Ben Schwartz

Benjamin Schwartz was born Dec 1890 in Volochisk, Ukraine, and came to the U.S. with his family in 1892 at the age of 2.  He was naturalized June 5, 1917 and enlisted in the U.S. Army several months later, February 24, 1918.

Ben served as a PFC in the 312th Infantry, 78th Division, Co. B, based in Ft. Dix, NJ.  The 78th was famously known as the “Lightning Division” and “Newark’s Own.”

The 312th returning home to Newark, NJ

The 312th served heroically in the battles of St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine in 1918.  The Argonne was the unit’s victory — at a cost of 900 men, while 2200 returned home.

Inset detail about the unit

Ben was wounded in action when he was gassed in battle. Relatives report he was always sick after that, and died young (1941) due to complications from that experience. He was discharged May 31, 1919.

He married Frances Talkowsky November 15, 1925 in Newark, NJ.

He and Frances had 2 sons, Jerry and Edward.  Jerry served in the Army from 1946-47.  Edward served two Army tours, his first from 1951-1955, then from 1969-1972 during the Vietnam era.  His death date seems to coincide with his Army discharge date.

Uncle Eli and Air Crew

USAAF B-17 Training Camp, Alexandria, LA c.1944

Uncle Eli and B-17 Crew. Written on back of photo: “Back Row – Aerial Gunners; Front Row – L to R: Olson, first pilot, Jones, co-pilot, London, Navigator, Potts, Bombardier.” Final stage of training before joining the 91st Bomb Group, 401st Squadron in Bassingbourn, UK.