WORLD WAR HONOREES

 GEORGE H. LEE  

 BRANCH   OF SERVICE  U.S. Army    
HOMETOWN  Hayesville, NC   
HONORED BY  George Lee American Legion Post 532       

    ACTIVITY DURING WWII
He was inducted into the U.S. Army on September 21, 1942 and    discharged on October 21, 1946. He served with the 82nd   Infantry, Company B, Chemical warfare. He was stationed in New Caledonia and the South Pacific      




WILLIAM H. DAILEY 

BRANCH   OF SERVICE U.S. Army HOMETOWN    Hayesville, NC
 
 HONONORED BY
 George Lee American Legion Post 532    

     

  Activity during WWII


William H. (Bill) Dailey highly decorated ww-11 veteran (17   metals and awards) in March 1943, Bill Dailey, at the age of eighteen, answered the call of our county’s local draft board along with 41 other Clay County youth. (a complete   listing of draftees is in the 1991 Sixth Annual Chatuge Dam   fireworks and veterans of foreign wars publication.)  As Debbie Joe Ferguson in her book’ Walk Through Hell vividly   describes events our foot solders experienced during ww-11. Bill to marched through hell while serving in the pacific campaign during ww-11 and survived to relate his experiences. Bill began his march by first being inducted at camp croft in South Carolina and was sent for basic training to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. There he completed his   four weeks basic training and was given additional six month training in heavy weaponry. He was then deployed to the Solomon Islands where he joined the Americal Division fighting in the Pacific Campaign under the command of General Patch. At Bougainsville Island he helped defend a strategic air field He was assigned to the 164th Infantry   Regiment. While serving at this duty station, Bill ran into Max Anderson, a radio man, and Clay Rogers both were serving in other units. Bill said he met Rogers at least three times. His company landed and fought on three different islands in the Philippines: Laye, Negros and Cebu. It was at Bougainsville in the Philippines where Bill proved himself   as a heroic foot soldier. His company routed out Japanese   soldiers from all these islands either capturing or   eliminating them. It was during these battles that Bill   distinguished himself by being awarded seventeen war and campaign metals. Among these were the Bronze Star with 1st   oak leaf and V. Device, Bronze Star w/V dev., Purple Heart, Asiatic Pacific Campaign w/2 Bronze Battle Stars, Victory   Medal, Army Occupation 3/jap. Clasp, Combat Inf., Good   Conduct and others. While being interviewed, Bill had a   smirk on his face when asked about his Good Conduct metal.   He replied, “I didn’t get caught.” When asked about his   marksmanship metal he said, “I had good practice in shooting   squirrels and deer.” Bill’s heroic bravery is best described   in the book, under the Southern Cross, while in battle on   Negros Island. “In a local attack in the objective area June12 a 164 infantry platoon ran into such heavy enemy fire that it was forced to withdraw after suffering half-dozen   casualties. One of those hurt was PFC. William H. Dailey, of   Shooting Creek, North While exercising this maneuver Bill witnessed two of his comrades killed by a hand grenade tossed by one of the Japanese that landed in   their path. In making his own retreat, Bill, unconsciously   grasped the red-hot barrel of his gun. He recalled the excruciating pain. Another incident he recalled was during   the landing on the beach of Bougainville (Solomon island)  doing a mop-up operation. The Japanese had suffered many   casualties from air strikes on the island and had buried   their dead in open areas of the jungle. His unit exiting   from the landing crafts was ordered to reassemble on the   beach and march into the jungle. Reaching an open area about three miles from the beach the unit prepared to camp and   began digging foxholes. Some of the foxholes had to be   relocated as they were being dug on top of buried Japanese   soldiers. He recalled that throughout that first night on   Layte, the Japanese bombarded the beach with aircraft   strafing, bombs, and from motor shelling. The next morning he saw foxholes blown apart and dead soldiers lay everywhere. Another while Layte his squad of twelve members set up an ambush along a path the Japanese used visiting a   spring. When the Japanese soldier converged on the spring   they were eliminated. Bill recalls letting one get within six to eight feet before he took evasive action. Also on   Negros bill participated in a mop-up operation when Japanese soldiers fled to the hillside. He said, “we went after   them.” On Sabu Beaches in January l945, bill’s unit did amphibious training for several months in preparation for invasion of the Japanese mainland. The task force was on its   way to the mainland and was six days out when the war ended. The task force landed in September 1945 in Yokohama Japan Bill spent time in Yokohama before being shipped back to the   states. Bill still maintains contact with four of his war   buddies living in Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama, and Louisiana. He lamented that he is fast losing his buddies as he started out keeping contact with twelve. He says to his knowledge   there are three WWII veterans living in the Shooting Creek   area. Bill is a member of the veteran of foreign wars, the   American Legion, and Amvet organizations. He is active in these organizations and participates in many of their   activities. Following the war Bill took advantage of the GI bill in a farm training program. Soon after completing this   course, he began doing part-time plumbing for his neighbors   and others which turned into a full-time vocation lasting   for some forty plus years. He plumbed many of the homes in   Clay County including mine. Bill and his wife Willamae, now deceased, are the proud parents of three children, and have seven grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren. Bill said, “I am proud of all my metals and awards, and I am   happy that I served my country.” I assured him that on   behalf of all of us we are proud of him being our hero.





  ROBERT FRANCIS EPPERSON
 BRANCH OF SERVICE
 U.S. Navy
 HOMETOWN   Tampa, FL    HONORED BY  George Lee American Legion Post 532 

 

 ACTIVITY DURING WWII


 Robert (Bob) Epperson joined the U.S. Navy in March 1944 at age15 with his parents’ permission. During this period, he was making the transition from grade nine to grade ten.   Finishing basic training, he was assigned to Daytona Beach, Florida, in the base commissary for a two year period as   cook. He was offered a second class petty officer rating if he would take a test and “ship over.” However, at that time, you could become eligible for separation from active duty by accumulating a certain number of points. Bob had the necessary points. Deciding against taking a test and “shipping over,” he was then discharged as first class seamen. Returning home, he enrolled in a local high school   under the G.I. Bill. After finishing high school Bob enrolled in Polk County, Florida, community college for three years. Two important events he recalled while serving in the Navy stand out. One was in the summer of 1945 he assisted in capturing the crew from a Nazi sub and its crew who were trying to dismantle a radar station on Flagler Beach., Florida. The other incident occurred when he and his buddies were dispatched to assist retrieving the carnage (both pilots died) resulting from a mid-air collision.   

  





 JAMES KENNETH SMITH
 U.S. Army     HOMETOWN      Leavenworth, KS
 HONORED BY
 Mark Runge, Son-in-Law       ACTIVITY DURING WWII
 Served with the 923rd Boat Company Aviation in Washington and then assigned to the 1st infantry,26th regiment, company I. He remained with that company until the end of the war and then was sent to Nuremberg where he provided security for judge Jackson at the Nuremberg war trials. He was released from active duty in 1946.  


  

                   


 HENRY L. CLEMENT  

 BRANCH   OF SERVICE U.S. Army
 

 HOMETOWN Atkinson County,GA
  
 HONORED BY:
George Lee American Legion Post 532


         

 ACTIVITY DURING WWII 

 
Henry Clement answered Uncle Sam’s call from his   local draft board on January 12, 1943 and reported to camp Joseph T. Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas after receiving  limited basic training, he was deployed to Normandy arriving   there four days after the initial invasion. From Normandy he began serving with the 114th infantry division supply force   as a truck driver delivering supplies, food, water and ammunition. His first actual encounter with the enemy was at   Cherbourg, France. He and his unit helped liberate many small villages and towns thorough out France. Henry was discharged at Camp Grudger in Oklahoma in December 1945 as a   Sergeant. He received a good conduct medal, seven campaign ribbons, American theater, Eame theater, victory infantry, glider and driver and mechanical award.                     








JAMES (JIM) WARNER   BRANCH   OF SERVICE U.S. Army Air Forces    
 HOMETOWN California, CA   
 HONORED BY  George Lee American Legion Post 532

   

 ACTIVITY DURING WWII

 He enrolled in 1941 in a two year college equivalency school in California. He was then accepted into   an aviation cadet program and sent to Kelly Field in   Santana, Texas. He was then assigned to Waco, Texas, for   basic flight training. At Moses Lake, Washington, he further  trained as a co-pilot for flying B-17 aircraft. His entire   unit shipped out to England and joined the 8th Air Force.   There he and his crew flying in ‘Little Willie’, a prototype   B-17g model plane, completed 25 bombing missions over   various German targets. His unit was assigned to and   operated under a British Royal Air Force unit that   specialized in a technique in jamming radio signals.   Returning to the states he attended and graduated from a   communications school at Scott Army Air Force base in   Marana, Arizona. He was then dispatched to two other Air   Force bases, one in Fort Myers, Florida, and another in El   Paso, Texas, both in the process of being closed. At El Paso   after a thirty day waiting period, he was told he had a   choice to get out of the service or go to Japan. He took a   discharge but stayed in the reserves. Returning to Virginia   he qualified for a flight instructors rating. Shortly he was   called back to active duty as a four engine pilot, and again deployed to Germany. At Sembach Air Base his squadron   provided communications during the crisis over the Berlin wall. He was the Chief Communications Officer for his squadron. He served thirty one years in the Air Force before   retiring. The medals he received included the Legion of   Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldiers Medal, Air Medal, Bronze Star and Unit Command Medal






 GARNET JOHNSON      

 BRANCH OF SERVICE  U.S. Army

   
HOMETOWN Hayesville, NC   
HONORED BY George Lee American Legion Post 532  

      

 ACTIVITY DURING WWII


He served in the U.S. Army from January 1943 to October 1946. He was in the 2nd Cavalry and was in England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Germany and Czechoslovakia
.              .

      


                 

 

ROBERT VON DER OSTEN


 BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Navy
HOMETOWN
New York City, NY
 

HONORED BY
George Lee American Legion Post 532 

                   

 ACTIVITY DURING WWII
 

ABOUT  SIX WEEKS BEFORE PEARL  HARBOR, HE WAS CALLED BEFORE THE LOCAL DRAFT  BOARD. HE WAS CLASSIFIED 4F DUE TO HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND A SLIGHT  HEART MURMUR. ON FEBRUARY 12, 1942, HE WAS ACCEPTED INTO THE U.S. NAVY.  AFTER BOOT CAMP, HE WAS SENT TO RADIO SCHOOL AT NOROTON, CONNECTICUT. AT  THIS TRAINING FACILITY, HE WAS MADE RADIOMAN 3RD CLASS. HE WAS ASSIGNED  TO LST-388, A NEW LST COMMISSIONED ON NOVEMBER 20, 1942. AFTER LEAVING  NEW YORK THEY HEADED FOR BERMUDA AND THEN CROSSED THE ATLANTIC HEADED  TOWARD GIBRALTAR AND THEN ON TO ALGERIA, TUNISIA AND THEN TO THE  INVASION OF ITALY AND SICILY. THEN WENT ON TO PALERMO, TRIPOLI, AND  TARANTO. AFTER ITALY, THEY WERE HEADED TO ENGLAND. ON JUNE 5, 1944, THEY  SET SAIL FOR FRANCE. THE CONVOY PROCEEDED SLOWLY UP THE COAST. ON JUNE  6, 1944, D-DAY, THERE WERE 500 MEN ONBOARD. NEWS CAME THAT THE INITIAL  ASSAULT WAS SUCCESSFUL AND PROCEEDING ACCORDING TO PLAN. JUNE 7, 1944,  THEY WERE CLOSE IN OFF THE INVASION COAST. EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE A SHORE  BATTERY WOULD OPEN UP, SEVERAL SHELLS FELL NOT TOO FAR FROM THEIR SHIP.  HE WAS GIVEN AN HONORABLE DISCHARGE ON SEPTEMBER 4, 1945 AT THE U.S.  NAVAL PERSONNEL SEPARATION CENTER, LIDO BEACH, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK HIS  RATING AT DISCHARGE WAS RADIOMAN 1ST CLASS.
 




WILLIAM WRIGHT


 BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army
HOMETOWN

 Detroit, MI

HONORED BY American Legion Post 532


 ACTIVITY DURING WWII
 

SERVED WITH THE 71ST INFANTRY DIVISION. 


 





RAYMOND HENRY KEYES


BRANCH OF SERVICE

 U.S. Navy
 

                   

 HOMETOWN
Tampa, 

HONORED BY
George Keyes, Brother 


  ACTIVITY DURING WWII
 

FLEW  HELLCAT FIGHTER PLANES FROM THE USS SHAMROCK BAY. COMPOSITE SQUADRON  NINETY-FOUR. COMMISSION DATE: 1944, COMMISSION PLACE: NAVAL AIR STATION  SAND POINT, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON.
 


 

ARNOLD  ABERNATHY 


BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Navy
 

 HOMETOWN
Hayesville, NC
 

 HONORED BY
George Lee American Legion Post 532



 ACTIVITY DURING WWII
 

HE  WAS INDUCTED INTO THE UNITED STATES NAVY IN RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA IN  1941. HE TOOK BASIC TRAINING AT NORFOLK, VIRGINIA AND THEN WAS SENT TO  DETROIT, MICHIGAN. HE GOT A CALL TO RETURN TO NAVAL HEADQUARTERS,  BECAUSE PEARL HARBOR HAD BEEN BOMBED. HE WAS THEN SENT TO SAN DIEGO,  CALIFORNIA. HE THEN SAILED TO GUADALCANAL AND THEN ON TO THE PHILIPPINE  ISLANDS. HIS DUTY WAS A NAVY COOK AND HE ACHIEVED THE RANK OF CHIEF E-7.  HE SERVED TEN YEARS ACTIVE DUTY AND TEN YEARS NAVAL RESERVE. 






 

FRANCIS WYLIE POWELL 


 BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army 


HOMETOWN
Richmond, VA 


 HONORED BY
Terrence & Michael Powell, Sons