-- Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Francis J. Pitonyak, 25, of Detroit, whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Sept. 22 in Arlington National Cemetery, near
Washington, D.C. Pitonyak was a member of the 36th Fighter Group, 8th
Fighter squadron based at Wards Airdome near Port Moresby, Territory of
Papua. He disappeared while leading a four-ship of single-seat
fighter aircraft on an armed patrol mission. Enroute to Nadzab,
Territory of Papua, the pilots encountered inclement weather, causing
one pilot to return to base, where he reported his fellow pilots,
including Pitonyak, missing. After an unsuccessful aerial search the
following day, Pitonyak was declared deceased on Oct. 28, 1943. Read about Pitonyak.
-- Marine Corps Pfc. Ray James, 21, of Sylvarena, Miss., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Sept. 22, in his hometown. James was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. James’ unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll on Nov. 20, 1943, against stiff Japanese resistance. James was killed on the first day of the battle. Read about James.
-- Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Thomas M. McGraw, 26, of Lakewood, Ohio, whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Sept. 22 in Seville, Ohio. McGraw was a member 716th Bomber Squadron, 449th Bombardment Group. On Feb. 28, 1945, McGraw and 10 other B-24J Liberator aircrew took off from Grottaglie Army Air Base, Italy, as part of a mission to target the Isarc-Albes railroad bridge in northern Italy, which was part of Brennan Route, used by Germans to move personnel and equipment into and out of Italy. After the bombing run, the other aircraft moved toward the rally point and witnessed one aircraft skim the mountain tops with at least two damaged engines. The plane was last seen near Lake Wiezen in Austria and no parachutes were reported exiting the aircraft. Based on this information, McGraw was reported missing in action. Read about McGraw.
-- Air Force Col. Martin R. Scott, 34, of, Jenks, Okla., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Sept. 22 in Claremore, Okla. Scott was a fighter pilot assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. On Mar. 15, 1966, Scott was piloting an F-4C Phantom II on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. His aircraft was shot down while on a strafing run, and no parachutes or emergency signals were seen. An organized search was not possible due to hostilities in the area and Scott was subsequently declared missing in action. Read about Scott.
-- Army Pfc. Gerald F. Wipfli, 23, of Nekoosa, Wis., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Sept. 23 in his hometown. Wipfli was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112th Infantry. In early November 1944, his unit engaged with German forces in the town of Schmidt, Germany, within the Hürtgen Forest. After the intense fighting, it took the unit several days to account for its personnel. Wipfli was one of 33 unaccounted-for soldiers and was declared missing in action on Nov. 4, 1944. Read about Wipfli.
-- Army Cpl. William R. Sadewasser, 24, of Wellsville, N.Y., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Sept. 23 in Ulysses, Pa. Sadewasser served with Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, as part of the 31st Regimental Combat Team deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. The RCT was attacked by an overwhelming number of Chinese forces in late November 1950. Sadewasser was among the more than 1,000 members of the RCT killed or captured in enemy territory. He was reported missing as of Nov. 28, 1950. Read about Sadewasser.
-- Army Cpl. Daniel F. Kelly, 18, of Pittsburgh, Pa., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Sept. 27 in Bridgeville, Pa. Kelly was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. In late November 1950, his unit was ordered to advance as part of an offensive push to drive the North Koreans to the Yalu River, along the border of North Korea and China. They were attacked by Chinese forces and Kelly was declared missing on Nov. 26, 1950. Read about Kelly.
-- Army Air Forces Sgt. Charles H. Daman was a member of the 714th Bombardment Squadron, 448th Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Division. On April 4, 1945, Daman, along with more than 400 other bombers, took off to attack airbases at Parchim, Perleberg and Wesendorf, Germany, as part of an Allied attempt to cripple what was left of the German air force. Daman's aircraft, which held 10 airmen, was attacked by enemy fighter planes in the vicinity of Hamburg. Interment services are pending. Read about Daman.
-- Navy Water Tender 2nd Class Porter L. Rich was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Rich was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Rich.
-- Navy Seaman 2nd Class George J. Wilcox was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Wilcox was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Wilcox.
-- Army Pvt. Shirley E. Bailey was a medic with Company G, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Bailey provided medical support to his unit as they fought in the Hürtgen Forest of Germany, an area comprised of roughly 50-square miles along the Belgian-German border in late 1944. On Nov. 29, when Bailey’s battalion was moving out, a German counterattack struck his company. Bailey rushed forward to aid a wounded man and was himself killed by enemy fire. Interment services are pending. Read about Bailey.
OAK BROOK, Ill. - Ace Hardware is collaborating with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) once again this year to honor the brave me...