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PVT James R. Lower
Lower gravesite James Lower

Stories Behind The Stars

A series that honors more than 421,000 Americans that lost their lives in World War II. 

Fallen soldiers from Lafayette County are currently being highlighted in the Monroe Times. For Green County, see the archives at

To learn more about the project, visit

During World War II, the 90th Infantry Division of 359th Infantry Regiment activated for service on March 25, 1942 at Camp Barkeley, Texas. They arrived in England in April of 1944. They participated in the D-Day invasion on Utah Beach, Normandy on June 6, 1944. They then fought in Northern France at Metz and Verdun into the fall of 1944. From December to January of 1945, they were fighting in the Battle of the Bulge in Ardennes-Alsace. They crossed the Siegried Line into Rhineland in February of 1945. They participated in the Central European campaign and liberated prisoners from the Flossenburg concentration camp. They received five Distinguished Unit Citations.

They inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on Dec. 26, 1945 and Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.

Private James R. Lower served with the 359th Infantry, 90th Division of the U.S. Army.

James Russell Lower was born on May 11, 1926 in Superior, Douglas County, Wisconsin to Howard H. and Martha (Anderson) Lower.

From the 1930 U.S. Census, the Lower family lived in Superior in Douglas County. The household included father Howard, mother Martha, and children Lester, Howard Jr. and James. Father Howard worked in the telephone industry. 

From the 1940 U.S. Census, the Lower family lived in Darlington in Lafayette County. In 1935, they had lived in rural St. Croix County. Father Howard was a manager of a telephone company and worked for Bell Telephone Company. Son Howard Jr. worked as a store clerk in a grocery store.

On May 11, 1944, James Russell registered for the WWII Draft. He was 18 and lived in Darlington. He was a student.

From the Feb. 21, 1945 The Capital Times article titled “Darlington Youth Killed in Germany.” The article stated “Pvt. James Lower, 18, Darlington, was killed in action in Germany Feb. 6, according to word received Tuesday by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Lower, Darlington. His father is a local manager of the Wisconsin Telephone Co.

James entered service last Aug. 22 and was assigned to an infantry company. He went to France last month.

He is survived by his parents; two brothers in service, Lester, in the navy in the Pacific; and Howard, in the army in France.”

Pvt. James R. Lower died on Feb. 6, 1945 and was buried in Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Liege, Belgium.

He is listed on the National WWII Honor Roll for Lafayette County. He received the Purple Heart, awarded posthumously.

Thank you, Private James Russell Lower, for your service to and ultimate sacrifice for this country. We honor you and remember you.