Cool WW1/WW2 Facts #2

    • Cool WW1/WW2 Facts #2

      Allied Facts #2

      Fact #1
      Approximately 600,000 Jews served in the United States armed forces during WWII. More than 35,000 were killed, wounded, captured, or missing. Approximately 8,000 died in combat. However, only two Jewish soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII.

      Fact #2
      More Russians (military and civilians) lost their lives during the Siege of Leningrad than did American and British soldiers combined in all of WWII.

      Fact #3
      Even after the Allies arrived, many concentration camp prisoners were beyond help. In Bergen-Belsen, for example, 13,000 prisoners died after liberation. Nearly 2,500 of the 33,000 survivors of Dachau died within six weeks of liberation.

      Tune in tomorrow for more facts! :thumbsup: :thumbup:

      I apologize for the mistake of the name this is the Fact #2
    • JollyRogerVF-17 wrote:

      However, only two Jewish soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII.
      Actually, three Jews were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during WW2. The third one was awarded in 1998, over 50 years after the fact, to Capt. Benjamin Lewis Salomon, a U.S. Army dentist serving as a battalion surgeon in the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. Ben Salomon's Medal of Honor citation is quite remarkable by any standard, for any decoration, in any era.

      "Captain Ben L. Salomon was serving at Saipan, in the Marianas Islands on July 7, 1944, as the Surgeon for the 2nd Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. The Regiment’s 1st and 2d Battalions were attacked by an overwhelming force estimated between 3,000 and 5,000 Japanese soldiers. It was one of the largest attacks attempted in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Although both units fought furiously, the enemy soon penetrated the Battalions’ combined perimeter and inflicted overwhelming casualties. In the first minutes of the attack, approximately 30 wounded soldiers walked, crawled, or were carried into Captain Salomon’s aid station, and the small tent soon filled with wounded men. As the perimeter began to be overrun, it became increasingly difficult for Captain Salomon to work on the wounded. He then saw a Japanese soldier bayoneting one of the wounded soldiers lying near the tent. Firing from a squatting position, Captain Salomon quickly killed the enemy soldier. Then, as he turned his attention back to the wounded, two more Japanese soldiers appeared in the front entrance of the tent. As these enemy soldiers were killed, four more crawled under the tent walls. Rushing them, Captain Salomon kicked the knife out of the hand of one, shot another, and bayoneted a third. Captain Salomon butted the fourth enemy soldier in the stomach and a wounded comrade then shot and killed the enemy soldier. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Captain Salomon ordered the wounded to make their way as best they could back to the regimental aid station, while he attempted to hold off the enemy until they were clear. Captain Salomon then grabbed a rifle from one of the wounded and rushed out of the tent. After four men were killed while manning a machine gun, Captain Salomon took control of it. When his body was later found, 98 dead enemy soldiers were piled in front of his position. Captain Salomon’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army."

      Ben Salomon was a dentist, not some gung ho warrior. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and by any definition of the word, Salomon was a hero. Sometimes ordinary men rise to meet the circumstances of an extraordinary situation. Ben Salomon was such a man.
    • K.Rokossovski wrote:

      Any idea why it took 54 years to credit the man for his heroism?
      There were several reviews of African-Americans, Jewish Americans, Native Americans and members of other ethnic groups who had been recommended for the Medal of Honor, but did not receive it, as well as reviews of the actions of the same American ethnic groups who received the Distinguished Service Cross or Navy Cross (2nd highest U.S. military decorations) who may have been deserving of the Medal of Honor. The obvious implication being that deserving servicemen, in some cases, did not receive the Medal of Honor because of racial/ethnic/religious discrimination.

      Ben Salomon was Jewish, but that is apparently NOT the reason he did not receive the MOH for 54 years. Salomon was a doctor, and under the Geneva Conventions, doctors and nurses are supposed to be a protected class on the battlefield provided they are wearing the red cross arm band or helmet, and further provided that they do not bear or use arms. Imperial Japan, of course, was not a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, and ignored them for the most part. The Imperial Japanese army committed numerous horrific atrocities against POWs, unarmed medical personnel, wounded soldiers, civilians, etc., both western and Asian. Nevertheless, the internal U.S. military politics of the 1940s were such that it was thought that awarding a doctor the MOH for heroic actions taken in violation of the Geneva Conventions was not something to which Pentagon bureaucrats wanted to call attention. Salomon's actions, of course, speak for themselves and require no embellishment, and the injustice of withholding the posthumous MOH was obvious. And, after 54 years, I suppose no-one was particularly concerned that his story was going to be used as a justification to kill U.S. military doctors in the future.