Enlisted Men of the 32nd Station Hospital (Last Name C)

This is the third in a series of articles about the enlisted men who served in the unit while it was overseas between January 14, 1943 and May 8, 1945.  See Introduction to Enlisted Men of the 32nd Station Hospital for details pertaining to research and curatorial decisions in how I’m presenting them.

As a note of explanation as to why it’s been seven months since the last installment of biographies has been published…Research slowed on my 32nd Station Hospital project while I focused on researching a series of profiles about World War II fallen. However, now I am dividing my research time between both projects.


Robert Charles Canon, 33272353 (December 11, 1918 – May 18, 2004)

Canon born in Franklin, Venango County, Pennsylvania to Lawrence (a merchant) and Margaret Canon.  He had an older sister, a younger brother, and a younger sister. At the time of the census on April 6, 1940, he was living in Franklin and working as a laborer in a machine shop.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, the registrar described him as standing approximately five feet, 11 inches tall and weighing 170 lbs., with black hair and hazel eyes, and wearing glasses.  He was employed by the Joy Manufacturing Company.

Canon was drafted.  His occupation was recorded as draftsman when he joined the U.S. Army in Erie, Pennsylvania on June 18, 1942.  He attended training at the Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Pickett, Virginia.  Private Canon’s name appeared on a list (dated August 31, 1942) of men assigned from Camp Pickett to the 32nd Station Hospital.  He joined the 32nd Station Hospital at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 3, 1942.  His M.O.S. at the time was listed as 060 (cook).

Private Canon was one of eight enlisted men who, with two officers, departed Camp Rucker for Fort Benning, Georgia on October 24, 1942 (two days before the main body of the unit).  While stationed there, he was promoted to private 1st class on December 3, 1942.  He went overseas with the unit on January 14, 1943 and served in Tlemcen, Algeria and Caserta, Italy.  Private 1st Class Canon was transferred to the 364th A.P.U. (presumably Army Postal Unit) per Special Order No. 237, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section on August 26, 1944.  Coincidentally, microfilm of the 32nd Station Hospital’s morning reports happened to include a copy of Special Order No. 219, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section (dated August 7, 1945).  That document stated that Canon (now at the grade of technician 5th grade) was transferred from the 364th A.P.U. to the 9th Base Post Office effective August 11, 1945.

According to his Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Application for World War II Compensation, Canon arrived back in the United States on October 1, 1945 and was discharged at Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania on October 14, 1945.

After leaving the U.S. Army, he returned to Joy Manufacturing for a period of time.  He married Mary Grace Gardner (a teacher, 1919–1994) in Grove City, Pennsylvania on October 26, 1945.  The couple raised at least two sons.  On a list compiled for the 1982 reunion, Canon was listed as someone who had lost contact with the rest of the unit due to an outdated or inaccurate address, with a last known address on 5th Street in Franklin (Venango County), Pennsylvania.  A newspaper article indicated that he was living at 421 5th Street when he joined the U.S. Army, but by 1950 he was living in Geneva, Pennsylvania.  Sometime after the war, he moved to Riverside, California.  I have been unable to learn anything else about him.


James Herman Capps, 14018573 (April 24, 1916 – January 14, 1964)

Capps was born in Clinch County, Georgia, the son of Clarence A. (a farmer) and Bertie Capps.  He had three brothers and two sisters, one of whom died very young.  The family was recorded on the census on January 19, 1920, living in Clinch County, Georgia.  They were recorded again on April 11, 1930, living in Homerville, Georgia.  His father and older brother were now working in the turpentine industry.  At the time the family was recorded again on May 2, 1940, his father was back to farming and James (recorded as Herman) was a laborer in the naval stores industry.  According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia: “Georgia was the world’s leading producer of naval stores, which are materials extracted from southern pine forests and then used in the construction and repair of sailing vessels. Typical naval stores include lumber, railroad ties, rosin, and turpentine.”

Capps volunteered for the U.S. Army, enlisting at Fort Benning, Georgia on September 3, 1940.  As a volunteer, he was able to select the Medical Department as his branch.  At the time he enlisted, his occupation was recorded as bus, taxi, truck, or tractor driver with four years of high school.

Curiously, I was unable to determine precisely when he joined the 32nd Station Hospital, though he was a member in Tlemcen, Algeria by April 8, 1943.  While the unit was in staging near Naples, Italy, he went on detached service with the 182nd Station Hospital on December 30, 1943.  He returned to the unit on January 10, 1944, the same day the unit moved to Caserta to begin operations.  Private Capps was one of 13 men transferred to the 17th General Hospital on July 6, 1944 per Special Order No. 182, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section, dated June 30, 1944.  He was honorably discharged on August 19, 1946.  Curiously, the veterans headstone application submitted by his brother Harris stated that Capps was discharged as a private after serving as a supply clerk at the 17th General Hospital.  However, a government official wrote corrections to the form indicating that he was a sergeant and his last unit was the Detachment, Medical Department at Camp Wheeler, Georgia.

Since he had volunteered before the draft was implemented, Capps didn’t register until August 28, 1946.  At the time, he was living with his wife in Macon, Georgia.  Her name was not given, and apparently, the marriage did not last.  He was described as standing five feet, 8½ inches tall and weighing 175 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

He remarried (to Alma Jean Johnson Smith) on February 12, 1949 in Echols County, Georgia.  Capps died in Winter Haven, Florida, aged 47.  His wife Alma died the following day.  January 16 and 17, 1964 articles in the Orlando Sentinel indicated the couple died after they “drank Sterno at a party.”  Although intended for heating food and quite dangerous to consume, some people would drink it as an intoxicant.  At least seven people were killed and eleven more hospitalized in connection with the incident which claimed the Capps’ lives.  (It’s unclear if all the victims were at the same party, but all drank Sterno traced to a restauranteur in Eloise, Florida).

Capps’s obituary, printed in the Winter Haven Daily News Chief on January 15, 1964 and reproduced on his Find a Grave entry, stated that: “Capps was a native of Homerville, Ga., and moved to Eloise from Lake City, Fla., in 1950. A citrus worker, he was a member of the Methodist church in Homerville and a veteran of World War II.”  No children were listed in their obituaries.


Frank Cappuccio, 32263826 (probably May 23, 1905, May 21, 1906, or May 22, 1906 – November 29, 1974)

Cappuccio was born in Hammonton, New Jersey, the son of Angelo (a shoemaker) and Grace Cappuccio.  Various sources give a wide variety of dates of birth for Cappuccio, but as far as I can tell they’re all the same person.  An entry in the U.S. Social Security Death Index gave his date of birth as May 22, 1906.  His headstone and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death Index listed May 21, 1906.  Finally, his draft card gave a date of birth of May 23, 1905 (and his enlistment data recorded a birth year of 1905).

Cappuccio was the fourth of five children (four sons and a daughter).  His parents and two oldest older brothers were born in Italy.  He grew up living on Fourth Street in Hammonton.  When he was recorded on the census on April 19, 1930, his occupation was listed as tailor.  At the time that he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Cappuccio was living with his mother in Hammonton and working for John Pino at the Crown Manufacturing Company.  The registrar described him as standing approximately five feet, eight inches tall and weighing 165 lbs., with a “small mustache” as well as black hair and brown eyes.

After he was drafted, Cappuccio joined the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey on April 1, 1942.  His enlistment data card described him as a semiskilled worker in a machine shop with a grammar school education.

Technician 5th Grade Cappuccio joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy at 1100 hours on February 11, 1944 via the 2nd Replacement Depot/Personnel Center 6.  He attended a daytime training program at the 64th General Hospital from May 1, 1944 through May 28, 1944, then again May 30, 1944 through May 31.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 15–19, 1944. He was one of 16 enlisted men transferred to the 52nd Station Hospital on June 30, 1945.  He must have returned to the United States soon after, because his entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File listed dates of service as April 1, 1942 through August 23, 1945.  His headstone states that he was a technician 5th grade during World War II.

Cappuccio married Theresa Zinno (1913–2008) in New Jersey in 1947.  I was unable to find an obituary for him, but his wife’s, printed in The Press of Atlantic City on February 20, 2008, did not mention any children.


David Benjamin Carroll, 34189939 (February 5, 1919 or February 5, 1920 – June 3, 1987)

Carroll was born in Bradley County, Tennessee, the son of Ben and Sallie Carroll.  His draft card and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death file entry recorded his birth year as 1919 while the U.S. Social Security Death Index and Georgia Death Index listed 1920.

He is probably the David B. Caral recorded on the 1930 census living in Bradley County with his parents, brother, and three sisters.  He was recorded on the census on May 6, 1940 living in Bradley County.  He was described as a steel worker in a foundry living with his mother at his older brother Henry’s house. When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Carroll was living in Cleveland, Tennessee and working at the Hardwick Stove Foundry.  He was described as standing five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 161 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

After Carroll was drafted, he joined the U.S. Army at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia on February 24, 1942.  His enlistment data stated he was married and worked in an unskilled position at a sawmill.  Private Carroll was assigned to the unit on December 16, 1942 from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia.  Since he was on furlough at the time, Private Carroll did not join the unit until December 22, 1942.  Shortly thereafter, he accompanied the unit to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and then overseas to Tlemcen, Algeria.  On October 24, 1943, he went on detached service as “C a B School” (presumably cooks and bakers school) at the 1st Replacement Depot.

Private Carroll continued to serve with the unit in Caserta, Italy, where he was promoted to private 1st class on February 18, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 15–19, 1944.  He was transferred to 1st Replacement Depot on December 10 or 11, 1944.  In the transfer document, his M.O.S. was 590 (duty soldier III).  I’m not sure exactly what duty soldier IIIs did in the context of the hospital, since they were not listed in the tables of organization and equipment.  Possible roles that M.O.S. encompassed included orderly, maintenance, and kitchen helper.  An August 26, 1945 article in The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that Private 1st Class Carroll was on a list of soldiers returning aboard the West Point, “due at Newport News Aug. 24”.  That’s consistent with his entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File indicated that his dates of service were February 24, 1942 through August 30, 1945.  A notation on his draft card also stated that he was “Honorably discharged August 30, 1945.”

I have not been able to learn much about his postwar life, beyond the fact that he died in Catoosa County, Georgia.


Andrew Casp (Andrew A. Casp), 33363360 (April 9, 1918 – August 7, 2014)

Andrew Casp (Courtesy of the Casp family)

Casp was born in Woodlawn (Aliquippa), Pennsylvania, the son of Adam and Rose Casp.  His obituary and headstone listed a middle initial of A., though his military records indicated no middle initial.  Casp’s parents were born in Austria-Hungary; the family name of Saup was changed to Casp after they immigrated to the United States.  Casp’s Find a Grave entry states that he had six brothers and three sisters. Two brothers died very young and a third, Sergeant John E. Casp, was killed in action serving in Germany with Company “C,” 11th Tank Battalion, 10th Armored Division in April 1945, only about a month before the end of the war in Europe.

Casp graduated from Aliquippa High School in 1937. When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Casp was living with his parents in Aliquippa and working at the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation there.  The registrar described him as standing five feet, six inches tall and weighing 137 lbs., with brown hair and eyes. Casp’s discharge paperwork stated that was a shipping clerk when he was drafted, while his enlistment data card recorded him as a semiskilled structural or ornamental metal worker.

Casp joined the U.S. Army on April 15, 1942 in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.  After completing basic training, he attended an eight-week Signal Corps school to become a radar operator. He went overseas on December 12, 1942, arriving overseas on December 26, 1942.  Casp was credited with participating in the Tunisia, Rome-Arno, and North Apennines campaigns and earned the Good Conduct Medal.

“Betty Ann,” a vehicle from Company “B,” 560th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion, XII Air Support Command. It appears likely that Casp served with this unit in the Mediteranean Theater prior to joining the 32nd Station Hospital. (Courtesy of the Casp family)

Technician 5th Grade Casp joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy on March 13, 1945.  His previous unit may have been the 183rd Signal Service Warning Company (it’s a little hard to read in the morning report).  His M.O.S. was 514 (radar crewman), but he was assigned a new one (657, hospital orderly) after joining the 32nd Station Hospital.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Center in Rome on May 24, 1945, returning on May 28.  The unit ceased operations in Caserta on July 20, 1945 and went into staging in Naples soon after.  The 32nd Station Hospital sailed for the United States on September 22, 1945.

After the 32nd Station Hospital arrived at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945, he was transferred to the Reception Center at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.  Technician 5th Grade Casp’s discharge paperwork recorded his unit as Company “C,” 560th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion. (Although that paperwork typically listed the servicemember’s last unit, a family photo depicts him standing with a truck from the battalion, so there’s a good chance he was with the unit overseas.) Casp was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation on October 21, 1945.

A group photo from Casp’s collection, perhaps a baseball team in an earlier unit. Interestingly, one man (standing second from the right) is wearing a U.S. Navy shirt. (Courtesy of the Casp family)

After the war, Casp married Josephine Frank (1924–1990).  The couple raised a daughter and a son. Casp’s obituary, printed in The Beaver County Times on August 8, 2014 and reproduced on his Find a Grave entry, stated:

Andrew retired from J&L Steelworks where he was first a shipping clerk then a foreman in the welded tube department. He was a World War II veteran of the Tunisia, Rome-Arno and Northern Apennines Campaigns and was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars. Andrew loved sports, especially the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates, and he also enjoyed coaching little league baseball in Hopewell Twp. He enjoyed gardening, playing cards with the Circle of Friends and Nifty Fifty at Our Lady of Fatima.

He died in Pennsylvania, aged 96.


Avery Choate, 34075047 (August 22, 1922 – July 3, 1974)

Avery Choate and his wife Carolina (Courtesy of the Choate family)

Choate was born in Youngsville, Louisiana, the son of Obrey and Edith Choate.  Choate had four brothers and a sister.  The Choate family was recorded on the census on April 8, 1940, living in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana.  Choate was working as a farmhand.

When he registered for the draft on April 2, 1941, Choate was living in Erath, Louisiana.  The registrar described him as standing approximately five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 147 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

Choate was drafted before the U.S. entered World War II.  He joined the U.S. Army on May 16, 1941 at Jacksonville Army Airfield, Florida.  Private Choate joined the 32nd Station Hospital from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 17, 1942.  He accompanied the unit overseas to Tlemcen, Algeria in early 1943. He failed to sail with the rest of the unit to Italy and was dropped from the organization effective January 7, 1944.  However, he rejoined the unit in Caserta on January 22, 1944.  Private Choate was one of 13 men transferred to the 17th General Hospital on July 6, 1944 per Special Order No. 182, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section, dated June 30, 1944.  According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File, Choate was discharged from the U.S. Army on August 9, 1945.

Choate and his first wife Carolina (1924–2010) had two daughters but subsequently divorced.  His obituary indicated that he had two daughters with his second wife, Edna (1908–1991).  Choate died in Alexandria, Louisiana, aged 51.


Leonard Zollie Church, 33096481 (May 9, 1918 – May 29, 1966)

Church was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, the son of Zollie and Julia Church.  He had at least three brothers and a sister (though Find a Grave indicates at least two more siblings—an older brother and older sister—died as infants before Leonard’s birth).  The family was recorded on the census on January 16, 1920 living in Elk in Wilkes County, North Carolina.  The family had moved to Chase City, Virginia by the time they were recorded on the census again on April 11, 1930.  By the time he was recorded again on the census on April 16, 1940, Church was farming (as was his father and older brother).  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Church was self-employed and living in Chase City, Virginia.  He was described as standing five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 150 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

Church was drafted before the U.S. entered World War II.  He was inducted into the U.S. Army in Richmond, Virginia on July 16, 1941.  His occupation at the time was recorded as carpenter.  Private Church joined the 32nd Station Hospital from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 17, 1942.  He served with the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943 and Caserta, Italy in 1944.  Private Church was transferred to the 6742nd Quartermaster Remount Depot on June 26, 1944.

I have been unable to learn anything about Church’s postwar life aside from the fact that he died in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, aged 48.


Ernest S. Clark (almost certainly Ernest Sidney Clark), 31079071 (almost certainly July 8, 1921 – August 30, 1976)

Ernest Sidney Clark (Courtesy of the Clark family)

According to 32nd Station Hospital payroll records, Clark entered the U.S. Army on June 24, 1942.  Private Clark was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital on September 4, 1942 per Transfer Order No. 978.  He was one of eight enlisted men who, with two officers, departed Camp Rucker for Fort Benning, Georgia on October 24, 1942 (two days before the main body of the unit).  He served with the 32nd Station Hospital in Tlemcen, Algeria, where he was promoted to private 1st class on May 12, 1943.

Private 1st Class Clark remained with the unit when operations moved to Caserta, Italy.  Per General Order No. 25, Headquarters 32nd Station Hospital (dated October 25, 1944), he and Private William Stockton were “entitled to the Good Conduct Medal and are awarded the Good Conduct Ribbon in lieu thereof”.   He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from November 4–8, 1944.  He was one of 16 men transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on December 4, 1944.  His M.O.S. was listed as 657 (hospital orderly) and his civilian occupation was listed as 144 (painter, general).

It is not possible to cross-reference Clark’s service number to an enlistment card (about 13% of cards were impossible to digitize), but the beginning of his service number indicates that he was a draftee and entered the service in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.  Though his common name makes it impossible to be absolutely certain, the only Ernest Clark in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File whose service began on June 24, 1942 was an Ernest Clark with the dates of life above.  He was discharged from the U.S. Army on October 23, 1945.  That data is consistent with the draft card for Ernest Sidney Clark (who had the same date of birth and a note that he was honorably discharged on October 23, 1945.)

Clark was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, the son of Marion Clark.  When he registered for the draft on February 15, 1942, he was living in Waltham and working for the Bettinger Enamel Corporation there.  He was described as standing six feet, one inch tall and weighing 165 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.  I have been able to learn very little about his postwar life.  According to an Ancestry.com family tree, he married Thelma C. Clark (1923–2012).  The couple raised two sons and two daughters, one of whom confirmed that her father served in Italy during the war.


Jack George Clausen, 36046569 (July 4, 1919 – August 9, 2009)

Private 1st Class Clausen in 1942 (Courtesy of the Clausen family)

Clausen was born in Chicago, the son of Christian (whose occupation was recorded at various times as a streetcar conductor and as a carpenter) and Jacoba Clausen.  His father had immigrated Denmark and his mother from the Netherlands; both became naturalized U.S. citizens.  Clausen had an older half-sister, an older brother and a younger brother. 

The Clausen family was recorded on the census on May 7 or 8, 1930, living in Crete Township in Will County, Illinois.  Clausen attended Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights.  By the time of the next census on April 3, 1940, Clausen was recorded living in Chicago Heights and working as a landscaper on a golf course.  Later that year, when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Clausen was working at the Chicago Heights County Club.  The registrar described him as standing six feet, one inch tall and weighing 172 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.  He was described in his enlistment data as a chauffeur or driver with a high school education.

Clausen was drafted before the U.S. entry into World War II.  Clausen joined the U.S. Army in Chicago, Illinois on August 25, 1941.  According to his obituary, printed in the Victory Valley Daily Press and reproduced on his Find a Grave page, he earned the Combat Infantryman Badge during his service with the 45th Infantry Division in Sicily and Italy.  He was wounded in Italy on November 9, 1943.  (According to his niece, Clausen was wounded a total of three times, including once at Anzio. If so, it must have occurred during the first month of that battle.)

Private 1st Class Clausen joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy at 1400 hours on February 14, 1944 via the 2nd Replacement Depot/Personnel Center 6.  He was awarded the Purple Heart for a wound that he received on November 9, 1943 per General Order No. 9, Headquarters 32nd Station Hospital, dated May 2, 1944. 

Clausen attended a daytime training program at the 64th General Hospital from May 1, 1944 through May 28, 1944, then again May 30, 1944 through May 31, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 15–19, 1944.  After he was hospitalized, he was transferred to the Detachment of Patients, 46th General Hospital on January 13, 1945.  He was discharged from the U.S. Army on May 31, 1945. 

Clausen married Marcella Koenig (1923–2011) in Cook County, Chicago on May 12, 1945.  The couple raised two daughters.  They moved to the Apple Valley in California around 1985.

His obituary stated that Clausen

worked in the aerospace industry. After moving to the High Desert, Jack marshaled at the Victorville Municipal Golf Course and drove for the Victorville city bus line. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, in particular watching his grandchildren play sports.

He died in 2009, aged 90.


James A. Claxton (possibly James Andrew Claxton or James Andy Claxton), 15042218 (possibly December 8, 1910 – June 25, 1991; possibly February 22, 1912 or 1914 – ?)

Claxton is one of the more mysterious members of the unit. If an enlistment card was digitized correctly, Claxton was residing in Harlan County, Kentucky and working in the field of “Skilled amusement, recreation, and motion picture occupations” prior to entering the service.  The 15 in his service number indicates that he was a volunteer for the U.S. Army who entered the service in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, or West Virginia.

According to 32nd Station Hospital payroll records, Claxton enlisted on July 13, 1940.  Private Claxton was transferred from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia to the 32nd Station Hospital per Special Order No. 292 (Headquarters Fort Benning, November 28, 1942).  His duty was listed as surgical technician.

Private Claxton served with the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943.  After the unit arrived in Italy, he was placed on detached service with the 23rd General Hospital on January 2, 1944.  He returned to the unit on January 10, 1944, the same day the unit moved to Caserta to begin operations there.  Private Claxton was one of 13 men transferred to the 17th General Hospital on July 6, 1944 per Special Order No. 182, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section, dated June 30, 1944.  Claxton reenlisted in the U.S. Army Medical Department in Washington, D.C. on September 5, 1945.  Unfortunately, the card was garbled when it was digitized and did not provide his year of birth or place of birth.

A possible match is a James Andrew Claxton (1910-1991) whose headstone in Walnut Grove Cemetery in Sevierville, Tennessee stated was a private 1st class in the U.S. Army in World War II. Remarkably, his Find a Grave entry stated that he was born in Harlan County, Kentucky. However, I was not able to find any source records that confirmed that or any records that would confirm the match. He married Glennis Loveday Lane (1915–2010) on an unknown date after she was became a widow in 1966.

There was also a James Andy Claxton born in La Folette, Tennessee.  When he registered for the draft on July 26, 1945, he had just returned to Knoxville, Tennessee after being discharged from the military on July 24, 1945.  He gave his date of birth as February 22, 1914 in La Folette, Tennessee.  He was described as an unemployed veteran standing five feet, 7½ inches tall and weighing 138 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

A notation on the draft card stated that he was honorably discharged again on December 31, 1946.  There’s only circumstantial evidence linking him to the 32nd Station Hospital’s James Claxton.  However, the fact that he registered for the draft in 1945 upon discharge would tend to suggest that he was already in the military as of October 16, 1940 (R-Day), or he would have registered then.  The second discharge is also consistent with Claxton having reenlisted some weeks after his original discharge.  However, if he is the right James A. Claxton, I am unable to explain the Harlan County, Kentucky residence on the enlistment card (though La Folette is not terribly far from the Kentucky border).

It would seem he was the James Andy Claxton born in La Follette, Tennessee (with a date of birth recorded as February 22, 1912) who married Sylvia Ella Bann (née Neselroad, 1913–1956), a bookkeeper, in Summit County, Ohio (probably Akron) on December 17, 1950.  He was described as a commercial fisherman, the son Charlie and Anna Lee (Blizzard) Claxton.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to find any trace of him after his wife’s death in 1956, nor any military service records that would confirm that James Andy Claxton and the 32nd’s Station Hospital’s James A. Claxton are one and the same. Neither man is in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File, nor is their an entry for anyone with the last name Claxton that fits the available evidence.


Lionel Ellsworth Cloutier, 20818399 (September 12, 1919 – September 10, 1968)

Lionel Ellsworth Cloutier was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He appears to have been the only son of Adolphe and Edna Cloutier.  Cloutier was recorded on the census on January 12, 1920 living with his parents in Lafayette County, Louisiana.  His father was a railroad inspector at the time.  By April 29, 1930, the family had moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where the elder Cloutier was working as a railroad mechanist.  The family was still living in Fort Worth as of April 5, 1940; Lionel was unemployed at the time (though a newspaper article quoted below indicates that he had been a member of the Texas National Guard since around 1936).  He completed four years of high school.

Cloutier was a corporal in the 111th Medical Regiment, 36th Division of the Texas National Guard when he was federalized on November 25, 1940 in Fort Worth, Texas.  At the time he went on active duty, Cloutier was recorded as being five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 142 lbs.

A 36th Infantry Division card file entry for Cloutier confirms he was with the 111th when it entered federal service. The card files did not attempt to document service from the period between when the division was federalized in 1940 and when it entered combat in 1943. It would appear that Cloutier remained with the 111th during that 34-month period. The 36th Division was stationed at Camp Bowie, Texas beginning in December 1940, notwithstanding maneuvers in Brownwood, Texas in July 1941 and in Louisiana in August and September 1941. Following a reorganization (which may have resulted in him being reduced in grade), the 111th Medical Regiment became the 111th Medical Battalion, 36th Infantry Division.  As of April 30, 1942, he was stationed at Camp Blanding, Florida according to an Fort Worth Star-Telegram article which mentioned a recent visit to his parents; the 36th Infantry Division was indeed stationed there beginning in February 1942. After maneuvers in the Carolinas in July and August 1942, the division moved to Camp Edwards, Massachusetts before going overseas to North Africa in April 1943.

Private 1st Class Cloutier was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 111th Medical Battalion when the 36th Infantry Division landed near Salerno, Italy during Operation Avalanche on September 9, 1943. Later that month, on September 28, 1943, he transferred to Company “A,” 111th Medical Battalion.

Cloutier was featured in a February 1, 1944 article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram entitled “Cloutier Is in Luck–and It’s All Bad”:

All soldiers have their “ups and downs” but Pfc. Lionel E. Cloutier, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Cloutier, 3551 W Fourth, now serving with the 36th Division in Italy, went a little heavy on the “downs.”

While traveling with a fast-moving infantry unit recently with the 5th Army in Italy, Cloutier tripped over a stump and fell.  Before he could right himself the whole outfit had trampled over him and walked across his face.

Once Cloutier jumped into a foxhole only to discover that it was already occupied by dead Germans, and another time, after catching a few hours sleep in a cave, he and his buddies learned at daybreak that they had made their bed on mines and hand grenades abandoned by the enemy.

Cloutier, 24, is a medical aid man.  He was activated with the National Guard and trained with the 36th Division.  He is a graduate of Technical High School.

He played the trumpet with orchestras in and around Fort Worth and took his instrument along when he went overseas so he could entertain other soldiers.

Men of the 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division wading ashore near Mondragone, Italy during in 1944 rehearsals for Operation Dragoon. Note the medical personnel still aboard the landing craft. (Official U.S. Army Signal Corps photo, National Archives)

Cloutier remained with the 111th Medical Battalion during operations in Italy. He left the unit on August 18, 1944 after he was wounded early in the invasion of the South of France (Operation Dragoon). A September 19, 1944 article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram stated that

Pfc. Lionel E. Cloutier in a medical battalion of the 36th Division, was wounded during the South France invasion Aug. 8. […] Private Cloutier is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Cloutier of 3551 W. 4th St. and is hospitalized in Italy.  A telegram to his parents said he had been shot in both legs by a German sniper.  Cloutier, who attended Arlington Heights and Technical High Schools, graduating from the latter, had been in the National Guard eight years and entered the Army in November, 1940.  He participated in action at Salerno, Anzio, Cassino, Rapido River, San Petro and San Vittan.

That’s consistent with a hospital admission card submitted for his service number (20818399), which stated that a Medical Department enlisted man with seven years of service was wounded in August 1944 by a bullet or other projectile in his thigh and inguinal region/groin.  There was an error either present on the original card or introduced when the card was digitized, because it recorded his discharge from the hospital as January 1944, before the injury occurred.  January 1945 seems more likely.

Private 1st Class Cloutier joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy at 1900 hours on February 20, 1945, transferring in from the 232nd Medical Service Battalion.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Center in Rome on April 22, 1945, returning on April 26.  After V-E Day, on May 29, 1945, he was transferred to the 27th Replacement Depot to return to the United States.

Cloutier registered for the draft in Fort Worth on July 9, 1945, following his honorable discharge on July 6, 1945.  The registrar described him as standing about five feet, 10½ inches tall and weighing 137 lbs., with brown hair, hazel eyes, gold teeth, and a tattoo on his left arm.  As of 1946, he was listed in a Fort Worth city directory as an apprentice working for the Don Cowan Company.  He married Claudia Melancon (1905–2003) in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 6, 1950.  As of 1959, he was living in Lafayette and working as a clerk.

His obituary, printed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on September 12, 1968, stated that he died just before his 49th birthday “from injuries received in a fall from the roof of his house.”  The article continued:

A 28-year resident of Fort Worth, Clozier [sic] moved in 1951 to Lafayette, La., where he was employed by the Post Office Department.

A World War II veteran, Cloutier served in the 111th Medical Regiment and was attached to divisions in North Africa, Italy and southern France.

He was awarded nine decorations, including the Purple Heart.

No children were listed in his obituary.  His widow did not remarry.


Roy G. Coawette (almost certainly Le Roy Coawette, Roy George Coawette), 37162093 (almost certainly May 13, 1920 – January 3, 1993)

It is not possible to cross-reference Coawette’s service number to an enlistment card (about 13% of cards were impossible to digitize), but the beginning of his service number indicates that he was a draftee and entered the service in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming. Indeed, the only Roy G. Coawette that I found records for was Roy George Coawette, born in Dayton, Minnesota.  When he registered for the draft on July 1, 1941, he was living in St. Paul, Minnesota and working as a laborer for Swift & Company.  The registrar described him as standing five feet, eight inches tall and weighing 160 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

It appears he was recorded on the 1930 and 1940 censuses as Le Roy Coawette, the son of George and Isabel Coawette. He had an older sister, a younger brother, and a younger sister. There is strong circumstantial support for Le Roy and Roy being the same person. The 1920 census recorded a George and Isabelle Cowette [sic] living in Dayton. The 1930 census listed the family living in Rogers Village, in Hennepin County, Minnesota (near Dayton). The April 4, 1940 census record recorded Le Roy Coawette as a laborer living in St. Paul, albeit at a different address than the Roy George Coawette used when registering for the census six months later. However, when he registered for the draft, Coawette listed his point of contact as an Albert Fischer, who was a neighbor of the Coawette family on the 1940 census.

32nd Station Hospital payroll records state that Coawette joined the U.S. Army on February 12, 1942.  Private Coawette joined the unit from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 17, 1942.  He served with the 32nd Station Hospital in Tlemcen, Algeria.  Upon arriving in Italy, while the unit was in staging near Naples, Private Coawette was placed on detached service with the 23rd General Hospital on January 2, 1944.  He returned to the unit on January 10, 1944, the same day it moved to Caserta to begin operations.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 15–19, 1944.  Shortly after V-E Day, he was promoted to private 1st class on June 1, 1945.  He was transferred to the 24th General Hospital on July 25, 1945.

I was unable to find an entry for Coawette in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File (which would also have potentially given dates of service to confirm the match), but there was a note added to his draft card stating that he was discharged from the military on October 28, 1945.

Coawette married Annette Agnes Hogen, with whom he had two daughters.  The couple had two daughters.  Around 1972, the family moved to Santa Rosa, California; they later moved to Windsor.  One of his daughters, Gail Jean Coawette, was killed in a car accident in Sonoma County, California in 1980.  She was just 24.  Coawette died in San Francisco, California.


Jacob Cohen, 33317678 (October 26, 1912 – May 4, 1987)

Cohen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Morris and Fannie Cohen, immigrants from Russia.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Cohen listed his employer as “Pa. State College of Optometry and Self” which suggested he might have been self-employed while attending college.  He was described as standing five feet, six inches tall and weighing 160 lbs., with black hair (“slightly bald”) and brown eyes. His enlistment data cards indicates that he had completed three years of college prior to joining the military.

After Cohen was drafted, he joined the U.S. Army on June 13, 1942.  Private Cohen trained at Camp Pickett, Virginia before he was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital on August 31, 1942 per Transfer List No. 955, which mentioned that he was trained as an optometrist.  He joined the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 3, 1942.  That fall, he moved with the unit to Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was promoted to private 1st class on December 3, 1942.  Private 1st Class Cohen went overseas with the unit on January 14, 1943.  He served with the unit during the early part of operations in Tlemcen, Algeria before he transferred to the 29th Station Hospital on May 3, 1943.  According to his Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Application for World War II Compensation, he arrived back in the United States on December 2, 1945.  He was discharged from the U.S. Army at the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation on December 15, 1945.

After the war, Cohen married Irene Sulkin (1916–1974). A June 1, 1951 article in The Philadelphia Inquirer announced that they had obtained a marriage license in Philadelphia. The couple raised a daughter and a son.


Bayard Wayne Coleman, 19050420 (March 1, 1916 – March 30, 1983)

Coleman was born in Tacoma, Washington, the son of Albert Strodger “Bert” Coleman and Margaret Coleman, immigrants from Canada.  Bert Coleman’s obituary, printed in the Los Angeles Times on September 2, 1963, stated that he “worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Los Angeles Herald and Los Angeles News before coming to The [Los Angeles] Times” where he worked 20 years prior to his retirement in 1947.

Bayard Coleman had an older brother.  The family was recorded on the census on January 8, 1920, living in Seattle, Washington.  By April 9, 1930, the family had moved to Los Angeles.  Census records state that the family was living in Long Beach, California as of April 1, 1935.  He is likely the Bayard Wayne Coleman who appeared in a Polyechnic High School yearbook from Long Beach, California in 1936.  The family had moved to the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles by April 17, 1940.  Bayard was recorded as working as a page in a library at the time.

When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was unemployed and living in Encino, California.  He was described as standing five feet, 10½ inches tall and weighing 150 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes. Coleman volunteered for the U.S. Army before the U.S. entered World War II.  He enlisted in the Regular Army at Fort MacArthur, California on November 7, 1940.  As a volunteer, he was able to select the Medical Department.  He was described as single with two years of college. 

An August 11, 1941 article in the Coos Bay Times (Coos Bay, Oregon) mentioned that one of the paper’s former reporters, Bert S. Coleman had returned for a visit.  The article stated: “The Colemans saw their son, Bayard, who is a corporal in the medical detachment at the air corps base at Portland, for the first time in a year.  He drove down the coast with them as far as Otis.”

Private Coleman was transferred to the 32nd Station Hospital from the 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  A June 5, 1943 morning report entry stated he joined the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria at 1830 hours on May 29, 1943.  After the unit moved to Italy and entered staging near Naples, he was placed on detached service with the 225th Station Hospital effective January 3, 1944.  He returned to the unit on January 10, 1944, the same day the hospital moved to Caserta.  Private Coleman left the 32nd Station Hospital at 0800 hours on June 22, 1944 for rotation back the United States via Personnel Center 6. 

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File, he was discharged from the U.S. Army on September 13, 1945.  National Cemetery Administration records listed his grade as staff sergeant.  I have been unable to learn anything about his postwar life except for the fact that he died in Los Angeles, California, aged 67 and was buried in Riverside National Cemetery.


Mitchel Clark Compton, 35254342 (November 9, 1918 – August 7, 2002)

Compton was born in Monroe County, Kentucky to Sam and Roxie Compton.  His first name is spelled as Mitchell in some sources.  His father died just five months after his birth.

Compton was recorded on the census on April 2, 1930, living in Gamaliel, Kentucky with his mother and stepfather, Witt Marshal. During the next census, on April 2, 1940, he was living in Gamaliel with his grandmother Bettie Clark. Later that year, when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Compton was unemployed and living in Gamaliel, Kentucky. The registrar described him as standing five feet, nine inches tall and weighing 150 lbs., with brown hair and eyes. 

Compton was drafted soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor. 32nd Station Hospital payroll records state that Compton entered the U.S. Army on January 31, 1942. A document dated November 30, 1942 included in the microfilm of the 32nd Station Hospital morning reports, Special Order No. 290 (Headquarters Camp Blanding, Florida), mentioned Technician 5th Grade Compton’s transfer to the 32nd Station Hospital and indicated that he was qualified for the duty of surgical technician.  He joined the unit at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 2, 1942 and shipped out with the unit from the New York Port of Embarkation on January 14, 1943. Several months after arriving in Algeria, on April 8, 1943, Compton was promoted to technician 4th grade.  He remained with the unit when operations moved to Caserta, Italy.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 7–11, 1944.  Compton was promoted to technician 3rd grade on November 11, 1944.  He went on temporary duty again to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from December 10–14, 1944.

He was mentioned in a December 26, 1944 news item in The Courier-Journal (Lousville, Kentucky) listing promotions of local men: “Mitchel Compton, son of Mrs. Witt Marshall, Gamaliel, of the Peninsular Base Headquarters Hospital, Italy, to technician third grade.”  The article garbled the fact that he was assigned to a hospital in the Peninsular Base Section.

Compton was one of a handful of enlisted men who served with the unit the entire time it was overseas.  After the 32nd Station Hospital arrived at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945, he was transferred to the Reception Center at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.  At the time of his departure from the unit, his M.O.S. was 405 (clerk-typist). Compton was apparently discharged soon after, but reenlisted at the grade of Technician 4th Grade in the U.S. Army Medical Department in Louisville, Kentucky on April 12, 1946.

Compton’s name appeared on a list compiled for the 32nd Station Hospital’s 1982 reunion. The document indicated that he was living in Gamaliel, Kentucky, but unable to attend the unit’s reunion.  His grave marker indicates he was sergeant first class who served in Africa with the U.S. Army during World War II.  Since the grade of sergeant 1st class replaced technical sergeant in the U.S. Army in 1948, that indicates postwar service.  Indeed, his Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File entry listed only his second set of service dates, April 12, 1946 until November 9, 1978.  His brief obituary in the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Kentucky) on August 8, 2002, stated that he was a “retired Army staff sergeant who served in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars”.  He married Charlotte T. Noll (1920–1984) on September 23, 1948.  They raised one son (who they adopted, according to a relative that I reached on Ancestry.com).

At some point, it may be possible to learn more about Compton’s military career. Based on his dates of service, Compton’s personnel file should have escaped the 1973 National Personnel Records Center Fire. However, they will not become an archival record accessible to the public until 2040.


Thomas Conneely, 31131094 (March 1, 1911 – November 11, 1976)

Conneely c. 1931 in a photo accompanying his declaration of intention to become a U.S. citizen (National Archives via Ancestry.com)

Conneely was born in Killeany, in County Galway, Ireland (then part of the United Kingdom), the son of John and Mary Conneely.  When he was recorded on the census in Ireland on April 2, 1911, he was living in his grandfather’s house with his parents, an aunt, two older brothers, and an older sister. 

A passenger manifest states that he obtained an immigration visa for the United States in Dublin on July 1, 1930.  His third class passage was paid for by his brother.  Conneely sailed from Galway, Ireland aboard the S.S. Cleveland on August 2, 1930, arriving in Boston, Massachusetts on August 10, 1930.  His occupation was listed as laborer.  He stated that after arriving in the United States, he initially planned to reside with his cousin Joseph Folkmann in Brookline, Massachusetts.  By the time he filed a declaration of intention to become a U.S. citizen at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts at Boston on March 30, 1931, Conneely was living in Boston, where he was working as a porter.  At the time, he was described as standing five feet, seven inches tall and weighing 145 lbs.  When he filed his petition for naturalization on February 13, 1936, he was working as a hotel porter.  He swore an oath of allegiance to the United States on May 18, 1936.

When Conneely registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was still living in Boston and working for C.W. Whittier & Bros.  He was described as standing five feet, seven inches tall and weighing 155 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.

After he was drafted, Conneely joined the U.S. Army in Boston on May 19, 1942.  He was described as single, with a high school education, and working as a porter.  Private Conneely joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy at 1700 hours on June 21, 1944 per Special Order No 168, Headquarters Mediterranean Base Section.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 15–19, 1944.  He was transferred to 1st Replacement Depot on December 10 or 11, 1944.  In the transfer document, his M.O.S. was 072 (physical therapy technician).

I have been able to learn very little about his postwar life.  After his death in 1976, aged 65, he was buried at the Killeany Graveyard back in Ireland.  His headstone (which, unlike all other records, gives his name as Thomas Connelly) stated that he was a private 1st class in the U.S. Army during World War II.


Junior Wesley Cook, 20832939 (December 26, 1922 – March 4, 2000)

Cook-Weiner-Album-032-baseball-team-1945
Cook in a detail from a 1945 team photo of the 32nd Station Hospital baseball team known as the Red Sox (Courtesy of the Weiner family)

Cook was born in or near Haskell, Oklahoma, the son of Nollie and George Ann Cook.  He had two older brothers and an older sister.  He was nicknamed Red.  The B.I.R.L.S. Death File stated that his military service began on October 2, 1939.  Cook was a member of the Oklahoma National Guard who was federalized in Haskell, Oklahoma on September 16, 1940.  He must have already in the 45th Infantry Division, which was federalized on that same date.  Cook’s enlistment card stated that he was a member of a Field Artillery unit and living in Muskogee County, Oklahoma.  He was described as single, with three years of high school, and a civilian occupation of farm hand.

The Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas) reported on January 12, 1942 that Private Junior W. Cook of the 160th Field Artillery Battalion was one of 34 men from the 45th Infantry Division “ordered to the bakers and cooks school at Fort Sill, Okla., for two months as students, beginning Jan. 15”.

A November 19, 1942 news item in The Coweta Times-Star (Coweta, Oklahoma) announced a marriage license issued to “Junior Wesley Cook, aged 21, and Hazel Louise Point, aged 18, both of Haskell, Nov. 16.”  The following week, a November 25, 1942 article in The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) announced that Cook had been promoted to technician 4th grade.  At the time, he was serving in Battery “B,” 171st Field Artillery Battalion, also in the 45th Infantry Division.

A digitized hospital admission card from Italy dated November 1943 stated that Cook was a 20-year-old enlisted man in an artillery unit when he sustained a laceration to his scalp from the blast, fragments, or debris caused by the explosion of an artillery shell.  He returned to duty in December 1943, the same month that his first child, a daughter, was born.  His name appeared on a list of men wounded in Italy printed on December 28, 1943 in the Miami Daily News-Record (Miami, Oklahoma).

There was another hospital admission card from May 1944 that is a bit more puzzling, since the diagnosis was amebic dysentery and malaria with a causative agent listed as artillery fragments.  It’s possible that the card was garbled when it was digitized, or that it documented that he was both ill and wounded.  Indeed, list of wounded men printed in The Daily Oklahoman on July 13, 1944 included: “T/4Gr. Junior W. Cook, husband of Mrs. Hazel L. Cook, near Haskell.  His second wounds.”  Although he returned to duty in August 1944, there was another card from August 1944 stating that wounded by artillery shell fragments and discharged back to duty that same month.  It’s unclear if that was a separate wound from the November 1943 wound.

Cook’s daughter recalled that one of the times he was wounded, her father was buried in a foxhole by an explosion.  His comrades managed to dig him out about 45 minutes later.

Technician 4th Grade Cook was one of 61 men who joined the 32nd Station Hospital from the 7th Replacement Depot at 1000 hours on November 12, 1944.  Many of these men were combat veterans; in turn, some members of the hospital’s staff were transferred to field duty.  The transfer document indicated he was in the Field Artillery Branch with M.O.S. 522 (duty soldier I). 522 was a bit of a catchall, but in the context of the hospital, some or all served in the capacity of guards; the discharge paperwork for one member of the unit defined 522 as guard-patrolman.

Cook went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from December 10–14, 1944.  He was a member of the 32nd Station Hospital baseball team in the spring of 1945, the Red Sox.  I was not able to find a record of him leaving the unit, but he did not accompany other members of the team on a trip to Bari on June 4–7, 1945.  With his length of service and wounds, he would have had enough A.S.R. points after V-E Day to rotate home.  A June 30, 1945 article in The Daily Oklahoman announced that Technician 4th Grade Cook was “Among the latest Oklahomans to reach the Miami air field after a long flight from European battlefields”.

Cook was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army on July 2, 1945.  The following day, he registered for the draft.  He stated that he was a farm hand living in Haskell.    He was described as standing five feet, five inches tall and weighing 151 lbs., with red hair and gray eyes.  Junior and his wife, Hazel Cook (1925–2018), raised a daughter and a son.  Cook’s daughter told me that after the war, Cook attended Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  He worked Swift & Company, a meatpacking company in Oklahoma.  After he was transferred, the family settled in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1965.  He retired from the company around 1974.  Cook’s daughter told me that religion helped Cook recover from the emotional trauma of wartime.  He was a deacon at three churches.  Cook died in Wichita Falls, aged 77.


Lyle Pete Cook, 39312734 (April 10, 1921 – February 12, 1994)

According to 32nd Station Hospital payroll records, Cook joined the U.S. Army on July 18, 1942.  Private Cook was transferred to the 32nd Station Hospital per Special Order #268, Headquarters, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley, Texas on October 10, 1942.  He presumably joined the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama soon after.

Cook remained with the unit during moves to Fort Benning, Georgia and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey later in 1942 and went overseas to Algeria in January 1943.  While serving in Tlemcen, Algeria, he was promoted to private 1st class on May 12, 1943.  Cook continued to serve with the unit in Caserta, Italy the following year.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 31–November 5, 1944.  He was one of 16 men transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on December 4, 1944.  In the transfer document, his M.O.S. was listed as 522 (duty soldier I, which was a catchall but may have been guard-patrolman in the context of the 32nd Station Hospital).

It is not possible to cross-reference Cook’s service number to an enlistment card (about 13% of cards were impossible to digitize), but the beginning of his service number indicates that he was a draftee and entered the service in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, or Washington.  Although his data is missing, there are data cards for other men with sequential service numbers: 39312733 and 39312735, for instance, were inducted into the U.S. Army in Portland, Oregon on July 18, 1942, the same date as the 32nd Station Hospital’s Lyle P. Cook.

A June 14, 1943 news item in the Capital Journal (Salem, Oregon) stated that “Pvt. Lyle P. Cook, who is now serving with troops of the U. S. fifth army in North Africa, has been promoted to private first class.  He is the son of Mrs. Marie Lillie, route 2, Salem.” 

According to his obituary, printed on February 15, 1994 in the Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon):

A native of Cushing, Neb., he moved to Brooks when he was a teen-ager and eventually started a logging business with his brother and father.  He moved to the Salem-Keizer area in 1947 and continued to log.  Later, he worked for C.A. Lantz Construction Co. for 10 years before going into business for himself as a mobile home repairman.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing.

He married Ruby Irene May on April 4, 1946, in Oregon; she died March 30, 1984.

The couple raised two sons and a daughter.


Jack Miller Corbin, 36321248 (February 7, 1915 – February 8, 2011)

Corbin was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Elliott (a locomotive engineer) and Fay Corbin.  He had a younger sister.  He was recorded on the census on April 18, 1940 living with his parents in Chicago and working as a mechanic.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Corbin was living in Chicago and working at Meade’s Auto Repair Garage.  He was described as standing five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 160 lbs., with light brown hair and blue eyes.  The registrar added that he “Wears glasses” and was “Slightly deaf.”  Interestingly, the latter condition did not prevent him from being drafted.  Corbin joined the U.S. Army at Camp Grant, Illinois on February 24, 1942.  His enlistment data stated that he was living in Cook County, Chicago, had completed one year of high school, and was single.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 156 lbs. at induction.  His occupation was recorded as “semiskilled occupations in production of grain mill products”. 

Private Corbin was assigned to the unit on November 30, 1942 from Camp Blanding, Florida per Special Order No. 290 and joined the 32nd Station Hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 2, 1942.  The transfer document stated he was qualified for the duty of surgical technician.  He went overseas with the unit on January 14, 1943 and served with the hospital in Tlemcen, Algeria.  He may have been promoted to private 1st class on April 8, 1943.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade on May 12, 1943.  He was transferred to the Detachment of Patients, 12th General Hospital on November 20, 1943.  A hospital admission card states that he was discharged from the hospital and the U.S. Army in January 1944 due to perceptive deafness.

According to an Ancestry.com family tree, he married Mabel Margaret Johnson (1922–1999) by October 1946; the couple had two sons.  After his divorce, Corbin remarried to Elizabeth Lenora Jenkins (née Christian, 1904 or 1905–1994) in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  According to his obituary, reproduced on his Find a Grave entry, “Mr. Corbin was a member of Currioman Baptist Church, a retired foreman for a paper company, and a World War II Army veteran.”  He died in Colonial Beach, Virginia, aged 96.


Homer Cornwell, Jr., 36653037 (almost certainly April 21, 1924 – November 21, 2009)

A probable match is a Homer “Junie” Cornwell, Jr., who was born in Georgetown, Illinois, the son of Homer Cornwell, Sr. (a coal miner) and Florence Cornwell.  He had a brother and a sister. The family was recorded on the census 1930 and 1940 censues living in Georgetown (though curiously enough, both father and son were listed under the name Omer). When he registered for the draft on June 27, 1942, he was living on Hesler Avenue in Georgetown and working for the Lisken Construction Company in Rantoul, Illinois.  He was described as standing six feet tall and weighing 165 lbs., with blond hair and blue eyes.  According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File, his dates of service were March 29, 1943 through December 11, 1945.

His gravestone lists him as a private first class in the U.S. Army during World War II, although the only unit listed is Company “L,” 143rd Infantry Regiment of the 36th Infantry Division.  A 36th Infantry Division data card mentions him, although it didn’t include a service number that would have confirmed the match: “CARNWALL ,[sic] Homer Jr, Pvt. Co L 3rd Bn 143rd Inf 29 Sep 1943 to 22 Jul 44 Healer [sic] Ave, Georgetown, Illinois.”

The 143rd Infantry Regiment landed near Salerno during Operation Avalanche, the invasion of mainland Italy, on September 9, 1943. The 36th Infantry Division data card suggests that Cornwell joined the 143rd Infantry as a replacement a short time into the invasion. Intense fighting followed as Allied forces pushed north. There are a pair of hospital admission cards under the 32nd Station Hospital’s Cornwell’s service number.  Combining the data offered in each, the patient, a 19-year-old infantryman with 8 months of service serving in Italy was wounded in the arm by a machine gun bullet in December 1943.  He was also treated for “internal derangement of knee, old”. 

Cornwell’s wound likely occurred during a bloody battle in mountainous terrain near San Pietro that began on December 8, 1943. According to the regimental after action report, by December 20, 1943, the 3rd Battalion rifle companies were at only about 20% strength. At the end of the battle, the 143rd Infantry Regiment counted total casualties of 166 men dead and 739 men wounded. Cornwell returned to duty in February 1944. The unit arrived at Anzio in May 1944 and participated in the breakout beginning May 23. Private 1st Class Cornwell remained with the 143rd Infantry Regiment until July 22, 1944.

Private 1st Class Cornwell was one of 61 men (including a number of combat veterans) who joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy from the 7th Replacement Depot at 1000 hours on November 12, 1944.  The transfer document indicated he was Infantry Branch with M.O.S. 521 (basic).  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Center in Rome on May 24, 1945, returning on May 28.  I was not able to find a record of him leaving the unit, but it may have occurred sometime between September 1–12, 1945; the morning reports for that date are apparently missing.  According to his headstone, Cornwell earned the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. 

He married Helen Kovack (1924–2019) on May 10, 1947.  The couple raised a daughter and a son.  Cornwell’s name appeared on a list of men compiled for the 32nd Station Hospital’s 1982 reunion.  He was living at 105 Penn Avenue in Georgetown, Illinois, but not able to attend the reunion. He died in Danville, Illinois, aged 85. According his obituary, reproduced on his Find a Grave page:

Homer was employed as a guard at the Newport Ammunition Plant in his early years and later worked for Illinois Power for 16 years and last at the Zeigler Coal mine in Newman. He was a member of St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church of Georgetown, life member of American Legion Post 203 of Georgetown, and also the D.A.V. and the V.F.W.

Homer loved politics, in which he was instrumental with his wife’s election for Vermilion County auditor. He was also a Democrat precinct committeeman and Georgetown Township chairman for several years. Homer was an avid Chicago Cubs and Bears fan.


Joseph E. Cory, 34024615 (July 26, 1905 – ?)

Cory was born in Marietta, in Love County, Oklahoma, the son of Emma L. Cory.  I was unable to find any information about his early life.  Census records indicate that he was living in Washington, North Carolina as of April 1, 1935.  He was recorded on the census on April 13, 1940, living in Opa-locka, Florida and working as a laborer.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was living in Opa-Locka, Florida and working for R. L. O’Dell.  The registrar described him as standing six feet, two inches tall and weighing 180 lbs., with brown hair and eyes. 

Cory’s enlistment data card recorded that he was a carpenter with one year of high school.  Cory was drafted before the United States entered World War II.  He entered the U.S. Army at Camp Blanding, Florida on March 1, 1941.

Private 1st Class Cory joined the unit from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 17, 1942.  He was transferred out of the unit on December 26, 1942 per verbal order of the Commanding General at Fort Benning but was able to rejoin the unit on January 11, 1943 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.  He went overseas with the unit on January 14, 1943.  While serving in Algeria, he was demoted to private in February 1943 but was promoted back to private 1st class on June 19, 1943. 

Private 1st Class Cory continued serving with the unit when operations moved to Caserta, Italy.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 27–31, 1944.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade on February 9, 1945.  His M.O.S. at the time was listed as 657 (medical aidman or hospital orderly).  On June 4, 1945, he was transferred to the 7th Replacement Depot to return to the United States.  I was unable to find any trace of him after the war.


Raymond Phillip Costello, 11070071 (Jan 26, 1923 – April 2, 1986)

Raymond Costello in Callicoon, New York in September 1945 (Courtesy of the Costello family)

Costello was born in Rhode Island in 1923, the son of James P. Costello and Frances Costello.  He had an older brother and an older sister.  Costello appeared on the 1940 census living with his family in Providence and working as a truck driver for an oil company.  His enlistment data card recorded his occupation as “Unskilled occupations in production of ferrous and nonferrous metal” and stated that he had a grammar school education.

Costello volunteered for the U.S. Army in Providence, Rhode Island on June 24, 1942.  Private Costello was one of 26 men who were assigned per Transfer List No. 955 to the 32nd Station Hospital on August 31, 1942 upon finishing their training at Camp Pickett, Virginia.  His M.O.S. was recorded as 345 (truck driver, light).  Private Costello joined the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 3, 1942.  He moved with the unit to Fort Benning, Georgia and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey before going overseas on January 14, 1943.  While serving in Tlecmen, Agleria, Costello was promoted to private 1st class on June 19, 1943. 

Private 1st Class Costello remained with the unit during the beginning of operations in Caserta, Italy in 1944.  A September 3, 1944 morning report entry stated he was transferred to “Det T 601 MP PW Bn for trans-ship[ment] to US”.  (Presumably that unit was Detachment “T,” 601st Military Police Prisoner of War Battalion, though the 1992 book Military Police from the Army Lineage Series stated that the unit’s World War II designation was the 601st Military Police Battalion.) 

After returning from Italy, Costello was stationed at Fort Niagara, where he met his future wife, Helen L. Hermann (1913–1990).  Their son recalled that “My mother was the civilian in charge of the motor pool there and Ray was one of the drivers.  So she was his boss for a while.” Costello’s entry in Ancestry.com’s U.S Veterans’ Gravesites database gives his dates of service as June 24, 1942 through November 3, 1945 and stated that he was discharged as a private.

Costello registered for the draft soon on December 18, 1945, soon after his discharge.  At the time, he was living in Youngstown, New York and working for the Erie Railroad in nearby Niagara Falls, New York.  The registrar described him as standing about five feet, six inches tall and weighing 130 lbs., with red hair and hazel eyes. 

Costello married Helen Hermann in Porter, New York on January 20, 1946.  The couple raised two sons: one from Helen’s previous marriage, and a second born in Niagara Falls in 1950.  The 1949 and 1951 Niagara Falls, New York directories listed his occupation as foreman.  Costello’s son stated that family later moved to North Tonawanda, New York; his father worked at the Chevrolet plant in Tonawanda.  After his death, Costello was buried at Bath National Cemetery in New York. 

Costello with his future wife Helen L. Hermann at Fort Niagara in 1945 (Courtesy of the Costello family)

Rutherford Guy Costley, 34269052 (February 7, 1914 – May 7, 1987)  

Costley was born in Douglas County, Georgia, the son of James (a farmer) and Lula Costley.  He had at least five older sisters and a younger brother.  His obituary, printed in The Atlanta Constitution on May 9, 1987, indicates he went by his middle name, Guy.  Indeed, he appeared under that name   He appeared on the census on January 6–7, 1920 and April 7, 1930 living in Douglas County with his family.  In the latter record, he was working as a laborer on a farm.

When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Costley was living in Winston, Georgia and working at the Piedmont Cotton Mills in Egan.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 130 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.

After he was drafted, Costley joined the U.S. Army at Fort McPherson, Georgia on May 12, 1942. At the time, he was described as a farm hand with a grammar school education.

A hospital admission card stated under his service number stated that he was hospitalized in May 1944 after he was wounded by a machine gun bullet. He returned to duty in September 1944.  I have been unable to learn what his unit was at that time.  Private 1st Class Costley was one of 61 men who joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy from the 7th Replacement Depot at 1000 hours on November 12, 1944.  The transfer document indicated he was Infantry Branch with M.O.S. 521 (basic).  Many of the 61 men were combat veterans.  

After the 32nd Station Hospital arrived at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945, he was transferred to the Reception Center at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.  At the time of his departure from the unit, his M.O.S. was 522 (duty soldier I, a catchall that apparently included the men who performed guard duty at 32nd Station Hospital).  According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File, Private 1st Class Costley was discharged from the U.S. Army on October 14, 1945.

I have been able to learn very little about his postwar life, but he and his wife Velma raised one son.  He died in Douglas County, Georgia, aged 73.


Curt Crawford, R-3904921 (circa October 18, 1896 – September 23, 1948)

Crawford was born in Tennessee, the son of William Henry (Henry William in some sources, a laborer and later farmer) Crawford and Eady Crawford.  His exact date of birth is unclear.  The 1900 census stated that he was born in October 1895.  On the other hand, Curt’s draft card gave a date of birth of October 18, 1896.  Someone filled out that date of birth on an interment control form for Konxville National Cemetery, but another official replaced it with 1898 instead, suggesting that was his date of birth on at least some of his military paperwork.  The 1910, 1930 and 1940 censuses are consistent with the 1896 year of birth, while the 1920 census suggested he had been born in 1898.

Crawford had an older sister, four younger brothers, and one younger sister.  The Crawford family was recorded on the census on June 14, 1900, living in Anderson County, Tennessee.  By April 28, 1910, the Crawfords had moved to South Corbin in Whitley County, Kentucky.  When Crawford registered for the draft during World War I on June 5, 1918, he was living in Hamilton, Ohio, where he was working at the Champion Coated Paper Company.  The registrar described him as medium build with light brown hair and blue eyes.

Handwritten notes on his interment control form as well as rosters, passenger manifests, and census records reveal that Crawford served a remarkable number of stints in the U.S. Army, beginning with World War I.  He was honorably discharged at the conclusion of each one, before finally dying on active duty.

  1. August 27, 1918 – April 15, 1919
  2. April 16, 1919 – April 20, 1920
  3. March 20, 1928 – April 17, 1931
  4. May 13, 1931 – July 13, 1934
  5. February 26, 1936 – June 22, 1938
  6. August 5, 1938 – August 4, 1941
  7. August 5, 1941 – October 7, 1945
  8. October 8, 1945 – September 23, 1948

An August 22, 1918 article in the Butler County Democrat (Hamilton, Ohio) reported that Crawford had been drafted and that he and 49 other men “will entrain for Camp Taylor, on August 27, 1918[.]” 

Indeed, Private Crawford joined the 45th Company, 12th Training Battalion, 4th Regiment, 159th Depot Brigade at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky on August 27, 1918.  He shuffled between various companies within the brigade during subsequent months.  Crawford joined the 33rd Company, 9th Battalion on October 23, 1918.  He later transferred to the 11th Company, 3rd Training Battalion on December 8, 1918 and remained there until March 13, 1919.  He then joined the 3rd Company, 1st Training Battalion, where he remained until his first discharge on April 15, 1919.  The R- prefix was added to his service number when he reenlisted the following day.  As a side note, the R- prefix identified members of the National Army during the World War I era who enlisted in the Regular Army later.  Though common during the interwar period, few soldiers active during World War II had it; all would have been in their 40s by then.

Available documents offer glimpses, but not the complete story, of Crawford’s lengthy career in the U.S. Army.  Private Crawford joined the Ordnance Department, Coast Defenses of Long Island Sound at Fort H.G. Wright, New York on June 28, 1919, but transferred to the Ordnance Department at West Point, New York on either August 30 or September 3, 1919.  By January 1, 1920, he had been promoted to private 1st class.  Private 1st Class Crawford remained at West Point until his discharge on April 20, 1920.

He was back living in Knoxville, Tennessee by 1928.  A March 20, 1928 article in The Knoxville Journal reported that he had enlisted in Knoxville the previous day, adding that “Crawford goes to the tank corps at Fort Benning, Ga.”  Crawford was recorded on the census on April 8, 1930, living at Fort Benning, Georgia and serving in Company “E,” 1st Tank Regiment.

During his next enlistment, Crawford was listed as an Infantry Branch private as of June 11, 1931, when his name appeared on a manifest for the U.S.A.T. St. Mihiel, transferring from Fort Slocum, New York to the Panama Canal Department.  A June 30, 1934 document reported that he was sailing aboard the U.S.A.T. Republic, leaving Fort Clayton, Panama to return to New York for discharge.  Census records indicate that he was living in Knoxville, Tennessee as of April 1, 1935.  He reenlisted the following year; a February 26, 1936 article in The Knoxville Journal reported that Crawford had left for Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia the night before.  Fort Oglethorpe rosters reported that Private Crawford, an infantryman, joined the Recruit Detachment there before he was dispatched to Panama on March 10, 1936.

A June 4, 1938 manifest described him as a private 1st class in the Coast Artillery Corps (reduced to the grade of private upon changing stations, as was typical in those days), leaving Fort Amador, Panama for San Francisco aboard the St. Mihiel again.

Private Crawford was apparently a member of the Regimental Machine Gun Company (“RMG Co”) of the 29th Infantry Regiment immediately prior to joining Company “F,” 66th Infantry (Light Tanks) at Fort Benning, Georgia on October 1, 1938.  Interestingly, that was the same unit he had been a member of in 1930; the 1st Tank Regiment became the 66th Infantry (Light Tanks) in 1932.  Crawford remained in that company through the last available roster in December 1939.  He was promoted to private 1st class around October 1939.

Rosters are not readily available from 1940 onward, but at the time of the next census on April 6, 1940, Private Crawford was recorded as a 43-year-old soldier living in the barracks at Fort Benning, Georgia.  The census recorded his unit as the 66th Infantry (Light Tanks).  Later in 1940, the unit, now re-designated the 66th Armored Regiment, became part of the 2nd Armored Division.  It is unclear if Private Crawford remained with that unit, but it deployed to the Mediterranean, serving in North Africa and Sicily.

Private Crawford joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy at 1100 hours on February 11, 1944 via the 2nd Replacement Depot/Personnel Center 6.  He was transferred to the 7th Replacement Depot for rotation back to the United States on August 3, 1944. 

Private Crawford enlisted for the final time on October 8, 1945 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.  The enlistment data card stated that he enlisted into the Ordnance Department.  Someone who filled out an internment control form wrote that Crawford was an Ordnance Department private 1st class at the time of his death.  However, another official edited the form, stating that Crawford was a corporal in Company “C,” 2640th Quartermaster Truck Battalion. 

Crawford died in Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C. on September 27, 1948.  A notation on his interment control form stated that he earned the Good Conduct Medal.  Corporal Crawford was buried in the Knoxville National Cemetery.

Special thanks to Grace Yuhasz for helping to unravel the mysteries of Corporal Crawford’s family and life prior to World War I.


John James Cristiano, 32118587 (April 4, 1919 – April 16, 1996)

Cristiano was born in Manhattan, New York City, the son of Anthony (an Italian immigrant and mason) and Mary Cristiano.  The family was recorded on the census on January 8, 1920 living at 308 East 116th Street in Manhattan.  John was living with his parents, three older sisters, his maternal grandfather, an aunt and an uncle.  By the time of the next census on April 25, 1930, the family had moved to 803 Allerton Avenue in the Bronx.  The family had moved to 39-18 Corporal Stone Street in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens by April 9, 1940.  Cristiano was working as a clerk.

When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was living with his mother in Queens and working for Gimbel Brothers at 33rd and Broadway.  The registrar described him as standing approximately five feet, 6½ inches tall and weighing 150 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

Cristiano’s occupation enlistment data card stated that he was living in Queens, had completed two years of high school, and was working as a general office clerk.

Cristiano was drafted before the U.S. entered World War II, joining the U.S. Army in Jamaica, New York on May 7, 1941.  Technician 4th Grade Cristiano was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital on March 17, 1943 per Special Order No. 40, Headquarters Mediterranean Base Section and joined the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria at 1400 hrs on March 21, 1943.  Shortly after the unit began operations in Caserta, Italy, he was transferred to Personnel Center 6 on February 12, 1944.  He was honorably discharged at the grade of technician 4th grade on October 14, 1945. 

I have been unable to learn anything about his postwar life, aside from the fact that he died shortly after his 77th birthday.  His remains were interred at Calverton National Cemetery. 


Herman Bernard Crowe, 6984301? (March 17 or 18, 1918 – November 28, 1986)

Crowe was born in Daviess County, Kentucky, the son of Ben Crowe (a farmer) and Ida McDaniel Crowe.  He had at least six siblings.  A birth record, his draft card, and the Social Security Death Index gave his date of birth as March 17, 1918, while his headstone and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File listed the following day.

Crowe was living in Philpot, Kentucky when he enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) at Camp Cary on October 6, 1938.  A unit payroll record stated that Crowe enlisted in the U.S. Army on November 28, 1939.  Similarly, a November 27, 1939 news item in The Evansville Press (Evansville, Indiana) entitled “Two Enlisted” stated: “Herman B. Crowe, Philpot, Ky., and John R. Williams, Rockport, were enlisted in the Army by Sergeant Raines [today].  Both men are bound for the Air Corps in Panama.”

Private Crowe was recorded on the census on April 7, 1940, along with other soldiers stationed at Fort DuPont, Delaware.  Three years later, Private Crowe was apparently a patient in the 32nd Station Hospital in Tlemcen, Algeria who was reassigned to the unit itself on April 20, 1943.  This transfer was apparently deemed to be erroneous per a somewhat puzzling line on April 26, 1943: “FR ERRONEOUSLY ASGD & JD VOCO MBS to ORIGINAL STA.  PATIENT HOSP PER VOCO MBS DTD 4-23-43.”  (To the best of my knowledge, that translates as: “From erroneously assigned and joined per verbal order, commanding officer, Mediterranean Base Section to original station.  Patient in hospital per verbal order, commanding officer, Mediterranean Base Section dated April 23, 1943.”)  The service number (6984301) that appeared in 32nd Station Hospital records may be inaccurate.  That number also belonged to Joseph F. Liebermann of the U.S. Army Air Forces, though duplicate service numbers were not unheard of.

On May 8, 1943, Private Crowe was officially transferred from the Detachment of Patients, 32nd Station Hospital to become a member of the unit.  He was transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot, departing the unit on June 28, 1943.  It appears that he rejoined the unit on June 30, 1943, apparently on detached service from the 1st Replacement Depot.  However, he was dropped from attached service to the 32nd on November 16, 1943. 

An October 8, 1944 news item in The Owensboro Messenger (Owensboro, Kentucky) stated:

Pvt. Herman B. Crowe, who is with an engineers unit, is stationed somewhere overseas. He has been in the Army for five years, and has been overseas for two years. His brother, Pvt. Willie Earl Crowe, is stationed at Camp Atterbury, Ind. He has been in the service for two months. They are sons of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Crowe, of Knottsville.

Crowe registered for the draft on September 7, 1945.  At the time, he was living in Philpot, Kentucky.  The registrar described him as standing approximately five feet, 11½ inches tall and weighing 151 lbs., with blond hair and gray eyes.  The card noted that he was “Just Discharged from Service”; that he hadn’t registered previously suggested that he was already in the military by October 16, 1940, the first registration day.  The only Herman B. Crowe in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File had dates of service recorded as September 12, 1945 through February 25, 1948, suggesting he reenlisted shortly thereafter.  He was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas as of September 22, 1949, when his father died.

Crowe married Doris Jean Taylor in Reynolds Station, Kentucky on November 5, 1961.  The couple had at least one child before they divorced in 1968.  Crowe died in Evansville, Indiana, aged 68.  His obituary, printed in the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Kentucky) on November 30, 1986, stated that Crowe had a son and daughter.  It also stated that he had lived in Owensboro, Kentucky before moving to Evansville and that he “was a retired forging plant worker and a veteran of the U.S. Army.”


Christopher Curas (Christofilos Curas, Christofilos Kouroupis), 31123705 (October 19, 1916 – February 9, 2003)

Curas was born in Greece, most likely in the village of Kastania, Laconia.  (The immigration documents gave his place of birth as Kastania.  There are several places named Kastania in Greece.  However, the document noted that his grandfather lived in “Kastania, Spartis, Greece” and his draft card gave his place of birth as “Spartan, [sic] Greece”; Sparta is also in Laconia.)  Immigration documents gave his name as Christofilos Curas or Kouroupis and his parents’ names as James and Helen.  He also had a sister.

His father emigrated first and settled in the Belltown neighborhood of Stamford, Connecticut.  Curas and his mother later obtained visas in Athens and on December 11, 1927, they sailed from Piraeus aboard the S.S. Edison, arriving in New York on January 1, 1928.  The Curas family was recorded on the census in Stamford on April 4, 1940.

When Curas registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was living with his parents in Stamford and working at the Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company nearby.  The registrar described him as standing approximately five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 170 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.  A 1940 Stamford directory listed his occupation as grinder at Y&T.

After he was drafted, Curas was inducted into the U.S. Army in Hartford, Connecticut on June 2, 1942.  Curas was one of 26 men at Camp Pickett, Virginia who were transferred to the 32nd Station Hospital on August 31, 1942 per Transfer List No. 955.  His M.O.S. was 060 (cook).  The group joined the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 3, 1942.  He remained with the unit during moves to Fort Benning, Georgia and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, and went overseas on January 14, 1943. 

The unit arrived in Algeria on January 26, 1943.  Shortly thereafter, while the unit was in staging in Bouisseville, Curas was promoted to private 1st class on February 2, 1943.  Several months later, while the unit was operating in Tlemcen, Algeria, he was promoted to technician 5th grade on April 8, 1943.  Another promotion followed soon after on May 12, 1943, to technician 4th grade. 

Curas remained with the unit during operations in Caserta, Italy in 1944.  He was reduced to the rank of private on May 25, 1944 but promoted back to technician 5th grade on January 4, 1945.  He went on temporary duty to the 7th Replacement Depot on February 8, 1945, returning on February 11.  On August 9, 1945, he began a temporary duty assignment to the 6703rd Special Service Tour Transport Battalion (Provisional), Company “A” in Naples.  He returned on August 16, 1945. 

Notwithstanding his temporary assignments, Curas was one of a handful of enlisted men who served with the 32nd Station Hospital the entire time it was overseas.  After the 32nd Station Hospital arrived at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945, Technician 5th Grade Curas was transferred to the Reception Center at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.  At the time of his departure from the unit, his M.O.S. was recorded as 060 (cook).

Stamford city directories listed Curas as a salesman for several years.  Curas and his wife Mary had two daughters and a son.  Curas’s obituary, printed in The Advocate (Stamford, Connecticut) on February 11, 2003, stated:

Born in Greece, he was a Stamford resident for 70 years where he owned and operated Curas Fuel for 50 years. He was a member of the Order of Ahepa and was active in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Archangels.

Curas died in Wilton, Connecticut, aged 86.


Frank Leslie Cushman, 31208222 (February 14, 1909 – February 2, 1984)

Frank-Cushman-1945
Sergeant Frank L. Cushman in a detail from the 32nd Station Hospital baseball team photo in 1945 (Courtesy of the Weiner family)

Cushman was born in Miles City, Montana, the first child of William (a stationary engineer) and Edna Cushman.  Another child, Caryl, followed the next year, but died before she was three months old.  His father died in 1911, shortly after the birth of another son, Charles.  Edna and her sons subsequently moved to Everett, Massachusetts.  She was recorded as living there as of June 5, 1915, when she remarried to William Taylor in Nashua, New Hampshire.  Taylor was a widower as well.  The blended family was recorded on the census on January 12, 1920, living in Putnam, Connecticut.  Cushman was living with his stepfather, mother, brother, two older stepsisters, a younger stepbrother, and a younger half-sister.

By the time of the next census on April 3, 1930, Cushman had moved back to Everett, Massachusetts and was described as a “Milk Worker” for a chemist.  During the next census, on April 5, 1940 he was still in Everett and working as a dairyman.  Later that year, when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, his employer was listed as the United Farmers’ Cooperative in nearby Charlestown, a Boston neighborhood.  At the time, the registrar described him as standing approximately five feet, eight inches tall and weighing 212 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.

Enlistment record gives occupation of “Laboratory technicians and assistants” (Ancestry) and “Semiskilled machine shop and related occupations, n.e.c.” (Fold3).  Cushman was drafted.  He was inducted into the U.S. Army in Boston, Massachusetts on October 3, 1942 and apparently went on active duty on October 16, 1942. 

Sergeant Cushman joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy from the “10 Med Serv Det” (10th Medical Service Detachment?) on March 7, 1945.  His M.O.S. was listed as 858 (medical laboratory technician) and his civilian occupation as 120 (meat or dairy inspector).  He appeared in the 32nd Station Hospital Red Sox baseball team photo taken that year.  Sergeant Cushman went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Center in Rome on May 13, 1945, returning May 16.  He was reassigned to Headquarters Peninsular Base Section, departing the unit on July 25, 1945.  He was discharged on May 29, 1946.

A January 6, 1955 article in The Boston Daily Globe entitled “Uniform Laws for Milk Handling Urged for N. E.” mentioned that Cushman was living in Attleboro, Massachusetts and had been elected vice president of the Massachusetts Milk Inspectors’ Association. 

Cushman was living in Amherst, Massachusetts by February 8, 1974 Around 1977, he moved to Avon Park, Florida, where his brother lived.  He died in Highlands County, Florida, shortly before his 75th birthday.  According to Cushman’s obituary, printed in The Tampa Tribune on February 4, 1984:

He was a retired environmental engineer withe [sic] the Department of Health in Massachusetts. He was an Army veteran of World War II, a past district commander with the Veterans of Foreign Wars in District 6 in Massachusetts, a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Order of the Eastern Star, the first president of the Avon Park chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons and a member of the Union Congregational Church in Avon Park.


More articles in the series Enlisted Men of the 32nd Station Hospital:

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Last updated July 22, 2021

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