William H. Kaler, Pfc. Michael Joseph Wallace Lose Lives; Pvt. Peter Lydon Wounded

Two more Norwood men have been killed in action and a third seriously wounded, according to reports received from the War Department by their next of kin. They are:

Pfc. William H. Kaler, Jr., 278 Dean street, killed in action in France November 7th.

Pfc. Michael Joseph Wallace, 317 Nahatan street, killed in action in France November 8th.

Pvt. Peter Lydon, 225 Washington street, wounded in Southwest Pacific November 9th.

Meets Death At Etampes, France

Pfc. Kaler, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Kaler of 278 Dean street, died on the field of battle at Etampes, France. The first news of his death was received by his parents in the following telegram, signed Witsell, acting Adjutant General, Washington. D. C.:

“The Secretary of War asks that I assure you of his deep sympathy in the loss of your son. Private First Class William H. Kaler. Report received states he died 7 November in Etampes, France. Letter follows.”

The supreme sacrifice which Bill Kaler has made for his country is no more tragic or sad than that of any of the thousands of American boys who have made it. But its preliminary service seems to have a special bitter poignancy.


Big. stalwart Bill Kaler was with one of the first induction units to leave Norwood. The scene of his training was Ft. McKinley.’ Portland. Me. On August 19. 1941. after a brief and last furlough at home in July, he sailed for Iceland with the 1st Artillery, where he landed on September 6th.

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He was immediately detailed to an artillery post on the far northern shore of the bleak and windswept island. Here, with his comrades. he helped serve big mounted canon and anti-aircraft guns. And in this barren spot for more than two years he stayed and served the Allied nations with nothing to look at except the icy waters of the Norwegian Sea which is the southern part of the Arctic Ocean.

Yet, Bill’s father says, this little outfit saw plenty of action. For this was during the time when German U-boats swarmed around the deep seas of Iceland and Nazi planes, flying the standard Gcrmany-Russian run overhead, were frequently brought down by alert Yankee ack-ack gunners. But. aside from such action, it was a deathly dull two years. Because few of the men ever had a chance to go to Reykjavik to enjoy the scant pleasures of that town.

But Pfc. Kaler’s frequent letters were always cheerful and courageous and were a great help to his parents, brother and sisters, and especially to his mother who has
been an invalid for ten years.


In July, 1944. he was transferred to England. He became part of a special battalion, the nature of which he never revealed in his letters. All that his family knew was his new address — 749th Anti-Aircraft. B Battery, 7th Battalion Headquarters. His mother received his last letter two weeks ago. at which time he sent gifts from France to several members of the family.

William Kalcr was born in Norwood, September 6. 1916. He attended the local schools and completed three years in the Senior High School. Instead of graduating, he went to work in the Holliston Mills, where he was employed when he was inducted into the armed service.

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Besides his father and mother, he leaves three sisters. Mrs. William Coffin of Canton, Mrs. Patrick Sylvestri, Highview street: Mrs. Patrick Connolly of 121 Wilson street, and a brother, James T. of 278 Dean street.


Pic. Michael J. Wallace fell mortally wounded in France on the day following Pfc. Kaler’s death. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wallace, he has been in the Army for four years and left the country seven months ago for overseas service. Married, his wife lives in Brookline.

A brother. Sgt. Martin E. Wallace, formerly stationed at Panama, is a veteran of some four years of Army service; He is now stationed in Texas. Both boys served many years ago as newsboys for the Messenger.

There are two sisters, Mary and Dorothy.


Pvt. Peter Lydon was seriously wounded in action at Bougainville in the Solomons, the War Department has notified his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Lydon. He joined the service on August 18. 1943, and went overseas with an Infantry unit last February.

Pvt. Lydon is the only son among six Lydon children.

Bougainville, where the Norwood soldier was felled, is not now generally regarded by the civilian public as an active theatre of war. However, the Army’s First Service Command pointed out this morning that there are still a number of Japs on the island despite the firm hold that American troops have. When the Yanks went in, a base was established after bitter fighting, and a perimeter formed around the island. But Japs continue to hold out in the interior and clashes with American troops are not infrequent.