August Landmesser was a worker at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and is best known for his appearance in a photograph refusing to perform the Nazi salute at the launch of the naval training vessel Horst Wessel on 13 June, 1936. He had been a Nazi Party member from 1931 to 1935, but after fathering children with a Jewish woman, he had been found guilty of “dishonoring the race” under Nazi racial laws and had come to oppose Hitler’s regime….[He] was discharged from prison on 19 January, 1941…. In February 1944 he was drafted into a penal unit, the 999th Fort Infantry Battalion, where he was declared missing in action and presumably killed.
As great a hero as any who ever fell in combat.