Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fallen Hero: Private First Class Elton E. Ekstrom, U.S. Army

Private First Class Elton E. Ekstrom, U.S. Army, was born on November 11, 1918 to August and Hannah Ekstrom. Elton lived with his parents, four sisters and three brothers at 417 Lincoln Street. 
Elton attended the Franklin Public Schools and for a number of years lived on Lincoln Street and maintained his residence there after his marriage to the former Arlene Beals. Elton and Arlene were the parents of two sons, Paul and Elton, Jr. Paul graduated from West Point and served two tours of duty as an army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Elton, Jr. also served in the army during the Vietnam War Era. 
PFC Elton E. Ekstrom served in the 87th Infantry Division of General Patton’s Third Army during the Rhine River crossing into Germany. Details of the Rhine River crossing as provided by Barbara Strang, 87th Infantry Division Historian, are as follows: “The assault boats of the 347th Battalion crossed the Rhine after midnight on March 25th. The Germans opened up with everything they had from the steep banks on the opposite side. Numerous boats were hit resulting in many casualties. Further assaults occurred at Rhens, Boppard, and Oberlahanstein.” 
Private First Class Elton E. Ekstrom was killed by machine gun fire on March 18, 1945 at age 26 while in combat crossing the Rhine River.

Fallen Hero: PFC Elton Ekstrom

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