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Showing posts from July, 2019

A Soldier's Story: Specialist Cindy Marie Beaudoin

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Specialist Cindy Marine Beaudoin was born on July 20, 1971.  She was raised in Plainfield Connecticut and graduated from Plainfield High School. She enlisted in the US Army National Guard and trained as a medical technician.

Specialist Beaudoin had just begun her first year at the University of Connecticut when the Gulf War erupted and in January 1991, she withdrew from college and deployed with the 142nd Medical Company.

On February 28, 1991, while on route to help an injured soldier, an explosion hit the convoy truck Specialist Beaudoin was traveling in, fatally wounding her. She died en route to the field hospital.

Specialist Cindy Marie Beaudoin rests in the St. John's the Apostle Church Cemetery.

An Airman's Story: Staff Sergeant Francis P. McNamara

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Staff Sergeant Francis P. McNamara was born on February 19, 1943, in Pollagh Ireland.

He immigrated to the U.S. at one-month-old aboard the USS Baltic and grew up in Parma Ohio.

SSgt McNamara enlisted in the US Army Air Services on March 19, 1942, and was trained as an ariel gunner.  He was assigned to the 11th Bombardment group and deployed to the Pacific theater.

On May 27, 1943, during a rescue mission the plane he was on, the Green Hornet, crashed into the Pacific.  SSgt McNamara, 1st Lt Russell Allen Phillips, and 1st Lt Louis Zamperini were the only survivors and were adrift in the ocean.

After 33 days, on June 30, 1943, Staff Sergeant Francis P. McNamara succumbed to starvation and exposure and was buried at sea. He is memorialized in the Court of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

An Airman's Story: First Lieutenant Edward C. Gelsleichter

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First Lieutenant Edward C. Gelsleichter was born in 1921.

Prior to the onset of WWII, he worked in Schenectady, New York as a carpenter, enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps on December 16, 1942.

Trained as a bombardier, he was assigned to the 431st Bomber Squadron,  11th Bomber Group and deployed to the Pacific theater.

On July 28, 1944,  the B24J,  #42-73018, that First Lieutenant Gelsleichter was serving aboard was last seen in flames and crashing into the Pacific off the coast of Truk.   None of the airmen were recovered.

First Lieutenant Edward C. Gelsleichter is memorialized on the Tablet of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

*Also see:

Sergeant John G. MacIntosh Jr.

Captain Thor E. Hamrin


A Marine's Story: Corporal Scott Francis Bianco

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Corporal Scott Francis Bianco was born on July 11, 1968.

 A lover of the outdoors, he was known to backpack.  He was also creative, enjoying art and music. Corporal Bianco graduated from Edwardsville High School, Edwardsville, Illinois, in the Summer of 1987 and enlisted in the US Marine Corps in December of the same year.

After boot camp, he trained with the engineering corps and was then assigned to the 1ST Marine Division, 1ST Landing Battalion in 1990 and deployed with his unit to Saudia Arabia.

On February 17, 1991, during the grueling Forward Logistic Base set up prior to Operation Desert Storm, Corporal Bianco's forklift toppled from a pier and trapped him underwater.

Corporal Scott Francis Bianco rests in the Troy City Cemetery, in Troy Missouri.

A Sailor's Story: Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward Clyde Benfold

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Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward Clyde Benford was born on January 15, 1931, in Staten Island, New York.

His family moved to the New Jersey area while he was young and in 1949 HM3 Benfold graduated from Audubon High School.

He enlisted shortly after graduation, attending recruit training and corpsman training in Great Lakes, Illinois before receiving his first assignment at the Naval Hospital in Newport Rhode Island.

In July 1951 HM3 Benfold returned to training, this time at Camp Lejune, North Carolina, for combat field training.  He was briefly assigned to the 3rd Marine Division before receiving his orders to E Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division and deploying to Korea in July 1952.

On September 5, 1952, after a night spent treating men under fire, HM3 Benfold earned a Congressional Medal of Honor while he was treating two wounded Marines in a crater.  When enemy soldiers lobbed two grenades into the crater, and HM3 Benfold grabbed the grenades, leaped out of the crate…