|Amos Ezell (#46954754)|
| || member for 6 years, 20 days|
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I was born in Franklin County, MS and grew up in Amite County, MS. I joined the US Army in January 1956 and retired from the US Army in January 1976. I have lived in the Fort Polk/Leesville, LA area since 1969. I am also a retired Roofing Contractor and a retired Southern Baptist Pastor. I have worked in genealogy since 1969.|
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|Len Harrell||Elmas Wilson Harrell|
I don't recall if I shared the contents of these two interviews with you. You are welcome to use all or part in Mr. Wilson's bio. if you so choose.
In an interview with Len Harrell in April 2002, Wilson Harrell said he won his Distinguished Service Cross for action occurring inside the city of Manila (He said that his daughter Delores has his citation. He said he was twice awarded the Purple Heart.
In Aprill 2002, Wilson was again iterview: Personal Interview with Elmas Wilson Harrell
I spoke with Wilson concerning his military service. He related an incident where he had a brief conversation with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He said the conversation took place about a block from the location where they allied forces were shelling in the Manilla Hotel. He said that MacArthur came up to him and introduced himself. He asked him what his decision was in what his job was. Wilson explained that they were watching the beach. He asked Wilson how long he had been overseas and Wilson responded. MacArthur told him that when we are done here, all of the boys are going home.
Wilson described the fighting near the Manilla hotel as, "one house to another and one room to another." He said the Japanese had even set up bunkers in the streets.
After clearing Manilla, they moved on to Baguio, the summer capital. Wilson indicated that it was not long after they had cleared Manilla that the atomic bomb was dropped. The soldiers were told the war had ended and that they would be leaving in the next few days.
Wilson said that the Japanese primarily shot anti-aircraft weapons at them. These were 20 mm and a few 40 mm weapons. They also received some bombing from the Japanese planes. He said while he was in Guadalcanal, he remembers watching dogfights between the US Air Corps and the Japanese. He remembered it was a sight to behold.
Wilson was awarded two Purple Hearts, three bronze stars and a Distinguished Service Cross. He said he won the Bronze Stars on: 10/6/1943, 7/?/1945 and 8/2/1945. He Said He Earned a Distinguished Service Cross on October 6, 1943.
Indicated that he has a steel plate in his head as a result of his injuries. He said he almost died from injuries while in the Philippines.
Wilson indicated he went into the service with thousands of others, in outrage over the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He joined on January 7, 1942 and discharged October 28th or 29th, 1945. His rank at discharge was that of Private First Class. His basic training was at Camp Wheeler, Ga. He said that although he led a squad for 1 & 1/2 years, he would never accept a promotion. To do so would have taken him off the machine gun on which he had grown to depend for his life. He reasoned that, as long as he had to be in combat, he would have a better chance of surviving with his trusty .30 cal. machine gun.
For bravery in combat, Wilson was awarded both the Bronze Star Medal and the Distinguished Service Cross. He related that he won the Bronze Star for action on New Georgia in the Soloman Islands. He said that he was with a medic, a Sgt. and a Lt. when the Japanese started screaming and made a banzai attack (Wilson called it, one of those "screaming attacks." When the yelling began, and before the actual fighting, the Sgt. and Lt. left and went to another area to help set up a defensive position. He and the medic were alone when the attack occurred. The fighting was fast and furious. The terrain was jungle and their defensive position used a large mahogany tree for cover. Since the medic did not know how to shoot a rifle, the actual shooting was left to Wilson. They had two rifles and the medic loaded the rifles while Wilson shot as many Japanese as possible. When the attack was over, Wilson's comrades counted 28 dead Japanese bodies left on the field in front of the mahogany tree.
Sometime later, he became the gunner in a .30 cal. machine gun crew. He explained, as an aside, that the machine gun had a 150 round belt and expended ammo at the rate of 250 rounds per minute. He said he made sure the gun was kept very clean (after all, his very life depended on its performance) and it was surprisingly dependable.
Wilson was a PFC for the entire war. He had opportunities to promote to squad leader, but felt that being the gunner on the machine gun crew gave him the greatest control over his own survival. He explained that a machine gun crew consisted of 5 soldiers - the gunner, the assistant gunner, two ammo carriers and a squad leader. He actually served as a squad leader for one and one-half years while doing double duty as a gunner. He explained that when they moved, he carried the 21 pound gun, and a .45 cal. semi-automatic pistol. The assistant gunner carried the tripod for the gun, a .45 cal. pistol, as well as a box of ammo. The two ammo bearers carried the bulk of the ammo. The squad leader led the crew and provided varied support to the small group.
Wilson said the gun could be fired from both the tripod and from the hip. He said he often fired it from the hip with the belt of ammo draped across his shoulder. He said the weapon had very little recoil and was very manageable in this fashion.
Wilson explained that the Distinguished Service Cross was awarded for action in the city of Manila during the fighting in the Philippines. He said that he and another machine gunner were in the path of a major Japanese attack made from across a river. He explained that he and the other gunner were credited with breaking up the Japanese attack, which came, in force, from across the river. I asked him how many Japanese were involved in the attack and he said he did not know. He explained that, after the battle, there were quite a large number of Japanese left on the field. I asked him if the number was more than the 28 left in front of his position on New Georgia. He said, "Yes, many more." I asked if he was afraid during the fighting and he said he didn't have time to be afraid. Afterwards, he was just thankful that he had lived through it. (Source: Wilson Harrell in interview with Eddie L. Harrell on March 20, 2002).
|Linda Claire Robinson||Essie Robinson Bates|
Thank you for completing the Essie Robinson Bates updates.
|Jean Roberts||Hiram Roberts|
I am so grateful to you for taking this photograph of my great great great great uncle's tombstone. They are such good photos of this very old tombstone. Thank you for your kindness.
|Davesan||Edward Cornelius Leggett Sanders|
Thank you so much for the photo of his headstone. My husband is Edward Cornelius's greatgrandson by Nancy Lorena Watson.
Added by Davesan on Oct 14, 2013 9:02 PM
|Robin Smith||#67331063 Katie Arnita Bowman Strittman|
#67331063 Katie Arnita Bowman Strittman
I am Katie's granddaughter
Children of Pawpaw John and Granny Katie Strittman.
Paul Strittman # 98730760
JL Strittman # 65256166
Granny Katie's mother is Cora Stroud Bowman
I am in search of the burial location of Granny's father
William Jesse Bowman (WL).
And also granny's sister Sally Bowman. She passed away at the age of 9
Added by Robin Smith on Oct 14, 2013 5:09 PM
|Stephen Barneby||Thompson Gravesite|
Thanks very much for taking the time to photograph Evalina's gravesite. It's a long way to Mississippi from where I live and consequently unlikely that I would have the chance to visit the cemetery to take the picture myself.
Evalina's first husband was a Confederate ordnance sergeant major, who died in a Federal POW camp of smallpox. She traveled to his grave in Ohio after the war.
I see we have a couple of things in common: Interest in genealogy and Army retirement. I'm looking forward to retirement from my second career next year, which will give me more time to work on my family tree.
Speaking of family trees, would you have any objection to my using your photograph on my Ancestry.com tree?
Thanks again for your help.
|Adrienne Donnell Grisel||Spears Photos|
Thank you so much for these pictures!
|Mike Stewart||family connections|
Hey Amos...I have a few more family connections for you to make when you get the time if you would.
Edna Lilly 98773716 to husband Evie Lee Lilly 98773524 and to parents H R Stewart 23194293 & Sadie Stewart 23194547.
Hattie Stewart Brabham 105335720 to parents Alex Stewart 23194315 & Etta Stewart 23194366
|Mike Stewart||family connections|
Thanks Amos....I appreciate you making the connections in Stewart/Wall. Mike
|Mike Stewart||Family connections|
Hey Amos....When you get a chance, I'd appreciate you making a few family connections in the Stewart/Wall Cemetery.
Sarah Susannah Stewart Bates #59748311 to parents Robert Stewart #104647309 & Elizabeth Lowrey Stewart #104646781
Lois Lorena Bates Frazier #98768643 to parents William Alexander Bates #66110650 & Mary McMilliam Bates Stewart #66110823
John Francis Stewart #105337990 to parents William James Stewart #114434124 & Adeline Lowrey Stewart #114434370
Also, Charles Newman Stewart and Rachel Storey Stewart are created in both the Stewart/Wall Cemetery and the Stewart Cemetery. They are buried in the Stewart/Wall. Could you delete them in the Stewart Cemetery.... Charles #66042690, Rachel #66042828.
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