Camp Fannin Roll of Honor

The continued work of Elmer Horne

Fannin Veterans who died in uniform during World War II
All gave some, but some gave all.

ROLL OF HONOR

Pirkey thru Reed

PIRKEY, Weldon A., PFC, 33664107. a) Mt. Crawford, Virginia. b) Sept.-Dec. 44, C/64/13 and C/58/12. c) 6 April 44, France; died of wounds received 11 Mar. d) G/276/70. e) Stanton: The 70th Division attacked beyond the Forbach-Saarbruecken Road on 3 Mar. 45 and divisional patrols reached the outposts of the West Wall on 6 Mar. 45. The German forces withdrew 13 Mar. 45 and the division began pursuit operations immediately. f) U. S. Military Cemetery, Meuse Section, France. Reinterred St. Paul's Cemetery, Grottoes, Virginia. g) Carl A. Settle, 124 Culotta Drive, Hampton, Virginia 23666. See also page 8, Spring 1996 issue of Camp Fannin Guidon.

PORTER, Jerald G., 2nd Lt., O-537647. a) Kansas. c) 24 February 1945, near Roermond, Holland. d) C/291/75. e) Stanton: The 75th Infantry Division relieved the British 6th A/B Division along the Maas River near Roermond, Holland on 21 February 1945. f) Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands, Plot M, Row 10, Grave 17. h) Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.

PRATT, Harold E., Pvt., 36915415. a) Michigan. c) 30 April 45, Okinawa. d) 105/27. e) Stanton: The 27th Division made efforts to improve its position, and captured contested Machinato Airfield 28 April 45, and on 1 May 45 was relieved by the 1st Marine Div. and moved to Nago for rest. f) Honolulu Memorial, Hawaii. g) Carl A. Settle, 124 Culotta Drive, Hampton, Virginia 23666. h) Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.

PYLE, Paul L., Capt., O-1294193. a) Newark, Ohio. b) company commander, A/53/11, Sept-Dec 1943. c) 3 Nov. 1944, France. d) B/71/44. e) Stanton: The 44th Infantry Division landed at Cherbourg, France on 15 September 1944 and trained for a month before beginning the relief of of the 79th Infantry Division on 18 October 1944 at Foret de Parroy, in the vicinity of Luneville, France. The 71st Infantry Regiment went into the line 23 October 1944 followed by the 324th the next day. The division was subjected to a strong German counterattack 25-26 October 1944 and then continued active defense of its area.

The 71st and 324th attacked from Leintrey to force a passage through the Vosges Mountains. g) Bart J. Engram, 1214 McLynn Ave., Atlanta, Ga. 30306-2530, and E. Olen Mitchell, 2405 Colorado St., Hutchinson, Kans, 67502, both trainees in Capt. Pyle’s company at Fannin. Additional information provided by Carl A. Settle, 124 Culotta Drive, Hampton, Virginia 23666. h) Bart provided a page from the company morning report of A/53/11 ending 2400 hours 2 Dec 1943, signed by Capt. Pyle and bearing this entry: "01294193 Pyle, Paul L., Capt., Relieved from assignment and assigned to Infantry Officers Replacement Pool this station and attached thereto 1 Dec 43."

Additional infomation provided by Bart Engram, Jr., in letter and e-mail dated 10 May 1945: "These details came from the History and Pictorial Record of the 71st Infantry Regiment, published in 1946 in Baton Rouge, La., by The Army and Navy Publishing Company: 'The 71st Infantry Regiment moved in early November 1944 into Le Remabois Woods to prepare for an attack on the small town of Leintrey. After reaching the edge of the woods where they had a good view of the town, they came under heavy artillery and mortar fire. While directing artillery from an exposed position, Captain Pyle was killed by enemy shell fragments from a tree burst. Many men praised the captain as a brave man and a courageous leader.'"

Bart Engram Jr. writes: "My father thought very highly of Captain Pyle and talked about how he tried to give the soldiers of A Company the best possible training. He led by example and set high standards, but showed a sense of concern for each solider. He remembered how Captain Pyle moved up and down the length of the column on road marches, checking on and encouraging the soldiers. Dad passed away in July 2004 at 94." Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.

RATLIFF, Ova Wendell, Pvt., 35077542. a) Woodsbend, Kentucky. b) March-August, 1944, D/65/14. c) 10 Nov. 1944, Hurtgen Forest. d) C/110/28. e) Assigned 7 Nov 44, reported as missing in action 14 Nov 44, a "finding of death" a year and a day later. Stanton: The 28th Div. attacked toward Schmidt 2 Nov. 44 after heavy artillery preparation and pushed into the Hurtgen Forest and over the next few days heavy fighting caused Vassenack and Schmidt to change hands several times. f) His remains were found in the Hurtgen Forest near the top of Oschenkopf Hill a few hundred yards southwest of the small village of Simonskall near Vossenack. His remains were returned to Woodsbend on 28 May 49, where he was buried in Flatwoods Cemetery. g).

He was 35 years old at time of his death. He had been married for 10 years, and was the father of three children. He taught school in Morgan County, Kentucky for 12 years. He is the subject of two books written by his son, Tom Ratliff, 190 Ethelrob Circle, Carlisle, Ohio 45005-6221. The first book, I Can Hear The Guns Now, has all of his letters home in it, 42 of them were written at Camp Fannin. The second book, Now I Know - A War Orphan's Journey of Discovery, describes what really happened to him. Both books are available on website www.warorphansjourney.net . h) Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.

RAY, Howell Travis, Pvt. a) Ennis, Texas. b) B/51/11, 1944. c) 21 June 1944, Camp Fannin Station Hospital. d) B/51/11 (Fannin). e) Died from heat exhaustion. Although Howell Travis Ray died within a week after the infamous 15 June 1944 "death march" at Fannin, and deaths from heat during the march were reported, it does not appear that Pvt. Ray took part in the "death march". His regiment, the 11th, did not participate in the march. He had been at Fannin BULLARD, Kenneth, S., PFC 31378758. a) Hartford County, Connecticut. b) Aug-Dec 43, A/81. c) June, 1944, Omaha Beach, Normandy. g) Eric Diller, 504 Via La Selva, Redondo Beach, CA 90277; (310) 375-2024; eddiller@earthlink.net; in same barracks with deceased at Camp Fannin. h) Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.only three weeks, and if he was a trainee, he would not have been marching that distance so early in his basic. g) Ruby Jean Neilson, former CFA corresponding secretary and widow of Gordon Neilson, our late former president.

RAY, John Raymond, PFC, 38573265. a) Oklahoma. b) C/64/13. c) 24 March 1945, France. d) 357/90. e) Stanton: The 90th Division assaulted across the Moselle River in the Kattenes-Moselkern region 14 March 1945, and attacked across the Nahe River 19 March 1945 to capture Mainz on 22 March 1945. It crossed the Rhine 24 March 1945. f) Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France, Plot C, Row 31, Grave 60. g) Donna Howe, niece, dcrhowe@comcast.net. h) Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.

REED, Gilbert O., Pvt., 44046472. a) Mississippi. c) 12 April 1945, Philippine Islands. d) 182/Americal. e) Stanton: The Americal Division left Leyte 24 Mar. 45, and after a one-hour naval bombardment, the division landed at Talisay Cebu and took Cebu City the next day. The 182nd Inf. Regt. fought the Battle of Go Chan Hill 28-29 Mar. 45 and then battled to clear the other hills, being counterattacked heavily on Bolo Ridge 1 Apr. 45. The division fought the Battle of Babay Ridge 12-17 Apr. 45. f) Manila American Cemetery, Philippines, Plot B, Row 9, Grave 157. g) Carl A. Settle, 124 Culotta Drive, Hampton, Virginia 23666. h) Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.

REED, William Hayward, 38482319. a) Coffeeville/Ore City, Texas. b) Dec. 43-Spring 44. c) 10 Jan. 45, France. d) 3rd Bn/314/79. e) Stanton: The 79th Division fought the Battle of Haguenau 9-11 Dec. 44 and reached the Lauter River at Schiebenhardt on 15 Dec. 44 and held defensive lines at Wissembourg until 2 Jan. 45. It then moved to the southern portion of the Rhine River and by 6 Jan. 45 the division had battled through Stattmatten to relieve encircled elements of the task force. German attacks defeated 314th Inf. efforts to take Drusenheim, and by 12 Jan. 45 both 14th Armd. Div. and 103rd Inf. Div. were committed to the battle. f) Buried Epinal, France, but after three years, on 29 April 48, body was sent home for burial in the Coffeeville Cemetery, Coffeeville, Texas. g) Niece, CFA Member Millie Jean Purgerson, Greenville, Texas, who composed a beautiful tribute to her uncle which she delivered at our 1998 reunion (see page 8, Spring 1998 issue of Camp Fannin Guidon). h) Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.