World War II Stories
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Navarro County, Texas


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Hable, Paul Reginald

WINS SILVER WINGS - Paul Reginald Hable, 27, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest W. Hable of 1109 West Fourth avenue Corsicana, was a student officer in the 22nd class of aviation cadets to graduate from the advanced twin-engine Columbus Army Flying School near Columbus, Miss., on Feb. 8.  He received the coveted silver wings of a flying officer and was transferred in rank at graduation to the Army Air Forces.  Captain Hable entered pilot training last June 1943 and was a student officer while attending flying schools at Jackson, Miss and Gunter Field, Ala., before reporting to the air base for his final stage of flight training on Dec. 7, 1943.  Before entering pilot training he had attended Texas A. & M. College where he received a BA degree.


Love, Jack R.

GLIDER PILOT - Jack R. Love son of L. W. Love of Corsicana, has received his wings as a glider pilot and appointment as a flight officer at the "Home of the Winged Commandos" at Lubbock, Texas.  The graduating officers have undergone one of the most intensive courses in the Army Air Forces Training Command, which is training thousands of men in the largest educational program in history.  These "Winged Commandos" have just completed their course of training in Uncle Sam's giant cargo and troop carrying gliders at SPAAF, which trained hundreds of glider pilots who landed airborne troops in France to help spearhead the invasion.  Flight Officer Love attended Corsicana High School and Schreiner Institute.


Wade, Lawson L. - Sgt

MISSING IN ACTION - A telegram received Sunday from the War Department by Mrs. Louise Wade, 641 West Fourth Avenue, reported her husband, Sgt. Lawson L. Wade, 30, as missing in action since Sept. 14, in the North African Zone.  Sgt. Wade, infantry, U. S. Army, was a member of a local National Guard unit mobilized and federalized in November, 1940. He is a former employee of the Corsicana Cotton Mills.


Speed, Jesse Covington - elect. mate

COMPLETES TRAINING - Jesse Covington Speed, 20, elect. mate, son of Mrs. N. M. Speed, Route 4, Corsicana, has completed basic training at the Submarine School, Submarine Base, New London, Conn., for duty with our growing fleet of underseas fighters.  Speed will be entitled to wear the twin dolphin insignia of the submarine service after further experience aboard a submarine during which he must demonstrate to his commanding officer that he is fully qualified to carry out the duties of his rate.  The insignia is regarded as a mark of distinction through out the Navy.  Speed was graduated from Corsicana High School two years ago, lettering in football and competing in track.  He attended Texas A. & M. College, College Station, and had Army ROTC instruction from September last year until he joined the Navy in December. Naval recruit training was given him at Great Lakes, Illinois.


Powell, Earl C. - Seaman first class

PROMOTED - Earl C. Powell, 27, seaman first class, U.S. Navy, has recently been promoted with the rating of gunners mate, third class according to information received by relatives here. He attended the Corsicana schools and was employed by the Corsicana Cotton Mills when he entered the service August 29, 1942.  He has seen service in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war including the Aleutian Islands and North Africa.   His wife, the former Miss Lennie Lee Sanders, has recently returned from New York where she visited her husband prior to his departure for another tour of duty as sea.   He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Powell, Corsicana.


Batchelor, Floyd Paul - Pfc.

VISITED PARENTS - Pfc. F. P. Batchelor, 20 U. S. Army Air Forces, has recently returned to Pierre, South Dakota, where he is stationed, following a furlough spent with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Batchelor, 708 North Fourteenth street.  He has been in the service over a year.


Haynie, Johnnie N. & Ray, William F.

COUSINS IN NAVY - J. N. Haynie, 23, petty officer 2-c, U.S. Navy son of Mr. and Mrs. V. T. Haynie, Powell and W. F. Ray, 26, petty officer, 2-c, U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Ray, Powell, cousins entered the service together, August 1942, and have served on the same ships since that time.  They are now on a tour of duty in North Atlantic.   They were members of a crew receiving a Presidential citation in recognition for sinking the greatest number of U. boats in Naval history.  Graduates of the Powell high school, they both were in the employ of the Oil City Iron Works when they entered the service.  Their wives, Jackie Haynie and Harriett Ray reside at Powell.


Miller, John Milton - Pfc

DECORATED - Pfc John Milton Miller, 21, U. S. Army, 36th Division, veteran of the Salerno beach-head fighting in Italy, wounded in action February 1944 has been awarded the Purple Heart Decoration, according to information received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Miller, 1912 West First Avenue.  A member of the National Guard when mobilized and federalized in Nov. 1940, Miller participated in all the major battles of the Italian campaign.  He attended the Corsicana High School.


Novak, Clarence C. - Staff Sgt.

ARRIVES OVERSEAS - Staff Sgt. Clarence C. Novak has arrived safely somewhere in North Africa according to information received by his wife Mrs. Carolyn Novak.  Prior to being sent to foreign service, Novak was stationed at Camp Pickett, Va.  Before entering the service he was employed by the Corsicana Cotton Mills.


Nelson, Howell B. & Harold O.

ARMY AIR FIELD, Ardmore, Okla., March 10 - The Nelson twins from Dawson, Texas are together again.  When S-Sgt, Howell B. Nelson and his brother Sgt Harold O., both 22, enlisted July 1, 1942, at Corsicana, Texas, they were together only 10 days at the reception center Camp Wolters, Texas.
Howell was transferred to Sheppard Field for his basic training, then went on to become an aerial gunner at the AAF school, Las Vegas, Nev.  Harold went from Wolters to Camp Parkley, where he was assigned to the medical detachment.
On January 13 of this year the twins were reunited, Harold being transferred to the army air field, Ardmore.  Howell was transferred to Ardmore from Ephrata, Wash., November 1942.  "Now we'll stay together," says Howell, "I guess we'll both continue in the army."
Howell, headquarters training section, is an aerial gunnery instructor.  Harold, air base section (418), is attending the sight and turret school on the field and hopes to be reclassified as a gunnery instructor so he can catch up with Howell.
Howell seems to come first in the family picture - he was born first, Oct 3, 1921, and outranks his twin, being a staff.  "I never pull my rank because it wouldn't do any good," he admits. "And, besides, Harold's clothes fit me."
The twins were born in Dardnelle, Ark. Both parents are dead but they were reared to manhood by and uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Kaizer, Dawson, Tex. They have two brothers and two sisters.
The sergeants have blond hair, blue eyes, weigh 160 pounds each and stand five feet nine inches.  About the only distinguishing mark on these identical twins is Harold's dimple when he smiles.  Both prefer outdoor sports and farming.
They are inseparable even to their social life.  In Fort Worth, Howell and Harold met two girls and have been going with them ever since.  "We were only separated in the army," says Howell.  When it comes to change of stations Howell again has the edge.  He has been at Salt Lake City, Geiger Field, Ephrata, Walla Walla, and Great Falls.

See Also:


Salter, Richard D. - Major

MISSING IN ACTION - Maj. Richard D. Salter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Salter, Emhouse, is missing in action in the Asiatic area since Sept. 11, according to a telegram received Wednesday from the War Department by his father.  Maj. Salter. U. S. Army Air Forces, is credited with sinking a Japanese destroyer at Kiska on October 19, 1942, and has taken part in other major air battles.  He was wounded in action and returned to the States for medical attention.  He spent part of his leave with his parents at Emhouse and returned to action later.  A graduate of the Emhouse high school, he later attended A. and M. College.  Salter was accepted as a flying cadet at College Station on April 11, 1940, and assigned to Allen Hancock College of Aeronautics at Santa Maria, Calif., where he completed his primary training.  He finished his flight training at the U. S. Air Corps School at Stockton, Calif. No details were given in the telegram received Wednesday by his father from the War Department which stated that he would be notified of further developments.


Roberts, James P. - Lieut.

2 NAVARRO COUNTY MEN ARE REPORTED MISSING IN ACTION
Lieut. James P. Roberts, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Roberts, Chatfield, is reported missing in action over France since Feb. 4, according to a telegram received Friday.   No other details were given.  Lieut. Roberts was the pilot of a Flying Fortress and had arrived in England on Dec. 29, 1943.  He attended Corsicana high school.  He entered the Army Air Forces in March 1942, and received his primary training at Hickman Field, basic training at Perrin Field and was awarded his wings at Lake Charles Flying Field on Nov. 10, 1942.  His wife resides in Colorado Springs, Colo., and will come here immediately for a visit according to information received by Mrs. W. G. Harlin, Corsicana, sister of Lieut. Roberts.


Holloway, Rufus H. - Maj.
PINS WINGS ON SON-IN-LAW - Colonel L. C. Mallory commanding officer at the Columbus Army Air Field is shown pinning the silver wings of a flying officer on the chest of his son-in-law, Major Rufus H. Holloway, of Corsicana, Texas who was a student officer in the 18th class to be graduated from the Columbus school last Friday.  Major Holloway is a graduate of the West Point Military Academy in the 1925 class.

MAJOR RUFUS H. HOLLOWAY - 26, son of Dr. and Mrs. R. N. Holloway, was a student officer in the 18th class of aviation cadets to graduate from the advanced twin engine Columbus Army Flying School near Columbus, Miss., Friday.  He received the coveted silver wings of a flying officer and was transferred in rank at graduation to the Army Air Forces.   Major Holloway entered pilot training a student officer, while attending flying schools at Carlstrom Field, and Gunter Field, before reporting to the air base for his final stage of flight training on July 31, 1943.  Before entering pilot training he had attended Texas A. & M. and U.S.M.A. West Point N.Y.


Carrington, Dennis W. - Sgt.

IN ENGLAND - Sgt. Dennis W. Carrington, U. S. Army Air Forces, has arrived safely in England according to information received by his mother, Mrs. W. M. Carrington, 614 West Third Avenue.  In a recent letter he stated that he was happy and in good health, also observing that "England is a beautiful place, but it does not compare with the U.S.A.


Neece, Richard D. Jr. - Lt. Col.

DECORATED - Lt. Col. Richard D. Neece Jr., P-51 Mustang Squadron commander, is pictured above as General Anderson presented him with the Distinguished Flying Cross at an Eighth Air Force fighter Station in England.  Col. Neece, also holder of the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, was recently credited with destroying one Junkers-88 bomber and damage to another in strafing attacks on two enemy air fields.  A former resident of Corsicana, Col., Neece is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard D. Neece, Sr., Glendale, Calif.   His wife, Mrs Altanell Neece and their daughter Elizabeth Ann, reside at El Paso.   A graduate of the Texas College of Mines he entered the service in April 1941.   Col. Neece is expected home shortly on leave.


Palmeri, Billy - Copl & Sammy - T-Sgt.

SOMEWHERE IN INDIA - Copl. Billy Palmeri and T-Sgt. Sammy Palmeri, U. S. Army sons of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Palmeri, 1106 West Seventh avenue, are shown above in a picture taken somewhere in India.  Billy entered the service Dec. 15, 1942, and has been in India eight months.  Sammy was mobilized with a local National Guard unit Nov. 1940, and has been in India two years and four months.  Both are graduates of Corsicana high school.  Sammy was recently transferred to another base and the base paper "Victory Light" carried a story indicated his popularity referring to him as the "little fellow with the million dollar smile. *** men may come and men may go but it is going to be a long, long time before this base sees another personality like Sammy Palmeri."  A copy of the publication carrying the story was received by his sister, Mrs. Sammy Nagy 735 West Second Avenue.


McClung, Alton - Captain

LIBERATOR PILOT - Commander of a four-motored Liberator bomber, Captain Alton McClung, Kerens, Texas, is receiving the Second Army Air Force training at Harvard, Nebraska, which will prepare him for overseas service as a member of a heavy bombardment combat team.   Captain McClung, 24 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. R. L. McClung, Kerens, was graduated from Kerens high school and the University of Texas before he entered the service at Dallas, February 10, 1941.  Captain McClung has been trained for his overseas service at Moffett Field, Calif., where he received his basic training, and at Mather Field, Calif..where he won his wings and commission.  He was promoted to First Lieutenant May 15, 1942, and became a Captain at Marfa, Texas, August 10, 1943.   Captain McClung is now learning heavy bombardment combat techniques as a member of a B-24 team.


Hoffman, Robert - Staff Sgt.

GET CITATION
Staff- Sgt. Robert Hoffman, U. S. Army Air Forces, now stationed in the European Theatre of Operations, is a member of a B-24 Liberator bomber group, recently cited by Major General William E. Kepner commanding the Second Bombardment Division, "for distinguished and outstanding performance of duty," according to information received by his father, Joe Hoffman, 706 South Twentieth street.  The citation in part reads: "The devotion to duty, determination and tenacity of purpose exhibited by the personnel of the group reflect great credit upon themselves, their organization and the U. S. Army Air Forces." Sgt. Hoffman, a former resident of Corsicana, now resides at route two, Mullberry, Ark.  He is a 1937 graduate of the Corsicana high school.   The group recently completed 100 combat missions and is commanded by Col. Luther J. Fairbanks, Burt, Iowa.


Rehders, Edwin N. - Petty Officer First Class

SAVING MEAT POINTS
Petty Officer, first class, Edwin N. Rehders, Corsicana, San Diego, Calif., Naval Base, is saving meat points as is shown by his recent snaring of a 5-pound halibut during a noon hour, according to the  March 24, 1944 issue of THE HOIST, Naval base publication.   Rehders, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Rehders of Corsicana, enlisted in the Navy at Dallas, Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor Day.  His wife and two children reside at the base in San Diego.  Rehders expects to be sent on active sea duty this month.


Newsom, R. R. - Lieut.

PROMOTED - Lieut. R. R. Newsom, UNS, principal of the Rice high school 1941 - 1942, was recently promoted from Ensign to his present rank. Entering the Navy as an apprentice seaman May 1942, he served aboard two attack transports and following seven months service as an enlisted man he was commissioned an Ensign.  In December 1943, Lieut. Newsom was ordered to the Central Pacific for duty.


Brooks, Ray O. - Ensign

ENSIGN - Naval Aviation Cadet Ray O. Brooks, son of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Brooks. Barry, who began cadet training Oct 1, 1942, was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve at the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N. J. as 89 new Navy blimp pilots received their wings at Pearl Harbor Day graduation exercises.  Designated as a naval airship aviator, he will be assigned to a blimp squadron for anti-submarine patrol duty over coastal waters.


Hoffman, Lawrence O. Jr. - Capt.

PROMOTED - Lawrence O. Hoffman, Jr. formerly of Corsicana, now stationed at Camp Fannin near Tyler, recently was promoted from the rank of first lieutenant to captain in the U. S. Army.  Capt. Hoffman has been in the army several years and assignments include the Aleutian Islands, and Camp Maxey.  He is the commanding officer of Company D, 12th Regt., Camp Fannin Mrs. Hoffman resides in Tyler.


Hill, Henry Clifford - Cpl

VISITED MOTHER
Cpl. Henry Clifford Hill returned to his post of duty at Will Rogers Army Air Field Station Hospital, Oklahoma City Okla., after spending a ten day furlough here with his mother, Mrs. Minnie Hill and brother, Weldon Hill at 509 North Main Street.  Mrs. Hill has since been notified of his transfer to the Base Hospital.  Army Air Base, Woodward, Oklahoma.


Anderson, Mark W. Jr. - s-2-c

IN THE NAVY - Mark W. Anderson Jr., s-2-c, U. S. Navy, is now stationed at the U. S. Naval Repair Base, San Diego, Calif., awaiting assignment to amphibious training.  A 1943 graduate of the Richland high school he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. M. W. Anderson, Richland, and holds a perfect attendance record for high school.  Prior to entering the service February 10, 1944, Anderson carried a Daily Sun route at Richland for four years and was employed by the Southern Pacific Lines.


Milner, Harris Wilson, GM 3-C

RETURNED TO BASE - GM 3-C Harris Wilson Milner has returned to his base in San Francisco, U. S. Navy, after spending a leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul C. Milner of Streetman, and other relatives.  Milner spent 15 months active duty in the Pacific and expects to receive special training in San Francisco.  He was met in El Paso by his mother and visited his brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Dennis, before coming home for the remainder of his leave.


Hardin, J. C. - Pvt

IN ITALY - Pvt. J. C. Hardin, U.S. Army, is now in the thick of the fighting in Italy, according to a letter recently received by his parents.  Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hardin, of the Purdon community.  In his letter Pvt. Hardin said that he was well and expressed the wish that his parents do not worry.  An only child, he has been in the service since Jan. 28, 1943.


Brown, Truitt D. - Cpl.

RECEIVES CITATION - Cpl. Truitt D. Brown, service battery, 133rd Field Artillery, 36th Division has received a citation according to information received by his wife, who resides in Blooming Grove.
The citation recited that "for exceptionally meritorious conduct from Sept. 9, 1943 to 26 June 1944, in Italy.  Mechanic and parts clerk in the battalion motorship.   Corporal Brown worked tirelessly through ten months of combat and intense training, overcoming the obstacles of adverse weather, rugged terrain, mud, snow, and rain, to perform his duty.  Despite ever-present dangers from shell fire, mines and enemy aircraft, he did his job with such diligence and efficiency that the battalion was always mobile and able to effectively fire in support of the fighting infantry.  Entered the service from Corsicana, Texas."
The citation was signed by John F. Dahlquist, major general, U. S. army commanding. Cpl. Brown received the Purple Heart decoration for wounds received in action, March 19, 1944.
The non-commissioned officer is the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Brown, 316 South Sixteenth street, Corsicana.  His wife and little daughter reside in Blooming Grove.  He is now fighting in France.  He entered the armed services when the National Guard was federalized in 1940 and has been overseas 18 months.


Griffin, Jack Smith - Major

PROMOTED - Capt. Jack S. Griffin, 23, U. S. Air Forces, Fortress pilot, now stationed somewhere in England, has been promoted to the rank of major, according to information received recently by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Griffin, Blooming Grove.  Major Griffin has been in England 23 months and was awarded the Air Medal in September, 1943, after successful completion of a large number of combat missions over the continent.   Entering the service in 1941, he is a graduate of the Blooming Grove high school and A. and M. College.  Commissioned at Ellington Field in March 1942, Major Griffin went to England in September 1942, where he is now operations officer at a Fortress base.   A recent letter to his parents tells of a reception held in London largely attended by former Aggies.


MAJ. JACK GRIFFIN, VETERAN PILOT IS VISITING PARENTS
Major Jack S. Griffin, 23, U. S. Army Air Forces squadron commander and a veteran of 27 months service overseas, has arrived home to spend a 21 day leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Griffin, [John Richard Griffin] Blooming Grove.
Based in England with the Eighth Air Force, Maj. Griffin, B-17 pilot, completed 23 missions over enemy occupied territory in the European Theater of Operations.  On his last mission, September 11, his plane was damaged to such an extent by enemy fire he was forced to crash land in France and suffered severe injuries.  His waist gunner was killed on this trip.
Reticent to discuss his exploits and brushing off questions with "there's nothing to it - it is not near as tough as people at home might think - we have a lot of fun" the officer also admitted that the life of a Fortress pilot might not be considered a good insurance risk.
Decorations awarded Major Griffin include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart and a Unit Citation.
A graduate of the Blooming Grove high school and A. and M. College, the officer was commissioned at Ellington Field in March of 1942.  He entered the service in July 1941, and went overseas in August 1942.
At the conclusion of his leave Major Griffin will report to Miami Beach Florida for reassignment.
[view news clipping with photo] Submitted by Karen Rost


MAJ. JACK GRIFFIN, FORTRESS PILOT IN ENGLAND, DECORATED
Major Jack S. Griffin, 24, U. S. Army Air Forces B-17 pilot operations officer and group leader, has completed in excess of 35 missions over enemy occupied continental Europe and has been decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with two Oak Clusters, according to to four citations received in a letter from somewhere in England.
He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Griffin of Blooming Grove.  Major Griffin has been overseas since September, 1942.  A 1941 graduate of Texas A. & M. College, he received his wings at Ellington Field, Texas, March 1942.
The DFC was awarded for extraordinary achievement while serving as a leader of a group formation on a bombing mission over Germany 6 March 1944.  Despite heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire and repeated attacks by enemy fighters which damaged his aircraft, he led his groupe over the objective and successfully bombed the target.  On the return route his formation was again subjected to fierce enemy opposition, but by the use of skillful evasion action, Major Griffin led his Groupe back to England without loss.   His actions on this occasion reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States."
The citation was by command of Lieutenant General Doolittle.

Notes:

 

GALVESTON ARMY AIR FIELD GALVESTON, Dec. 20.(Spl.) Maj. Jack S. Griffin, son of John R. Griffin, Blooming Grove, Texas, has been enrolled as a student in the instructors indoctrination unit at the Galveston Army Air Field, Galveston, Texas. The school, utilizing the skill and knowledge of veterans in aerial warfare, trains combat men to serve as instructors at various crew training bases throughout the country.
Overseas for 26 months. Major Griffin participated in 23 missions against the enemy in the European theater of operations. He flew as a pilot to win the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with three Oak Loaf Clusters, the Purple Heart, and the Presidential Unit Citation. He attended Texas A. and M. College before entering the service at Dallas, on July 15, 1941. The major returned to the United States on October 15, 1944.

Notes:


Major Jack Griffin Injured In Action
Major Jack Griffin, U. S. army, was seriously injured in action, Sept. 11, over Germany, according to a message received Wednesday by Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Griffin of Blooming Grove. A letter from the major Thursday said he was in a hospital recovering from "a little accident."

Notes:

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Major J. S. Griffin Of Blooming Grove Is Crash Victim

Major Jack S. Griffin, aged 32 years, Blooming Grove, was one of the three Texans killed in a crash of a twin-engined C-47 transport plane near Castle Rock, Colo., Thursday, according to an Associated Press dispatch.

The plane, bound from Hobbs, N. M., to Denver, Colo., crashed into a rocky bluff on Spruce Mountain 11 miles from Castle Rock.

Others killed were Lt. Oran M. Richardson, 26, co-pilot, San Antonio, and Sgt. Edmond J. Buehler, crew chief, stationed at Kelly Field, San Antonio, and on loan to Hobbs Army Air Field, N. M. Major Griffin was pilot.

He was the son of Postmaster J. R. Griffin of Blooming Grove.

The body is scheduled to be returned to Blooming Grove for burial, according to information received early Friday morning. Major Griffin is survived by his wife of Hobbs, father, several sisters and other relatives including an uncle, L. I. Griffin, Corsicana.

Note:

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Pilot's Funeral Set At Blooming Grove
BLOOMING GROVE, Sept 16 (Spl) - Services for Maj. Jack B. Griffin, 37, transport plane pilot who was killed in a crash on Spruce Mountain near Denver Thursday, will be held at the First Methodist Church here Wednesday afternoon.
A wartime B-17 pilot, he was shot down over France and wounded; but was cared for by the French underground and returned to his base in England.
He was the son of J. R. Griffin of Blooming Grove. Other survivors are his wife and four sisters, Mrs. Bill Corbin of Waxahachie, Mrs. Beth Okun of Cambridge, Mass., Mrs. Mavis Manion of Hillsboro and Mrs. Jean Lee of Fort Worth

Notes:

  • Fort Worth Star Telegram - Sep 17, 1947

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Submitted by Diane Richards


Crowley, Lonnie Edwin - seaman 2-c

IN THE NAVY - Lonnie Edwin Crowley, 18, seaman 2-c, U. S. Navy, is now stationed at Oceanside, Calif., where he is taking special training for radioman and signalman.   In the service since October 20, 1943, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Elvie Crowley, 1705 West Ninth avenue.  He attended the Corsicana High School.  In telephone conversation recently with his parents he said to tell all his friends hello and that "the Navy is grand."


Turner, Vernon Webb

AWARDED PURPLE HEART - While in a New Hebrides hospital recovering from wounds received when his ship, the U . S. S. Navajo, was sunk, Vernon Webb Turner, Streetman, Radioman First Class, was personally awarded the Purple Heart by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, with the following citation: "In the name of the President of the United States, and by direction of the Secretary of the Navy, the Commander of South Pacific area and South Pacific Forces takes pleasure in awarding the Purple Heart medal to Vernon Webb Turner, Radioman First Class USN for injury received as a result of enemy action in the South Pacific area on September 12, 1943."  When the torpedo struck the Navajo, there was no time to put on life jackets so Turner abandoned ship with his jacket in his hand.   Most of the men were wounded as a result of depth charges from their own vessel.   He was picked up by a mine sweeper that had no radio operator.  When asked if there was a radio operator in the group, Turner, in spite of his injuries, volunteered.   He radioed for doctors and also the position of the ship which resulted in the sinking of a Jap submarine the following morning.  Too modest to tell of his decoration, and saying to his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. V. O. Turner, that he only did what any one else would have done in line of duty.  He spent his leave with his family and has been assigned to active duty again on a newly commissioned ship, with only a small group aware that he is Streetman's first hero.


Jones, Rayford E. - Sgt

COMMANDING GENERAL OF 36th INFANTRY (TEX.) DIVISION HIGH IN PRAISE OF MEN'S SUCCESS
The men of the 36th Infantry (Texas) Division, received high praise from their commanding officer, Major General Fred L. Walker, in a special citation issued in Italy June 16, 1944.
A copy of the document has been received by Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Jones, Corsicana, Route No. 3, from their son, Sgt. Rayford E. Jones, 27, U. S. Army, 36th Division.

GRADUATE MILDRED HIGH.
A graduate of the Mildred High school and a football star, Sgt. Jones was a member of a local National Guard unit when mobilized and federalized in November 1940.  Overseas for a year and a half, he has been in all the major battles in which the famous 36th participated.  Sgt. Jones also purchased a $100 war bond every month and during the Fifth War Loan campaign he doubled the amount.  The complete text of the citation issued by General Walker follows: "It is with great pride that I congratulate you on your magnificent achievements in battle to date."
FIRST TO LAND.
"Nine months ago you landed on the hostile beaches of Paestun, the vanguard of your country's army, to crash the gates of Hitler's European fortress.  In that, your first action of the war, fighting courageously against well trained enemy forces of long combat experience, you established the first American beachhead on the European Continent, the first to be established anywhere by Americans against German opposition. For this achievement alone you have a right to feel justly proud."
MANY HARDSHIPS
"Later on, while subject to hardships that have never been exceeded by any troops anywhere you drove the enemy from his well-organized, stoutly defended positions in the hill masses of Comino and Summuero; from Mt. Maggiore, Mt. Lungo, Mt. Rotundo and San Pietro.  You punished him severely.  His losses in men and material were great.   Throughout this period of bitter winter weather, under the most adverse conditions of climate and terrain, you maintained a cheerfulness and enthusiasm far superior to that of your enemy."
GALLANT EFFORT.
"Then came your gallant effort on the Rapido.  Let us bow our heads in reverence to the fallen comrades who crossed that bitterly contested stream and put up a great if losing, fight - as great from the standpoint of sheer gallantry and determination as any recorded in the annals of our Armed Forces.  At Cassion and Castellone Ridge you were severely tested.  You suffered losses, but you captured vital high ground from the strongly entrenched enemy and held it throughout a month of hard fighting.
After a well deserved rest you were ordered to attack again - at a critical time and at a critical place near Velletri, to break the stronghold of the enemy defense east of Rome.   History will record forever your outstanding success.  In a week of brilliant maneuvers and relentless assaults on one position after another.  Velletri, Rocca Di Papa, Mar'no and beyond, you killed and captured over three thousand of the enemy; routed him from his strong, well organized positions and drove him across the Tiber in disorder."

BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE.
"Your brilliant performance on that famous battlefield was a major contribution in the capture of the first European capital to be recovered from Nazi occupation.  For your magnificent accomplishment here, General Marshall sent a personal message of congratulation to you and to me.  The German army is still reeling from your blows.   The relentless pressure of your attacks will substantially shorten the duration of the war.  Your victorious march through the streets of the cities of your enemy cannot be long delayed."


Wright, A. S. Count N., Jr.

HONORED - A. S. Count N. Wright, Jr. who has been a U. S. Naval V-12 trainee for the past year at Tulane University in New Orleans La., was recently honored by being one of ten chosen from five hundred students to take further training at Harvard University.  A high scholastic standing determined his selection for study at Harvard University, where he will receive his commission as ensign upon completion of his course.


Benefield, Wm. T. - Pfc

MARINE VETERAN - Pfc. Wm. T. Benefield, U. S. Marine, is home on a 30-day leave after 28 months spent in the Pacific area, including Tarawa.  He is visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Benefield, 902 West Ninth avenue.  Pfc. Benefield will report to Fort LeJuene, North Carolina, at the end of his leave for re-assignment.


Bartlett, John M. - Pfc.

MARINE IN PACIFIC - Pfc. John M. Bartlett, Third Marine Division somewhere in the Southwest Pacific, writes he is doing fine, and recently met a brother, R. S. Bartlett in the Navy.  Pvt. Bartlett, a graduate of Richland High School, has been overseas since December, 1943, and sends greetings to his friends.


French, Lou W. - Pvt.

WOUNDED IN ACTION - Pvt. Lou W. French, 21, U. S. Army infantry was seriously wounded in action in France June 16, according to word received by his mother, Mrs. Annie L. French, 411 West Tenth avenue, from the war department, recently.  Pvt. French is a graduate of the Corsicana High School.  He entered the army services in October 1942 and has been overseas about six months.
[Died of Wounds]

 

Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox