By late 1942, the US was in a position to launch offensive operations against the periphery of German-occupied territory in Africa and Southern Europe:
November 8th 1942: The Invasion of North Africa
Herbert J. Tomlinson. 28. 517 S. Market. Civilian Conservation Corps. Private, 1st Infantry Division. Killed on first day of Operation Torch in landing at Oran, Algeria.
Edward P. Kacprzyck. 25. 200 block Connell St. Private, 1st Infantry Division. Died in combat November 8th at Oran, Algeria. 1st of at least 24 members of St. Hedwig’s Parish to be killed during WW2.
Joseph Conte. 27. 1601 Chestnut St. Private, US Army. Killed in action in Tunisia, December 11 1942.
John Lednum. 29. 903 Jefferson St. Wilmington High School. Employee at Dupont Deepwater Plant. Private, 1st Engineers Battallion. Enlisted in 1937. Killed in action in North Africa March 21st 1943.
The harsh and impersonal process for casualty notification that so many families had to endure:
Summer 1943: Invasion of Italy
Paul O. Miller. 27. 1300 Jackson St. Sun Shipbuilding Company, Chester. Private, 1st Infantry Division. Killed in Sicily on July 12 1943.
Arthur A. Rosendale. 26. 700 block W. 29th. KIA in Sicily on September 6 1943 while serving with an Army Engineering Unit.
Ralph A. Maloney. 19. 401 N. Dupont Road. Private, 4th Ranger Battalion, Army. Killed in action, Italy, September 18 1943.
Willard B. Walker. 22. 1312 Van Buren. Wilmington High School. Private 1st Class. 36th Infantry Division. Killed in combat in Italy December 20th 1943.
Raymond E. Garret. 20. Private, 515th Parachute Infantry. Killed in parachute accident, Italy, 1943.
Everett W. Adkins. 23. 234 French. Pusey and Jones. Killed November 4th 1943 in combat in Italy.
Thomas C. Davis. 1208 E. 13th. KIA on December 2nd 1943 in the sinking of a ship during an air attack on the harbor of Bari, Italy while serving as a member of the armed guard crew.
William L. McCarthy Jr. 20. 632 W. 6th Street. Wilmington High School. Pennsylvania Railroad. Private 1st Class, 45th Infantry Division. Killed in combat at Legone, Italy on December 15th 1943.
Steiner S. Straw. 23. 2901 Jessup St. Ludlow Manufacturing Company. Sergeant US Coast Guard. Killed near Sardinia Italy on December 10th 1943.
Leo E. Leahy. 31. 1627 Adams. Salesianum High School. Office Manager. Major. 2nd Replacement Depot. Died in Italy, January 21st 1944.
Charles T. Blanchfield. 31. S. Market & A St. Worked at Sun Shipbuilding Company in Chester before induction into military. KIA on January 23rd 1944 while crossing the Rapido River in Italy.
Raymond W. Pierson. 21. 1802 Tatnall. DuPont Company, purchasing department. Private, 34th Infantry Division. KIA in Italy on January 29th 1944.
Adam J. Thomas. 36. Part of 366th Infantry Regiment, a decorated African-American unit. Reported missing in the chaos of combat on February 10th 1944, later determined to be killed in action:
James K. Shoesmith. 24. 421 S. Franklin. Private, 1st Armored Division. Killed in Italy, February 27th.
Joseph A. Iannelli. 21. Killed at Anzio on March 6th 1944 while on LST Invasion boat that was hit by a mine at Anzio.
John A. Ruggero. 29. 511 West St. Private, 45th Infantry division. KIA in Italy March 18th 1944.
William Newlove. 28. Hercules Powder Company. Private, 85th Infantry Division. Killed May 15th 1944 in Italy.
William B. Weldon. 27. Wilmington High School. 2nd Lt. KIA in Italy May 28th 1944.
Raymond L. Brown. 27. 1210 W. 4th. Private, US Army. Killed in action during Battle for Rome.
Adam C. Adamowicz. 1031 W. 2nd St. Wilmington High School. Private. KIA in Italy June 4th 1944.
Samuel N. Canterra. 22. 1601 Sycamore St. Private, 16th Engineering Batallion. KIA in Italy, July 7th 1944.
Alfred E. Lux. 27. 1105 E. 13th St. Wilmington High School. Electric Hose and Rubber Company. Private. 91st Infantry Division. KIA in Italy July 18 1944.
David W. Clancy. Union Park Gardens. First Sergeant, Army. KIA on August 26 1944 “on the Gothic Line near Rome, while serving with the 536th Anti-Aircraft Division. Had served in the military for 6 years.
Biagio J. Saienni. 24. 812 S. Franklin. Private. 88th Infantry Division. KIA in Italy 11 October 1944.
Norman G. Becker. 21. 1200 Pleasant St. Corporal, US Army. Killed by enemy machine gun fire while serving in Infantry in Northern Italy.
Edward J. Przylucki Jr. 20. 425 S. Jackson. Brown Vocational High School. National Vulcanized Fibre factory. Staff Sergeant. 34th Infantry Division. KIA in Italy October 29th 1944.
Edward F. Dillon. 31. 1316 French. Hercules Powder Company. Private 1st Class. 84th Chemical Battalion. KIA in Italy December 10th 1944.
Joseph Pesta. 34. 1507 Claymont. Private, 3rd Chemical Battalion. Killed in Italy June 17 1944.
Edward J. Romanowski. 28. 510 S. Harrison. St. Hedwig’s. Allied Kid Company. Boatswains Mate First Class, Navy. Lost at sea, Italy, September 14th 1945.
On the 2nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the News Journal reported on a memorial service at PS Dupont High School for the 4 alumni amongst the 810 in active service who had been killed to date so far:
Sadly, much worse was yet to come.
In 1944 and the first half of 1945, well over 300 Wilmington residents would be killed, the saddest and worst period in the long history of Delaware’s largest city.