lest we forget 2016

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    Greg Farrar / gfarrar@isspress.com

    Nick Grossi of Issaquah was wounded when his squad took a direct hit from a German shell during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.


    Battle of the Bulge veteranwas too young to be scared

    By Christina Corrales-Toyccorrales-toy@isspress.com

    Issaquah resident Nick Grossi was 18 years old when he got the call to serve his country.

    It was 1943 and Grossi was a student at ODea High School. He was drafted to fight for the U.S. Army in World War II and then shipped off to California for training.

    I was too young to be scared, the 91-year-old Spiritwood at Pine Lake resi-dent said, but I didnt like the fact that I couldnt finish high school.

    He would eventually get that diploma, but not before an 18-month service stint that resulted in a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his bravery during the infamous Battle of the Bulge.

    The largest battle the U.S. Army ever fought began in December 1944. All ap-pearances suggested that World War II was coming to a close before the German

    American infantrymen navigate the snow-covered Belgian countryside near the German border during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Courtesy of U.S. Army

    army launched a counteroffensive attack.Adolf Hitlers surprise invasion attempt-

    ed to split the Allied armies in northwest Europe.

    The Germans had made a break-through on the front line, thats why they call it the Battle of the Bulge, Grossi said.

    Grossi, a member of the 80th Infantry Division, worked in a heavy weapons com-pany. He stood about 1,500 yards behind the front lines and manned the 81mm mortar. Someone closer to the action would wire him information on where to shoot the mortar shells.

    He was wounded when his squad took a direct hit from a German shell. As Grossis lap was bleeding and wracked with shrap-nel, he ventured back to headquarters to alert superiors about the attack. Its one of the reasons he received a Bronze Star.

    Dont ask me how I did it, because I was

    Courtesy of Nick Grossi

    Nick Grossi was a member of the 80th Infantry Division and was a member of a heavy weapons com-pany in December 1944. See GROSSI, Page B11

  • B2 Thursday, May 26, 2016 The Issaquah Press


    Robert WatsonStaff sergeant, U.S. Army Air Force375th Bombardment Squadron,

    308th Bombardment Group (Heavy)Born: Nov. 6, 1908

    Missing in action: Jan. 25, 1944Declared dead: Jan. 26, 1946

    Was aboard B-24 ferry flight from Kunming, China that never arrived at destination of Chabua, India. Tablets

    of the missing are at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines.

    John Raymond Smart2nd lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Force

    443rd Bombardment Squadron320th Bombardment Group

    Missing in action Oct. 23, 1943, over the Tyrrhenian Sea near Giannutri

    Island, Italy. The crew of downed B-26 was seen in life rafts but rescue boats

    could not locate them, and no one from the crew was ever seen again. Tablets

    of the missing are at Florence American Cemetery in Florence, Italy.

    Robert PhilpStaff sergeant, U.S. Army Air Force589th Bombardment Squadron,

    387th Bombardment GroupShot down near Mayan, Germany, where

    his crew was attacking a railroad via-duct, on Dec. 23, 1944.

    Jack McQuadePrivate, U.S. Army Air Force481st Service Squadron46th Air Service Group

    Born: Nov. 28, 1920Died: April 18, 1945

    Killed in accidental bomb explosion on the Philippine island of Luzon. Buried in

    Hillside Cemetery.

    Emmett R. McDonaldCaptain, U.S. Air Force

    61st Troop Carrier SquadronBorn: July 27, 1939

    Missing in action: May 31, 1966Declared dead: Feb. 11, 1975

    Served as crew member aboard a C-130 that crashed during a nighttime

    attack on the Thanh Hoa Bridge in North Vietnam.

    Laurence J. Lortie2nd lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Force,

    45th Fighter Squadron15th Fighter Group

    Missing in action June 1, 1945, some-where between Iwo Jima and Osaka, Japan. Weather may have been the

    reason for the loss.

    George C. LarsenPrivate first class, U.S. Army184th Infantry Regiment,

    7th Infantry DivisionBorn: Feb. 17, 1926 Died: June 14, 1945

    Killed in action by a grenade while attacking Hill 181 on Okinawa, Ryukyu

    Islands, Japan. Buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    Peter EricksonPrivate, U.S. Army

    18th Engineer RegimentDied: Aug. 10, 1918

    From the Sept. 27, 1918, edition of the Press: A large congregation attended the memorial service Sunday afternoon at

    Issaquah in honor of Peter Erickson, the first of the boys from Issaquah to die in the service of his country. Buried in Suresnes

    American Cemetery, Suresnes, France.

    Elizabeth EricksonWoman Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs)

    Born: April 24, 1921Died: April 16, 1944

    Killed in a mid-flight collision while fly-ing an AT-6 in a training exercise over Sweetwater, Texas. Buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Seattle. Because WASPs were considered civilians, she did

    not receive a military burial. She was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.

    James Patrick BradyCorporal, U.S. Army

    Scotch Platoon, C Company2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment

    1st Cavalry DivisionBorn: March 7, 1949Died: June 18, 1969

    Killed in action in Tay Ninh, South Vietnam. Buried in Greenwood

    Memorial Park, Renton.

    Robert BaskettSergeant, U.S. Army

    8th InfantryBorn: April 7, 1925Died: July 15, 1944

    Graduated from Issaquah High School in 1943. Killed in action in Normandy, France. Buried in Hillside Cemetery.

    Paul Alfred AmbrosePrivate, U.S. Army

    701st Tank Destroyer BattalionBorn: July 9, 1924

    Died: May 31, 1944Graduated from Issaquah High School in 1942. Killed in action in Anzio, Italy.

    Buried in Hillside Cemetery.

    Robert ArndtCorporal, U.S. Army

    C Company3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment

    9th Infantry DivisionBorn: May 6, 1946 Died: July 29, 1967

    Shot in early 1967 but recovered and was back in action only a few days when he was killed in Dinh Tuong province, South

    Vietnam. Buried in Hillside Cemetery.

    Freedom isnt free. Since the birth of this country, men and women

    have been willing to fight and die for Americans to be free to live their

    lives as they choose.

    And the number of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice is stag-

    gering. More than 1.3 million men and women have died in wars fought

    by or on behalf of this country since 1775.

    Men and women have also been willing to sacrifice their personal time,

    by serving in times when war was not on or imminent. They have done

    all types of jobs that people in the civilian sector do, but instead did them

    in service to this country while they stood ready to defend our lives, lib-

    erty and the pursuit of happiness.

    We at The Issaquah Press salute, honor and thank the men and women

    from our community who have paid all types of sacrifices to keep them-

    selves, their families and everyone else free. We hope you will do the same.


    Information is incomplete and/or

    conflicting for the 19 local veterans killed

    while serving in wartime. Photos also could not be located

    for three of the deceased. If you have information or photos, please email editor@isspress.com or call 392-6434, ext. 227.

    Louis PetersenFlight officer, U.S. Army Air Force422nd Bombardment Squadron

    305th Bombardment GroupDied: Aug. 6, 1944

    Killed when the B-17 he was co-piloting was hit by flak and crashed near Vollradisroda, Germany. Interred

    in Germany and later brought home to Greenwood Memorial Park, Renton.

    Joseph Albert TondreauFireman first class

    U.S. Navy/Naval ReserveMissing in action or buried at sea Dec. 18, 1944. Tablets of the missing are at Manila American Cemetery in Manila,


    Carl Albert LarsonCorporal, U.S. Army,

    361st Infantry Regiment91st Infantry Division

    Died: Oct. 9, 1918Buried in Meuse-Argonne American

    Cemetery, in Romagne, France.(no photo available)

    Robert HoskinsLance corporal, U.S. Marine Corps,

    H&S Company3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

    1st Marine DivisionBorn: Sept. 14, 1949 Died: Nov. 25, 1968

    Mortarman killed in action in South Vietnam. Buried in Hillside Cemetery.

    (no photo available)

    Harold GleasonPrivate first class, U.S. Army

    301st Infantry Regiment94th Infantry Division

    Born: Feb. 6, 1916 Died: March 2, 1945

    Killed in action while serving as a medic near Serrig, Germany. Buried in

    Hillside Cemetery. (no photo available)

    Paul Clifford Benson2nd lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Force

    737th Bomb Squadron454th Bomb Group

    His B-24 bomber was shot down over Yugoslavia on April 21, 1944, and he died from his wounds in a German

    prison camp one week later.

    Read stories and view photos from past Lest We Forget sections online at


  • The Issaquah Press Thursday, May 26, 2016 B3


    Archie AdairBorn: May 5, 1911Died: Feb. 18, 1985Branch of service:

    U.S. ArmyWhere served:

    Germany in World War IIDetails of service: While with the 83rd Infantry Division in

    Germany, was awarded the combat

    infantrymans badge for displaying exemplary

    conduct in action

    Allen Sherman AndersonHighest rank achieved:

    E-3Branch of service:

    U.S. NavyDates of service: Dec. 2, 1972 to April 7, 1977

    Details of service: Hull tech, was on the

    USS Samuel Gompers, USS John


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