I saw this in Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, WI and zoomed in to capture what was on this plaque:

In memory of dearly beloved Jacob Robert Nunnemacher, Born July 30, 1919, S/Sgt. Co. B 87th Mt. Inf. Regiment, 10th Division – U.S. Army, He died heroically in action, at Torre I’ussi – Italy, April 14th, 1945

Nunnemacher plaque.jpg

Looking for more information on him, I found him mentioned on a page from Dartmouth University.

In his 2005 book, The Boys of Winter: Life and Death in the U.S. Ski Troops During the Second World War, Charles Sanders recalls how Jacob Robert Nunnemacher, son of a Milwaukee department store owner, chose to come to Dartmouth:

“Jake took one look at the Dartmouth Ski Team roster and knew it was the place for him. It was the Who’s Who of college ski racing, probably of all time. . . . Though Olympians Ted Hunter, Linc Washburn and Warren Chivers were among the stars who had graduated after leading the team to near sweeps of the U.S. collegiate races over the previous four seasons, Howard Chivers, Charles McLane, Percy Rideout, and Olympians Dick Durrance and John Litchfield all remained. . . . So off Jake went that fall to join the legendary Dartmouth ski circus.”

Their leader was Coach Walter Prager, a Swiss émigré and internationally recognized skier. At least, he was recognized by everyone but the U.S. government, which initially drafted him into the Coast Guard. His son, Kari Prager ’69, a California businessman, says, “He didn’t even know how to swim. In Switzerland all the lakes were freezing—recreational swimming was not something you did when he was growing up. . . . They were just kind of fussing around, getting him through training, when the 10th Mountain Division was started, and that division had a lot of hand-picked troops that knew how to ski, how to climb—knew something about Alpine sport. And so he was plucked out of the Coast Guard. And, because of his experience, they made him a sergeant.” Despite not knowing English well, and knowing less about the Army, First Sergeant Prager was ready to lead. Years later, Kari found among his father’s effects a Bronze Star he earned in combat; though his father never talked about it, friends said he earned it while shuttling food and ammunition to his troops in the midst of a mortar barrage.

The division entered combat in August 1943, securing the Aleutian Islands in Alaska from Japanese incursions. It was there that the first soldier with a Dartmouth connection, a former ski instructor named Roger Day Emerson, was killed in action. In December 1944, the 10th crossed the continent and the Atlantic Ocean to fight in the European theater. Well regarded for their thorough training, they joined the effort to recapture the Italian mainland, in particular the strategic, fortified enemy points that lay along the spine of the Appenine Mountains in northern Italy. Dartmouth soldiers again distinguished themselves; several at the cost of their lives. In February 1945, Staff Sergeant Roger William Herrick ’40 was felled by shrapnel while attacking a German machine gun nest on Mt. Belvedere. In April, three more alums—First Lieutenant Robert Whitbeck ’31, Captain Joseph Jonathan Duncan ’40, and Sargeant Jake Nunnemacher ’40—were killed over the course of ten days in a final, successful move to crush the German resistance.

At that point, the war was largely over for the 10th Mountain Division. German forces surrendered in early May, and the Japanese the following August. One hundred and two men of Dartmouth came home and—like McLane who earned his doctorate and taught, and Prager who coached the 1948 U.S. Olympic ski team—got on with their lives.

I also found a really interesting story about the 10th Mountain Division on NPR, as well as an entire Wikipedia article.