By Todd A. Blomerth
Like most of America, World War II had a devastating effect on many of the families in Caldwell County. Hundreds of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines were killed or wounded in battle. Others were killed or injured in non-combat situations. At Memorial Day ceremonies, the names of those members of the armed services from Caldwell County who died during the war are called out, and thus remembered.
As you know, I occasionally write articles about military history. A gentleman from Dale suggested that, before all of our “Greatest Generation” dies, I compile stories on those who died while serving our country during World War II. Initially, I thought I might be duplicating someone’s efforts – that in the last 70 years or so, someone would have gathered together all the stories about these men and women. It appears I was wrong. There are good sources that discuss many of those who died. I am in the process of reviewing microfilmed copies of the Luling Newsboy Signal and the Lockhart Post-Register. Karen McCrary, of the Luling Newsboy Signal has provided her copy of an incredible publication by R.E. Bailey, entitled “Luling – Our Men and Women in World War II” published in September 1944.
Some older “official sources” list the number of Caldwell casualties at 59. Our Veterans Affairs Officer, Dave Frances, has provided me with names of 79 casualties which are provided below. However, even that figure does not take into account some in uniform that were from Caldwell County and had perhaps recently moved, or those not residing here that had a very close connection to our county (Jeffrey Van Horn, from McMahan, killed on Okinawa in 1945 is one example). So here is my request: If you have any stories about any of the persons listed below, or others that aren’t on the list, please provide them to me. I can get snail mail through the Lockhart Post Register at 111 S. Church, Lockhart, Texas 78644, or through the Luling Newsboy Signal at PO Box 352, Luling, Texas 78648. You can also provide any information to me by way of firstname.lastname@example.org.
My plan, over the next weeks and months, is to publish, with your assistance and that of our two fine newspapers, short biographies of those who lost their lives in defense of our country.
Charles B. Anderson, P.M. Armstrong, Jr., Monroe K. Balser, Silas Barnett, George R. Bible, Aubrey Biggs, Adolph Bolton, Martin Bonkowski, Kenneth R. Bridges, John Brown, Laval Brown, Jr., Gus C. Cardwell, Morris A Carter, Daniel R. Chamberlain, Joseph C. Cochran, Joseph D. Cone, Jalett Y. Conner, James E. Connolly, Jr., Frank V. Coopwood, Jr., Joseph B. Coopwood, Jr., Clinton V. Copeland, Walton R. Copeland, Eddie F. Corley, Jr., Duke Cummings, Harold W. Dahlberg, Wilton R. Davis, Lawrence Thomas Deaton, Horris E. Dinges, Andrew Elliott, Sam Fairchild, Forrest T. Foeh, Albert W. Fulks, Ervin E. Garbs, Byron Gibson, Rex Glover, Celestine H. Gonzales, Ralph E. Gunnels, Gilbert A. Gutierrez, George A. Halsell, Jr., Fred T. Heise, John E. Ivey, Audley F. Johnson, Winfoed E. Jones, Waner A. Kelly, Anna D. Kreuz, Walter W. Long, John Mackay, Baker T. McCarley, Thomas G. McCoy, Fred A.S. McGlothlin, Robert J. McWilliams, Calvin U. Miller, Ismael F. Molina, Jesus E. Morales, Edward H. Prove, Dudley R. Redmond, Bob M. Reed, Ray B. Reinhardt, Pedro Rodriguez, Wilber Otto Salge, Juan Salazar, Rudolph G. Schaefer, Samuel G. Serrato, Willard C. Sharp, Jr., Melton Sims, Keller A. Smith, Richard A. Stromberg, Harold Gene Tilley, Clifton Thurman, Simon Velasquez, Alvin Edward Vetter, Walter A. Voight, Willie Lovell Wade, John C. Wallace, Clifton H. Williams, Mansel O. Williams, Willie James Williams, John M. Woodard and Walter D. Zelenka.