Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 2

Zuckerman Funeral 2022

"Mission Complete"

We will “NEVER FORGET”

POW MIA Flag
Army PFC John Ferguson, MIA WWII,
"We Will Never Forget" Army PFC John Ferguson

Army PFC John Ferguson

Private First Class Ferguson entered the U.S. Army Air Forces from Illinois and served with the 28th Material Squadron, 20th Air Base Group, stationed in the Philippines during World War II. He became a prisoner of the Japanese following the U.S. surrender in the Philippines in April of 1942. PFC Ferguson was taken to Cabanatuan Prison Camp, where he died on December 10, 1942. Camp records associated PFC Ferguson with Common Grave (CG) 917 at the camp cemetery; however, he could not be individually identified from among remains recovered from the grave after the war. In 2017, DPAA researchers requested the disinterment of four unknown remains associated with CG 917. The remains were exhumed from the Manila American Cemetery and accessioned into the DPAA laboratory. Laboratory analysis led to the identification of PFC Ferguson from among these remains.

PFC JOHN L FERGUSON

 

Corporal Stanley Paul Arendt

Stanley “Sonny” Arendt, who grew up in the Palatine area, had joined the U.S. Army in 1948 at age 18, spending two years in Japan and re-enlisting to serve with his buddies in the Korean War.

CAPTURE: CPL. Arendt was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, which was stationed near Unsan on Nov. 1, 1950, when two Chinese divisions struck. By 0200 hours, the morning of 02 November, the Chinese had blocked the last remaining site siminsag road for a possible retreat overland. South of Unsan, the 3rd Battalion, commanded by Major Ormond, had dug in just north of the Nammyon River. By dawn, the entire regiment was completely surrounded. The 3rd Battalion was trapped by the Chinese. All day long fighter aircraft and bombers pounded the enemy positions.

Mission Complete Arendt

Corporal Stanley Paul Arendt Questions

Corporal Stanley Paul Arendt
We will “Never Forget” Corporal Stanley Paul Arendt
U.S. Army Cpl. Chester Roper
We will “Never Forget” U.S. Army Cpl. Chester Roper

U.S. Army Cpl. Chester Roper

MISSING:. U.S. Army Cpl. Chester Roper was part of a firing battery in a unit made up of African-Americans, Battery A, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division In late November 1950, Roper and his unit were “overrun” by Chinese forces “deep within North Korea,” O’Brien said.

He was captured by enemy forces on Dec. 1, 1950 near Somindong, North Korea. After being held captive for weeks, Roper and others marched for five days and on Jan. 20 1951, he entered a camp near the south bank of the Yalu River near a village called Pyoktong.

Mission Complete Roper

Cpl. Roper Questions

1 LT James Meagher

On Feb. 8, 1944, 27-year-old warehouse manager-turned-World War II fighter pilot Jim Meagher climbed into the cockpit of his P-47 Thunderbolt and took off from an airfield in Bodney, England.

Painted on the blue nose of his plane was “Patricia Lee” — the name of the baby daughter back in Elgin, Ill., he never had seen.

But this citizen soldier never would meet his Patricia Lee. It would be 67 more years before she and the rest of his family would finally learn what happened to him that cold winter morning.

1 LT James Meagher Questions

1 LT James Meagher
We will “Never Forget” 1 LT James Meagher
U.S. Army Cpl. Donald MacLean
We will “Never Forget” U.S. Army Cpl. Donald MacLean

U.S. Army Cpl. Donald MacLean

MISSING:. U.S. Army Cpl. Donald MacLean was trained in light infantry, MacLean went to the Korean War as a private 1st class in Company D, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

During the brutal Battle of Chosin Reservoir that raged for nearly two weeks in below-zero temperatures with U.S. forces overwhelmingly outmanned and outgunned, MacLean was killed in an attack near the reservoir and reported as missing in action on 2 Dec 1950. His remains were buried on the eastern bank of the reservoir alongside other members of the “Chosin Few” killed during the bloody battle. The U.S. Army declared him “presumed dead” on Dec. 31, 1953, and promoted him posthumously to corporal.

Mission Complete MacLean

Cpl. MacLean Questions

Capt. Joseph Olbinski

Capt. Joseph Olbinski, an Army Air Force C-47 pilot with the 4th Troop Carrier Squadron, was reported MIA on 23 MAY 1944. His aircraft – what little there is left of it – was found in north Burma a few years ago. Joe’s brother Edwin, age 82, lives in Marengo, IL. He had another brother (Robert) but he died last year. Bob also was a pilot in WWII, for a B-17 rather than a C-47, but was reportedly shot down on his first mission, and spent the war in a German POW camp. Edwin was too young for service in WWII, and exempt in Korea due to his brothers’ service.

Mission Complete Olbinski

Capt. Joseph Olbinski Questions

Capt. Joseph Olbinski
We will “Never Forget” Captain Joseph Olbinski
George Reeser
We will “Never Forget” U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. George Reeser

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. George Reeser

He enlisted at a recruiting station in Chicago on 10 September 1940 and was dispatched to San Diego for his boot training. After his Sept. 10 induction, he was put on another train and arrived Sept. 14 at Camp Elliot in San Diego. He was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, eventually achieving the rank of sergeant.

Sergeant George Reeser met his death on the island of Betio, Tarawa atoll as his battalion fought off a nighttime attack on 22 November 1943. Small groups of Japanese infiltrators found a gap in the lines between Able and Baker Companies and broke into the Marine positions, fighting with bayonets, grenades and rifle bullets. It was likely during one of these encounters that Reeser was shot in the head and killed. His body lay on the field until the following morning, until collected by a burial party and carried to a long trench grave. Reeser and 30 other Marines would lie there, undisturbed and undiscovered until early 2019.

Mission Complete Reeser

U.S. Army Air Corps Sgt. Francis Wiemerslage

In March 1945, Wiemerslage was assigned to the 549th Bombardment Squadron, 385th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force, serving in Germany. He was the ball turret gunner on a B-17G Flying Fortress bomber during a bombing mission over Dresden, on March 2. Enemy fighters attacked the bomber between Berlin and Leipzig, and the plane was shot down. Two of the nine crew members survived the incident, while the rest, including Wiemerslage, were killed. Seven men were reportedly recovered from the wreckage and buried near Züllsdorf. After the war ended, there was no evidence of Wiemerslage being a prisoner of war or having survived, so a Finding of Death was issued a year after the crash

Mission Complete Wiemerslage

We will “Never Forget” U.S. Army Air Corps Sgt. Francis Wiemerslage
We will “Never Forget” U.S. Army Air Corps Sgt. Francis Wiemerslage
Harry Carlsen
We will “Never Forget” U.S. Marine Corps TSgt. Harry “Bud” Carlsen

U.S. Marine Corps TSgt. Harry “Bud” Carlsen

He enlisted in the Marine Reserves in December of 1941. He rose to the rank of Technical Sergeant and served as the Quartermaster Maintenance Chief for Company A of the 2nd Marine Divisions’ 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion. In November of 1943, he was among the first troops to assault the heavily fortified enemy defenses of Betio Island Red Beach One, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands as part of an advance team whose mission was to establish a headquarters for tractor battalion operations.

Bud was one of 550 Marines killed in the battle whose remains were not identified or recovered. Dog tags were removed, gravesites obliterated, and records lost. TSgt Carlsen was buried on Betio, but he could not be identified among remains disinterred from the island following the war.

Mission Complete Carlsen

U.S. Navy Fire Control Mate 3d Class Adolph Loebach

Adolph Loebach was born on August 24, 1919 in LaSalle to Henry and Veronica (Gorski) Loebach. He had graduated from St. Mary Parochial School and later attended LaSalle-Peru High School. Prior to enlisting in the Navy in 1939, he was employed at National Sheet Metal in Peru.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Adolph Loebach was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Loebach.

Mission Complete Loebach

 

Adolf Loebach
We will “Never Forget” U.S. Navy Fire Control Mate 3d Class Adolph Loebach
George Price
We will “Never Forget” U.S. Navy Fireman First Class George Price

U.S. Navy Fireman First Class George Price

Fireman First Class George F. Price was serving aboard the ship when it was attacked and capsized in Pearl Harbor. For his service Price was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Good Conduct Metal.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Price was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to capsize almost immediately. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Price. 

Mission Complete Price

U.S. Army Cpl. John G. Krebs

Cpl. John G. Krebs was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, Task Force Smith, engaged in combat operations against the North Korean People’s Army south of Chonui, South Korea, when he was declared missing in action.

Krebs was 19 when he and his twin brother, George, were fighting in the Korean War in Chochiwon, South Korea, on July 11, 1950. Both were members of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. At 0816, 11 July the task force opened fire on a column of thirty-three North Korean tanks supported by a massive number of infantry. Due to a lack of modern anti-tank weapons the task force was able to knock out only four tanks.

Mission Complete Krebs

John Krebs
We will “Never Forget” U.S. Army Cpl. John G. Krebs
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