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Ike's Soldiers: A Virtual World War II Honor Roll
Stories from the Greatest Generation

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Showing Results 65 - 72 of 952

John W. Bergman
Army
John
W.
Bergman
DIVISION: Army,
32nd Division-128th Regiment-Company K
BIRTHPLACE: Beaver, KS
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific
SERVED: Oct 13, 1944 -
0
Dec 9, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Daughters Janette Doyle and Judy Wagoner and Grandchildren

BIOGRAPHY

John was drafted into the Army on October 13, 1944. He was sent to Camp Fannin, Tyler Texas for Basic Infantry Training. From Tyler, Texas, he was stationed at Fort Ord in California. John was then shipped to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He was assigned to the 32nd Division, 128th Infantry Regiment, Company K. While in the 128th Infantry Division he was stationed in the Philippines. While in the Philippines John endured leech infested waters, suffered malaria and was also wounded, thus receiving his Purple Heart. He served as a Company K Sergeant. In the fall of 1945 he was sent from the Philippines to Japan for Occupational Duty. John's regiment was one of the first to land in Japan. He recalls riding the Troop Train through the war-torn cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Besides the Purple Heart, he received the following awards: Bronze Star, Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Situation Medal, and the Philippines Liberation Ribbon. John was discharged from the Army in December 1946. After the service, John returned to Kansas to follow in his father's footsteps and became a Santa Fe Depot Agent, a job from which he held for many years and then retired.

Theodore 'Ted' G. Bergmann
Army
Theodore 'Ted'
G.
Bergmann
DIVISION: Army,
SHAEF
Sep 12, 1920 -
BIRTHPLACE: Brooklyn, NY
THEATER OF OPERATION: European
SERVED: Jun 10, 1942 -
0
Apr 1, 1953
0
HONORED BY: Theodore Bergmann

BIOGRAPHY

Photo is in the War Room in Reims, France on May 7, 1945, immediately following the signing of the unconditional surrender by the Germans. Captain Ted Bergmann records the event for U.S. radio.

William H. Bernard
Army
William
H.
Bernard
DIVISION: Army,
603rd Tank Co.
Jun 18, 1918 -
BIRTHPLACE: Geuda Springs, KS
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific
SERVED: Apr 8, 1942 -
0
Oct 20, 1945
0
HONORED BY: Wife, Dorothy Bernard and children

BIOGRAPHY

The 603rd Tank Co. made 11 D-Day landings on various islands in the Pacific. We first trained in Australia and were among the troops who first occupied Japan.

Ardon Reginald Berquist
Army
Ardon Reginald
Berquist
DIVISION: Army,
40th Chemical Lab Company
Feb 3, 1919 - Dec 23, 1998
BIRTHPLACE: Lindsborg, KS
HIGHEST RANK: Corporal
THEATER OF OPERATION: European
SERVED: Aug 28, 1942 -
0
Jan 5, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Craig Berquist, son
Lester A. Biesenthal
Army
Lester
A.
Biesenthal
DIVISION: Army,
350th Infantry Regiment
Apr 1, 1920 - Jan 14, 1979
BIRTHPLACE: Wheaton, KS
THEATER OF OPERATION: European
SERVED: Jun 14, 1944 -
0
Apr 20, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Daughters: Joyce, Karen, Leslie, Marla, and his 8 grandchildren

BIOGRAPHY

Private First Class Lester Biesenthal was an Automatic Rifleman. Most of his service time was spent in the Northern Apennines mountain region of the Po Valley, Italy. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Ribbon Eamet Ribbon, and the American Theater Ribbon.

William F. Bird
Army Air Corps
William
F.
Bird
DIVISION: Army Air Corps,
465th Signal Heavy Construction Co.
Oct 13, 1926 - Nov 26, 2020
BIRTHPLACE: Lincoln County, KS
HIGHEST RANK: Technician 4th Grade
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific
SERVED: Apr 24, 1945 -
0
Nov 15, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Marie Meuli, Thomas Meuli, and Christian Meuli

BIOGRAPHY

William Fuller Bird is the oldest of six children born to George Emerson and Georgia May (Moore) Bird in Lincoln County, Kansas on October 13, 1926. Bill grew up on the family farm and attended local schools before being drafted into the Army on 24 April 1945. Private Bird entered service at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas as an Auto Equipment Operator (Heavy Truck Driver) and Rifle Marksman. On 14 November 1945, he was discharged as a temporary private and re-enlisted at the Las Vegas Army Air Field. Bill continued to serve the United States as a Telephone and Telegraph Lineman in Nagoya, Japan until separation of service 15 November 1946 as a Technician 4th Grade with the 465th Signal Heavy Construction Company. Decorations and citations include the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Bill married Dorothy Johnson on May 31, 1947. They were blessed with three daughters: Betty Bird Whyte, Kay Bird Eller, and Roberta Bird Robertson. Dorothy preceded Bill in death on October 16, 1996. From 1951-1966, Bill worked in the oil fields of western Kansas. Bill and his family moved to Abilene where he drove a semi-truck for Duckwall Alco, Inc., for 20 years, retiring in 1989. On December 6, 1997, Bill married Doris Jean (Dottie) Bowley DeGraffenried. Bill's five step children are Kenny DeGraffenried, Doris Ann DeGraffenried Ward, Kathy DeGraffenried Heiser, Jeff DeGraffenried and Stacy DeGraffenried Meuli. Always good at mechanics and construction, Bill enjoys fixing things as well as hunting, fishing, boating, camping, and traveling. Bill and Dottie continued to live in Abilene, Kansas, taking an active role in their grandchildren's lives.

William O. Birdwell
Navy
William
O.
Birdwell
DIVISION: Navy,
EDUR GR #3, 7th Fleet, 10th NCB, 70th NCB, 128th NCB(P), 109th NCB
Nov 3, 1925 -
BIRTHPLACE: Abilene, KS
SERVED: Dec 3, 1943 -
0
Jan 18, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Sisters - Dorothy Stewart, Rose Odell,Brother - James Birdwell

BIOGRAPHY

William Otto Birdwell served in the Navy as a Seebee. He obtained the rank of COX (CB)(T).

Chester E. Bishop
Army
Chester
E.
Bishop
DIVISION: Army,
94th Division, 3rd Army
Feb 9, 1921 -
THEATER OF OPERATION: European
SERVED: Jun 17, 1943 -
0
Nov 14, 1945
0
HONORED BY: Grandson, Andy Hurley

BIOGRAPHY

Chester served in company I, 376 Infantry Regiment, 94th Division, 3rd Army. He fought in France, Germany and Czechoslovakia and was awarded four Bronze Stars.

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Jan 1, 2000 - Jan 1, 2000
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The mission of Ike's Soldiers is to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower's legacy through the personal accounts of the soldiers he led and share them with the world.

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"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends."
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Eisenhower Signature

Guildhall Address, London, June 12, 1945