Nathan Garrett McAfee
of Navarro County, Texas


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BIOGRAPHY

Nathan Garrett McAfee, son of Terry Reno, and Margaret L. "Maggie" (Kerr) McAfee was born 10 January 1923 in Navarro County Texas.  He graduated from Corsicana High School (Class of 1941).  He entered the service in 1943 and trained with the Tan Division of the US Army at Camp Campbell, KY.  He served in France and Germany in the 48th Tank Battalion, 14th Armored Division.  He was killed in action on January 11, 1945 at Rittershoffen, France while serving as a loader in a Tank.  Garrett has a marker at the Oakwood Cemetery, Corsicana Texas but is buried in France.  He was the grandson of Almerino Cicero and Margaret Elizabeth (Terry) McAfee, and great grandson of Hugh McDuffie and Roseanna (Toal) McAfee.

Submitted by Edward L Williams; September 2001

 

Garrett McAfee of Corsicana, student at North Texas State Teachers College, Denton, will not be home during the Christmas holidays.  He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Terry McAfee of Corsicana.  Garrett is a substitute mail carrier out of the Denton post office during the holidays and recently named circulation manager in Denton for the DallasTimes-Herald.

 Notes:


Fvt. Nathan Garrett McAfee of Corsicana, has been selected for the army specialized training program for basic engineers at Eastern Kentucky State College, Richmond,
Ky., and began training Sept. 13. He came to Richmond from Camp Maxey, Texas. Before
entering military service he attended North Texas Teachers College.

The Corsicana Daily Sun - Sept 27, 1943
Submitted by Edward Lynn Williams


Pfc. Garrett M’Afee Missing In Action Since January 11th

Pfc. Nathan Garrett McAfee, 22, U. S. Army Tank Corps, is missing action in France since Jan. 11, according to a message received by his parents, Mr. and Mr. T. R. McAfee, 1441 West Fourth avenue, from the war department.

Pfc. McAfee entered the armed service in May 1943 and has been overseas since October.  He is a graduate of Corsicana high school and was attending N. T. S. T. C. Denton when he entered the service.

Notes:

  • The Corsicana Daily Sun - Monday, January 29, 1945

  • Submitted by Diane Richards


N. G. M’AFEE IS REPORTED KILLED IN ACTION JAN. 11

Nathan Garrett McAfee, aged 22 years, U. S. Army tank corps, was killed in action, January 11, 1945, in France, according to a war department message received Monday by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. R. McAfee of Corsicana.  A graduate of Corsicana High, McAfee was a former student in North Texas State Teachers College, Denton.  The parents received a message January 20 that their son was missing in action and did not receive any more information until the message of his death Monday.

Survivors in addition to his parents are two brothers, Lt. Milton McAfee, U. S. Maritime Service stationed in Burma, and William Kenneth McAfee, U. S. Maritime Service, stationed in New York, who was home on leave when the message was received;  a sister, Mrs. Floyd Hardy, and other relatives.

Notes:

 


May 9, 1945

Killed in France
CORSICANA, Texas, May 9. - Nathan Garrett McAfee, 22, Army tank corps, was killed Jan. 11 in France, according to a message to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. R.
McAfee. A message that he was missing was received Jan. 20.

Submitted by Dana Stubbs
 

 

 

Honoring the Memory of

GARRETT McAFEE

who gave his life in the service

of his country

January 11, 1945

His classmates of Corsicana High School,

Class of 1941, all returned Service Men

in uniform, and all his friends

are asked to be present

At The

First Christian

Church

7:30 O’CLOCK TONIGHT

W. O. Harmon, Minister

Thursday, December 6, 1945


 
Link to:Lorraine American Cemetery
St. Avold, France Buried at: Plot D Row 32, Grave 27 Photo from: Mike M. McAfee

 

Email from Darrell Todd to Edward L. Williams

My wife and I returned to Rittershoffen in 1985 to attend the 40th anniversary of the Battle in Jan 45. I was able to walk to the location where our tank was knocked out and Mac was killed.  Mac was the Loader and I the Gunner. Nate went out the top and was killed by machine gun fire. I went out the bottom escape hatch and waited under the burning tank for about 5 min, after which I crawled to the left side of the tank, saw that Mac was dead, then crawled back to our lines. We were in a heavy attack on 10 Jan, Mac's 22nd birthday at which time I was able to knock out 3 German tanks. At this time Mac said those 3 Kraut tanks were his birthday present! The next morning we were attacked by several German Tanks. I knocked out two of them before we were ordered to counter-attack them from the left flank. It was at this time that our tank was hit. On our trip in 1985 we visited the Military Cemetery east of Metz at St. Avold and I was able to locate Mac's grave and the grave of my gunner killed on 1 May 45; I was a tank commander at this time. The two graves were only about 50 ft apart! It was certainly a sentimental journey! I would appreciate it if you would post my query and e-mail address concerning Nathan's family.

Regards,
Darrell PS; At this time of year my thoughts go back to those experiences. I had celebrated my 21st birthday on 2 Jan 45!
Darrell E Todd; posted Dec 18, 2001
 

Note:  April 18, 2002, Nathan's nephew, Mike McAfee and sister Teresa found this site and has made contact with Darrell and us other McAfee descendents.  See... these posting do pay off !!!!  
...ed williams

 

Email from Darrell Todd to Teresa McAfee sent April 19, 2002
 
Hi Teresa,
Too bad you never got to know Uncle Mac. He was one of a kind! He liked to kid a lot, but he had his serious side also. He and I became the best of friends during the short time we were together.

We both came out of the Army Specialized Training Program [ASTP] I don't remember which Univ where he went; I went to the Univ of Cincinnati for 2 semesters. We both ended up in the same platoon in Co "C" 48th Tk Bn of the 14th AD. At first Mac was in Tk # 1 as a loader and I also a loader in Tk # 3. We arrived at Cp Campbell, KY and trained 'till we departed for France 14 Oct 44.

Our first day of combat was 22 Nov 44, where we encountered a roadblock defended by AT guns, Mortars and German Inf. That was our baptism of fire. We had no tanks lost in this encounter. After many more encounters we were headed for Benfeld, Alsace at night when Mac's tank and #2 tk were hit and destroyed. Mac got out of that Tk without a scratch, but the Pltn Tk Cmdr was killed and the gunner was badly wounded. In a few days after replacing the Tk, I was placed in Tk # 1 as the gunner with Mac my loader. Mac was offered the job, but he said that because he wore glasses he would rather I be the gunner. The Benfeld episode occurred 1 Dec.

On 10 Jan [Mac's 22nd birthday] we were in a bloody attack in the PM. During this attack I was able to knock out 3 Kraut tanks. When we pulled back to reorganize Mac said those Kraut tks were his birthday present! I had celebrated my 21st birthday 2 Jan. The next morning at 6 AM we were counter- attacked by an overwhelming force. I managed to destroy two more German tks. At this time we were told to counter-attack around the left flank. It was very foggy with 8 in of snow on the ground. As we proceeded in our attack we were fired on from our right front and our tank was disabled. Mac went out the top hatch and was hit by machine gun fire, killing him instantly. I went out the bottom escape hatch, waited a few minutes, which seemed like hours, crawled around the left side of the tk and saw that Mac was dead. I then crawled back to our other tks using a potato furrow [ 8 in deep] for cover. Many more incidents occurred before the war ended. I was wounded 1 May about 20 miles NE of Munich.

I hope this info sheds some light on what happened to your Uncle. I say again he was a very good friend.

Warmest regards,
Darrell Todd

Partial photo of Company C, 48th Tank Battalion, 14th Armored Division, recently sent to my Dad by his brother,Bill. Garrett in in the second row from the bottom, 4th from the right. I understand Mr. Todd is standing to Garrett'sright.
.... Mike McAfee June 2002


A best friend’s death in battle
DARRELL E. TODD was a masonry contractor who commanded the Oakdale unit of the National Guard from 1957-61 and retired as a major in 1984. In 1985 he returned to Europe and found the grave of Pfc. Nathan McAfee and other friends in a military cemetery near Metz.

The 14th Armored Division arrived in Marseilles on Oct. 28, 1944. We collected our equipment and headed north to Lyon and Epinal and into combat in the Vosge Mountains.
I was loader in the No. 3 tank and my best friend Nathan McAfee of Corsicana, Tex., was loader in No 1. His tank was knocked out Dec. 1. Our platoon leader was killed and the gunner seriously wounded.
I was promoted to gunner with McAfee serving as my loader.
DURING DECEMBER the Germans started the Battle of the Bulge offensive. We were in Alsace-Lorraine in the vicinity of Strasbourg in the villages of Rittershoffen and Hatten.
The afternoon of Jan. 10 (McAfee’s 22nd birthday), my platoon attacked to the northeast toward Hatten, about a mile away.
Being in the lead tank, I was first to sight three enemy tanks to our front. I knocked out the middle one. With the help of the other four tanks, we made War Stories
flaming coffins of the other two and pulled back to the village for the night.
Next morning was foggy with eight inches of new snow. The Germans had sent in “Screaming Meemies” all night and at 0630 started their attack. Their tanks were white (ours were covered with sandbags) and their infantry wore white parkas.
The first German tank I spotted was 75 yards in front. Through my telescopic sight I saw my tracer disappear into the turret. I traversed left and fired two rounds into the next tank. We lost our No. 5 tank and received orders to regroup and counter-attack from the left flank.
My tank was knocked out and my friend McAfee went out the top and was hit by machine gun fire.
The lieutenant and I went out the bottom escape hatch. Ammo and gasoline in our tank started to burn and explode. I crawled to the left side and saw that McAfee was dead and started crawling back, using an 8-inch deep potato furrow for cover and putting snow on my back for camouflage.
On Jan. 20, we pulled back about 30 miles to regroup. I was promoted to commander of No. 5 tank and given a green gunner and loader. But they were fast learners.
On May 1, my tank and crew we executing a combat flank patrol mission 30 miles east of Munich. Leaving the village of Taufkirchen and firing at German trucks and troops when we were ambushed by a self-propelled tank destroyer.
My gunner fired but my loader was killed with the first German round. The second round struck my gunner and me.
I HAD ABOUT 10 POWS on my tank and all jumped into the ditch with my driver, assistant driver, gunner and my self. The loader died in the tank and my gunner died within a few minutes.
We were sent by medic jeep to a field hospital, then flown to Rheims, France. We heard the war ended while in flight.
I returned to the U.S. in February ‘46 and married Shirley Humphrey in Chicago in August. She was the sister of a tank driver in my company. My friend McAfee had introduced us.
January 14, 1993

 


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Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox