News: Neillsville – Am. Legion
to Honor Late Veterans (2022)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Miller, Schoenfeld, Slezak
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/02/2022
American Legion To Honor Late Veterans (2022)
The American Legion Post 73 of Neillsville will continue its monthly tradition of recognizing area veterans for their service by honoring the late Miller brothers, Allen Slezak and Milton Schoenfeld in memoriam Nov. 8.
Family members, friends and community members are invited to gather at the Legion, 6 Boon Blvd, for a 4:30 p.m. social hour followed by a 5:30 p.m. potluck. Attendees should bring a dish to pass. Roast beef and buns will be provided.
The Miller brothers were born in Neillsville, and brothers of Clarence Miller who was honored in memoriam last year.
Willis “Bill” Valentine Miller enlisted in the U.S. Air Force July 17, 1943. He was called to active duty Aug. 17, 1943. He worked as a chemical war instructor and was discharged as a sergeant March 14, 1946.
Willis Miller was a member of the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus.
James Edwin Carl Miller enlisted in the U.S. Army 101st Airborne on April 22, 1944. He entered active duty May 19 of that year.
James Miller served in the infantry in Germany as a truck driver. He was discharged on April 22, 1946.
Donald Melvin Miller was drafted into the Army Dec. 12, 1952. He arrived at Camp Atterbury, IN for the 31st Infantry (Dixie) Division. He was stateside where he served at the 99th Anti-Aircraft Battalion. He worked as a cook and at the motor pool.
Donald Miller was discharged on Dec. 11, 1954. During his service, he received the National Defense Service Medal.
Milton “Miltie” Schoenfeld is one of the late veterans to be honored by the American Legion Post 73 Nov. 8. Schoenfeld served in the Army Air Corps and was awarded numerous honors after being wounded while serving as a tail gunner in World War II. Submitted photo
Milton “Miltie” Schoenfeld entered the Army Air Corps Jan. 18, 1943. He was sent to the 452nd Bomb Squad at Ft. Sheridan, IL. He trained as an airplane armorer gunner.
Schoenfeld was on a crew from the 322nd Bombardment group that completed missions at the start of the German offensive. By Dec. 13, 1944, his crew had completed three missions that month. This was during the time of the “Battle of the Bulge,” or the Ardennes Offensive under Rhineland control.
On Dec. 25, when the aircraft on which he was serving as a tail gunner received direct flak hits following the successful release of bombs upon the target, Sgt. Schoenfeld was severely wounded. Disregarding his own comfort, he left his post to fight a fire that had broken out in the aft section of the plane.
Schoenfeld picked up the blazing smoke bomb casings with his bare hands and threw them from the plane.
Schoenfeld also served in Normandy, France.
For his courage and heroism, Schoenfeld received the Air Flying Medal, nine Air Core Bronze and Silver Oak Leaf Cluster medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, five Battle Stars and the Presidential Citizens Award.
He was released from active duty Jan. 25, 1943, and was discharged from the service July 22, 1945.
Army Air Force veteran Allen Slezak will be honored among other late veterans by the American Legion Post 73 on Nov. 8. He worked on newly designed aircraft, as well as repaired components of bomber planes and flew with the 451st Squadron. Submitted Photo
Allen Slezak enlisted in the Army Air Force out of Minneapolis, MN in 1939. He received his basic training and aircraft mechanic schooling at Fort Snelling, MN. He was transferred to Tampa Bay, Florida. At this time, the Marauder planes were being built in Kansas. The planes were not tested, and the wings were too short.
The planes were sent by train to Tampa Bay, to be used for bombing missions during World War II. Slezak was part of the crew that worked on the planes to get them ready to fly. The planes flew to Brazil, then to Africa and then to England. They lost two planes
Slezak was part of the 1st Air Troops to sail on the Queen Mary to Britain.
He was stationed at Rattlesden, England with the 451st Bomb Squadron. Slezak’s job was to put in the device that would drop the bombs.
Slezak flew with the Bombardiers, all during the war. If there was any damage after the missions, he worked on repairs.
Slezak was discharged in 1945. He arrived at Fort McCoy, where his dad picked him up.
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