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 James Alexander “Pete” Esselman

James Alexander “Pete” Esselman

Death 18 Sep 1993 (aged 74)
Burial Waxahachie, Ellis County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 27260091 · View Source
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Enlisted in the Army Air Corps (Now the present day Air Force) in Feb of 1942. Was in the Battery A 957th Infantry.

Present on "D" Day the invasion of Normandy. Fired the big guns at the Battle of the Bulge. Fought in Germany, Rhine River area., Central Europe (Berlin) etc.. Received 5 Bronze stars for good behavior. Was a cannoneer, medium artillery. Pete had the rank of Corporal.

He was drafted into the Army Air Corps soon after WWII began and was sent to Mineral Wells, TX. and then transferred to Fort Lewis close to Tacoma, WA. While on maneuvers there, his arm was broken. His company was shipped overseas while he was in the hospital.

After being released from the hospital, he went to England with a North Dakota National Guard unit and then to France, Belgium and Germany. He was assigned to the 957 Heavy Field Artillery. He was in five battles. One battle was the terrible Battle of the Bulge. He said he "was the number 1 man" on 155 Howsers (which were large guns that shot about five miles). He told his mother that "I was the fastest man in the battery. That's on firing the big gun." He was at the Rhone River in Germany when the Germans broke through the American lines. His unit was almost captured as they were surrounded and their large guns would have overshot the coming enemy. Thankfully, a military unit with smaller guns showed up and saved them. His unit was pulled back into Belgium and they had to fight the Germans back out. He said "that was one more tough fight. But we really made a good name for ourselves. And, I am proud of that too. In all the battles, we only had four men killed and several wounded. We have a very good unit, I think." As a result of firing the large guns, his hearing was effected. [Quotes were from a letter he wrote his mother dated 23 May 1945 while in Germany].

Pete Esselman died at Baylor Medical Center in Waxahachie on Saturday, September 18, 1993, after a lengthy illness. He was born on August 15, 1919 in Waxahachie to William Thomas and Mattie Throckmorton Esselman. He was a graduate of Waxahachie High School, and had been self-employed as an electrician for 50 years. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Waxahachie.

Pete Esselman is survived by one son, Richard Esselman of Waxahachie; three brothers, Douglas and Jack Esselman of Waxahachie, and Travis Esselman of Waco; two sisters, Ruth Cox of Waxahachie and Louise Griggs of Center, Texas; one grandson, Terry Lynn Esselman of Laramie, Wyoming; and many nieces and nephews, other relatvies and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Vedell, who died in June of this year.

****[PLEASE no added pictures without my permission]****

Family Members

  • Created by: Steve Perry
  • Added: 2 Jun 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 27260091
  • Steve Perry
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James Alexander “Pete” Esselman (15 Aug 1919–18 Sep 1993), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27260091, citing Lakeview Memorial Park, Waxahachie, Ellis County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Steve Perry (contributor 46908068) .