Stephen Michael Zoradi (21 March 1923 in Montello, Nevada - Killed in action 7 April 1945 in Schleusingen, Germany) was an American Technician Fifth Grade in the United States Army during World War II.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Stephen was born in Montello, Nevada on March 21, 1923 to Demiro and Pia Zoradi. Both of his parents were immigrants from Italy. His other siblings include his brothers (Elko and Mike) and his sister (Tosca). He graduated from Mineral County High School in Hawthorne, Nevada and attended the University of Nevada, but didn't graduate due to joining the military.
Military Service[edit | edit source]
Stephen enlisted in the Army from Reno, Nevada on December 12, 1942 (ASN: 19152151) and served in Europe during the war with the 11th Armored Division. He was a member of 3rd Platoon, A Company, 56th Armored Engineer Battalion.
Death[edit | edit source]
He was killed in action on April 7, 1945 in Schleusingen, Germany. What let up to his death was mentioned in the unit's journal:
Today at 0430 we left Suhl to go out and clear a road block near the town of Schleusingen. On the road to our mission we passed elements of the 41st Cav. who informed us that elements of their units were already in that town. We proceeded, and at 0700 found ourselves right in the middle of a hornest nest. Ambushed! The platoon dismounted and began returning the fire. The Krauts were throwing everything they had at us. The deadly Burp Gun, bazookas, rifle fire and the like. In face of overwhelming odds the platoon leader was left with no alternative but to withdraw. All this time Zoradi and Parkhurst exposed to enemy fire, were giving the Krauts a taste of their own medicine by pouring hot lead from our 50 Cal. mounted on the trucks, into their positions. The trucks were turned around and at about that time, the Germans seeing that they had us hopelessly outnumbered, began an attack from the front with fixed bayonets receiving fire support from other of their units on the left and right of our position. Most of the men loaded up but many were unable to make it and had to take off on foot with the Germans beginning to close in from all sides. The jeep was waiting about 500 yards back and all men then present loaded up with the exception of Vivian, Annarumma, Nagle, Lt. Friedl, Fontaine and Dinsmore. There wasn't room in the jeep for all. Heiser, Sellers, Allison and Reese, the driver, were hit on the way out. All the remaining six, except Dinsmore, made it back on foot the same day by taking to the woods. The Krauts were closing in on Dinsmore but he managed to dodge them by hiding in a haystack for 30 hours. He was freed the next day when our troops came in. It was estimated that there were approximately 200 German troops in the area. The dead were Zoradi, Myers and Mirabel.
His body was buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands.
Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]
- Purple Heart
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 campaign stars
- American Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
References[edit | edit source]
- https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XKJP-MFT (mentioned as Steve D. Zoradi)
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