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Stories of the Italian Campaigns

This tour visits the memorials of seven Americans that lost their lives during their participation in the Italian Campaigns.

The Italian Campaigns called for multiple amphibious landings and many months of battle in order to break the enemy's defensive lines. Many lost their lives in these dangerous missions.  

George M. Scothorn

George M. Scothorn

7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division

Private, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

South Dakota

Died:

6/5/1944

Grave Location:

Plot C, Row 1, Grave 13

Pvt. George M. Scothorn and his twin sister were born on February 27, 1925 in South Dakota. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1943 and joined the armed services immediately after.

The 3rd Infantry Division (nicknamed “Rock of the Marne”) suffered the highest casualty rate of any American Division in World War II. In July 1943 the division invaded Sicily, and then invaded Italy at Salerno before fighting in France and Germany.

Pvt. Scothorn was Killed In Action on the Anzio Beachhead on June 5 1944. He was serving with the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. He received the Purple Heart for his service.

Awards: Purple Heart

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George M. Scothorn is buried in Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Plot C, Row 1, Grave 13.

Adam Mead

Adam Mead

United States Merchant Marine

Merchant Seaman, U.S. Merchant Marine

Entered the Service from:

New Jersey

Died:

7/7/1945

Grave Location:

Plot E, Row 5, Grave 42

Adam Meade, who was married and the father of one, registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. He was living in Camden, New Jersey, working as a driver when called to active duty during World War I. He returned home safely by January of 1920. Two decades later, Meade decided to register for the draft in 1942.

While Meade wanted to join the war effort, he found that he was too old to enlist. Like many others in this position—too old or too young to serve—he assumed a new identity. As “Adam Mead” he went to sea as a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine.

He died while serving with the Merchant Marine aboard the Liberty Ship USSJohn H. Hammond. A mine damaged the ship, killing Meade and two other merchant sailors.

Adam Mead is buried in Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Plot E, Row 5, Grave 42.

Marjorie G. Morrow

Marjorie G. Morrow

95th Evacuation Hospital

Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

Iowa

Died:

2/7/1944

Grave Location:

Plot I, Row 13, Grave 6

2nd Lt. Marjorie G. Morrow was killed when the 95th Evacuation Hospital at Anzio was bombed. The 95th Evacuation Hospital was a mobile, 400-bed hospital staffed with 40 doctors, 40 nurses, and 220 enlisted soldiers.

The 95th Evacuation Hospital landed in Italy on September 9, 1943. It later made an amphibious landing at Anzio and was assigned to the Fifth Army—one of the principal formations of the Mediterranean theater. On February 7, 1944, a German plane dropped a load of fragmentation bombs on the hospital and 28 people were killed, including Morrow.

Awards: Purple Heart

Marjorie G. Morrow is buried in Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Plot I, Row 13, Grave 6.

Robert Henry Buchler

Robert Henry Buchler

United States Naval Reserve

Seaman First Class, U.S. Navy

Entered the Service from:

Illinois

Died:

9/11/1943

Memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing

Robert Henry Buchler was born on September 2, 1918. He entered the service on January 9, 1942 from Chicago, Illinois. Following basic training, Seaman Buchler joined the crew of the USS Savannahon August 25, 1942. He was killed in action on September 11, 1943 during the Invasion of Salerno, Italy.

On the day of his death, Seaman Buchler was aboard the Savannahsupporting the invasion. A radio-controlled Fritz X glide-bomb had been released by a high-flying German warplane and exploded a safe distance from the USS Philadelphia.

The Savannahincreased her speed as a Dornier Do 217 K-2 bomber approached. A Fritz X Bomb hit the ship and pierced through the gun turret and three decks, landing in the ammunition-handling room. It exploded and killed 197 people.

Awards: Purple Heart - Buried at Sea

Robert Henry Buchler is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.

Owen B. Sanders Jr.

Owen B. Sanders Jr.

1st Special Service Regiment

Private, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

Mississippi

Died:

5/22/1944

Grave Location:

Plot J, Row 3, Grave 11

Pvt. Owen B. Sanders Jr. was with the 4th Ranger Battalion, which was inactivated after Anzio and Cisterna. He, like others, lacked enough time in theater to be sent home, so he was placed in the 1st Special Service Regiment that went on to Rome.

Sanders was killed in action on May 22, 1944. The 1st Special Service Regiment earned ten battle honors before it was disbanded in December of that year. Just weeks after Sanders’ death, his cousin was killed in action in the same unit.

Purple Heart: Purple Heart

Owen B. Sanders Jr. is buried in Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Plot J, Row 3, Grave 11.

Ophelia A. Tiley

Ophelia A. Tiley

American Red Cross

Civilian

Entered the Service from:

Connecticut

Died:

3/25/1944

Grave Location:

Plot H, Row 6, Grave 61

When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Ophelia A. Tiley was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. She left her studies to join the American Friends of France. It was a dangerous decision. Many people in Miss Tiley’s ambulance Corp perished in the invasion. She made it out of France and into England safely.

In England, Tiley became the assistant director of civilian relief for the Red Cross, and was transferred to work in North Africa. A newspaper article written by another Red Cross worker describes a milk distribution program, in which the Allies, working with local agencies and the Red Cross out of 318 centers, distributed hot milk to expectant mothers and children aged 18 months to 14.

Ophelia A. Tiley died on March 25, 1944 in an airplane crash near Foggia, Italy.

Ophelia A. Tiley is buried in Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Plot H, Row 6, Grave 61.

Frederick C. Whyman

Frederick C. Whyman

1st Ranger Battalion

Private, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

New York

Died:

7/10/1943

Grave Location:

Plot H, Row 5, Grave 30

Frederick C. Whyman was inducted into the service in November 1942 when he was 20 years old. He had aspirations to be a gunner in a B-25 or B-29, but at a towering six feet and seven inches tall, he couldn’t qualify. Instead, Whyman became a part of the 1st Ranger Battalion, where he would participate in the landings at Sicily on 10 July 1943.

Pvt. Frederick C. Whyman during basic training. (Courtesy of Peter Whyman)

Before shipping out, Whyman trained at Fort Bragg in 1942. On 10 July 1943, Rangers from the 1st, 3rd and 4th Battalions invaded Sicily. Around midnight they began loading into amphibious boats, which circled the mother ships until the time came to form up. Under the cover of night, around 2:30 a.m., the boats formed into assault waves and headed into the beach. Whyman was one of the casualties that day.

Pvt. Frederick C. Whyman. (Courtesy of Peter Whyman)

Frederick C. Whyman is buried in Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Plot H, Row 5, Grave 30.