As you read today’s issue you will find the stories of a number of deceased soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who served in World War II. We have by no means included all of them. In doing this research, we were proud to learn how many of our local folks had won significant awards during the war.
The Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for valor, is a very coveted medal, and not easy to win. Yet a number of our servicemen earned it; some were awarded more than one. Col. Ray Allen and Sergeant Perry Bonner each had three. Dozens of others had one or two. The 36th Infantry Division, “the Texas Division”, had 14 Medal of Honor winners.
The list of forty-one former Marshall High School students who lost their lives in WWII is in this issue. The list comes from the memorial at the old High School. There are many more from Harrison County and the surrounding communities whose names we do not have.
World War II was just what the name implies. Almost the entire world was at war with the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, some lesser countries, and Japan). Only the South Pole, North America and South America were spared from battles on their continents, although the combat in Australia was mostly by air. Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and Ireland were not involved in Europe. All of Europe, (less these mentioned plus some small Principalities), the Northern tier of Africa, the Mediterranean countries, the Balkan States, the Middle East, and Russia were engaged. The war in the Pacific started for the U.S. in Hawaii and went through the Gilbert, Caroline, Philippine, Marshall, Mariana, Solomon, Admiralty, Ryukyu, Aleutian, and Volcanic Islands, to name just some. China, Japan, all of Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Manchuria, India, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand were involved, among others. Sea battles were fought all up and down the Western Pacific.
Many, many Marshallites and young men from surrounding communities were scattered through much of this fighting. First Lieutenant Alvin Morgan and Pvt Granville Summerlin were taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Pacific at Java, along with most of their Battalion, and held at Camp #5 in Moulmein, Burma. Cpl. Fred Warren and PFC Charles Hooks were killed on Iwo Jima. Capt. Cary Abney was taken POW at Corregidor Island and interned at Camp #2 on Mindanao in the Philippines before being killed on a Japanese ship in Subic Bay. Pvt. A.W. Harrison was killed in Bataan on Luzon. Navy Lt. Commander Byron Cooke was lost in the Pacific. PFC George Wyatt and Pvt Henry Templin were killed or died of wounds in Germany.
Captain Jay Jaynes, Corporal Jack Horner, Staff Sergeant Roger McCauley, Staff Sergeant John McJimsey, Pvt. Haslett Rutledge, Lieutenant Clark Ross, PFC William Littlejohn, Pvt. Harold Fowler, Flight Officer Joe Louis Hamilton, Sergeant William Strange, Pvt. Edgar Hearne, Lieutenant Robert McCain, Sergeant Jack Bowen, and PFC Cloyd Slade were all Prisoners of War. Most returned after the war.
Our native sons fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Holland, the BENELUX Countries (British Forces did most of Denmark and Norway), Germany, the Pacific Islands, and flew missions over all these places plus the Baltic’s, Balkan’s, Southeast Asia, Borneo, New Guinea, the Middle East and the Mediterranean Countries.
Not too many of us around today remember details from the World War II years, so the point of this article is to highlight the impact of this war on the young men, and to some extent, women, in our community from 1941 through 1945. It is these, and all others who have lost their lives during and after their service to our country, that we honor in today’s issue of the LoneStarEagleNews.com.
News Source: VBL