Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Remembering Corporal Ruben Silver

This American hero, a 1939 graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, was killed in action in the Pacific on March 5, 1944.  He was the Assistant Radioman/Ball Turret gunner  aboard a B-24 Liberator that crashed off the coast of Rabaul after taking two direct hits from anti-aircraft fire.

He was a Brookfield neighbor of Niles resident and World War II veteran, Ken Lee, who is researching the names and records of other Brookfield residents who died in World War II. He is working with area groups to establish a local public memorial commemorating those heroes.

Ken found the Niles Public Library's  Ancestry Library Edition genealogy database helpful in finding a high school yearbook picture of Corporal Silver and a casualties card among the U.S. WWII Jewish Servicemen Cards.

A Niles neighbor of Ken's, Benny Costes, recently visited the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. He found Corporal Silver's name on the engraved tablets honoring the 36,286 Missing in Action who gave their lives, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients.  The American Battle Monuments Commission oversees 24 permanent U.S. military burial grounds where 124, 918 US War Dead are interred.  Three of Benny's  pictures from Manila follow:

Of the 405,399 Americans that lost their lives during World War II, 93,233 are interred at our overseas American military cemeteries and 78,983 are commemorated on the Tablets of the Missing as missing in action, lost or buried at sea.

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