Remembering the cost of World War II

By SUSAN AMUNDSON,

The Columbian-Progress was filled with news about World War II from the very beginning of American involvement in 1941. The most somber reports were of Marion County boys killed or missing, which were all-to-common throughout the war. These snapshots from the newspaper archives show the constant, deadly dangers that soldiers from Marion County faced and the fears their families experienced.

“Each name is a reminder of the awful cost of Victory,” an ad in the C-P listing all of Marion County’s honored dead (see list at right) stated. “Each name should also be a prayer that the things for which they fought and died will not be forgotten but will be cherished by a grateful nation.”

1942

Jan. 22 — Lamar Hatten, whose parents are from Bunker Hill, is reported missing. His ship was sunk by a submarine off the coast of Cape Hatteras on Jan. 19. All but two crew members of the 46 were reported “apparently lost.”

Jan. 29 — Lamar Hatten is confirmed alive and safe. He was not on the ship as previously reported.

Feb. 12 — First Class Seaman Volmer D. White, whose parents are part of the Darbun community, was on the U.S.S. Arizona when attacked De. 7, 1941. His parents received a telegram Dec. 24 stating he was missing. In February the government sent word that White was deceased as of Dec. 7, 1941.

May 14 — Three Marion County Marines feared captured in the Manilla Bay area. PFC Thomas R. Thompson, whose parents are from Bunkerhill, Cooper “Pete” Pittman, whose parents are from Foxworth, and Cpl. L. J. Burt, whose parents are from Improve.

Sgt. Claude L. Burkett, whose parents live near Bassfield, was declared missing while on duty in Corregidor.

Earl Westerfield is “somewhere in the Pacific,” but family has not heard anything in months.

June 11 — Francis Robert Stevens, whose parents are from Columbia, was on a flight mission and was shot down. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

June 25 — Thomas R. Thompson, whose parents are from Bunkerhill, is officially listed as missing.

July 16 —Second class Seaman Garland Lott, whose parents are from Kokomo, is listed as missing. Cecil Little, whose parents are from Columbia, was listed missing at Bataan. L. G. “Jiggy” Hood, whose parents are from Goss, was killed during a training exercise in Texas. George May, whose parents live at White Bluff, was killed in when the bomber he was the radio operator in crashed in California. Corp. J. Larkin Burt, whose parents live at Improve, listed as missing.

Aug. 6 — Lt. L. B. Golden Jr., former Columbia resident and Columbia High School graduate, listed as missing in Bataan.

Aug. 13 — Corp. Toxie L. Coker, whose parents are from Foxworth, was listed as meeting at Bataan.

Sept. 3 — Army bomber crashes near Columbia in Oloh, pilot and gunner slightly injured the plane was a complete loss.

Sept. 10 — Charles Wilkinson, whose parents are from the East Columbia community was listed as missing by the Navy.

Oct. 29 — Columbia and Goss native Major O.L. Rogers killed in action at Solomon Islands.

Nov. 12 — Cadet Tom Griffith, whose parents are from Columbia, dies in a flight training exercise in Corpus Christi air base.

1943

Jan. 14 — Mrs. Chas. S. Evans and Mrs. T. B. McNeese of the Bunkerhill community lost their nephews Edward G.  Dennis Jr. And Jerry Dennis in action. Edward was killed in a plane crash on Guadalcanal Jan. 1, and Jerry has been “missing in action” since Dec. 12, 1942. Lt. William R. McNeese of the Green’s Creek community is “missing in action” somewhere in the Pacific, presumed to have made the ultimate sacrifice on Nov. 15, 1942.

Jan. 28 — Mr. and Mrs. Fred Robertson receive word their only son, S 1c Navy Carl Campbell Robertson, is missing in action.

April 1 — Corp. J. Larkin Burt, who has been reported missing since last May, has been confirmed to be a prisoner of war, according to his parents Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Burt of the Improve community. Thomas R. Thomas, whose parents are of the Bunker Hill community, received word their son was a prisoner of war. Sgt. John M. Culp has been found and is a prisoner of war, according to his sister, Mrs. George Leathersby of here.

April 8 — Sgt. J.B. Ivey, missing since May '42, has now been reported a prisoner of war, according to his wife, the former Alice Wagley.

April 29 — Pvt. Cecil H. Little of Columbia was reported missing in 1942 at Bataan has been confirmed to be a prisoner of war.

May 6 — Toxie L. Coker has been determined to be a prisoner of war, according to the word Mrs. P.B. Turnage received.

May 27 — Tech. Stg. Clyde Willis, son of Mr. And Mrs. Dan Willis of Sumrall, is reported missing in Europe.

July 15 — Pvt. Sam Raynes, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Holland Raynes of Society Hill community, dies in Japanese prison camp, according to the telegram his parents received.

July 29 — Sgt. Clyde Willis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willis of Sumrall, is a German prisoner of war, his parents received word of.

Aug. 19 — Pfc. Joe. E. Norton, son of Mrs. Dicey McLain of the Improve community, was killed in a vehicle accident in California.

Oct. 14 — Sgt. James Bryan Sutton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Sutton of Prentiss, was killed Oct. 1 in England.

Oct. 23 — 2nd Lt. John T. Watkins, Flight Officer, was killed when his plane crashed Oct. 17, near Alexandria, La. He was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy E. Watkins of Columbia.

Nov. 4 — Aviation machinist 3rd class William Edward Mobley, 20, dies in a plane crash in Jacksonville, Fla. He was the son of Mrs. Bessie Mobley and the late Frank Mobley of Columbia.

Nov. 11 — First Sgt. Joseph R. Hart is killed in Italy Oct. 21, according the telegram received by his wife, Mrs. Myrtle Lee Hart.

Dec. 2 — Pvt. Elisha Money was killed Nov. 2 at Fort Bless, Texas. He was the son of the late I.W. Money and Mrs. Albert Hayes.

Dec. 23 — Cpl. Cecil Aubrey Fiveash succumbed to his injuries he received in Italy on Nov. 12. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Geo Fiveash of the Cedar Grove community.

1944

Feb. 24— Funeral services were held for SCIc Thomas L.J. Saxon, who died Feb. 9  at the Naval Hospital in California. He has been in the hospital for the past year for an injury he sustained to his back during the Battle of Midway.

March 9 — J.C. Alexander was killed in action in Italy on Jan. 30, according to the telegram received by Mr. R. L. Alexander of Columbia. Flight Officer L.C. Mitchell bomber pilot was killed Jan. 20 in Italy; he was the eldest of Mr. and Mrs. C.N. Mitchell of McComb, formerly of Columbia.

March 16 — S-Sgt. Carrol W. Rowley, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Rowley of Foxworth, was reported missing Feb. 20 in Germany.

April 27 — First Lt. Thomas “Tomboy” B. Forbes was reported missing in action since April 9 in France. Mrs. Jeanette Forbes received a telegram. Mr. and Mrs. Willie Lee of Darbun community received a telegram saying their son O’Ferrell Lee has been missing in action since April 7. Mr. And Mrs. J. M. Varnado of Foxworth received word their son Stg. Pat H. Varnado is missing in action over Austria since April 2.

May 4 — PFC. Gliston Cook has been reported missing in action, according to the telegram received by his father, A.D. Cook.

May 25 — Carl Fortenberry dies in Northern Africa reported by his family.  Pfc. Gliston Cook is confirmed dead, having died when a troop ship sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by enemy fire April 20. Staff Sgt. Oferrel E. Lee, who was previously reported missing, has been confirmed to be a German prisoner of war. Staff Sgt. Pat M. Varnado, who has previously reported missing, has been confirmed to have been killed in action.

June 1 — Memorial service will be held for Pfc. Richard Herrin will be held at Rocky Branch Church. Herrin was killed in action May 8, in Italy.

June 22 — Lt. Fred Maddie in action in the Southwest Pacific. He was the son of Mrs. Thelma Madden, formerly of Columbia. BM2c Alton Hudson was killed in action reported by his father, Dewey Hudson of Improve.

June 29 — Aviation Cadet Ezra T. Oglesbee was killed in a training flight on Jan. 2 in California. First Sgt. Joseph B. Hart killed in action in Italy, Oct. 21, 1943. A-C Victor Dean Dennison, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dean Dennison of Foxworth died on a training mission near Nashville, Ga.

July 13 — Vincent Crout, Aviation Radioman, is reported missing in action. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Crout of Bunkerhill. Flight Officer Sam B. Dale, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Dale of Columbia, was reported missing in action over France.  Pvt. B. J. Mulford, son of Mr. and Mrs. M.W. Mulford of Foxworth, has been reported missing since June 3.

July 27 — 2nd Lt. Tarvey Venton Ward, husband of Mrs. Lucille Merrill Ward of Columbia was killed in a plane crash in Waco, Texas.

Aug. 3 — Pfc. Frank Forbes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elbert Forbes of Sandy Hook, was killed in action in the South Pacific. Martin Goar, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joe Goar of the Improve community was killed in action in France on June 20.

Aug. 10 — Pfc. Sedgie J. Smith, son of Mrs. Sarah Thomas and husband of Mrs. Wilma Pittman Smith of New Hope, was killed in action July 12 in France. S/Sgt. H.C. (Red) O’Quin, son of Mr. and Mrs. L.M. O’Quin of Columbia, was killed in action July 28 in France. Pvt. B. J. Mulford has been confirmed to be a German prisoner of war.

Aug. 17 — Pfc. Reece Kyzar, son of Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Kyzar, was killed in combat on July 21 on the first day of the invasion of Guam Island. Warrant Officer Ike Breakfield was killed, however the telegram offered no information other than he died in the line of duty.

Aug. 24 — Staff Sgt. Loranzie Z. Odom, husband of Mrs. Louis Neal Odom of Morgantown, was killed in France Aug. 1. Pvt. Robert Short, brother of Mrs. Irma McNabb of Columbia, was killed in France, Aug. 4.

Aug. 31 — Pfc. Attress I. Robbins, son of Mrs. And Mrs. C. Leon Robbins of Bunkerhill community, was killed in action in France on Aug. 10. Pvt. Paul J. Morgan, brother of J.C. Morgan of Morgantown, was killed in action in France in June. Staff Sgt. Charles H. Black ledge, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Black ledge, died Aug. 9 in England as a results of wounds received in France July 30. Lt. Charles Ado Dungan died as a results of wounds received in Saipan on June 15.

Sept. 7 — Pvt. Watson Bracey, son of Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Bracey of Darbun, was killed in action in France on Aug. 18.

Sept. 14 — Pfc. Willard E. Brister, son of Mrs. Marvin E. Brister of Jayess, was killed in action in France July 15. Lt. Sam B. Dale Jr., son of Mrs. and Mrs. Sam B. Dale, received confirmation their son was killed in action over France on July 4. T/Sgt. Clyde Willis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dan Willis of Sumrall, is released from a German prison camp. Cpl. Harrel B. Sumrall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Barney Sumrall of Foxworth, was listed missing in action in the South Pacific. Former resident Matthew Meyer was killed in action over India Aug. 18.

Oct. 5 — Lee G. Summer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar B. Summers of Kokomo, was killed in action in France on Aug. 19.

Nov. 2 — Pfc. Wade Lewis, son of Sallie Lewis of Foxworth, died of wounds received in action in Italy on Sept. 17. Corporal Harrel B. Sumrall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Barney Sumrall of Foxworth, previously reported missing, has been confirmed dead.

Nov. 9 — Capt Truett K. Bullock, son of Mr. and Mrs. W.W Bullock of Columbia, was killed in an aircraft accident in Sweden . Pvt. Milton Thornhill, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Thornhill near Morgantown, died Oct. 19 as a result of the wounds received in action Oct. 17 in Italy.

Nov. 30 — Pfc. J. M. Rushing, husband of Frances Booty Rushing of Kokomo, was killed in action in Italy in October.

Dec. 7 — Pvt. Edwin Allan Robinson, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Robinson, as been confirmed to be a German prisoner of war.

Dec. 28— Cpl. Harrell B. Sumrall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Barney Sumrall, is confined dead on July 21.

1945

Jan. 4 — Pfc. Chas. Owner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Luke Oxner of the New Hope community, was killed in action Dec. 5 in German. Pfc. Robert S. Hall Jr., former resident of Columbia, was killed in action in Europe.

Jan. 11 — Ralph Neil Fortenberry, son of Mrs. Sarah Fortenberry of Foxworth, was killed in action in France on Dec. 7.

Jan. 18  — Sgt. Ray Brister, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.H. Brister of Columbia, was killed in action in Belgium on Dec. 18. Sgt. John B. Ivy writes a letter to his wife confirming he is a Japanese POW.

Feb. 1 — Lt. Ransom Criscoe, son of Mrs. Ida Criscoe, was killed in a plane crash in Florida Jan. 28. T/Sgt. Barney E. Thaxton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Thaxton was killed in action recently.

Feb. 8 —T/Sgt. L. B. Godard, son of L.E. Godard of Columbia, was reported killed in action in the Philippines on Dec. 27. Sgt. John Culp, son of Rev. and Mrs. F. H. Culp of Stateline received word their son has been released from a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

Feb. 15 — Pvt. J. T. McNeese, son of Mr. and Mrs. Iddo McNeese of New Union, was reported missing in action Dec. 30. Lt. Ansel W. Alford, son of E.C. Alford of Foxworth, was killed in action in the Philippines Jan. 13.

March 8 — S1/c Mason L. Dunaway, husband of Okie Ryals Dunaway, advises her husband was killed in action at sea.

March 15 — Lt. Andrew Wood Polk, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Pork, is reported missing in action of Austria since Feb. 21. Pvt. George Wilbur Forbes, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Forbes of Sandy Hook, has been killed in action in Belgium on Jan. 18.

March 22 — Felton Seamon Bullock, son of S. M. Bullock of Columbia reported to be missing in action.

April 5 — Lt. Andrew Wood Polk, who have been reported missing in action is found and goes back to duty.

April 12 — Cpl. J. M. Rushing was killed in Italy Oct. 7, 1944.

April 19 — Rm3/c Everett Bryant Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Everett Bryant of Foxworth, was reported missing.

May 10 — War ends in Europe

May 17 — Cpl. Norbert Anthony, son of Mrs. Fannie B. Anthony of Darbun, is killed in action having died the day after being wounded.

May 24 — T/Sgt. Louis E. Conerly, husband of Mrs. Alma Boyles Conerly of Columbia, is killed on Luzon Island on April 27. Pfc. Leslie A. Stampley of Improve is home after serving 28 months in an Italian prison of war camp,

May 31 — 1st Lt. Thomas B. Forbes Jr. Has been released as a German prisoner of war. Pvt. Edwin Allan Robinson has been released from a German prison camp.

July 26 — ARM2/c Jacob Vincent Crout, son of John B. Crout of Columbia, has been declared dead presuming June 21.

Aug. 2 — Pvt. J.T. McNeese, husband of Mrs. Ada M. McNeese of Columbia, is presumed dead Dec. 30, 1944.

Aug. 16 — War ends, although there was still some more fighting in the Pacific Theater.