I was at Mt. Calvary on Sunday to take flowers to my dad. We had a nice chat and he is well. Typically when I’m at the cemetery, I walk back from where my parents are buried and explore that area. On Sunday, I looked down the hill
I noticed that big rock down the hill to the left of my parents’ marker and decided to go see who had such a big rock. It’s the Gormans. Quite a few Gormans down there. The rock just says Gorman and then there are flat markers for the individuals many of whom were born in the mid-1800s. So that’s nice. When the Gormans run out, there is this marker:
Joseph F. Fader
Pvt 23 Inf 2 Inf Div
World War II
Feb. 26 1914 – Aug. 2 1944
First I noticed that I was born on the same day as Private Fader. I noted the date of his death. He had to have died in Europe. I wonder if his remains are really there or if it is just a marker? Probably just a marker. There are no related markers near his. No wife or parents or siblings no other marker with the name Fader. Joseph was 30 when he died. I’m guessing with that generation that he was married, maybe had kids. But his wife would have remarried, so perhaps she is buried near her second husband. Maybe he never had kids or they moved or their step-father adopted them.
That’s all there is of Joseph Fader? It has been niggling at my brain. What was his story? Does anyone think of him other than me? Is there family out there at all that speaks of their great-uncle or great grandfather who died in WWII?
What does one do in the 21st century when one has questions? I went to the Google. Private Fader is on Oregon’s WWII Memorial. Joseph F. Fader. That’s all.
I looked up the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Joseph was most likely in France when he died. The 23rd infantry landed at Omaha Beach June 8, 1944.
I found this on the WWII website www.lonesentry.com
“In slow, painful hedgerow fighting, the Regiment inched its way forward day after day against hard fighting enemy paratroop elements. St. Georges d’Elle, Hill 192 (which commanded St. Lo), St. Jean des Baisants, Etouvy, Vire, Truttemer le Grand and Tinchebray were scenes of bitter fighting up to August when the organized German resistance in Normandy collapsed.”
I had to get a 14-day-trial subscription to ancestry.com to find any further details.
Joseph Fader was born in Montana and moved to Portland in time for the Census of 1930. He and his parents, Mike and Helen Fredorkovich, and his brother, John lived in Portland. If ancestry.com is correct, they lived a mile or so away from where I live now.
Joseph enlisted on August 2, 1943 exactly one year, to the day, before he died. According to his enlistment papers he was married. He was a woodworker, like his father and his brother. He never went to high school. He enlisted and trained in Wisconsin. Traveled to New York and then sailed to Northern Ireland arriving on Oct. 20, 1943. In April, 1944 the 23rd moved to South Wales and then on June 8 to Omaha Beach.
I don’t believe Private Fader ever made it out of France. I know the 23rd infantry went from Omaha Beach through France through Belgium and Germany to Czechoslovakia, where they were when the War ended in Europe on May 8, 1945.
I’m sorry he didn’t make it to Czechoslovakia. His parents had left that country in the late 19th century, I’m sure he would have been proud to be part of its liberation.