Those Who Served: C

  • Charne Irv
    Charne Irv

    Pfc. Irvin B. Charne
    Serial No. 16123546
    U. S. Army
    Stateside

    My family worried a great deal while I was in service. My mother, who came to this country from Russia as a young woman, went to Lapham Park and learned to write English so she could write to me while I was gone. My family sent me packages of Jewish-style food. After the war ended, my unit was in California, and I got transferred into a band in which there were many excellent musicians from big name jazz and dance bands. Playing with them was my best military experience.

  • Chudnow Avrum
    Chudnow Avrum

    S/Sgt. Avrum Chudnow
    Serial No. 36827858
    U. S. Army
    1943 - 1945
    European Theater

    I served in a battalion that landed on Utah Beach during the invasion of France and remained there until Cherbourg and St. Lo were taken. During a visit to Cherbourg, I was looking for souvenirs and stopped at a stand to buy a silk scarf. The man behind the stand stared at me and said "Bist a Yid?" I looked up answered "Ich bin Yiddish". He told me he had been a farmer and some of his Gentile friends concealed him as a French peasant. I saw him several times. This was my first experience with a Jewish survivor. In basic training, I encountered anti-Semitism, particularly from one who was from Milwaukee. However, because he was from Milwaukee, he would ask me for advice. After the war we continued our friendship to a point that when he was critically injured, the hospital called me to come! He and his family have remained our friends. I believe there is hope in our troubled world if we can understand and get to know one another.

  • Chudnow Erv
    Chudnow Erv

    Erv Chudnow

    Erv met his brother Joe in Italy and stayed overnight in his tent, which proved to be quite an experience. Everyone slept with a pistol, and Erv discovered why they did this. During the night he felt something run across his chest and when he looked up, he saw a large animal with beady eyes looking at him. It was a large sewer rat, actually as large as a cat. Everyone in the tent started to laugh, saying they saw this every night and sometimes shoot them. It didn't pay to throw a shoe at them because they would just throw it back. He got very little sleep that night, but did enjoy meeting with Joe and his crew. Erv also had the opportunity to meet friends, Sol Siegel, George Resnick and my cousin Harry Dizack. Joe, Harry and I had an opportunity to spend one day in Florence, Italy. Written by Eileen Chudnow, wife

  • Chudnow Joseph
    Chudnow Joseph

    Sgt. Joseph Chudnow
    Serial No. 16129290
    U. S. Army
    1942 - 1945
    European - African Theaters
    (Erv Chudnow, left- Joe Chudnow, right)

    My wartime service provided many interesting events. I met my brother Erv in Italy, near Castera. We found two other Milwaukee friends, George Resnick and Sol Siegel, and got together in Naples.

    In 1944, I attended a Seder in Italy where over 200 people gathered (I don't think many were Jewish, but they probably came for the meal). My C.O. let me use a jeep to attend the Seder.

    One day in Italy I was working on a steel tower stringing wire with two of my army buddies, both 6'4" tall vs. my 5'3". We were up in the air about 70' when we saw a German Messer Schmidt start diving to strafe us. We felt sure that the war was over for us because we certainly had no place to hide. For some reason, we will never know, or the good Lord was looking out for us, the pilot swooped down so close we could actually see him; but then he pulled up and flew away. Perhaps when he saw the three of us trembling so much that it made the tower shake, he started to laugh and didn't want to waste any bullets on us.

    During three years of service, living in close association with the same men, you build up a feeling of friendship that is difficult to ignore and forget. This is the type of feeling we had in our battalion; and therefore, we have a reunion every year, and over the years the wives have also gotten to know each other and have also developed a close friendship.

  • Cohen Albert
    Cohen Albert

    Cpl. Albert E. Cohen
    May 1942 - April 1946
    European Theater

    I was a radio operator with the 312th Fighter Control Squadron. This organization was a mobile unit which moved operations to locations close to the front lines to control movement of our fighter aircraft and to furnish direction finding information to pilots low on fuel, enabling them to locate the nearest air field. During my service in Germany, I was one of thousands of GIs who were taken on a tour of the Buchenwald concentration camp immediately after its liberation. The sights were unbelievable, as if one were entering another planet with scenes that the brain refused to accept as real. There were small wooden carts filled with naked dead bodies, and as the visitors filed past, they spoke in hushed voices or not at all. Living skeletons lying on the ground covered with blankets occupied other areas. The following day I revisited the camp with a barracks bag containing rations which I had gotten from my fellow Squadron members. While I watched the inmates distributing the foodstuff, I saw an old man smiling at me with a saintly appearance who was the image of my Grandpa Levitz.

  • Cohen Jack
    Cohen Jack

    S/Sgt. Jack B. Cohen
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    European Theater

    In rummaging through my Army memorabilia, I ran across this picture of a friend and Army buddy from Milwaukee. His name is Jack Cohen. He was in the Air Force and we were stationed together at Lincoln, Nebraska. He requested overseas duty and was shipped to the European Theatre. Submitted by Dan Merkow We were the first air corps outfit to hit the beaches in Normandy. I was in the Battle of the Bulge, the first air unit to move into Germany. I spent one Passover in Holland among great people, met a doctor in Paris, and when he heard my name, he went into another room and brought out a small section of a Siddur and asked if I knew what that was. He told me that I was the first person he told he was Jewish in years. By Jack Cohen, post exhibit and book

  • Cohen Neiland
    Cohen Neiland

    Seaman Second Class Neiland Cohen
    Serial No. 3655665
    U. S. Navy
    February 1944 - May 1946
    Pacific Theater

    The most memorable experience for me was to see General MacArthur walk ashore at Tacioban, Leyte, Philippines. I participated in five major invasions in the Pacific area. My ship was bombarded twice, and I was credited with shooting down a Japanese plane. Simply being a witness to the War in the Pacific was memorable. When my ship was in port, the non-Jewish officers would make arrangements for me to observe Jewish holidays at Army camps. My parents missed me and were concerned about me. They wondered how I would adjust to eating non-Jewish food.

  • Cohen Robert
    Cohen Robert

    Lt. Robert Cohen
    Serial No. 162789
    U. S. Navy
    January 1942 - June 1946
    European-Pacific Theaters

    I was an anti-submarine officer on a destroyer in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. We were involved in all invasions of Africa, Italy, Sicily and Southern France. I was directly involved in the sinking of German Sub U73 in the Mediterranean. I had very little direct Jewish involvement, except in New York or on return from convoy duties. But I prayed intensely every day - and here I am! My mother, brother and two sisters were very supportive and proud, especially when they had the opportunity to spend an evening with me in New York on board ship.

  • Cohen Sammy
    Cohen Sammy

    Sgt. Sammy Cohen
    Serial No. 36841948
    U. S. Army
    European-Pacific Theaters

    One of my most interesting memories was a Seder I attended in Rheims, France. Trays used were made of aluminum from shot-down German planes along with soup bowls made from the bases of German land mines. I also recall Friday services in Manila, Philippines - held at bombed-out Rizal Stadium. I met several fellow Milwaukeeans there - Henry Taxman and Norman Walloch.

  • Cohn Louis
    Cohn Louis

    Pfc. Louis Cohn
    Serial No. 426688
    U. S. Marine Corps
    August 1942 - October 1945

    My father, Louis Cohn, enlisted in the Marines in August of 1942. His brothers Abe and Charles also served, Abe in the Army in Europe, and Charles, in the Air Force Stateside. My father witnessed the raising of the U.S. flag on Mt. Surbachi, Iwo Jima. On Guam, as a wireman, he had ventured several times up the nearby barrier slopes of Clionito Ride as it was swept by Japanese fire. He and a handful of others maintained communication and provided water to the trapped Able Company of the First Battalion. On one occasion, he covered his own hazardous approach by his own machine gun. In 1943 on Guadcanal Dad enjoyed a Passover meal sent by B'nai B'rith of Philadelphia. He met Navy Chaplain Rabbi Miller on board ship who helped him survive the ordeals of combat. He did not want to tell of negative experiences from the anti-Semitism the he encountered. Also, even though substitutes were not available, he did not eat pork. Submitted by Richard Cohn, son

  • Cohn Norman
    Cohn Norman

    Lt. Col. Norman Cohn
    Serial No. 01573769
    U. S. Army
    1942 - 1946
    European Theater

  • Conen Warren
    Conen Warren

    Major Warren J. Conen
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    Medical Service
    January 28, 1941 - January 16, 1946
    European Theater

    He received six battle stars for service in the European Theatre of Operations Submitted by Lois Gaines

  • Coren Heimie
    Coren Heimie

    Cpl. Heimie H. Coren
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    CBI Theater