Remembering our sons who perished in the Pacific Theater in WWII

By Anthony Buccino

With all the attention recently being paid the cable TV series, we should now take time to remember the sacrifice of Belleville and Nutley sons who perished in World War II in the Pacific theater. Here, from the news reports of the day

Copyright © 2016 by Anthony Buccino; WWII Pacific cemetery

Makeshift cemetery somewhere in the Pacific during World War Two.


Lt. William Fredericks, who was declared missing in action a year ago May 5, 1945, has been declared killed in action. Lt. Fredericks was the co-pilot of a B-29 shot down over Kyushu, Japan. The pilot of the plane was found alive as a prisoner of war held by Japan. His brother Coxswain Harry C. Fredericks was killed in action in the Gulf of Mexico on May 19, 1942. It was the first reported Belleville Gold Star casualty of the war.

Seaman 1/c Gilmer Adams was killed in action in the Pacific where he was serving with amphibious Navy forces. "Bucky" Adams, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Willie Adams of May Street. His parents received a telegram from the Navy on April 28, 1945, but the notice did not detail his reported date of death.

Private Peter Andrusyn was killed in action on Feb. 26, 1945. Andrusyn was awarded the Purple Heart. The  Marine is honored on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Private Giavanni Bocchino, 20, was killed in action on Leyte on Oct. 25, 1944. He had been overseas with the Army 170th Engineer Combat Battalion engineers for three months. Bocchino entered active duty July 17, 1942. The son of Anthony and Michelina Bocchino of Lake Street, he had seven brothers and one sister.

Fireman 1/c Charles R. Braun was killed in action on June 5, 1943.  Braun joined the U.S. Navy from New York. He is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Lt. Kenneth A. Chewey died in Manila, Philippines, after a few days of illness on July 23, 1945. Lt. Chewey received two battle stars for action in the Leyte and Luzon campaigns. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Chewey of Malone Avenue. Lt. Chewey is a 1940 graduate of Belleville High School. Chewey attended Rutgers University for three years.

John J. Cifrodella, Torpedoman's Mate 2/c , 22, of Magnolia Street was presumed killed in action November 14, 1944, when his ship, the USS Escolar, one of 52 submarines lost during the war, failed to return from a patrol on the Yellow Sea.

 S. Sgt. Clatie R. Cunningham, Jr. was KIA over the Mekong River in Vietnam, on July 23, 1945.

S. Sgt. Clatie Cunningham Jr. (standing, left) met his Belleville bride
while studying in the service in Newark, N.J. 

S. Sgt. Clatie R. Cunningham, Jr. was killed on a mission over the Mekong River in Vietnam, on July 23, 1945, when the B-24 in which he was the flight engineer crashed after a bombing run scored a direct hit on an enemy barge. His twin sons were born June 5, 1945, in Glen Ridge, N.J.

A new pipe organ will be dedicated on Sunday in honor of 53 members of the Silver Lake Baptist Church who are serving in the Armed Forces and in memory of Sgt. Edward DiCarlo who was killed in action in Guam. DiCarlo, who entered the service in 1942, saw action in the South Pacific and died June 26, 1945.

Corp. Stanley Guzik was killed in action in the Philippines in May 1945. He had been overseas 14 months, and had received a Purple Heart at Guam. Guzik had lived with his sister Mrs. Albert Miskiewicz of Cortlandt Street. His other family members live in Wilkes Barre, Pa.

Lt. (jg) Richard T. Hayes, U.S. Navy, served in the United States Naval Reserve. He died on April 27, 1945. He is listed on the Missing in Action or Buried at Sea Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Seaman 2/c William A. Hourigan, 18, formerly of Tiona Avenue, was killed in action in the invasion of the Philippines about Nov. 5, 1944.

Seaman 2/c John Johnson, 18, died from a fractured skull sustained in an accident aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific on August 4. The son of Mr. and Mrs. John Johnson of Greylock Parkway, he left Belleville High School to enlist in the Navy.

Corp. Warren C. Jordan, son of Arthur J. Jordon (sic) of Belleville Avenue, was killed in action on March 7, 1945. The Marine was awarded the Purple Heart with Gold Star. He is memorialized at the Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Ordnanceman 3/c John F. Kirwin of Forest Street was killed in the South Pacific when his patrol plane (PBM) crashed at sea on Sept. 5. "Jack" Kirwin was 19 when he enlisted in the Navy in February 1943. His twin brother, James E., is believed to be serving overseas.

Seaman 2/c Thomas E. Lamb died of his wounds in the Pacific in March 1945. He is survived by his wife Danetta Lamb of Union Avenue.

Corp. Benjamin Lucas, 23, was killed in a plane crash in China on Sept. 28, 1945. Lucas, son of Mrs. Louise Lucas of Newark Place, was on his way home when the plane was destroyed in a crash.

Water Tender, 2/c Edgar H. Mc Ginty, of 50 New Street, was killed in action on Dec. 15, 1945. Mc Ginty was awarded the Purple Heart. He is listed as missing in action or buried at sea on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines.

Sgt. William J. Mears of Jefferson Street was killed in action in Peleliu on Palau Islands in the South Pacific on Sept. 15. Mears enlisted in the Marines the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. During his tour he was cited as a demolitions expert. He was a veteran of Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, New Britain and Bougainville during his 28 months overseas.

Sgt. John J. Miller, Jr., was killed in action in bloody fighting on Saipan in July 1944, the Navy told his father, John Sr. of Elmwood Avenue.

Pfc. Harry Nyegaard, 19, of Main Street, was reported killed June 19, 1944, on the Tinian Islands, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Nyegaard, were told in September. Nyegaard enlisted in the Marines in December 1942, and went overseas with a field communications unit. He was a veteran of Saipan, Kwajalein, Namur and Roi, all in the South Pacific.

Pfc. Albert E. Pole, 22, of Washington Avenue, was killed in Guam on Aug. 7. He enlisted in the Marines in 1942. Pole was sent to the Pacific Theatre in January 1943. The Belleville son received a Purple Heart for wounds received Nov. 19, 1943, in the South Pacific.

MoMMate 2/c Joseph Anthony Razes, 27, of Brighton Avenue, died of a ruptured aorta on June 2. He was buried in the South Pacific. Razes enlisted in the U. S. Navy on April 2, 1942. Razes, who entered the service from Pennsylvania, is honored on the Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Lt. John F. Rogers, 25, of Birchwood Drive, was reported missing in the Gilbert and Ellice Island area of the South Pacific in February 1944. He is believed to be a victim of a tropical hurricane that scattered the squadron of which he was the leader.

2nd Lt. Edmund Sadlock, 28, of Adelaide Street, was killed in action on Luzon in the South Pacific on Feb. 19, 1945. Sadlock went overseas September 1943, three months before his son Edmond was born.

Corp. William J. Salmon, 21, of Dewitt Avenue,  was killed in action Sept. 23, 1944, on Peleliu on Palau Islands in the South Pacific. Corp. Salmon was a Marine sniper-scout on the Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester and New Guinea campaigns.

Radioman 2/c Robert S. Taylor of Joralemon Street was killed overseas before February 1944. He was a veteran of six major engagements in the South Pacific. His crew received a Presidential Citation for rescuing the crew of the Helena. He is a 1939 Belleville High School graduate.

Sgt. Harry Ward Jr., of DeWitt Avenue, was reported killed in action in the Mindoro Islands in the Philippines on Dec. 21, 1944. He served with the 240th Engineer Construction Battalion. Ward entered the Army in January 1943, at age 18. Sgt. Ward took part in invasions of New Guinea, the Solomons, and Leyte.

John N. Waters died Feb. 13, from injuries sustained while serving with the Marines, Second Division for 3 years in the South Pacific. Waters, who left Belleville High School to join the Marines, never took a furlough. He shipped out to the Pacific at the end of his basic training. The young Marine served in battle campaigns including Tarawa, Peleliu, Tinian, Ie Shima – where newspaper writer Ernie Pyle was killed by a sniper – Okinawa and Saipan.


Pvt. Vincent Fields, 23, was reported killed in action at Iwo Jima. Mrs. Fields, the former June Parr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Parr of Carteret place, was advised that her husband was reported killed March 6, 1945. He was a member of the 4th Marine Division.

Pfc. Arthur T. Abbott Jr., 24, was been reported killed in action at Iwo Jima on March 4. He attended Nutley High school and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md.  His wife is the former Shirley Slater of Montclair, and their two-year-old son Arthur 3rd. He has one brother, Robert, a student at Nutley High school, and a sister Mrs. Frederick Heany of Nutley.

Seaman 1/c Thurston F. Woodford, son of C. Thurston Woodford of Verona, formerly of Nutley, was reported missing Nov. 10, 1944, after the explosion of the munitions ship, USS Mount Hood at its base in the South Pacific, on which he served.

Seaman 2/c Herbert R. Washburne, 31, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Washburne of 23 Orchard Street, was killed in action aboard the U.S.S. Juneau, along with the five Sullivan brothers, during the Guadalcanal invasion on Nov. 13, 1942.

 While en route to the United States aboard the battle cruiser USS Guam, Seaman 1/c Thomas Edward Smith, 19, son of Mrs. Alice Smith Van Dyne of Freeman place, was killed in a fall Nov. 30, 1945, according to a telegram received Tuesday by his mother.

T-Sgt. Thomas J. Maxham was killed in a B-29 plane crash on take-off at Dudhkundi, India, on Dec. 24, 1944, according to a War Department telegram received Dec. 30. Maxham, nephew of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Rhodes of Chase Street, with whom he lived for a long while, was a radar operator on a B-29.

Ensign William Louden, reported missing in action since Nov. 13, 1944, is now officially listed as dead. Ensign Louden was on a bombing strike when the torpedo bomber he piloted crashed in Cavite Harbor in the Philippines. He was attached to the Carrier Monterez.

Pfc. Emil M. Liloia, 21, USMC, was killed in action March 1 on Iwo Jima while serving with the 3rd Marine division. Born in Belleville, Pfc. Liloia came to Nutley when he was three. He went through Nutley schools and while in high school starred on the football team. He was voted the best athlete of the year.

American Legion Post 70 photo - POW 1st. Lt. James Hare, of Nutley

Lt. James Hare, 27, a graduate of Wisconsin University,
died of illness in a Japanese POW camp.

1st Lt. James H. Hare, 27, died of an illness in a Japanese prison camp, his father, Kenneth R. Hare of Hillside Avenue, was notified by the War Department. A 1st Lt. James H. Hare of the 71st Engineer Battalion, 71st Philippine Division, died Nov. 27, 1942, in the South Pacific.

1st Lt. John Hanley of Race Street, Nutley, was killed Nov. 21, in the Burma Theatre of Operation. Mrs. John Michael Hanley of Race Street, said the telegram stated that details of his death had not yet been released.

Sgt. Arthur C. Garrett was killed in action on Oct. 8, 1942, at Guadalcanal in the vicinity of Matanika River. Garrett joined the Marines on May 5, 1939. He is the son of Peter W. Garrett of Cedar Street, Nutley

Aviation Ordnanceman 1/c Anthony Di Petta was reported missing in action in a fiery plane crash in the South Pacific on Sept. 10, 1944. His plane, together with other aircraft left the carrier on a pre-invasion strike against enemy installations and shipping in the Palau Islands. The attack was made in the face of persistent and accurate anti-aircraft fire.

Private Norman R. Bell, USMC, was killed in action on Iwo Jima on Feb. 20, 1945. Pfc. Bell is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Bell, Brookline Avenue. Bell was a BAR gunner who joined Able Company as a replacement after the Tinian campaign. He was killed on the second day of the battle of Iwo Jima as his company performed mop-up duties along the beaches.

Petty Officer Thomas E. Ashton Jr., electrician’s mate 3/c, on submarine duty was reported missing in action April 22, 1943. The young sailor was known by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ashton Sr., who formerly lived on Cathedral Avenue, to have been aboard the submarine Triton, which was reported by the Navy on July 22 as having been sunk in the Pacific with 11 Jap ships to its credit. He attended St. Mary's elementary school. He was an assistant scout master of troop 12 at St. Mary's Church.

In a telegram received Wednesday (March 1944) from Lt. General A. A. Vandergriff of the U.S. Marine Corps, Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus W. Dunthorn of High Street were informed of the death in action of their son, Pfc. Cecil B, Dunthorn, 22, of the celebrated Fifth Marines. Two days before they had received a letter from Pfc. Jon La Barbera, one of Bruce's buddies telling them of their son's death while on a mission early in February during the invasion of Cape Gloucester, New Guinea.

More than 110 young men from Belleville and 92 from Nutley died in World War II. Let us not forget the sacrifice of these men and the price their families paid for our freedom.

First published: NJ Voices on May 29, 2010 at 3:40 PM, updated May 29, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Read more:

Belleville Sons Honor Roll

Nutley Sons Honor Roll

Belleville, N.J., Street Sign Memorials

Remembering the soldier named above the street sign

D-Day Normandy

 ©  2010 by Anthony Buccino


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New Jersey author Anthony Buccino's stories of the 1960s, transit coverage and other writings earned four Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism awards.

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WW2 Letters Home from the South Pacific by Angelo Buccino

Belleville Sons Honor Roll - Remembering the Men Who Paid for Our Freedom

Nutley Sons Honor Roll - Remembering the Men Who Paid for our Freedom

Belleville and Nutley in the Civil War - A Brief History


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