The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “World War II

Elmo Tolbert World War II enlistment record…

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Elmo Tolbert

Name: Elmo Tolbert
Birth Year: 1924
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
Enlistment Date: 21 Feb 1945
Enlistment State: Alabama
Enlistment City: Fort McClellan
Branch: No branch assignment
Branch Code: No branch assignment
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: General farmers
Marital Status: Married [to Louise Jones]
Height: 00
Weight: 100

Roy Peebles World War II enlistment record…

Roy was a son of James Walter Peebles and May Belle Owens Peebles. James Walter Peebles was a brother to George Washington Peebles (Mage). His brothers who also enlisted were Ell and Grant Peebles.

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Roy Peebles

Name: Roy Peebles
Birth Year: 1916
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
Enlistment Date: 27 Feb 1941
Enlistment State: Alabama
Enlistment City: Fort McClellan
Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: Farm hands, general farms
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 68
Weight: 156
Related articles

Ell Peebles World War II enlistment record…

Ell was a son of James Walter Peebles who was a son of George Henry Peebles (Grandpa Dick) and brother to George Washington Peebles (Mage).

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Ell Peebles

Name: Ell Peebles
Birth Year: 1924
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
Enlistment Date: 9 Jan 1943
Enlistment State: Alabama
Enlistment City: Fort McClellan
Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: 1 year of high school
Civil Occupation: Semiskilled occupations in production of industrial chemicals
Marital Status: Single, with dependents
Height: 71
Weight: 164
Related articles

Sidney GRANT Peebles’ World War II enlistment record…

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Sidney G Peebles

Name: Sidney G Peebles
Birth Year: 1911
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
Enlistment Date: 31 Mar 1944
Enlistment State: Georgia
Enlistment City: Fort Mcpherson Atlanta
Branch: No branch assignment
Branch Code: No branch assignment
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: 1 year of high school
Civil Occupation: Skilled warehousing, storekeeping, handling, loading, unloading, and related occupations, n.e.c.
Marital Status: Married
Height: 66
Weight: 166

Luke Willis Peebles World War II enlistment record…

Name: Luke W Peebles
Birth Year: 1922
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
Enlistment Date: 6 Dec 1945
Branch: Air Corps
Branch Code: Air Corps
Grade: Private First Class
Grade Code: Private First Class
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for Hawaiian Department
Component: Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men)
Source: Enlisted Man, Philippine Scout or recall to AD of an enlisted man who had been transferred to the ERC
Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: Barn bosses
Marital Status: Married
Height: 07
Weight: 636

Luther Coleman Peebles World War II Enlistment Record…

Name: Luther C Peebles
Birth Year: 1912
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Colbert
Enlistment Date: 14 Mar 1942
Enlistment State: Georgia
Enlistment City: Fort Mcpherson Atlanta
Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: Farm hands, general farms
Marital Status: Married
Height: 69
Weight: 140

Elmer Louis Peebles World War II Enlistment record…

but I do not think his height was 99″ or his weight was 996 lbs. There is some serious transcription error here.

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Elmer L Peebles

Name: Elmer L Peebles
Birth Year: 1909
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
Enlistment Date: 10 Jun 1943
Enlistment State: Alabama
Enlistment City: Fort McClellan
Branch: No branch assignment
Branch Code: No branch assignment
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: Farm hands, general farms
Marital Status: Married
Height: 99
Weight: 996

World War II enlistment record for James Arlander Murray…

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about James A Murray

Name: James A Murray
Birth Year: 1923 [he was born in 1924]
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Colbert
Enlistment Date: 12 Feb 1942
Enlistment State: Georgia
Enlistment City: Fort Oglethorpe
Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Army of the United States – includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of
Source: Civil Life
Education: 1 year of high school
Civil Occupation: Semiskilled welders and flame cutters
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 67
Weight: 140

Chepultepec was where there were Boxes…

but they do not seem to be but few of them there now.

Chepultepec, located less than forty-five miles northeast of Birmingham, was in Blount, County, Alabama. The name has long since been changed to Allgood and is less than five miles from Oneonta, Alabama.

This story article will give a little information on one of the sons of John Hatter M Box. This son, Milton Asbury Box, was born on 9 Mar 1841 and died 11 Feb 1918 in Chepultepec, Blount, Alabama.  His obituary reads:

Photo of Milton Asbury Box's grave marker

Co I 49 AL Inf, CSA Milton Asbury Box first entered the service as a private 22 Aug 1862 at Chepultepec, Alabama. Continued until 15 May 1865. Milton Box, one of Blount’s oldest citizens, died at his home near Allgood, Monday. Mr. Box was 76 years of age and was a member of the Methodist Church. He spent nearly all his life in the community where he died. The deceased is survived by one son L. W. Box. The funeral was held Monday and was conducted by Rev. W. L. Hendrix. [Southern Democrat, Thursday, February 14, 1918]   Burial: Shiloh Cemetery Chepultepec, Blount County, Alabama, USA

Milton did not marry until age 44. He married a Mary Margaret whose maiden name is not yet known. He was a widower at the time of his death.  He was a farmer by trade. His father, John Hatters Box was born in South Carolina and his mother Jennie Stovall Box was born in Virginia. The son mentioned in his obituary was Luther Worth Box.

Luther Worth Box

Luther Worth Box lived to be 89 years old. He was born 18 Sep 1886 and died  30 July 1976 in Oneonta, Blount County, Alabama. Luther W Box married Nancy C Vaughan 1886 – 1976, and they had the following children: Leonard Leroy Box 1915 – 1952, Clarence Milton Box 1919-1981 , Clyde E Box 1920 – 1997 and Gordon Luther Box 1922

Luther and Nancy Box’s youngest son, Gordon Luther Box, entered service in the Army during World War II at age 20 on 3 October 1942 at Fort McClellan, Alabama. By age twenty-two he was killed in action. His death occurred 18 Nov 1944. He had only completed grammar school at the time of enlistment. He was single without dependents. He was 5’6″ tall and weighed 115 pounds. He served in the European Effort and was ranked as Private First Class at the time of his death. His gravemarker at Oak Hill Cemetery, in Oneonta has an inscription: “Killed in Service”.

Luther and Nancy Box’s son Clyde Earcy Box, Sr. served as a S2 in the U S Navy during World War II.  He is also buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Son Clarence Milton Box died 17 December 1981 in Maylene, Jefferson County, Alabama. He, too, served in the Army during World War II having enlisted 12 Feb 1942. His release date was 20 September 1945.

Their son Leonard Leroy Box’s obituary was in the Birmingham News 29. 1952 on page 35.  He had lived in Fairfield, Jefferson County, Alabama. When he died he was but 38 years old.

Because of them…

we are free. A least for a few days more if we are smart enough to hold on to the freedom they earned for us with their blood and buddies left on those faraway battlefields.

On this Veteran’s Day 2011, I want to pay respect to my Daddy. James A Murray — a member of the GREATEST GENERATION. He along with countless other Shoals area men, boys really, joined the cause of liberty during the war that was to end all wars. He was a member of the Victory Division. He served in battles that changed the history of the world in the South Pacific Theatre under General Douglas MacArthur.

Victory: 24th Infantry Division WWIIA brief history of the Taro Leaf Victory Division comes from their website:

“The Victory Division”

24th Infantry Division, US Army  1941 to 1996*

     There are some histories of the battles of the 24th Inf. Div. and  its men and women over its 55 years of service to  country, especially  for the Victory Division who fought so valiantly  in the Pacific in  WWII. They were truly the greatest generation. And we are free because of them.

 Nick named the “victory division” and the “pineapple army” because it was formed in Hawaii in early 1941. It also carried other nick names and mottos; “First to Fight; Last to Leave” and ” Taro Leaf “, which is now the name of its association’s news letter. They were boarded in Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. As the photos from his service bears out, they were mostly all just kids. Daddy could not persuade Granpa to sign for him to go to war, so like so many others he changed his birthyear so he could sign for himself; he was just a kid when he trained and then set sail to venture to Hawaii, Diamond Head, and onward to pivotal battles of the war.

Campaign Participation Credit of the Victory Division’s service during World War II:

1. Central Pacific;

2. New Guinea (with arrowhead);

3. Leyte (with arrowhead);

4. Luzon;

5. Southern Philippines (with arrowhead)

The website address is http://home.att.net/~victory24/Divhistory.htm

The Victory website welcomes us to the official Web site of the 24th Infantry Division Association, the Pride of the Pacific Theater.  Our motto is, “First to Fight.”   An Act of Congress confirms this.  We were first to take arms against Imperial Japanese forces, and we were first to engage the North Korean aggressor in 1950.   We are the division Japanese Army General  Yamashita said broke the back of the Japanese Army at Breakneck Ridge on Leyte, and we are the division the liberated people of the Philippines called, “Victory”.  Taromen have always stood ready to defend freedom and the democratic way of life, anytime, anywhere, against all aggressors . . . in the jungles, through the snow, or on the sands in far off lands.  We are fiercely Proud of our heritage, and when our nation calls upon us once again . . . we will be, First to Fight!!! The 24th Infantry Division (Mech) inactivated on August 1, 2006 at Fort Riley. Its most recent operations included preparing Fort Riley for the return of the  1st Infantry Division, previously stationed in Germany.

The 24th Infantry Division was among the first to see combat in World War II and among the last to stop fighting. The Division was on Oahu, with Headquarters at Schofield Barracks, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, 7 December1941, and suffered minor casualties. Charged with the defense of northern Oahu, it built an elaborate system of coastal defenses. Pvt. James Murray arrived in Hawaii on May 17,1942. In May 1943 it was alerted for movement to Australia and by 19 September1943 had completed the move to Camp Caves, near Rockhampton, on the eastern coast of Australia. After a period of intensive training, the Division moved to Goodenough Island, 31 January1944, to stage for the Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura)Tanahmerah campaign. The 24th landed on Dutch New Guinea, 22 April1944, and smashed its way to and seized the important Hollandia Airdrome despite torrential rains and marshy terrain. Shortly after the Hollandia landing, the 34th Infantry Regiment moved to Biak, 18 June, to reinforce the 41st Infantry Division, and captured Sorido and Borokoe airdromes before returning to the Division on Hollandia in July. After occupation duty in the Hollandia area, the 24th Division landed on Red Beach on Leyte, 20 October1944, as part of the X Corps, Sixth Army, and driving up Leyte Valley advanced to Jaro and took Breakneck Ridge, 12 November1944, in heavy fighting. While mopping up continued on Leyte, the 19th RCT moved to Mindoro Island as part of the Western Visayan Task Force, landing in the San Jose area, 15 December1944. Airfields and a PT base were secured for operations on Luzon. Divisional elements effected a landing on Marinduque Island. Other elements supported the 11th Airborne Division drive from Nasugbu to Manila. The 34th RCT, landing at San Antonio, Luzon, 29 January1945, ran into a furious battle on Zig Zag Pass and suffered heavy casualties. On 16 February1945 the 3d Bn. of the 34th Infantry took part in the amphibious landing on Corregidor and fought Japanese under a hot sun on the well-defended Rock. After numerous mopping up actions in March, the Division landed on Mindanao, 17 April1945, cut across the island to Digos, 27 April, stormed into Davao, 3 May, and cleared Libby airdrome, 13 May. Although the campaign closed officially on 30 June, the Division continued to mop up Japanese resistance during July and August 1945. Patrolling continued after the official surrender of Japan. On 15 October1945, the Division left Mindanao for Japan.

I wish I had asked Daddy more questions about his WWII service. He did tell me that they were fighting and had to retreat. He turned and ran as he gripped his gun with both hands; he ran as fast as he could and without any warning he slammed into someone and knocked them down. He thought for sure that he was busted. The person he had knocked down was General Douglas MacArthur. Nothing came of the incident, and I am proud that Gen. MacArthur saw fit not to punish one of our heroes.

I did think to  ask Daddy what was the hardest thing about being in the war, I got an answer that I did not expect. He said that, “the hardest thing was watching your buddies fall all around you, and stomping across them in the battlefield as battle positions moved.”

My most vivid memory of the war memories of Daddy involved sneaking a peek at pictures that were in a brown mailing envelope on top of the chifferobe when I was in 4th grade or such. These pictures showed palm trees, thatched roofed huts, a sandy beach………..and girls in grass skirts who were topless. I could not believe that any female could be so brassy with their dress…..and around soldiers. I now know it was the custom in their culture, but as a child I was shocked. There was a metal box of medals and ribbons that he had been awarded for his service; and a box of gold teeth.

List of Entitlements during WWII for James A Murray

List of Entitlements during WWII for James A Murray

And then there was the television show “The Big Picture” that would command his attention on Saturdays just when we wanted to go to town. Of course, I was a child at the time and did not know the importance of knowing.

And I did not hear Daddy talk about the war growing up.

James A Murray

I add to the above that when Taylor Anne speaks with the candidness of a child of two years of age that I see you. Her Dad was with her last Sunday in the very back row of the church and the preacher was touting something about the ‘pits of hell’ she said in her best voice, “Uh HUH!” and it was then that I could see that you still live within the ones you would have so loved to pieces.

We waited too late it would seem to have contact with those who were Daddy’s ‘Buddies’ during the war. With the graphic below, I salute them on this Veteran’s Day some sixty plus years later. Thank you, each and every hero of war, for serving the country that I so love.

Reunion of the Victory Division


In the cobwebs of my mind…

I can still hear the cheer, “Listen my children and you will hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere; riding down the alleys and up the streets yelling, “Colbert Indians can’t be beat. La de da, Colbert Indians can’t be beat.” Can you hear it, too?

CCHS

Colbert County High School Letter

Those were carefree days at Colbert County High School in Leighton. Those were the days of Coach Manley and Mr. Holland. But C. T. Manley was there before me and long after I had gone from the halls at CCHS. He was a great man and a greater coach, but his best legacy remains the character building he instilled in all those students who knew him.

Charles Thomas Manley was born 25 Jun 1916 in Town Creek, Lawrence County, Alabama, likely at Red Bank. He was the child of John Henry “Bud” Manley (1894 – 1975) and Annie Elizabeth Green Manley (1898 – 1975). No one called him any other than C. T. Manley or Coach Manley; at least to my knowledge. His obituary appearing in the Times Daily newspaper issued 3 Jan 2008 follows:

CPL  US ARMY WWII

Charles was the spouse of Joyce LeMay Manley.
*************************
C.T. Manley

Coach C.T. Manley, 91, of Leighton, died Dec. 31, 2007.

The funeral service will be Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, at the Colbert County High School gym. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m., and the family will arrive at noon. The service will begin at 1 p.m. in the gym, with burial following in Elmwood

C T Manley

Charles Thomas (C T) Manley

Cemetery, Town Creek.

Ministers Charles James and Melvin Mordecai will officiate. Speaker will be sportscaster Jerry Knight.

Mr. Manley was preceded in death by his father, John Henry Manley; mother, Annie Elizabeth Green; brother, John Manley; sister, Emma Bell McConell; mother-in-law, Luda Donaldson LeMay; and father-in-law, William Ralph LeMay.

He was a member of Hatton Baptist Church. He was a World War II veteran, participating in the Battle of the Bulge.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce L. Manley; son, Charles Thomas Manley Jr.; brother, Jack Manley; and sister, Margaret Young.

He was an athletic director and coach at Colbert County High School, Muscle Shoals High School and Red Bay High School. He coached at Southeast Louisiana VMI and Mississippi State. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Southeast Louisiana, Alabama High School, Colbert County High School and Lawrence County High School.

C.T. Manley Memorial Scholarship, to be awarded annually to a Colbert County student on the basis of academic merit and participation in the athletic program. Memorials may be made to Bank Independent, Attn: Teresa Flannagan, P.O. Box 5000, Sheffield, AL 35660.

Pallbearers will be Wayne Peebles, Jackie Gargis, Paul Johnson, McCoy Underwood, Kim Isbell and Ken Arnold.

Honorary pallbearers will be all former coaches and football players.

Colbert Memorial Chapel of the Shoals is directing.

TIMES DAILY – January 3, 2008

His siblings were Emma B Manley McConnell(1920 –    ); John Henry Manley (1923 – 1993); and Margaret Ann Manley Young  (1926 – 2007). Coach Manley’s grandparents were  Thomas Henry Manley(1872 – 1954) and Ida Greeley Belle McGregor (1875 – 1963).

The Times Daily newspaper honored him with an article in 2004. C.T. Manley: Colbert County coaching legend

DANIEL GILES/TimesDaily
Former Colbert County coaches Don Creasy (left) and C.T. Manley.
Published: Monday, August 30, 2004 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 29, 2004 at 11:00 p.m.

Any discussion of the all-time great high school football coaches in north Alabama usually begins with the same name.

That name is synonymous with high school football in our area. That name is C.T. Manley.

It has been more than 20 years since Manley last coached a football game and more than 25 years since he coached at Colbert County High School.

All the current kids who play in the stadium named for Manley were born after he retired. Most of the visiting players only know of Manley as the name on the stadium.

Manley’s legacy, however, is more than just the name on that stadium. His legacy is the proud tradition of Colbert County football.

That tradition was on display Friday night as Colbert County honored its former coaching greats. Don Creasy and the late Jimmy Moore — two other legendary coaches at Colbert County — were also honored.

Manley, 88, has been pretty much confined to a wheelchair since hurting his hip in a fall a year and a half ago. He did not let that prevent him from attending Friday’s ceremony, however.

“This is the first game we’ve been to since he got hurt,” said Manley’s wife, Joyce. “He is in a lot of pain, so he can’t do a lot of the things he used to enjoy. He reads, and he enjoys watching the Braves play on TV, but he doesn’t get out too much.”

Manley began coaching at Colbert County in 1954 and quickly established the Indians as one of the top teams in north Alabama. He coached several great teams, and his 1972 state championship team is generally considered the best ever in north Alabama.

That squad was filled with great players, including Ozzie Newsome, Phil Gargis and Thad Flannagan.

Manley coached 24 years at Colbert County before finishing his coaching career at Muscle Shoals. He proved he could succeed at somewhere besides Colbert County by leading Muscle Shoals to its best season ever in 1979.

In his 24 years at Colbert County, Manley posted a record of 171-78-7. In addition to the state championship in 1972, the Indians were the Class 3A runner-up in 1967.

Manley admitted that coming back to watch Colbert County brought back a lot of great memories for him.

“I can’t do too much anymore, but I still enjoy watching football when I can,” he said. “I coached a lot of games on this field and have a lot of great memories from them. This program has come a long way over the years.”

Although Manley is modest about talking about what he has meant to the Colbert County program, others are quick to talk about his legacy.

“Coach Manley is the cornerstone of the whole program,” Colbert County coach Steve Mask said. “The people here love him so much, and I have so much respect for him. I’m just honored to coach at the same school as C.T. Manley.”

“Where Are They Now” is a weekly feature of the TimesDaily. This week’s installment was written by Assistant Sports Editor Jeff McIntyre. He can be reached at 740-5737 or jeff.mcintyre@timesdaily.com.

Charles T Manley’s Enlistment information for World War II follows:

Name: Charles T Manley
Birth Year: 1916
Race: White, Citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
 
Enlistment Date: 14 Nov 1942
Enlistment State: Louisiana
Enlistment City: New Orleans
Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
 
Education: 4 years of college
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 72
Weight: 170

Brackin, Edna Idona Manley   b. Sep. 7, 1917  d. Jan. 1, 2003 Elmwood Cemetery

Key, Beatrice Manley   b. Aug. 19, 1907   d. May 11, 1983 Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, Annie Elizabeth Green  b. Oct. 17, 1898  d. Jan. 4, 1975  Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, Charles T.   b. Jun. 25, 1916   d. Dec. 31, 2007   Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, Ida G. McGregor   b. Apr. 15, 1875   d. Apr. 28, 1963   Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, John Henry, Jr   b. Feb. 22, 1923   d. Jul. 18, 1993   Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, John Henry   b. Sep. 27, 1894   d. Nov. 3, 1975   Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, Tom Henry   b. Nov. 10, 1872   d. Jul. 26, 1954 Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, William, Jr   b. Dec. 10, 1926   d. Apr. 16, 2004   Elmwood Cemetery

McConnell, Emma Belle Manley   b. Feb. 4, 1919   d. Apr. 13, 1994 Elmwood Cemetery

McCullough, Gladys Manley   b. Feb. 22, 1914   d. Sep. 25, 1987 Elmwood Cemetery

Norton, Lula Manley   b. Aug. 26, 1897   d. May 4, 1980   Elmwood Cemetery

C T Manley enlisted in the U S Army in 1942 as a Private; a single man with four years of college. He was six feet tall and weighed 170 pounds. He earned the rank of Corporal and participated in the Battle of the Bulge where frostbite was as much the enemy as were the Germans. The Battle of the Bulge was significant because it marked the last major offensive that the Germans were able to put together. It was the largest and most intense battle and important for the outcome of WWII.  It was basically the start of Germany’s ending.

I have always wondered what the bulge in this battle was; The ‘bulge’ was the frontline that protruded out in the region of the Ardennes Mountains, specifically around the town of Bastogne. The Allied forces at that time had control of the area and Nazi forces thought the region to be necessary to take, as the town of Bastogne gave full access to the eight supply routes in the region. All of the eight roads came together in Bastogne and these roads were important to both sides in the war. The Germans used the ‘bulge’ against us by cutting it off at the sides and surrounding the Allied troops within it. The Battle of the Bulge was significant also in that henceforth the people in the Nazi  Deathcamps were liberated – a very important aspect for sure.

You may access the first of three rare color videos of the battle here; the second of the three videos here, and the third of the three videos  here. There are many more videos online of the Battle of the Bulge and you may seek them out at youtube.


Another Father’s Day without Daddy…

April 22, 1944. LVTs (Landing Vehicles Tracked...

LVTs 22 April 1944; Daddy would be on one of these landing vehicles

should be the norm now since he died in November of 1979. The one thing most lacking after losing my father is that my children will never know the meaning of what a ‘Gran’ or a “PaPaw” can be. For as my first cousins can attest; it is the gatherings of family on special occasions that jolts our memories of good times and family, especially extended family. Sadly, my children really have never known much extended family. So, I must tell them my firsthand accounts and stories that will give them a sense of what ‘family’ could be and should be. So, dedicated to my children, my grandson, and my great-grandchildren, I proffer this about my soldier father:

Four buddies during WWII

Daddy on the left with three of his buddies during WWII

James A Murray — a member of  THE GREATEST GENERATION

“The Victory Division”

24th Infantry Division, US Army  1941 to 1996*

   There are some histories of the battles of the 24th Inf. Div. and  its men and women over its 55 years of service to  country, especially  for the Victory Division who fought so valiantly  in the Pacific in  WWII. They were truly the greatest generation. And we are free because of them.

 Nick named the “victory division” and the ” pineapple army” because it was formed in Hawaii in early 1941. It also carried other nick names and mottos; “First to Fight” and ” Taro Leaf “, which is now  the name of its association’s news letter.

         World War II:      Campaign Participation Credit

1.          Central Pacific;

2.          New Guinea (with arrowhead);

3.          Leyte (with arrowhead);

4.          Luzon;

5.          Southern Philippines (with arrowhead) 

The Victory website welcomes us to the official Web site of the 24th Infantry Division Association, the Pride of the Pacific Theater.  Our motto is, “First to Fight.”   An Act of Congress confirms this.  We were first to take arms against Imperial Japanese forces, and we were first to engage the North Korean aggressor in 1950.   We are the division Japanese Army General  Yamashita said broke the back of the Japanese Army at Breakneck Ridge on Leyte, and we are the division the liberated people of the Philippines called, “Victory”.  Taromen have always stood ready to defend freedom and the democratic way of life, anytime, anywhere, against all aggressors . . . in the jungles, through the snow, or on the sands in far off lands.  We are fiercely Proud of our heritage, and when our nation calls upon us once again . . . we will be, First to Fight!!! The 24th Infantry Division (Mech) inactivated on August 1, 2006 at Fort Riley. Its most recent operations included preparing Fort Riley for the return of the  1st Infantry Division, previously stationed in Germany.                                                  

World War II

The 24th Infantry Division was among the first to see combat in World War II and among the last to stop fighting. The Division was on Oahu, with Headquarters at Schofield Barracks, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, and suffered minor casualties. Charged with the defense of northern Oahu, it built an elaborate system of coastal defenses. Pvt. James Murray arrived in Hawaii on May 17,1942. In May 1943 it was alerted for movement to Australia and by 19 September 1943 had completed the move to Camp Caves, near Rockhampton, on the eastern coast of Australia. After a period of intensive training, the Division moved to Goodenough Island, 31 January 1944, to stage for the Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura)Tanahmerah campaign. The 24th landed on Dutch New Guinea, 22 April 1944, and smashed its way to and seized the important Hollandia Airdrome despite torrential rains and marshy terrain. Shortly after the Hollandia landing, the 34th Infantry Regiment moved to Biak, 18 June, to reinforce the 41st Infantry Division, and captured Sorido and Borokoe airdromes before returning to the Division on Hollandia in July. After occupation duty in the Hollandia area, the 24th Division landed on Red Beach on Leyte, 20 October 1944, as part of the X Corps, Sixth Army, and driving up Leyte Valley advanced to Jaro and took Breakneck Ridge, 12 November 1944, in heavy fighting. While mopping up continued on Leyte, the 19th RCT moved to Mindoro Island as part of the Western Visayan Task Force, landing in the San Jose area, 15 December 1944. Airfields and a PT base were secured for operations on Luzon. Divisional elements effected a landing on Marinduque Island. Other elements supported the 11th Airborne Division drive from Nasugbu to Manila. The 34th RCT, landing at San Antonio, Luzon, 29 January 1945, ran into a furious battle on Zig Zag Pass and suffered heavy casualties. On 16 February 1945 the 3d Bn. of the 34th Infantry took part in the amphibious landing on Corregidor and fought Japanese under a hot sun on the well-defended Rock. After numerous mopping up actions in March, the Division landed on Mindanao, 17 April 1945, cut across the island to Digos, 27 April, stormed into Davao, 3 May, and cleared Libby airdrome, 13 May. Although the campaign closed officially on 30 June, the Division continued to mop up Japanese resistance during July and August 1945. Patrolling continued after the official surrender of Japan. On 15 October 1945, the Division left Mindanao for Japan.

                  United States Army

                   U. S. 6th Army

                   X Corps

                                    24th Infantry Division

                                    1st Cavalry

 

Commanders

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

                                    General Douglas MacArthur

                                                      Gen Walter Krueger

                                                                      Major General Roscoe B. Woodruff, Commander of the

    • 24th Infantry Division and
    • 19th Infantry 
    • 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team

All the little ones, at least those not experienced enough to escape, would get the perfunctory pinch and twist of the jaws by this man, my Daddy. I am here to tell you, it would be something that you would not soon forget. Daddy had a sense of humor. That humor is attested to in the following postcard that he sent home while in the service during World War II:

On leave Postcard Daddy mailed home during WWII dated 20 Feb 1942

On leave Postcard Daddy mailed home during WWII dated 20 Feb 1942


Hello Soldier, I am your brother…

Hillard and this is our little sister Alice.

Somehow it was always Alice who got into trouble, perhaps it was because Hillard just wouldn’t agree to punishment. Alice was in charge of seeing that her young brother got home in a timely manner from school – and herself for that matter. That must not have been an easy task because so much seemed to peak his interest. That particular afternoon the  trek home from the schools across town seemed particularly harrowing for Alice.

Hillard MurrayShe recounted the story of that afternoon and it seemed a movie was playing in her head as she relived the events of that unforgettable day. It was a day in early September of 1945. She was but nine years old, or almost for her birthday was in December. She was exasperated with her brother because she was sure that he would get her into trouble with his lollygagging.  After all the past is prologue.

Something had caught her brother’s attention further down the sidewalk in downtown Sheffield that particular day. He hurried to the store down the street.  I am sure she must have tapped those little feet and let out a few breaths of aggravation as she insisted that they go on down the road toward home; he refused to budge. Hillard later said it was a soldier with an Army duffel bag going down the street and then into the store.

When they reached the grocery store just a few blocks before the train tracks, Hillard stopped dead in his tracks. His little nose was pressed against the windowpane of the storefront window. Alice must have thought aloud and asked, what now?

World War II had just ended. Then, Alice noticed there was a soldier in there. The soldier was drinking a Coke. Alice noticed Hillard’s gaze go up to the soldier’s mouth  (and his little nose go up on the windowpane) as the soldier lifted the Coke bottle to his mouth, and then down as he lowered the bottle and its precious contents to the table again. Again. Again. And again. Alice nagged at him to come on,  let’s go home; but to him she was all but  invisible. All that mattered was that Coke bottle and the path it took from table to mouth, from mouth to table.

But then, she noticed something else. Maybe it was the soldier’s gold tooth that had her brother in awe of the young man in uniform. Not that the little boy and girl were not patriotic, but a Coke was a rare and precious commodity, and so was a gold tooth – a real genuine gold tooth. Gasp.

Of a sudden the little boy bounded forward and entered the store. She was caught unaware. She fumed as she considered that Hillard might have a nickel in his pocket. A nickel would buy a Coke, but just one.  She steamed that, dern, she didn’t know where he would get them but it seemed that Hillard always had a nickel in his pocket. A child with a nickel was exceedingly rare in those hard times that came on the heels of the Great Depression and a world war that had just ended. So, she drug her feet and went in after him hoping that he would just come on home with her and before she was to get into trouble because of his precociousness.

After entering the store, her brother continued to watch every move that the soldier made; every breath the soldier took. I insert here that I can all but tell you what happened next. That soldier asked the little boy, “What are you doing, Jabbo?”  The little boy was watching the soldier’s every breath; the sister was watching what would without a doubt be the little brother’s last breath. That was a certainty and an all but done deal.

Her brother made a query of the object of his intense study. He asked, “What is your name soldier?” The soldier answered, “James Murray.” The little boy said, “Soldier, I am your brother Hillard and this is our little sister, Alice.” Now, anyone with one eye and half-sense could predict what was to happen next.

Little brother and sister remembered for a lifetime the thrill of that day. Their mother had died when Alice was just a little girl and Hillard not much older. James Murray was but fifteen and the oldest child when his mother died. There was another brother, Ed Lee, who was the second oldest child.

Hillard and Alice recalled that their brother got them a taxi cab and they went shopping. Hillard and Alice recounted that, “He bought us everything.” Hillard stated about the day and the length of time it took to get home from that point that James must have known everybody in the town. It must have seemed like the whole entire town talked to and welcomed their big brother back home.  I don’t think anyone got in trouble that day for getting home late from school. To this day Hillard states that James was his hero. Much too late to ever tell him, I discover he is my hero, too.


Blankinship Market…

in Sheffield was more than a little special to my family. The passing of these family members marks a bygone era of fellowship. For you see, my grandmother would call in her order which would be delivered, unpacked, and put away. I distinctly remember the name Bill Blankinship. This helped my grandmother stay independent just a while longer. She did not drive, so the home delivery was a blessing for her. But more than that, I remember that even the young delivery boys would be so cheerful. Those were the times those of my age lived in; times are so different today. Any photos posted of Blankinship Market would be appreciated.

But the last of them passed just recently. Following is the obituary from the Times Daily newspaper:

W. James Blankinship

Remembering the Shoals

      W. James Blankinship, born Sep. 2, 1914, in Sheffield, died Jan. 7, 2011. James and Nell, his wife of 69 years, have been lifelong residents of the Shoals area. James and his brother, Bill, owned and operated Blankinship’s Market for many years. He proudly served our country in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army.
James was a founding member of Eastside Church of Christ in Sheffield and served as an elder. After moving to Florence, he was a faithful member of Sherrod Avenue Church of Christ until his passing.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Marvin A. and Sarah Blankinship, and siblings, Bill Blankinship, Maude Ingram and Dorothy McWilliams.
Survivors include his wife, Nell, and their daughters, Nelda Jean Smelser (Van), of Tuscaloosa, Anne Gingles (Chris), of Nashville, and Barbara Williams (Phil), of Florence. Four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren will miss their loving “Papa.”
Visitation with family will be at 10 a.m Wednesday, Jan. 12, at Greenview Funeral Home, Florence. The memorial service will follow at 11 a.m., conducted by Dr. Kenny Barfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mars Hill Bible School or charities of choice.
Arrangements by Greenview Funeral Home.

Published in Florence Times Daily on January 11, 2011

H. Jack Huddleston…

Harry Jack Huddleston, former state legislator and longtime Sheffield attorney, died at his home Wednesday, October 3, 2007, after an extended illness. Burial services were at Morrison and burial was in Oakwood Cemetery in Sheffield.

Mr. Huddleston was born in Woodville, Alabama, on November 21, 1921. He graduated from Sheffield High School, where he played football and was a member of the track team.

He was a World War II veteran, serving with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Pacific Islands. He received an accounting degree from Florence State Teachers College in Florence, Alabama. He received is Juris Doctorate of Law Degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1951. Mr. Huddleston served in the state of Alabama Legislature from 1955-1958 during the Jim Folsom administration.

He practiced law in his hometown of Sheffield, Alabama, for 35 years. Among many other board appointments, he served on the Muscle Shoals City School Board, Sheffield Utilities Board, Sheffield City School Board and Colbert County/Helen Keller Hospital Board for many years.

His parents were, William M. Huddleston and Maude Roberts Huddleston. He had two sisters and two brothers.

He was married to Joan Calhoun; they had four children. Daughter Jean Huddleston married a McGee. Daughter Jane Huddleston married Dinky Nesbitt, The two sons are Jimmy Huddleston and Jere Huddleston of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He had nine grandchildren. Jean, Jane and Jimmy reside in Sheffield, Alabama.

Daughter Jean McGee posted this about her father: 

I would like to remember my father Jack Huddleston. He was a long time Sheffield Attorney, former legislator and a friend to everyone he met. My Daddy was raised in Sheffield and loved and supported this town with all of his heart. So many people will remember seeing him walking on Montgomery Ave[nue] everyday. What a wonderful life full of unconditional love he gave his children ! I am so proud to have had him for a father…. He will always be a part of Sheffield’s history. Thanks Daddy…if love could have saved you, you would still be here.

A slideshow of H. Jack Huddleston’s ancestors follows:

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