List of Dead in WWIIby
seems like not a day goes by that Americans don’t receive the terrible news that
another young soldier has been killed in action – they die fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan,
and other places far from home.|
Some elements of the news media are quick
to promote the death count, which is very depressing, but they fail miserably
when it comes to informing Americans of the positive things that are taking place
in those countries. I find it very interesting that so many of our troops who
have returned home from the Middle East are willing to return to these war-torn
places and finish the job – many go back when they don’t have to.
talked to several of these gallant young people and have yet to find one who does
not believe in what they are trying to accomplish over there. They sincerely believe
that they are doing a good thing by liberating those countries from be-headers,
killers, and tyrants – while fighting to protect the United States from future
attacks. I am inclined to agree with their assessment of things, after all they
should know; they’ve been there.
Throughout the history of this great country
our courageous troops have been fighting to defend and liberate. During World
War II, the number of American military who died was indeed staggering. Back on
June 27, 1946, the War Department released a booklet with a list of the war dead
and those considered missing in action. According to authorities this was the
first consolidated listing of Army dead and missing in World
War II. The booklet was sent to news media across the country and one of them
found its way to The Moulton Eagle.
The list is broke down into
percentages as to states where the most casualties came from and so forth. Those
missing in action were maintained at that status for one year before they were
officially declared dead. The department stated, “[We] are extremely reluctant
to hold out hope to next of kin that any missing persons will be found alive.
It is expected that after a reasonable lapse of time and after due investigation,
most of these missing cases will be closed with findings of death.”
of Jan. 31, 1946, the release from the War Department stated that 308,978 American
soldiers had been killed in action and 1,424 were being listed as “missing.” The
booklet also revealed that more than 10,000,000 men and women were mobilized into
the armed forces from May 27, 1941, to Jan. 31, 1946. Considering that the department
pamphlet is over 60 years old, it comes as no surprise that those original figures
have changed considerably. According to the American Battle Monuments Commission’s
website, there were 405,399 killed in action and of that group 78,976 were listed
as missing in action.
The old booklet attempted to enlighten readers as
to what states had the most casualties according to their overall population.
It cited New Mexico as one example: “Early in the war, a National Guard unit from
New Mexico suffered heavy casualties in the Philippines. New Mexico with four-tenths
of one percent of the nation’s population, suffered a death rate of 4.77 percent,
as compared to the national average of 2.98 per cent.”
Of all the states,
New York lost the greatest number of soldiers with a count of 31,215 with Pennsylvania
(26,554), Illinois (18,601), California (17,022), Ohio (16,827), and Texas
(15,764) rounding out the top six of this heartbreaking list. Again it must be
remembered that these figures are from 1946 and it is likely that the final number
As would be expected from their small population; Nevada, Delaware,
Wyoming, and Vermont suffered the least amount of causalities in the war. The
aged pamphlet also broke down its figures by counties and revealed that Texas’
King County was one of the few in the nation that suffered no war-related deaths.
Information found on the Internet reveals the following data regarding
casualties suffered by several local counties during World
War II: Lavaca (90), Gonzales (62), and DeWitt (49). These figures only represent
Army deaths. They do not include those of the Navy, Marines, and other services.
Once again, this nation finds itself at war against an enemy who has total
disregard for human life. And our troops continue to protect us just as their
forefathers have done in the past. We should all grieve anytime one of our soldiers
die and we should continue to pray for the rest of these brave young people. Most
of them are over there because they believe in what they are doing. It is our
duty to fully support these warriors and we should never dishonor their valor.
© Murray Montgomery
July 3, 2010 column