilot at the moment of collision. The pilots of each

Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee


airplane were unable to make any evasive maneuver, the airplanes suddenly colliding
out of nowhere at night. Killed in the crash of B-29 # 44-86276
were: 1Lt. Aubrey K. Stinson, pilot; 2Lt. Harold L. Swain, copilot; 2Lt. Gordon E. Myers, navigator; 2Lt. Benson W. Cohen,
bombardier; 2Lt. Edward E. Lahniers, flight engineer; Sgt.
Donald V. Lefebvre, radio operator; Sgt. John A. Moseley,
central fire control; Sgt. Donald E. Reed, right gunner; Sgt.
Clarence A. Jurgens, left gunner. Killed in the crash of B-29 #
42-93895 were: 1Lt. Robert A. Mayer, pilot; 2Lt. Robert L.
Knight, bombardier; 2Lt. John W. Burris, navigator; F/O Robert
Q. Zaleska, radar operator; SSgt. Clifford D. Longmire,
engineer; Cpl. Robert H. Apirian, radio operator; Cpl. Jasper C. Wilson Jr., gunner; Cpl.
Willard A. Byerly, gunner; Cpl. Anthony J. Agliata, gunner.
A marker was created at the Weatherford, Texas, Public Library in 2003 listing the
names of the men lost. http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=57589
Block - US Army 2nd Lt. Leonard Block, 56th Field Artillery, 8th Infantry
Division. US Army SN# 31169313. Born in Waterbury, September 12, 1919,
died February 28, 1945. Leonard enlisted August 19, 1942. The 8th Infantry
Division (Pathfinders) were in on the action quickly - they landed July 4th,
1944 at a beach near Cherbourg, France. He was the son of Casper and
Bessie Block, of Ward Street, Waterbury. He had two brothers - Howard and
Sidney. Leonards brother Sgt. Sidney Block also served in the US Armys 8th
Pathfinders - Sid returned home to his home on 25 Chauncey Street,
Waterbury, in July 1945.
Bodian - US Army Private Samuel I. Bodian, 36th Armored Infantry
Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, died September 6, 1944, and is
buried at: Plot G Row 14 Grave 29 Henri-Chapelle American
Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. US Army SN # 31382567. The
Bodian Family, Abraham and Rebecca, he from Russia, she from
Austria, spoke Yiddish and lived on Greystone Road, Plymouth,
near the outskirts of Waterbury. Samuel had four brothers - Hyman,
Louis, Abe and Henry. On Sept. 12, 1944, a task force of the 3rd
Armored Division had completed the first invasion of Germany in
force since the time of Napoleon. Samuel Bodian had died just prior
to that success.
Frank - US Army PFC Leo Frank, 25th Armored Infantry, 5th
Armored Division, died December 21, 1944, during fierce
fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. Leo lived at 126 Cherry
Street with his mother Fanny and his father, Charles. Leo
had four siblings, Geore, Arthur, Marion, and Sidney.

Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee

Franken - US Army Private Allan C. Franken, 21st Infantry


Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, SN# 31343392, died May
24, 1945 of wounds received during the liberation of the
Philippines. His 21st Infantry Regiment fought bravely to
liberate the Island of Luzon and the city of Manila. He is
Buried at: Plot A Row 14 Grave 131, Manila American
Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. In the year 2000, the
Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee decorated and
photographed his grave at Fort Bonifacio, Manila.
Isaacs - US Army PFC David Isaacs, 180th Infantry, 45th
Infantry Division (Thunderbirds). SN# 31440477 Born
October 17, 1911, died September 27, 1944. Enlisted August
10, 1943. Son of Louis and Sarah Isaacs, of 45 Bishop
Street, Waterbury. David had two siblings - Ida and Samuel.
Jalkow - US Army PFC Joseph C. Jalkow, born in 1925,
entered the US Army on April 18, 1944. He was assigned to
the 10th Mountain Division, 85th Mountain Infantry Regiment. On April 15, 1945 in an
assault on Castle DAiano, Hill 913, Italy, Company I of the 85th Inf. had suffered so
many casualties that Lt. Col. Shelor had Company K pass through to take Hill 913 from
the southwest end. Lt. Keith J. Kvam, Company I weapons platoon leader, was killed
instantly by a mine, which went off when he stepped on the release. Lt.
John D. Mitchell, rifle platoon leader in Company I, was killed by a
snipers bullet while leading his platoon in the attack. Lt. Robert Dole,
another Company I rifle platoon leader, was seriously wounded during
the attack. The tanks, moving up to assist Company I, encountered
difficulty when one struck a mine near Road Junction 771 (south of
Famaticcia) and others were held up behind it. Pfc. Joseph Jalkow, a
BAR-man in Company K, was killed by a sniper. Lt. Frank Slight, rifle
platoon leader in Company K, exposed himself to the deadly sniper fire
by going out and bringing Pfc. Jalkow back to a covered position. Lt.
Slight was killed shortly afterward while trying to locate the snipers who
were picking off his men. It was the difficulty experienced by the men of
Company I that caused Company K to be called into the battle. Josephs father, owned
Jalkows Pharmacy at the corner of Brewster Street and Cooke Street.
Johnson - US Army Pvt. Paul Morris Johnson, 64th Coast Artillery, AntiAircraft, Battery B, was stationed at Fort Shafter, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii,
in 1941. Pvt. Johnson was the nephew of World War I Pvt. David L. Fannick
and, according to the family, he always wanted to be a soldier. He was
wounded in the December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, and died of his
wounds the next day. Fort Shafter is about 3 miles from Pearl Harbor. Pvt.
Johnson was the first casualty from Waterbury in World War II. US Army
SN# 11010756. He enlisted April 23, 1941. Paul graduated from Mary
Abbott School, Leavenworth High School, and was born October 3, 1922.

Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee


The Johnson family lived on
Greenwood Avenue.
Krakower - US Navy Fireman 2nd
Class Robert Norton Krakower.
F2C Krakower was serving aboard
the USS Juneau (CL-52) when it
was struck by a torpedo from IJN
Submarine I-26. 687 men died
when the Juneau broke in two on
November 13, 1942, including the
5 Sullivan Brothers. The Krakower
Family lived in the apartments at
135 West Main Street, Waterbury.
Margolis - US Marine Corps Reserve PFC Joseph Gurmon Margolis, born in 1917,
entered the US Armed Forces on December 26, 1942. SN# 32602579. He was killed in
action on May 21, 1945, in the Battle for Okinawa, and is buried at the National
Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). He left behind his, parents Anna
(Soble) Margolis and Benjamin Margolis, 232 Plaza Avenue, Waterbury. PFC Margolis
had two siblings, Samuel and Pauline, and Samuel, Ida, and Leon Soble as stepsiblings (1920 census Philadelphia, 513 Jackson St). PFC Margolis was interred on March 3,
1949 at the Punchbowl, Oahu.
Misky - US Army PFC David R. Misky, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th
Infantry Division, son of Nathan and Mary Misky, lived at 40 Beacon
Street, Waterbury, with his siblings, Freeda and Abraham. Born October
22, 1909, died February 27, 1945. Both parents from Russia. From his
unit history The 29th Infantry Division trained in Scotland and England
for the cross channel invasion, October 1942-June 1944. Teamed with
the 1st Division, a regiment of the 29th Division (116th Infantry) was in the first assault
wave to hit the beaches at Normandy on D-day, 6 June 1944. Landing on Omaha
Beach on the same day in the face of intense enemy fire, the Division soon secured the
bluff tops and occupied Isigny, 9 June.The Division cut across the Elle River and
advanced slowly toward St. Lo, fighting bitterly in the Normandy hedge rows. After
taking St. Lo, 18 July 1944, the Division joined in the battle for Vire, capturing that
strongly held city, 7 August. Turning west, the 29th took part in the assault on Brest, 25
August-18 September 1944. After a short rest, the Division moved to defensive
positions along the Teveren-Geilenkirchen line in Germany and maintained those
positions through October. (In mid-October the 116th Infantry took part in the fighting at
the Aachen Gap.) On 16 November the Division began its drive to the Roer, blasting its
way through Siersdorf, Setterich, Durboslar, and Bettendorf, and reaching the Roer by
the end of the month. Heavy fighting reduced Julich Sportplatz and the Hasenfeld Gut, 8
December.
From 8 December 1944 to 23 February 1945, the Division held defensive positions
along the Roer and prepared for the offensive. The attack jumped off across the Roer,
23 February, and carried the Division through Julich, Broich, Immerath, and Titz, to
Munchen-Gladbach, 1 March 1945. The Division was out of combat in March. In early

Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee


April the 116th Infantry helped mop up in the Ruhr area. On 19 April 1945 the Division
pushed to the Elbe and held defensive positions until 4 May. Meanwhile, the 175th
Infantry cleared the Klotze Forest. After VE-day, the Division was on military
government duty in the Bremen. clave.
Nathanson - US Army Corporal Franklin G.
Nathanson, born in New York in 1925, enlisted in
the US Army from Waterbury, July 7, 1943. SN#
31379498, Died, non-battle.
Rosenberg - US Army PFC Harvey A. Rosenberg,
343rd Infantry, 86th Infantry Division, born July 9,
1925, died January 21, 1946 in the occupation of the
Philippines. PFC Rosenberg was a member of Yale
45, and Trumbull and Jonathan Edwards colleges.
Harvey Rosenberg withdrew from Yale and
voluntarily went on active duty in the Army at Fort
Devens, Massachusetts, on November 5, 1943. He
had been accepted for the Army Specialized Training Program at Fort Benning,
Georgia, but when a phase of this program was discontinued, he was transferred to
Camp Livingston, Louisiana. Rosenberg received amphibious training at Camp Cooke
and Camp San Luis Obispo, California and in February, 1945, sailed for Europe with the
86th Black Hawk Division. He served in France, the Ruhr pocket, Bavaria, and Austria
as a PFC and his division included the first American troops to cross the Danube. On
June 17 he returned with the 86th Division to the United States and was given a brief
furlough. On July 21 Rosenberg was assigned to Camp Gruber, Oklahoma, and then to
Camp Stoneman, Port of Embarkation for San Francisco. After having seen service in
the European theater of operation
he was sent to the Pacific on
August 28, 1945, to take part in the
occupation of the Philippine
Islands. On Luzon he studied
statistical analysis at the Armed
Forces Institute and wrote the
sports page of the regimental
newspaper.
"
PFC Harvey Rosenberg
was killed on January 21, 1946, on
Luzon when he came in contact
with a metal wall in the company
laundry which in some way had
become electrically charged. He
was the last casualty from
Waterbury to die in WW II. He was
the only son of Jacob and Bertha
Rosenberg, 228 Cooke Street.

Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee


Swirsky - US Army PFC
Irving Swirsky born April
11,1924, 311th Infantry,
78th Infantry Division. Died
February 3, 1945.
SN#313240020 enlisted
2/18/1943 From his unit
history It was slow,
arduous work, but it
brought results. By Feb. 2,
Kesternich -- a town no
longer, but a name which
never will be forgotten by
the 78th Division -- was
captured and cleared of
Germans. To the south,
Konzen, Am Gericht,
Huppenbroich and
Eicherscheid already had
fallen. Treacherous minefields,
veiled by heavy snow, took their
toll, but Lightning soldiers
would not be stopped. Hammer,
on the Roer, was seized. Next,
Co. C, 311th, struck out for
Dedenborn, a small town
across a crook in the river,
approximately two miles
southeast of Kesternich. The
swift stream was a formidable
obstacle, but a water crossing
was effected. Hanging onto a
cable strung from one bank to
the other, the company
stumbled and swam across.
Swarming up the opposite
shore, doughs rushed the town.
After a short, furious battle,
German defenders were
overcome. Dedenborn
belonged to the 78th. It was
here that here that PFC Irving
Swirsky lost his life.

Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee

data compiled
by Robert G. Dorr, Secretary,WVMC
contact: bobcva4064@aol.com
/end