These are some of the brave men and women who are mentioned in my book.
William Hayward Reed
U.S. Infantry, 79th Div. 314th Regiment, 3rd. Battalion, Company "K"
The following poem was written by Millie Jean about her uncle, William Hayward Reed. His story is the first in her book entitled �War Memories Are Forever�. It was read at the closing of the Proceeding and Debates Session of the 105th Congressional Session in the House of Representatives, Washington D.C. by Representative Ralph Hall of Rockwall, Texas (thus it is forever registered in the Untied States Congressional Records). Representative Hall said there was not a dry eye in the hall when he finished reading the poem.
Hayward, a farm boy in the heyday of his youth.
Up before the sun rose to light the aging wood heater.
The wind blew through the cracks in the walls.
The black tarpaper stretched to keep out the cold draft.
Oh, the aroma of Mama's country-ham frying in the skillet.
Biscuits baking in the cook stove and coffee steaming in the blue granite pot.
Fluffy, country scrambled eggs with rich red-eye gravy.
Home-preserved muscadine jelly and fresh-churned creamy butter.
Hayward had not yet really tasted the adventures of life.
The farm work was hard and demanding.
There had been no time for girls or cars,
Country fairs, Sunday afternoon rides, or church socials.
Then the call came from Uncle Sam's draft.
""We need you! It is your time to serve your country!"
He said good-bye to his loved ones and friends.
He hugged and kissed his mama for the last time.
A lump grew in his throat and tears welled in his eyes.
He tried to explain to his faithful old hound
That he would be away for a while.
Little did he know that he would never return.
The train ride to boot camp seemed like an endless journey.
The cropped haircut, strange clothes, fast-moving orders and expectations.
Bunking with boys who were forced to become men by a war they had not created.
Anticipating the adventure, yet lonesome for the warmth and smells of home.
Drills and marches, training for a fight beyond their imaginations.
Finally, the order came.
Be ready to board the train for New York by morning.
The destination yet unknown to the men. France!
Off in the distance the shoreline of a strange new land.
Boats, tanks, movement, strategy.
Orders, guns, and tanks exploding.
The noise, the confusion, the panic of the moment.
Heavy boots, wool socks, sore aching, blistered feet.
The same clothes, warn day after day, lost their sophisticated military appeal.
He dug his own bed, a cold, damp, foxhole.
When rain filled his haven, he used his helmet to dip it dry.
Penetrating deeper into the war-ravaged countryside,
The destruction his eyes beheld ripped at his gut, making him heave in horror.
Senseless slaughter of innocent people, young children, old women.
Made his heart weep, his eyes fill, and his body tremble.
A land once so beautiful, now lay smothered in ruins.
A people so rich in their culture, without a home.
All they ever knew and loved
Crumbled at the mercy of the enemy.
Marching into Rohrwiller, physically exhausted, emotionally drained.
No time for thoughts of tomorrow, every moment on constant guard.
Covering his buddies advancing to the front.
The chill of the darkness like a blanket spread over the city.
Then came the barrage like a blast from hell
From the water factory's many windows!
Mowing down the soldiers like hail in a rainstorm.
Until the new-fallen snow reeked with the smell of blood.
The cries of pain and agony filled the night air
As one by one their breathing stopped.
Hayward lay mortally wounded.
In his dying breath, he whispered his final word "Mother".
He will never see the brilliant sun rise over the tall pine trees in the pasture.
He will never celebrate another Christmas.
He will never know the joy of holding his firstborn child.
He will never hear his mother call his name, again.
1944 Vestal Earl Palmer w/ Nephew William Hayward Reed (KIA-1945)
Vestal Palmer was a Staff Sergeant, 18th Battalion Infantry Replacement, Company "B"
2nd Wave to land on Normandy,
POW Stalag 3C, Germany
POW Russian Concentration Camp
U.S. Army Rank and unit unknown
Billie Lee Palmer (Right) With Vestal
U.S. Army Rank and unit unknown
Merchant Marine, Rank Rank and unit unknown
The Above 5 are All Millie Jean's Uncles.
Train Station at Dachau Concentration Camp Germany Apr. 1945
257th Engineer Combat Battalion U. S. Army European Theater 1944-45
Odus L. Felts
1st Lieutenant, Master Sergeant, 53rd Armored Engineer Battalion,
Part of the 8th Armored Div. Headquarters
Grounds of Dachau Concentration Camp Germany, 1945
Herman Edwards and Odus Felts' (Above) units helped liberate the camp.
Joe W. Campbell
79th Div. 314th Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Howard "Benny" Benthine
32nd Infantry Div. 13th Regiment, 61st Battalion, Company "C"
U.S. Army Intelligence- 3rd Div. Band 32nd
Stanley M. Bockstein
Tech 4 U.S. Army Signal Corps, 835 Signal Service Battalion
CBI Theater from 6-16-43 to 5-16-46.
Robert Schneier (Robert Marshall)
Patton's Third Army- 5th Div. (Red Diamonds) 10th Infantry Company "K"
U.S. Army 70th Infantry Div. 274th Regiment, 1st Battalion, Company "E"
Dennis P. Spiess
PFC-531st Engineer Shore Regiment
Merle D. Welch
27th Infantry Div., 12th Regiment, Company "A"
106th Infantry Div. Cpl. T/ 5 -864th Engineer Aviation Battalion, Company "B" U.S. Army
U.S. Army The 11th Medical Supply Depot, U.S. Army National Guard.
Elmer T. Horne, Jr.
ETO 13th Armored Div., 15th Regiment, 63rd Battalion, Company "D"
58th Quartermaster Corp. - Calvary Reconnaissance Squadron
Lawrence G. Lovett (Jack)
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Infantry- 13th Regiment, 61st Battalion, Company "A" Combat Cadre
Tommy B. Slaughter
Pioneer of the II and III Battalion Headquarters
77th Div, 305th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Battalion, Company "B"-
Pacific Theater- Philippines and Okinawa.
Staff Sergeant- 3rd Squadron, 1st Platoon, 1st Battalion, Company "C"
126th Infantry Div. of the 32nd Division.
79th Div., 314th Infantry Regiment, Cannon Company
1st Div., 18th Infantry Regiment, Cannon Company
I was finally awarded a Bronze Star medal that I earned in 1945 in September this year, 2005
John F. Bednarczyk
16th Regiment, 1st Infantry Div. Company "H",
1st Squad, 2nd Con Squadron
1 / 69th Armored, 25th Infantry Div. S-2 Sergeant
1 / 10 Cav. 4th Infantry Div.
158th Regimental Combat Team, " The Bushmasters"
Jack A. Harris,
"The Night Raiders", D-Day Invasion- June 6th, 1944
Omaha Beach, 29th Div. U.S. Army
Jack B. Bennett
PFC, 1st Infantry Div. 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company "E"
Alexander RI. Bolling Jr.
94th Infantry Div. WWII Combat, Wounded, Captured, Escaped, Commended.
82nd Airborne Div. in Vietnam, Major General, U.S. Army
Pamela Waddell Bradbury
Pearl Harbor, HI. Dec. 7th, 1941, Hospital Dietitian.
1st Lieutenant Upon Discharge, 1945
North African Theater, Army Air Force, 31st Fighter Group- 12th Air Force,
413 Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.
U.S. Army, 68th Battalion, 14th Regiment, Camp Fannin, Tyler TX.
81st Battalion, 15th Regiment, Company "B" , Camp Fannin
38th Div. Philippines.
86th Blackhawk, 342nd Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Co. Headquarters, Sergeant Rank at Discharge.
Air Army Corps, 114th Infantry, Company "L" -384th Bomb Squadron, Group H
544th Bomb Squadron, England
Howard Green (Pointing at map)
1st Tank Battalion, 6th Armored Division, 1875th Labor Supervision.
Ira L. Simpson
566th Squadron, 389th Bomb Group
Raymond (Hap) Holloran
878th Squadron, 499th Bomb Group VH - 73rd Wing - 20th Air Force --- Served as Navigator on B 29 Bomber based on Saipan (1944-45) captured - POW in Tokyo.
U.S. Army Corp, 91st Bomb Group (H), 401 Squadron S / Sgt,. POW Stalag 17-B Kerms, Austria.
Onley N. Nygaard
11th Regiment, 54th Battalion, Company "C", U.S. Army, Camp Fannin, TX.
4th Field Artillery, 68th Medical Depot (end of War)
79th Infantry Division, Company "E" 9th Army at war's end.
79th Div. 314th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, POW
James R. Young
Ensign, U.S. Navy - USS Heywood
Lucy Wilson Joplin
Red Cross Nurse, Bataan And Corregidor,
801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron of the 13th Air Force
Captain, Rank at end of war.
Died Christmas day, 2000 at age 83
If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the end of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say,
OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
FOR A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.
Thanks for looking at my War Heroes!
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