In Memoriam
87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
Deaths in Europe
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Last updated: April 4, 2016 - What's New?

This page contains the photographs of members of 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron who died overseas in World War II.
For the complete list of all 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron overseas deaths, click here.

Spare a minute
to think
of the young who didn't grow up,
and how young they looked when they died,
and how no one will ever remember them looking tired and middle-aged
or even be bored by tiresome recitals of the time of their youth.

- - - - Russell Baker "How to Observe Dec. 7" (NY Times, Dec. 1965)

Please Help to Tell These Men's Stories and Preserve Their Memory!

PLEASE contact Wesley Johnston at the address below if you have any information on any 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron man who died overseas (see the complete list), such as:

  • photos
  • information on any of these men's deaths
  • information on what platoon and squad they were in
  • know of any men who died but are not on the list
  • Wesley Johnston
    1865 Herndon Avenue, Suite K-187
    Clovis, CA 93611-6163

    or send e-mail to For ALL other e-mail matters, please click here for information about contacting me.

    So they will not be “Forgot”
    There is a word
    Which bears a sword
    It hurls its barbed syllables,—
    At once is mute again.
    But where it fell
    The saved will tell
    On patriotic day,
    Some epauletted brother
    Gave his breath away.
    Wherever runs the breathless sun,
    Wherever roams the day,
    There is its noiseless onset,
    There is its victory!
    Behold the keenest marksman!
    The most accomplished shot!
    Time’s sublimest target
    Is a soul “forgot”!
    ----- Emily Dickinson

    A Note for the Children of these Men

    The American World War II Orphans Network (AWON) is an organization created by and for those who lost their father in World War II. AWON has an annual conference and a newsletter filled with useful information. Click here to go to the AWON web page and find those who share your experience.

    If you have a better quality photo of any of these men, please contact me.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    This page contains only those men for whom I have photographs.
    For the complete list of all 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron overseas deaths, click here.

    Tec 5 Theodore Roosevelt Coleman (15 089 848) - Troop C
    Died December 21, 1944 at Hunningen (aka Hunnange) or enroute to or at 3 mi SW of St. Vith, Belgium - Age: 23y 0m 24d
    MOS: 734 (Half-track driver) - Home Town: Wheeling, WV - Buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery; Wheeling, WV
    Photos thanks to nephew Frank Coleman

    1st Lt. Carl Frederick Cooke (O-1 012 409) - Troop C
    Died October 27, 1944 at Meijel, Netherlands - Age: 33y 5m 27d
    MOS: 1620 (Recon Officer) - Home Town: Roselle Park, NJ - Buried at Riverview Cemetery; Northumberland, PA
    Photos thanks to niece Cindy Cooke .
    Click to see Find A Grave information and photo

    S/Sgt. Henry W. Dirks (36 024 194) - Troop B
    Died November 5, 1944 at 48th Field Hospital of wounds suffered November 4, 1944 in vicinity of Kreijel-Waatskamp road, near Ospel, Netherlands - Age: 35y 6m 30d
    MOS: 651 (Platoon Sgt.) - Home Town: Coatsburg, IL - Buried at Coatsburg Cemetery; Coatsburg, IL
    Photo thanks to niece Joann M. Sewell

    Pfc. Zack Nathen Foreman (15 089 848) - Troop C
    Died on or after October 29, 1944 of wounds received October 29, 1944 just north of Horik, Netherlands (grid 635-030) - Age: 24y 4m 20d when wounded
    MOS: 607 (Light Mortar Crewman) - Home Town: Belhaven or Ransomville, NC - Buried at Ryder Hill Cemetery (also known as Pamlico Beach Community Cemetery); Belhaven, NC
    Click here to see headstone on FindAGrave. Note that headstone death date is erroneous.
    Photos thanks to great niece Dorothy Clemmons

    Tec 5 Dominick (Dick) Roman Gruba (37 032 673) - Troop D
    Died December 23, 1944; recovered 567-853, just west of crossroad at Baraque de Fraiture, Belgium (577-852) - Age: 30y 8m 26d
    MOS: 776 (Radio Operator, Low Speed) - Home Town: Grenville, SD - Buried at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery; Grenville, SD
    Photo thanks to Galand Bohn, husband of niece of Dick Gruba

    Pfc. Steve Eddy Jagol (37 094 999) - Troop B
    Died October 28, 1944 at 53rd Field Hospital, probably in Netherlands, of wounds suffered October 27, 1944 in vicinity of Meijel, Netherlands - Age: 26y 4m 10d
    MOS: 345 (Truck Driver, Light) - Home Town: Wylie, MN - Buried at Henri-Chapelle USMC (Henri-Chapelle, Belgium) E-13-22
    Photo thanks to Sister-in-law Inez Jagol

    Tec 5 John G. Karhula, Jr. (37 324 281) - Troop D
    Killed in Action October 28, 1944 just north of Heitrak, Netherlands - Age: 22y 6m 13d
    MOS: 345 (Truck Driver, Light) - Home Town: South St. Paul, MN - Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing at Netherlands USMC (Margaten, Netherlands)
    Photo thanks to Nephew Rick Brack

    1st Lt. Robert C. Ostdick (O-1 015 004) - Company F
    Killed in Action October 27, 1944 at Meijel, Netherlands - Age: 27y 0m 28d
    MOS: 1203 (Assault Gun Officer) - Home Town: Glenview, IL (Glenview's VFW post is named for him.) - Buried at Netherlands USMC (Margraten, Netherlands) G-6-6
    Photo thanks to Werner van Osch

    Pvt. Travis Lee Smith (38 678 539) - Troop B
    Wounded April 3, 1945 at "B" Troop Headquarters at Medebach, Germany; Died of wounds April 10, 1945, possibly at 67th Evacuation Hospital - Age: 19y 1m 14d
    MOS: 345 (Truck Driver, Light) - Home Town: Big Spring, TX - Buried at Mt. Olive Cemetery; Big Spring, TX
    Photo thanks to brother Joe H. Smith

    T/4 Vincent Charles Sonner (12 071 790) - Troop D
    Killed in Action December 23, 1944 in vicinity of crossroad at Baraque de Fraiture, Belgium (577-852) - Age: 26y 1m 8d
    MOS: 776 (Radio Operator, Low Speed) - Home Town: Rochester, NY - Buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery; Rochester, NY - No. 13, Veterans' Plot, Grave 361
    Photo thanks from Bruce Sonner's FindAGrave web page

    Pfc. Martin Curtis Werling (38 373 926) - Troop B
    Killed in Action August 14, 1944 on patrol toward La Loupe, France, from 1 1/2 mi S.W. La Loupe, France on Hwy N-828 - Age: 25y 5m 7d
    MOS: 745 (Rifleman) - Home Town: New Orleans, LA - Buried at Brittany USMC (St. James, France) M-4-16
    Photo thanks to niece Vivian Guarisco

    Click here for information about contacting me.
    Copyright © 2016 by Wesley Johnston
    All rights reserved

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