Silent Heroes Project

In the summer of 2011 Mr. Kevin Wagner, Social Studies Program Chair, and Sam Spare (12th grade) had the privilege to be a part of the National History Day's Teacher Institute - Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom. This 10-day experience had them travel to Normandy and learn about the D-Day invasion from a hands-on approach. As part of the institute, Sam was asked to research a soldier that died during the invasion and then give a eulogy at the soldier's grave site in the American National Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. This research sparked the idea for Mr. Wagner's AP U.S. History classes to each year select soldiers who lost their lives during the D-Day invasion and create a website in that soldier's honor - The Silent Heroes. What follows are the students' tributes to our fallen heroes.

NOTE - If you have any additional information, photographs, or primary documents relating to any of the persons listed below, please contact Mr. Kevin Wagner at

This footage was prepared by the SHAEF (Supreme Headquarter Allied Expeditionary Forces) Public Relations Division and is a compilation of four reels of film regarding D-Day up to D plus 3.

NHD "Sacrifice For Freedom" Website: Chronicles all the students' websites from 2011 onward.

 American National Cemetary
American National Cemetary

Normandy Institute 2011
Normandy Institute 2011



William T. McCabe (Carlisle, PA) - Glider Pilot, 78th Squadron of the 435th Troop Carrier Group


Thomas M. Kilgore (Greensburg, PA) - Private, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment

Isbir Amin (Pittsburgh, PA) - Boatswain 3rd Class, Coxswain LCI #88

Sylvester Baysinger (Washington, PA) - Technician 5th Class, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division

John M. Ballaban (Pittsburgh, PA) - Private, 3158th Signal Corps

John R. Carr (Lewisville, PA) - Private, 90th Infantry Division

Lawrence E. Hopkins (Altoona, PA) - Seaman 2nd Class, USS LST #531

Vincent S. Cochran (Philadelphia, PA) - Private 1st Class, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

Mary H. Bankston (New York, NY) - Private 1st Class, 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

Dolores M. Browne (New York) Sergeant, 6888th Central Postal Directory Corps

Richard Howell (Gibsland, LA) - Private, 712th Tank Battalion

Donald W. Kennedy (Philadelphia, PA) - 1st Lieutenant, 6th Fighter Squadron, 15th Test Squadron

Joseph Alexandrovich (Worcester, MA) - Private, 262 Infantry Regiment, 66th Division

Donald Ford (Hatsboro, PA) - Sergeant, Technician 4th Grade 

Donald C. Basne (Harrsiburg, PA) - 1st Lieutenant, 300th Engineer Combat Battalion

Novester Bell (Jefferson County, TX) - Private 1st Class, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division

George Aaron (Brackenridge, PA) - Private 1st Class, 87th Infantry Divison, 347th Regiement

Arelen H. Lee (Chicago, IL) - Private, 3613rd Unit, Quartermaster Truck Company

Jose A. Adame (Alice, TX) - Private 1st Class, 102nd Infantry Division

Donald H. Beaver (Norristown, PA) - Private 1st Class, 359th Infantry, 90th Division

James J. Costello (Bridgeport, PA) - Private, 121st Infantry, 8th Division

Bruce E. Bixler ​(Valley View, PA) - Private, 264th Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division


Zylphus Greene (Mahanoy City, PA) – 2nd Lieutenant, 115th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 29th Division, 5th Corp

George Alwine (Butler City, PA) – Pvt. 1st Class, 4th Infantry Division, 22nd Infantry Regiment

Leslie Fritz (Staten Island, NY) – Seaman 1st Class, USS LCI(L)-91

Wayne Gable (Williamstown, PA) – Pvt. 1st Class, 66th Infantry Division, Company A, 264th Infantry

Lynn Bailey (Dubois, PA) – Private, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division

Basil Kaczmarczyk (Mahanoy City, PA) – 2nd Lieutenant, 115th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 29th Division, 5h Corp

Mcihael Bankovsky (Conemaugh, PA) – Staff Sergeant, 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division

Arthur E. Akers, Jr. (Philadelphia, PA) – Corporal, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division

Raymond Benjamin (Philadelphia, PA) – Machinist’s Mate, 3rd Class, USS Rich, Destroyer Escort

Robert L. Baker (Spangler, PA) – 1st Lieutenant, 82nd Fighter Squadron, 78th Fighter Group

Peter Acri (Camp Hill, PA) – Pvt. 1st Class, 66th Division, 262nd Infantry Regiment (Panther Division)

Julius F. Abernethy (Hickory, NC) – Sergeant, 29th Infantry Division, 116th Infantry Regiment

James Edward Donahue (Waterbury, CT) – Pvt. 1st Class, 2nd Ranger Infantry Battalion

Richard L. Weitzel (Robesonia, PA) – Pvt. 2nd Class, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

James S. Green (Smethport, PA) – Ship’s Cook, 3rd Class, Ship LCI(L)-6

Edwin Powell Barlow (Glasgow, KY) – Captain, 125th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron

William W. Augustine (Mr. Carmel, PA) – Pvt., Military Police, 5th Infantry Division

Frank E. Amino (Mars, PA) – 2nd Lieutenant, 401st Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

William Bennett (Sterling, OK) – Pvt., 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, 3rd Battalion

Peter Aadland (Bristol, MA) – Corporal, 99th Infantry Battalion

Wilbur G. Hamilton (Newville, PA) – Seaman, 2nd Class, U.S. Navy Reserves

Patsy Salvatore Columbus (Monessen, PA) – Sergeant, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Division

James Thompson (Groesbeck, TX) – Colonel, 448th Bombardment Group

Charles Enck (Lancaster, PA) – Pvt., 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division

Harry Burgess (Albuquerque, NM) – Pvt., 1st Class, 38th Infantry, 2nd Division

William A. Bates (New Kensington, PA) – Sergeant, Cavalry Ground Forces

Charles Miller (Brooklyn, NY) – Corporal, 1st Marine Division, 3rd Battalion, M Company

Richard James O’Malley (Kingston, PA) – Major, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division


Jack Chinnici (Philadelphia, PA) - Private, 38th Engineer General Service Regiment

John C. Biddle (Philadelphia, PA) - Staff Sargent, 2nd Ranger Battalion

Elizabeth A. Richardson (Mishawaka, IN) - American Red Cross (Clubmobiles)

James H. Cameron (Mena, AR) - Captain, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Division

William J. Bremer (St. Paul, MN) - Private, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

Clarence Debolt (Uniontown, PA) - Private, 329th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division

Benjamin Firestone (Lancaster, PA) - PFC, 12th Engineers Combat Battalion, 8th Infantry Div.

Granville Armstrong (Clinton, MA) - M SGT, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

Percy O'Dell Forgy (Dierks, AR) - LT COL, 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Division

Cecil Grubbs (Brookville, PA) - PFC, 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Division

Benjamin Bailey (Atlanta, GA) - LTC, 2nd Armored Division


William Davis (Philadelphia, PA) - Private, 531st Port Company, 365th Port Battalion


Donald Mallard (Salem, MA) - Private, 3529 O8D, Auto Maintenance Company

John Joseph Pinder, Jr. (McKees Rocks, PA) - 5th Grade Technician, 16th Infantry, 1st Division

Walter Matheson (Pawtucket, NH) - PFC, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Thomas J. J. Christian (Texas) - Colonel, 361st Fighter Group, 8th Air Force Division

Stephen F. Vayda (Fayette, PA) - Technical Sergeant, 176th Infantry, 2nd Battalion

Alfred D. Evans, Jr. (PA) - 2nd Lt., 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force

Charles E. Kettering (Erie, PA) - Staff Sergeant, 2nd Ranger Battalion

Xenophon Eugenedes (Forest Hills, PA) - First Lieutenant, 27th Photo Reconnaissance, Air Corp

Frederick G. Chapman (Easton, PA) - Sergeant, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

Samuel O. Lowe (Pittsburgh, PA) - Private, 22nd Infantry, 4th Division

Bartow R. Theall (Palmyra, PA) - Sergeant, 502nd Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne Division

James A. Deangelo (Wilkes Barre, PA) - 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

Paul W. Blommen (Clearfield County, PA) - Captain, 135th Infantry, 34 Division

Raymond J. Boker (PA) - Sergeant, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division


Richard O'Malley (Kingston, PA) - Commander, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division

William T. Lemon (Loudon County, VA) - Technical Sergeant, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division

Robert D. Morrison (Carlisle, PA) - Private First Class, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

Alex M. Lux (Philadelphia, PA) - 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment

James M. Nolan (Pittsburgh, PA) - Warrant Officer, 264th Infantry, 66th Division

Walter Danchak (Schuykill, PA) - 16th INfantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

Alex Banko (Northampton, PA) - Private First Class, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

Thomas N. Ward (Philadelphia, PA) - Private First Class, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division

Angelo Bufano (Scranton, PA) - 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Division

David Tenenbaum (New York) - 358th Infantry Regiment 90th Division

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."

- Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.