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Remembering World War II
Benjamin William Rafuse
Name: Benjamin William Rafuse Rank: Sergeant Service Number: 31064383 Service: Troop B, 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized), 7th Armored Division, US Army Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: May 27, 1920 Place of Birth: Gold River, Lunenburg Co., NS Date of Enlistment: February 12, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Fort Devens, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Suffolk Co., Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 21 Height: 6 feet, 1 inch Complexion: Light Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Brown Occupation: Mechanic / repairman Marital Status: Single Date of Death: September 13, 1944 Age: 24 Cemetery: Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, NY Grave: WWII Section A, Grave 9 Benjamin William Rafuse was the son of Kenneth Freeman Rafuse (1881-1951) and Bertha Kaiser Rafuse (1889-1949). His father was born in Gold River, Lunenburg Co., NS; his mother – in the town of Lunenburg itself. He had two older sisters Ella (1911-1974), and Mildred D. (1916-1955), one older James Albert (1912- 1986), and a younger brother Eugene J (1918-1974). Benjamin’s brother Eugene served in the US Army enlisting February 13, 1942 at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York and serving until March 28, 1944 (Service No. 32215531). His brother James enlisted November 25, 1942, in Center Moriches, New York, with the NY Guard and served with Co E of the 2nd Separate Battalion. The family moved from Nova Scotia to the US via Yarmouth in 1922 and 1923 moving to Wading River, Suffolk Co., NY. By 1925, they resided at The Cliffs, in Riverhead, NY, and were there throughout the 1930’s. Benjamin’s father was a farm labourer. By 1940, Benjamin and his mother are living in Boston with his sister Mildred and her son. Benjamin registered for the US Draft on July 1, 1941, in Boston, Mass. He was working at the Westland Ave Garage at 41 Westland Avenue in Boston at the time. Benjamin found himself assigned to the 87th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 7th Armored Division, known as the Lucky Seventh. He served a Section Leader (his job classification or ‘MOS’ [Military Occupational Specialty] - 652). Sergeant Benjamin William Rafuse was killed September 13, 1944, during the Lorraine Campaign in France. His Last Duty Location was in the vicinity of Gravelotte, in Mozelle, Lorraine, France. Gravelotte lays between Amanvillers to the North and Arnaville to it’s South. Amanvillers was key to any advance eastward, and the 87th Reconnaissance Squadron was assigned to cover the left flank of the 5th Division concentrating on the Arnaville bridgehead. His body was repatriated to the US from Andilly – Lay-Saint-Remy, France, and he was interred at the Long Island National Cemetery, in Farmingdale, NY.
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