Alburg Honor Rolls
"ALBURG HONOR ROLLDedicated to the memory ofthe Men of Alburgwho so valiantly gave their livesfor their country"
What's in a name? Well, for the residents of Alburg, or Alburgh, it's hasn't varied more than 400 living residents since the 1930's. The spelling of the town's name has flip-flopped a couple of times, but the dozen men named upon this honor roll would all have just called it "home." A place where everybody knew when a young man went into service and where all mourned mourned when his name appeared on a casualty list.
PVT Louis Blair's name was published on the casualty lists in winter of 1918. He was in Co. D 103rd Machine Gun Battalion 26th Division. The 26th was a National Guard effort that gathered up Guardsmen from all over New England as soon as President Wilson put out the call to arms.
The men of the "Yankee Division" got leave before shipping out in October of '17. A newspaper report states that 65 of them arrived almost unannounced at the train station St Albans. They disembarked, marched down Main St, and then dispersed to their families for a few days. It was Blair's last opportunity to embrance the family. He died on January 31, 1918, just a few weeks after his 17th birthday.
I couldn't find or confirm any information about the the remaining three men on the World War I listing, but it may be possible that Fred Mitchell Jr was related to the two men of the Mitchell family listed on the World War II section.
PFC Harold K Mitchell, US Army, was Killed in Action 21 DEC 1944 while serving with 590th Field Artillery Battalion, 106th Infantry Division. About 600,000 men were committed to the fight in what is known as the "Battle of The Bulge." 90,000 Men were killed or wounded during the engagement and 20,000 were taken prisoner. PFC Mitchell had taken a bride just before he shipped out. He had been married just over 90 days when Mrs. Mitchell became a war widow.
I wasn't able to confirm it, but Marine PFC Carlton E. Mitchell was probably Harold's younger brother, or cousin. Carlton was killed while crossing the Asa Kawa River on 11 MAY 45. He was with the 22nd Regiment of the 6th Marine Division at Okinawa.
The 22nd had been tasked to cross a bridge, but was given no artillery support to soften of the enemy beforehand. All the mud Marines had to do the job was the M3 37mm anti tank gun and a few tanks with their 105's. The tanks couldn't use the bridge, that would be a certain kill for the Japanese. And the tanks could not ford the river because of its muddy bottom. The men of the 22nd were forced into a small arms shootout augmented with flame throwers. They took the objective, but it was costly - like most of the action on Okinawa.
PFC Holland Bruley was with 33rd Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. He is listed as Missing In Action. The "Big Red 1" had already defeated Hitler's "Afrika Corps" and was turning its attention to liberating Italy. The assault against Gela began on the morning of 10 JUL 43 - and that's the date that Bruley went missing. Was he one of the dozens of men that died when enemy shells hit American landing craft?
TSgt Howard Poquette was the top turret gunner aboard B-17G #42-40008, assigned to 532nd Bomber Squadron, 381st Bomber Group. The aircraft collided with another B-17 in a heavy flak barrage on March 24th, 1944.
Lt Adrian Beck, USMC, graduated with the Class of '41 at Dartmouth College. He is buried in the College's cemetery, next to his classmates. The headstone asks a simple question of the visitor, "In Vain?" He died 21 JUL 44, and I wasn't able to find anything more. You are the one that must answer his classmates question, "In vain?"
SSgt Theodore Patenaude was serving with 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, when he died of wound received on February 9, 1945. A Canadian by birth, Patenaude lies at rest i the American Cemetery in Lorraine, France.
US Navy Signalman 3rd Class Milford Faufaw was one of 38 shipmates killed aboard USS Kidd (DD-661) when it was struck by a single Kamikaze aircraft on April 11th, 1945. His body was not recovered and he is listed among the Court of The Missing at Pearl Harbor.
It took me less than 90 seconds to walk from my motorcycle, take these photos, and walk back. I used almost two hours to research these names and write about the men. In Vain?