The Men and Women of Hamilton County, Texas in WWII: Abel to Anderson

CPO. Abel, Charles Weldon. Born 29 Jun 1927 in Fairy, TX. Son of James Walter and Dorothy Rebecca (Thomas) Abel of Hico. Graduated from Fairy High School. Married Joann Estille Finstad 23 Oct 1949. Entered Navy 1945. Trained at Camp Decatur, Camp Farragut, Camp Parks and San Diego. Served in Okinawa. Died 9 Jun 2005. Buried in Saint Olaf Cemetery, Cranfills Gap, TX.

SGT. Abel, Johnnie Louis (38030730). Born 29 Jul 1917 in Carlton, TX. Son of John T. and Mellie (Arrant) Abel. Graduated from Hico High School. Enlisted in the Army 3 Apr 1941 at Fort Sam Houston, TX. Trained at Camp Wallace, and Fort Bliss, TX. Assigned to 200th Coast Artillery Corps “The Regiment.” Arrived Luzon, Philippine Islands 26 Sep 1941. Assigned to cover the retreat of American and Filipino forces onto the Bataan Peninsula. Prisoner of War 7 May 1942 to Sep 1945. First imprisoned at Cabanatuan, P.I. until 6 Mar 1944. Taken to Bilibid Prison, Manila until 24 Mar 1944. Marched to Port of Manila, where 300 prisoners were put board one of the “Hell Ships” the Taikoku Maru [sunk 17 May 1944 by the U.S. submarine Sand Lance, SS-381] Arrived Takao, Formosa, 27 Mar. Prisoners remained aboard until sailing on 3 Apr. Arrived Osaka, Japan 9 April. Disembarked and boarded trains 10 Apr. Arrived Hitachi 11 Apr, after approximately eighteen hours on the train. Imprisoned at Hitachi POW Camp 8-B (Motoyama), and used as slave labor at Hitachi Copper Mine operated by the Nippon Mining Company. The National Archives roasters also lists Abel imprisoned at Fukuoka POW Camp #1, Kashii (Pine Tree Camp), Kyushu Island, Japan. However, he does not appear on any of the original lists there. His POW number was 1-7530. Awards include Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart Medal, A.P and Philippine Defense Ribbon with four battle stars and the POW Medal. Forty-one months in captivity. Died 27 Apr 1965 in Dallas.

Tech/5. Ables, Lloyd Harrison (38544249). Born 20 Sep 1908. Son of Garfield Ray and Minnie Rose (Palmer) Ables of Hico. Attended Dry Fork School. Married Irene Johnson 30 Sep 1932. Worked for Bell Ice and Dairy Products Company of Hico before the war. Enlisted in the Army 1 Nov 1943. Trained at Camp Callan, CA. Served in New Guinea and Luzon, Philippines. Awarded GCM, AP with two bronze stars, PL with one star, Victory Ribbon and three overseas bars. Released 21 Dec 1945. Died 29 Nov 1984 in Waco. 

Tech/5. Adams, Joe Milton. Born 27 Dec. 1924. Son of William Clay and Ora Tate (Schooler) Adams. William Adams served during WWI as a PFC in the 1st Ambulance Company, Texas National Guard. Joe Adams was not yet three-years-old when his mother died. After his mother’s death he and his older brother, Norman Clay, lived with their grandmother, Mollie Ann Adams on East Henry Street, Hamilton. William remarried in 1930 and may have become estranged from his sons by his first wife, though he was still living in Hamilton. Joe attended Hamilton High. He entered the Army 4 Mar 1943 and trained at Indiantown Gap. PA. and Seattle, WA. He served in New Guinea and the Philippines. Awarded AP with two bronze stars, GCM, PL with one bronze star and Victory Ribbon. He was discharged 24 Jan 1946. Died 1 Dec 1988 in Eastland, Texas.

Adams, Norman Clay (38369534). Born 29 Jan 1923 in Hamilton, TX. Son of William Clay and Ora Tate (Schooler) Adams. Brother of Joe Milton Adams. Graduated from Hamilton High School. Enlisted in the Army 8 Jan 1943; trained at Camp Haan and Camp Irwin, CA. Served in Europe. Awarded ET Ribbon with five battle stars, Victory Ribbon and GCM. Discharged 5 Dec 1945. 

He and his brother, Joe Milton Adams, lost their mother in 1927 and resided with their grandmother after their father remarried in 1930. Norman married Marie Berry. Died 17 March 1977 in Garland, Texas.

FC 2/C. Akin, William Carroll (6243871) Born 23 Feb 1920 in Fairy, TX. Son of Silas Nathan and Stella Elizabeth (Ford) Akin. Graduated from Fairy high School. Enlisted in the Navy 17 Feb 1942. Trained in San Diego. Assigned to the submarine USS Sawfish (SS-276) 22 Jun 1943. Awards include the Submarine Combat Insignia with two bronze stars, AT, PL, AP and Victory Medals. Discharged 1945. Married Francine Schleicher. After the war he was a professor of mathematics at Southwest Texas State University. Died 20 May 2009 in San Marcos, TX.

For life aboard the USS Sawfish: Report of Eighth War Patrol

CM 1st/c. Alexander, John Edward. Born 23 April 1913. Son of John William and Mary (Duffy) Alexander of Temple, TX. Married Annie Lillian Shipman 6 Jun 1940. Graduated from Temple High School. Entered Seabees 19 Jun 1943. Trained in CA and VA. Served in New Guinea and the Philippines. Discharged 31 Oct 1945. Died 16 Sep 1974.

Pvt. Allen, Clement Victor. Born 28 Jan 1903 in Hamilton, TX. Son of Judge Silas Randolph and Evangeline “Eva” Alice (Drake) Allen. Graduated from Hamilton High School. Married Willie Pearl Whiesenhunt 17 Aug 1927. Attended John Tarleton and Texas University. Worked at the Hamilton National Bank prior to the war. Entered Army 1936, reenlisted in AAC 1939. Assigned to Headquarters, 24th Air Base Squadron, Kelly Field. Transferred to Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico. His duties were clerical work in the supply section. Served in the USA and Caribbean. Awards include AT and American Service Medals. Discharged 1944. Died 22 March 1963.

Allen, Frank Coit (39591080). Born 3 Jul 1921 in Hico, TX. Son of Frank Corgill and Lydia Ann (Parker) Allen. Enlisted in the Army 23 Jun 1944 at Ft MacArthur, San Pedro, CA. Married Virginia N Angeloff. Died 25 Mar 2005 and was buried in the Hico Cemetery.

Pvt. Allen, Joe Bailey Jr (38228168). Born 6 Jun 1922 in Texas. Son of Joe B and Callie Mae (Hedgpeth) Allen. Married Sarah Jo Chumney. Attended Tarleton State University in 1942; a member of Company E, JROTC. Enlisted in the Army 9 Sep 1942 at Abilene TX. Assigned to A Troop, 112th Cavalry Regiment (a former Texas NG unit). The 112th participated in the Battle of Arawe, New Britain 15 Dec 1943.  The 112th was sent to Aitape, New Guinea in June 1944, where it was attached to the 32nd Infantry Division. KIA 18 Jul 1944.

Private Joe Allen KIA: The soldiers of the 112th Cav. spent the month of July pushing inland after the landings on New Guinea. Their worst encounters with the enemy occurred along the Driniumor River around mid-month. By the 18th the regiment was dug-in along the river and the hardest fighting seemed to be behind the troopers. 

Just after dusk, the troopers of A Troop were settling in for the night. Their perimeter was anchored northwest of the village of Afua, 3500 yards south of the river. The perimeter was set and the atmosphere was relaxed enough that some men had ventured out to bathe in the river. The peace was broken by bursts of machinegun fire and formations of Japanese sprang from the edge of the jungle. The enemy came in skirmish lines, firing as they walked, striking the southern and western defensive positions of A Troop. The attack went on for two or more hours. In the ensuing darkness, and sporadic rain showers, the men of A Troop were forced back 300 yards, leaving the enemy well within the regiment’s perimeter. 

During the surprise attack, two troopers were killed and sixteen wounded. Joe B. Allen was most likely one of the two killed before the retreat began. By morning, B Troop had plugged the holes in the line and reestablished a new perimeter. The job of counterattacking and taking back the lost ground began the following morning. Casualties were extremely heavy throughout the fight for New Guinea, however, the battles that raged on the jungle-smothered island remain some of the most forgotten of World War II.    

Cpl. Allen, Paul Lesile. Born 23 August 1927 in Hamilton, TX. Son of Joe B. Sr and Callie Mae (Hedgpeth) Allen. He contracted polo as a child and was carried for and rehabilitatied by his mother. His father died when he was ten and Callie raised four children alone during the Depression. His brother Joe B. Jr was killed in action in 1944. Paul joined the Merchant Marines at seventeen-years-old and served during the last months of WWII. When North Korea threw the world into yet another war, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army and served for two years in Korea. He married Violet J. Gondek September 16, 1950. Paul became a trooper with the Texas Highway Patrol in 1952 and retired with thirty-five years of service. Died 17 Sep 2015 in Waco TX.

LT. Paul L. Allen was instrumental in the rescue of kidnapped Texas State Trooper Kenneth Kronein 2 May 1969. The incident was portrayed in the movie “The Sugarland Express.”

Allen, Wade Hampton. Born 29 Dec 1913 in Belomy, AL. Son of Hampton Alexander and Sivila J (Watkins) Allen. Married Irma Lea Perkins in 1938. Worked for Claude Huddleston of Hamilton, TX. before the war. Served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Died 7 Oct 2003 in Tampa, FL. Buried in Greenwood Memorial Park, Fort Worth, TX.

AM 3rd/c. Allen, William Randolph. Born 25 Apr 1924 in Hamilton, TX. Son of Joe Baily and Mae (Hedgpeth) Allen. Graduated from Hamilton High School. Entered Navy 1943. Trained at San Diego. Served aboard ship in New Hebrides and Admiraltys. Awards include the AP Ribbon. Died 12 May 1960.

Ammons, Jerry Othell (38536143). Born 27 Jun 1925 in Meridian, TX. Son of Joe B and Mary K (Hendrix) Ammons. Enlisted in the Army 17 Dec 1943. Discharged 19 Feb 1946. Died 27 Jun 2001. Buried Johnson City Masonic Cemetery, Johnson City, TX.

Pharmacist’s Mate 1st Class Anderson, Dan Luther. Born 12 March 1921 in Carlton, Texas. Son of Lillian Laura (Tull) and Luther A. Anderson.  Luther A. was post master for Carlton from 1924, probably to his death. Luther died 20 January 1927 and Anderson was raised by his mother. Anderson attended Carlton High School.  Class of 1940 at Tarleton State University, Stephenville. After which, he attended North Texas State Teacher’s College. He entered the Navy 31 July 1942 and was discharged 9 November 1945. He trained in San Diego and this may be where he met his wife. He married Marcella Marie Hanel of Colfax County, Nebraska 23 May 1949 in Texas. After he retired, he and his wife lived in San Jose, California through the early 1950s. They seem to have returned to Stephenville, Texas by 1970, when Marcella died.

She was a nurse for most of her adult life. Marcella was among the 323 nurses appointed to the Navy Nurse Corps and Naval Reserve Nurse Corps in 1942. She served during WWII and the Korean War and held the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Navy. Dan died 8 August 1985 and was buried at Erath Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Stephenville, Texas, alongside his wife.

Anderson, Joseph Edwin (38131902). Born 11 Jul 1917 in Hamilton, TX. Son of Elbinas Bine “L.B.” and Jennettia Angronia “Nettie” (Baker) Anderson. Enlisted in the Army 9 Apr 1942 at Abilene TX. Served in Camp Roberts, CA.; Cold Bay and the Aleutian Islands, AK; Tokyo, Japan; Vancouver, WA. and Oakland, CA. Married Ruth Byer 22 Feb 1946 in Oakland CA. and second, Eilene Mae Yauch Maxfield. Died 9 Nov 2011 in Twin Falls, ID. Buried in the West End Cemetery, Buhl, ID.

Anderson, Russell Lee: See Here