Date of Birth: 1923
Place of Birth: Kansas
Father and Mother’s Names: Henry and Mable Vathauer
Date Entered Service: June 3, 1943
Service Branch: Army
Service ID: 37528130
Division/Company/Unit info: 169th Infantry Regiment, 43rd Infantry Division.
Riley Connection: 1940 Census shows the Vathauer family as living in Swede Creek Township.
Date of Death (and Age): July 22, 1944 (age 21)
Place of Death: New Guinea, possibly during the Battle of Driniumor River.
Grave Location: Ft. McKinley Cemetery, Philippines, block L, row 4, grave 106.
Bio: Neale was one of 8 children who lived in Swede Creek Township near Cleburne. Four of his brothers also served in WWII. Neale lost his life in New Guinea, and his death date is an indicator that he may have been killed during the Battle of Driniumor River against the Japanese. U.S. troops had seized Aitape in April, and Japanese forces approached Driniumor with the intention of retaking Aitape. The month of July 1944 saw heavy fighting along the river between the Japanese and Allied forces. The four-week Battle of Driniumor River was one of the highest in terms of loss of life in New Guinea.
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