By Robin Doroshow
In February 2020, an article in the Fargo Forum featured an article about “Faces of Margraten.” This organization seeks to name and honor the American soldiers who helped liberate the Netherlands from Nazi power at the end of World War II and are buried in the American Cemetery at Margraten. The Faces project is trying to place images of deceased soldiers at their respective graves.
The Forum article1 described the progress on finding photos of Minnesota and North Dakota soldiers buried at Margraten.
Two of the named soldiers are Hymen Phillips and Isadore Wolstein. Research has revealed that both men had roots in North Minneapolis and were Jewish.
JHSUM reached out by email to our readers to see if anyone had knowledge of these men or living family members for the purpose of providing photos to the Faces of Margraten project.
Thanks to your help, we found a senior class photo of Hymen Phillips from the 1937 North High School Yearbook, which has been shared with the Faces of Margraten project. Unfortunately, the yearbook where Isadore Wolstein would have been pictured states that no photo of him exists because he had already been called into service.
What we have learned so far about these soldiers
Hymen Phillips was born on Oct. 22, 1918 in Hennepin County. His parents were Jacob (Jack) and Florence Greenstein Phillips, both of whom had immigrated from Eastern Europe. His younger siblings were Morris and David. US Census records show that the family lived at 814 Thomas Avenue North, and nearby neighbors included families by the names of Mogilevsky, Locketz, Goldenberg, Weiss and Isenberg.
A sergeant in the US Army Air Forces, Phillips served in the 324th Bomber Squadron, 91st Bomber Group, Heavy. Missing in action, he was declared dead on Mar. 4, 1943.
If you have any information about either of these men, particularly Mr. Wolstein, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 952-381-3360.
Isadore Wolstein was born on Dec. 30, 1925 in Montana. His parents, Max and Mary, immigrated from Eastern Europe. Siblings included Harold and Marjorie, and other family members included Meyer, Jean, Louie, Josephine and Morris. Census records show that the family lived in North Minneapolis at 404-406 Emerson Avenue North and later at 1506 Vincent Avenue North. They also indicate that neighbors at the Emerson Avenue address included families by the names of Hershkovitz, Strauss and Gillman. Neighbors near Vincent Avenue included families by the names of Kahn, Wilensky, Kleine, Grossman and Katzman.
A corporal in the US Army Air Corps, Wolstein was a ball turret gunner in the 486th Bomber Group, Heavy, 833rd Bomber Squadron. Missing in Action, he was declared dead on Dec. 6, 1944.
Both men received the Air Medal and Purple Heart posthumously.
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