SGT John Weldon Bonner

SGT John Weldon Bonner

Bonnerville, Freestone County, Texas, USA
Death 16 Dec 1943 (aged 26)
Burial Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 16875965 · View Source
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John Weldon Bonner, son of Wirt Knox Bonner and Mattie Weaver, was born 8 January 1917 at Bonnerville, Freestone Co., TX. After graduation from Fairfield High School in 1934, he moved to Hillsboro, TX to work for Texas Power and Light Company. There he met and married LaVerne Strength on 3 May 1941, daughter of William Arthur Strength and Sallie Minschew. Weldon and LaVerne were parents of one daughter, Dian Bonner. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, American Legion and Masonic Lodge.

Weldon was inducted into the National Guard on Nov 18, 1940 enlisting at Hillsboro, Texas. His army serial number was 20809440. Weldon was Sergeant with the 36th Division, 143rd Infantry, Company L of the US Army. He held the rank of sergeant and served as a military policeman. On 16 December 1943, he was killed in action in Italy and buried there. A soldier friend knew the location of his grave, and his body was exhumed and interred here. In 1944, the Purple Heart was awarded to him posthumously. He never saw his daughter, Dian, who was only about 15 months old when he was killed.

"Three Hill Countians Are Awarded
Purple Heart Posthumously

Three Hill county soldiers who lost their lives in Italy have been awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Holland of Abbott last week received the award for their son, Sgt. Weldon Holland who was killed December 17.

Receiving the awards Monday in Hillsboro were Mrs. Johnnie Rogers, 114 Line Street, widow of Staff Sgt. Johnnie Rogers who was killed Dec 2, and Mrs. J. Weldon Bonner, 301 North Pleasant Street, widow of Sgt. Bonner who died Dec 16.

Unlike the previous purple heart decorations received by relatives of other men which consisted of a metal heart and purple bar the families of the above mentioned soldiers received scrolls. Mr. Holland has expressed the belief that the scrolls have been substituted because of the metal shortage. No official explanation has been given."


Source - Texas Utility News:

"Killed in Action - Sgt. J. Weldon Bonner

Word has just been received from the War Department that Sgt. J. Weldon Bonner was killed in action in Italy on December 16th. Weldon was employed by the Company (Texas Power and Light Co.) for three years as a member of the line crew, and was the first one of the local Hillsboro employees to go into the service. He was inducted with the National Guard, November 22, 1940, and has been with the 36th Division since that time. He went overseas early in 1943.

Weldon came to Hillsboro from Fairfield, Texas in 1937. He was married to Miss Laverne Strength of Hillsboro on May 3, 1941. They have a baby daughter named Dian.

Weldon's many friends in the Texas Power and Light Company extend their sincere sympathy to his wife and his family in their bereavement."
National Archives: Freestone County, Texas KIA List - Service Number: 20809440 SGT KIA
John landed at Salerno, Campania, Italy with his fellow soldiers. John is believed to have been killed in "Battle of San Pietro", a major engagement from 8–17 December 1943, in the Italian Campaign of World War II involving Allied forces attacking from the south against heavily fortified positions of the German "Winter Line" in and around the town of San Pietro Infine, just south of Monte Cassino about halfway between Naples and Rome. The 143rd Infantry was focal in that battle. Since John died on 16 Dec 1943, he probably died in outskirts of San Pietro in the final attempts to take San Pietro.

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  • Maintained by: Eric Wood
  • Originally Created by: Patricia
  • Added: 1 Dec 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 16875965
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SGT John Weldon Bonner (8 Jan 1917–16 Dec 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 16875965, citing Bonner Cemetery, Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Eric Wood (contributor 46911836) .