World War II (Last Names K-P)
The Radnor High School Wall of Honor features 48 inductees who served in World War II. The below biographies on these brave veterans were researched and compiled by Radnor High School students. If you believe there may be discrepencies in the below information or have additional details to share about these inductees' lives, please email RHSWallofHonor@rtsd.org. To browse the the student-produced videos of these and all the 57 inductees, visit the RHS Wall of Honor YouTube channel here.
Raymond Sharpless Kautz
Raymond Sharpless Kautz was born on August 18, 1912 and graduated from Radnor High School in 1930. At RHS, Mr. Kautz played on the football team and is remembered in the yearbook as "the man who galloped madly after Peters (a Lower Merion player]...and succeeded in tackling him on Radnor's 1-yard line." Mr. Kautz was also a member of the Glee Club and the Science Club and participated in the Senior Play.
Mr. Kautz enlisted in the U.S. National Guard on February 17, 1941, approximately 9 months after Pearl Harbor. He subsequently joined the U.S. Army, becoming a First Lieutenatn as part of the 106th Infantry Division, 424th Regiment, known as "The Fighting Lions." This regiment was engaged in heavy fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.
On January 13, 1944, after several weeks of continuous and heavy fighting, Company I of the 424th Regiment, commanded by Mr. Kautz, entered the town of Henumont, Belgium in order to clear it of German defenders. Sadly, Mr. Kautz was mortally wounded during this battle. Members of Mr. Kautz's company continued fighting and eventually capture the town.
Mr. Kautz is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. He was awared the Silver Star for his bravery and courage in battle, the Bronze Star for his heroic achievement against an armed enemy, and the Purple Heart.
Richard J. Kavanagh
Richard J. Kavanagh attended Radnor High School from 1924-1927. On April 29, 1942, after living in the Radnor area for 25 years, he enlisted as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army in Ocean County, NJ. Prior to this enlistment, Mr. Kavanagh worked as a retail store manager and once traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark on the Mormactide Ship that sailed out of New York on Christmas Day, 1938.
While serving in Company K’s, 12th Infantry, 4th Division, Mr. Kavanagh spent two years at Fort Dix as a Warrant Officer. He assisted in administrative duties such as mobilizing, demobilizing and training soldiers. He served at Fort Dix for two years before he died in 1944.
Mr. Kautz left behind a wife, his parents Laurence and Mary, his younger brother William, and his paternal grandparents John and Mary. All family members were from the South Thomas Block of Lower Merion. He also left behind his maternal grandparents Richard Kilday, whom he was named after, and Catherine Kilday, both from County Line Road in Radnor.
Paul T. Knight
Paul T. Knight was born in Wilmington, Delaware on June 30, 1924. His father Howard was from Delaware, and his mother Catherine was from Maryland. He had two brothers: Howard Jr. and James. Both of his brothers also entered the military. The family lived on Morris Avenue in Radnor and later on Aberdeen Avenue in Wayne.
Mr. Knight had only reached the 10th grade at Radnor High School before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was assigned to the First Marine Division and served as a sergeant in the Pacific for two years. He took part in the battles of New Britain, Tarawa, and Peleliu.
During the last battle, Mr. Knight was listed as missing in action. Later, a telegram from the war department was sent to his parents verifying his passing. His body was brought back to the United States in 1949 and he received full military honors for his service.
Mr. Knight is now buried at the Calvary Cemetery in West Conshohocken.
Robert R. Love
Robert Rittenhouse Love was born on September 12, 1920 and lived with his five family members at 416 West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne. He was involved in many activities and athletics at Radnor High School, including band, the Glee Club, the school play, the Law and Order Club, football, track and swimming. He was also the vice president of his class. He graduated in 1939.
After high school, Mr. Love attended Gettysburg College for two years. He served as a Second Lieutenant pilot in the U.S. Army during World War II. Sadly, he was piloting a plane when it crashed on May 1, 1942 during poor weather conditions. His remains were recovered from the crash site and initially buried in Australia before they were transferred to the United States after the war. Mr. Love is now buried at the Gettysburg National Cemetery.
Stephen W. Marsh, Jr.
Stephen W. Marsh, Jr. lived at 10 Forrest Road in Wayne with his mother Harriet, his father, Stephen Senior, and his brother Robert. He played basketball, football and track at Radnor High School.
After graduating, Mr. Marsh joined the U.S. Navy and became a Naval Flier at the rank of Ensign. He earned his wings at The Naval Air Base in Pensacola, Florida. His brother also joined the military, prompting a newspaper article on the brothers, "Brothers in Service.”
Sadly, Mr. Marsh’s military career ended when he was killed in an accidental plane crash on August 13, 1945 near the Naval Air Base in Wildwood, NJ.
Dominic A. Mazza
Dominic A. Mazza was born on January 11, 1924 to parents Frank and Mary. He was one of eight children, with four older brothers, two older sisters and one younger brother. He grew up in a house at 46 Eachus Avenue in Rosemont, where he attended and graduated from Radnor High School.
Mr. Mazza had lived through two vastly different parts of American history, being born in the 1920s, a time of economic prosperity and happiness, and the Great Depression, a time of pain and suffering that rocked America to its core. On December 7, 1941, he entered yet another era of American history – the official commencement of U.S. involvement in World War II as a response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mr. Mazza enlisted in the U.S. Navy, entered active duty on February 12, 1943, and served until March 2, 1946, reaching the rank of Seaman First Class in his three years of service. He died May 28, 1946 of unknown causes in a naval hospital in Sampson New York. He is buried in St. Denis Cemetery.
Edgar D. Morris, Jr.
Edgar D. Morris, Jr. was born on June 21, 1921 and lived on Hilldale Road in St. David's with his mother, Hellen Bell, his father, Edgar Senior, and his three siblings: John, James and Nancy. He spent four years at Radnor High School and graduated in 1941 at the age of 20. After Mr. Morris married Maragret Behlen.
On July 4, Morris entered the U.S. Army to fight in World War II. He was a Warrant Officer and served as a Private and Second Lieutenant. He was a part of the 5307th Composite Unit, also known as Merill's Marauders, which fought mainly in the China Burma India Theatre and held special operations in jungle warfare against the Japanese.
On June 11, 1944, Mr. Morris' company was disorganized after an ambush by the enemy which resulted in the death of his commanding officer. Mr. Morris took command and set up a firing line which stopped a Banzai attack. Sadly, while leading this effort, he was killed.
Mr. Morris’ noble sacrifice and bravery earned him the prestigious Silver Star Award. He was also awarded the Purple Heart. He is buried in Honolulu, Hawaii, at The National Cemetery of The Pacific, Section A, Site 546.
Ralph C. Odorisio
Ralph C. Odorisio was born in Wayne to first-generation Italian immigrants. He went to St. Katherine’s of Sienna from kindergarten through eighth grade and then to Radnor High School through his junior year.
Mr. Odorisio served in World War II as a Staff Sergeant and top turret gunner. He was stationed at Hethel, England in the 389th Bomb Group of the 567th Bomb Squadron, which was known as “The Sky Scorpions.” His crew flew B-24s and went on strategic bombing missions.
Sadly Mr. Odorisio’s plane was hit by friendly fire on Tuesday, May 9, 1944 and the crew was forced to land in the English Channel. His body was never recovered. He left behind his wife, Gertrude, and his mother Camille. He was honored with an Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
Mr. Odorisio’s name is etched on a remembrance wall at The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, a 30.5-acre plot donated by the University of Cambridge.
Raffelea "Ralph" G. Pietropaolo
Ralph Pietropaolo was born on June 20, 1921 to parents Frank and Jennie, who were originally from Italy. The family lived in Wayne and Mr. Pietropaolo attended Radnor High School for two years before enlisting.
Mr. Pietropaolo was stationed at a base in Wendover, Utah to train pilots. He was a Warrant Officer in charge of training B-17 and B-29 bomber crews and policing.
Sadly, Mr. Pietropaolo lost his life on June 22, 1943 during what is believed to be a training exercise.
Howard G. Potts
In 1938, Howard Green Potts was a student at Radnor High School and one of the five children to Mabel C. Potts and Joseph Potts, who worked as a manager of an ice cream store.
Mr. Potts played on Radnor’s football team before joining the United States Naval Reserve and departing for training. After basic training, he was assigned a 212-foot, 602-ton patrol yacht named the USS Cythera PY-26. The ship was sent out on March 3 with Howard's crew of 71 people.
On May 1, Mr. Potts, a seaman second class, was sent out into the sea to Norfolk, Virginia. At first all was normal, but unknown to his crew there was a German U-Boat on their trail. One-hundred-and-two miles off of Cape Fear in North Carolina, the U-Boat fired three torpedoes at the crew of the USS Cythera. The first landed ahead of them, the second behind the crew, and the third right in the center of the ship, splitting it in two. Out of the 71 crew members that were on the USS Cythera, only two survived and were taken as prisoners of war.
Sadly, Mr. Potts was one of the 69 crew members who perished due to the third torpedo attack. He was awarded the Purple Heart and has been remembered in the Missing in Action or Buried at Sea East Coast Memorial in New York.