By Bill Colvard – bcolvard@MtAiryNews
Venable and his friends are members of N.C. History Diggers. They travel around the state using metal detectors to dig for history, and history is exactly what they found a few feet from the front of the Williams’ house where a drain had been moved.
Williams said that Venable asked if he and his friends could sweep Williams’ lawn with their metal detectors and excavate any interesting finds.
“I was hesitant at first,” said Williams. “I was getting ready to mow, and I didn’t want them digging up my yard. Clint assured me they wouldn’t leave a mess, so I thought, ‘Why not.’ And they didn’t make a mess. I mowed right afterward and couldn’t tell where they had dug. They were looking for stuff I’m not going to find. I figured they’d find some nails from when I put on the new roof.”
What Venable found was not some roofing nails, but a belt buckle of sufficient age that it was marked NC State College (not University) and a coin.
And not just any coin. It was a silver French coin, a two-franc piece dated 1918. But not just any silver two-franc piece. The back of this two-franc piece did not have an image of Lady Liberty and the words “Liberte – Egalite – Fraternite” as would be expected, but instead read “Samuel R. Pruett, 2398382, 7th Co. 4th Regt. Mech Air Service A.E.F Mount Airy, NC U.S.A” and two holes were punched in the coin, one on each side.
Venable explained that dog tags were not issued to soldiers in World War I. The phrase ‘dog tag’ was not yet in use. Each soldier was expected to provide himself with a service tag, as they were then called, and most of them were simple affairs of stamped aluminum. But Samuel R. Pruett of Mount Airy took a more deluxe route.
Williams said he was a machinist, and the work was done professionally with a jig and a hydraulic press after the original engraving was scraped off.
“I’ll bet if you put that coin next to a similar coin, it will be thinner,” he said.
Steve and Jill Williams had no idea who Samuel R. Pruett was. The Williamses had bought the house only 15 years ago and had no connection to the Pruetts.
Venable went online and started searching. John Pruett of East Bend said he had gotten three phone calls within a few hours of Venable beginning to ask questions online.
“He Facebooked me and inquired if I knew of a Samuel Pruett,” said Pruett.
Indeed he did. Samuel Pruett Jr. was his father and Samuel Pruett Sr. was his grandfather. His grandfather had been a World War I vet.
Carol Pruett Gagin, another grandchild of Pruett, produced some family photos, one of Pruett and his brother Fred in their WWI uniforms. Fred Pruett had lived across the street and is buried in the cemetery at the end of the street.
Another photo showed Pruett with his wife and six children standing beside the Williams’ house, posing beside the chimney with its flanking windows. The exterior of the 1926 house has not been materially altered since the Pruetts lived there, save for vinyl siding and a new roof, and is easily recognizable in the photo.
After finding the Pruetts and concluding they were descendants of Samuel Pruett, Venable returned with them to the Williams home on Saturday to return their grandfather’s service tag to them.
The coin showed that Pruett was a mechanic in the Air Service, where he would have worked on WWI biplanes. John Pruett said that his grandfather had four slate pool tables at the race track at the hotel out at the hot springs that burned as well as owning three meat markets in Mount Airy, one of which was named Sanitary Meat Market.
Venable said he has been digging for history for five or six years. “But hardcore for the last two years,” he added. “It’s been every weekend.”
He said he focuses on houses of the approximate age of the Williams house, as that is where he’s had the best luck.
“We’ve found Mount Airy receptive. Seventy to eighty percent of the people we approach let us look. Some towns it’s a different story.”
Between Venable’s initial appearance at the Williams home until his return on Saturday, the parties involved noticed a string of interesting coincidences.
The 1918 coin, altered to identify a soldier in a war that ended in 1918, was found exactly 100 years later, in 2018.
Carol Pruett Gagin had met Venable previously, when he used his metal detector on her East Bend property and found a property marker for her that had gone missing.
Samuel Pruett Sr., whose service tag was lost, has the same birthday as Clint Venable, the man who found it.
And the drain that was moved, making it possible for the French coin to be rediscovered, was a French drain.
“I’ve knocked on probably 300 doors,” said Venable, and sometimes people won’t let us in their yards. “But I didn’t even get out of the car here. Steve was in the yard.”
“If I had found a silver franc, that would have been a good find,” said Venable. “But finding this special one with the history behind it and being able to find the connection to the person it belonged to, and the thrill of giving it back to his family has made this the best find I’ve found, bar none.”
After Venable had presented the service tag coin to the Pruett grandchildren, John Pruett put it away carefully in his wallet.
The photographs, taken more than 60 years ago, sit side by side by side on a dresser in a tiny back bedroom in Howard Ayers’ home. They’re all the same size, 5-by-8, and organized with near military precision, which is fitting because they show a family of six brothers — and one sister — who followed one another into the nation’s service right off the family farm in Surry County. It’s easy to tell that the boys — from left to right, oldest to the youngest, Frank, Roby, Dewey, Lonnie, Reiford and Howard — are brothers and that they share the same values, belief in hard work, country and each other. It looks like a shrine because it is in a way.
But simple remembrance isn’t the reason they’re arrayed just so. “I put them up for Reba,” Ayers said, referring to his sister, who also goes by the name Mozelle. “I moved her after she got sick. I wanted her to feel at home.”
Howard and his sister are the last two siblings left. When the brothers left home one after the other during and right after World War II, the sister stayed nearby to help their parents.
That’s the way things worked out sometimes in those days; opportunities for girls weren’t as widespread as they are today. Still, devotion to one’s family is a timeless virtue.
Ayers retired early to care for his wife during her last seven years. Irene Ayers, he said, suffered from Alzheimer’s and he “was determined not to put her in a home. This was her home.” Irene died Oct. 3, 2014. So when his sister suffered a severe heart attack a few years back, the decision to bring her to his tidy home on Winston-Salem’s South Side was easy. “If you can’t count on family, you can’t count on anybody,” Ayers said. “That’s just the way I look at it.”
That devotion is what caught Clara Strickland’s attention. She grew up not too far from the Ayers family and got to know them after she and her husband bought their house in Surry County, not far from Pilot Mountain.
“After we made the purchase, we stayed in contact even though we live in Hamlet,” Strickland said. “Whenever we traveled back and forth, we’d stop and visit with Howard and his sister. That’s when we noticed all those nice photos of the brothers.”
A former teacher and an avid reader, Strickland was drawn to the history behind them. Six brothers, each of whom swore an oath to defend the country, looking dapper in their official military portraits.
“How often do you see that?” she said. “I just thought it might make for a nice story.”
She was right about that. And Howard Ayers was humbled that she thought so.
Hearing him reel off the names of his brothers and their branch of service was fun, too.
“Franklin, Army Air Force. Roby, Army Air Force. Dewey, Army. That’s Reba in the middle. Lonnie, Army. Reiford, Air Force. Howard, Air Force,” Ayers said without drawing a breath.
He knows which of the brothers were drafted, which volunteered and where they served. Frank worked on planes during World War II. Roby volunteered after initially failing a physical and served in Alaska. Dewey and Lonnie went in during the Korean War.
The youngest two, he and his brother Reiford, volunteered for the Air Force in the 1950s after it had become its own distinct branch separate from the Army.
The long line of service didn’t end with the brothers, either.
Frank had two sons in Vietnam. Roby’s daughter and son both retired from the Army. Lonnie’s son was in the reserves.
“My daughter and her husband both retired from the Air Force,” Ayers said.
“I added it up once,” he said. “More than 200 years in military time (over two generations). That’s not bad.”
See the world
The way Ayers sees things, the service was more than good to his family. Some made a career of it; each of them also learned (or improved) skills and a trade they could count on as civilians. He and Frank became mechanics, for example.
As an added bonus, the military afforded them all the chance to see parts of the planet far beyond their family farm in Surry County and meet all kinds of people. “See the world” is more than a recruiting slogan.
“I did my overseas time in Alaska and Hawaii,” Ayers aid. “They weren’t states then. You got an extra $8 a month for overseas pay. One thing I enjoyed about the service was I got to meet all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds.”
Ayers left the Air Force in 1964 when his children were young. Military life can be hard on a family, and “I wanted them to get to know their grandparents.”
He and Irene settled in Winston-Salem, where there were plenty of jobs and close to the family home place. Ayers is 80 now, and he spends his time tending his house and looking after his sister. His brothers — “Nos. 1 to 5” he calls them — have all died.
“It’s just me and Reba now,” he said.
He is justifiably proud of his family’s record in the military and pleased that someone cared enough to take note of it. “Service was just an honor,” he said. “It was just the way you grew up back then. In school you said the pledge to the flag every day. (Enlisting) was just something you expected to do.”
William Henry Draughn & Emma Zetta McHone Family.
Nestled beneath the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains right outside of Claudville, Va. is a little White church named Red Bank Primitive Baptist Church. Right behind this church is a cemetery, and in it is the grave of William Henry Draughn, born 13 July 1838 and died according to his death record 27 Nov. 1914. William Henry was married to Emma Zetta McHone 18 July 1858 In Surry Co., North Carolina. William Henry and Emma Zetta lived about a mile down behind the church and that is where she was buried beside of a log cabin that use to be there. A death date has not been found for her. According to the 1900 Patrick Co., Va. census record she was born April 1842. On the Census it has William Henry and Emma Zetta both born in North Carolina. In 1860 Surry Co., North Carolina a William Draughn and M. are on the census. In 1870 Willam and Emma are on the Surry Co., N.C. census records. In 1880, 1900, and 1910 William Draughn and Emma Zetta are on the Patrick Co., Va. census records.
William Henry was a Blacksmith and on the 18 March 1862 he enlisted in the Civil War and fought with the 28th Confederate North Carolina Infantry (State Troops). In Hester Jackson’s book, Co. A, 28th Regiment N. C. Troops, they have a William Draughn, Private. Resided in Surry Co. where he enlisted at age 24, March 18, 1862. Present or accounted for until he was arrested on Feb. 26, 1865. Then he appears on a register of Chimborazo Hospital No. 3, Richmond, Va. admitted June 23 and returned to duty July 13, 1865 which was the same year 5 months later. So he had been in the hospital all this time. Also I noticed, he was returned to duty on his 27th Birthday. I also have other papers for him, showing when he was paid and by whom. I wanted to point this out about the arrest because it seems some thought he was AWOL which was not true. In 1900 Patrick Co. census it has William owned a 50 acre farm. Submitted by: Esther Johnson
POSTED ON MAY 27, 2017
Local vet to get belated honors Monday: Memorial Day program highlight
By Tom Joyce – email@example.com
Local World War I soldier Thomas M. Haynes pauses for a long-ago photograph. Haynes will receive posthumous honors, including his daughter being presented with a Purple Heart he earned, during Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony in Mount Airy.
Nearly 100 years ago, Private First Class Thomas M. Haynes from Surry County was serving along the Hindenburg Line during some of the most-intense fighting in World War I.
The campaign proved successful for U.S. forces and their allies — overrunning the last line of German defenses on the Western Front — but Pfc. Haynes did not emerge unscathed. “He was severely wounded,” said John Elskamp, the founder of a North Carolina-based organization known as the Veterans Legacy Foundation which researched Haynes’ military record.
Haynes, a native of the Dobson area who was around 20 while serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, would recover from his war wounds and raise a family. But by the time of his death in the 1950s, the combat veteran had never received official recognition for his military service — an omission that will be corrected during Monday’s annual Memorial Day service in Mount Airy. A posthumous presentation honoring Haynes will be a highlight of the patriotic program scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the city war memorial on the corner of South Main and Rockford streets. It also will include a local Honor Guard presence, a rifle salute and other activities in remembrance of those who died serving their country.
Haynes’ daughter, Nellie Taylor, 78, will receive a Purple Heart earned by her father by virtue of his war wounds, along with the World War I Victory Medal and the North Carolina World War I Service Medal. Making the presentation will be Lt. Col. Charles W. Morrison, deputy chief of staff for operations and training of the North Carolina National Guard.
“He (Haynes) was definitely eligible for the Purple Heart,” said Elskamp of the Veterans Legacy Foundation, who also will be in Mount Airy Monday to present information about the local man’s service. Elskamp, who is veterans services officer for Harnett County, spearheaded efforts to secure Haynes’ military decorations on behalf of the foundation.
“They’re a wonderful group of gentlemen,” Surry Veterans Services Officer Mike Scott said of Veterans Legacy Foundation members. They aid in tracking down information about cases such as Haynes’ to ensure former military members get the recognition they deserve, albeit sometimes belatedly. Most of the members are retired or former military personnel. “Basically, they volunteer their time to network with resources they have,” Scott said of their efforts to help secure medals awarded for veterans.
Effort takes shape
The trail to unite Haynes’ daughter with her father’s military decorations began with Scott at the county veteran’s services agency when Nellie Taylor contacted him. “She wanted to see if she could get some background on him and his history and service and so forth,” Scott recalled. “I took it as far as I could.” The local official ended up reaching out to the Veterans Legacy Foundation.
That group is highly acclaimed for its work in investigating cases in which ex-service members such as Haynes essentially have fallen through the cracks and led to them or families not receiving deserved medals. “And we do this for veterans all around the country,” Elskamp said Friday.
Scott said Elskamp’s group was able to locate Haynes’ awards. Elskamp said that for years, the Purple Heart was not given for wounded personnel but “military merit.” This was changed in the early 1930s when that decoration was re-introduced to recognize such individuals, after about a 150-year lull. “It was retroactive, and we did find out he was wounded,” Elskamp said regarding Haynes’ Purple Heart.
The local man was a member of the 30th Infantry (“Old Hickory”) Division, 119th Infantry Regiment. The 30th Infantry Division was a unit of the Army National Guard in World War I and World War II. Lt. Col. Morrison is a former commander of a unit linked to that division, so Elskamp said it is appropriate for him to present the medals to Haynes’ daughter Monday. Her brother also might attend, Scott said. Elskamp says the hard work his organization does to help veterans and their families obtain the recognition they deserve pays off with events such as Monday’s in Mount Airy.
“It’s a chance to celebrate these brave military veterans for their accomplishments and to say ‘thank you,’” he added. Scott, the Surry veteran’s services officer, said the gesture honoring Haynes is well-timed for the upcoming holiday. “Especially for Memorial Day, it’s going to fit the criteria perfectly,” he said.
|Thomas ” Tom” Martin Haynes was born 22 March 1896 Carroll Co., Va. He married Mary Catherine ” Cassie” Gates. They lived in Mt. Airy, N.C. Together they had 8 children. Dianne, Glenn, Joseph, Lorraine, Nellie Mae, Tommy, Wade, and Wanda. On Find A Grave there is a stone for Thomas Martin Haynes and he is buried at Skyline Memory, but there is another stone on Find A Grave that shows he was buried at Grace Moravian cemetery and that stone says Thomas M. Haynes March 22, 1896–April 11, 1955 Body removed Jan 1966. You will live in our hearts forever. His death certificate says he is buried at Grace Moravian. Also his obituary that was in the Mt. Airy Newspaper says he will be buried at Mount Bethel Moravian Church with burial in the church cemetery. Submitted by: Esther Johnson|
WELCOME TO LAUREL HILL
The tranquil and beautiful place known as Laurel Hill, is nestled beneath the Blue Ridge mountains of south- western Virginia in Patrick County. In the words of General Stuart in a letter to his brother William Alexander in 1863 “I would give anything to make a pilgrimage to the old place, and when the war is over quietly spend the rest of my days there.” Tragically, on May 12th, 1864 his dream of returning to Laurel Hill ended with his death as a result of the wound he received during the engagement at Yellow Tavern the previous day.
Laurel Hill is located seven miles north of the city of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, less than a mile beyond the Virginia-North Carolina border in Ararat, Virginia. Laurel Hill is owned and Maintained by the J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace Preservations Trust Inc. and welcomes visitors during daylight hours, each day of the week. Information for a self-guided walking tour is provided near the entrance to the property.
The exact date that Archibald and Elizabeth Stuart decided to commence construction of their new home is not known, however, from the available evidence it began sometime during the middle of the third decade of the nineteenth century. Seven of the eleven children born to Archibald and Elizabeth were born here at Laurel Hill including James Ewell Brown Stuart who would, in later life, become one of the most celebrated heroes in the cause of Southern Independence. A fire in the winter of 1847-48 destroyed the family home and it was never rebuilt. With the death of Archibald Stuart in 1855, Mrs. Stuart retained the property until 1859 when she sold it to two Mt.Airy, North Carolina men. Subsequently, the once vast fifteen hundred acre parcel was sold and sub-divided down through the years. In the early 1990’s a non-profit trust was founded that was able to purchase the seventy-one acre tract that contained all of the remainders of the Stuart occupancy.
Immediately across the Ararat River which forms the western boundary of present day Laurel Hill, is the grave of William Letcher the great-grandfather of J.E.B. Stuart. This is the oldest marked grave in Patrick County and is owned and maintained by the Trust. William and his wife Elizabeth came to this location in 1778 at the height of the American Revolution. He was a staunch supporter of the Revolution and a member of the local militia. The surrounding area contained and supported many Tories, who remained loyal to the monarchy of England. On a fateful day in 1780, Mr. Letcher was killed by a Tory by the name of “Nichols.” Their only child, Bethenia, born in 1780 was later married in late 1799 or early 1800 to David Pannill. This union produced a son named William and a daughter named Elizabeth who later became the mother of General Stuart.
Laurel Hill was placed on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
J.E.B Stuart used to go to Mt. Airy to go to church at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Click here for J.E.B Stuart’s Genealogy. J.E.B. Stuart Genealogy
Killed in action on Okinawa.
Joe Draughn built this house, in the White Plains area, before he went into service out of the rock found on their land where it is built. He said he would live there when he came back home. He was killed while in service and never got to live in this house. But he is buried right below the house. Submitted by: Esther Johnson
Six Norman Brothers
Newspaper Article from The Mount Airy News, May 28, 1896
Also see more on this family in our Surry County Heritage- Vol I- Click link below.
Oren Osborne Eidson
Oren Osborne Eidson
In the U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865
Name: Oren Osborne Eidson
Residence: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Age of Enlistment: 28
Enlistment Date: 29 May 1861
Rank at Enlistment: Private
Enlistment Place: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
State Served: North Carolina
Survived the War: Yes.
Service Record: Enlisted in Company A, North Carolina 7th Infantry Regiment on 29 My 1861. Mustered out on 27 May 1865 at Statesville, NC
Birth Date: about 1933
Sources: North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster Confederate Military History
Biography: Oren Osborne Eidson, of Elkin, NC, is a native of Iredell county, where he was reared and educated. Early in 1861 he enlisted in a volunteer company organized in Iredell which became Company A of the Seventh regiment, North Carolina troops, which he joined the brigade of General Branch and participated in the battle of New Bern before going into Virginia and becoming a part of the army of Northern Virginia. In May 1962, he went with his regiment to Gordonsville, Va., thence returning to Hanover Court House and, after the battle there, participated in the Seven Days’ campaign before Richmond and the following engagements of 1862: Cedar Run, Second Manassas, Harper’s Ferry, Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg. At Chancellorsville he was within 50 yards of Gen. Stonewall Jackson when the latter received his fatal wound, and at Gettysburg his regiment was distinguished among the immortal assailants of the Federal line on Cemetery Hill. He also went through the campaign from the Rapidan to the James in 1864, and was with his command throughout the siege of Petersburg. On the day before the evacuation, his regiment was sent on special duty to Greensboro where he first learned of the surrender at Appomattox. Mr. Eidson served first as a private in the line, later as orderly sergeant in the ambulance corps, and finally in the commissary and medical departments. After the close of the hostilities he resided in his native county until 1873, when he became a citizen of Elkin. For twelve years he has served efficiently as deputy sheriff.
Source: Confederate Military History Vol, V p. 474
War Memorial Downtown Mount Airy, NC
Link to Search Names- War Memorial Search
Link to Mount Airy, NC Official Page- Mount Airy, NC
Centennial War Memorial Dedication
Click below to view the flyer from the Dedication.
Leander (Lee) Ernest Barker
Leander (Lee) Ernest Barker is the son of William Hilery and Elizabeth Golding Barker. He was born December 21, 1894 in Surry Co., NC and died January 9, 1958 in Surry Co., NC. He is buried in Zion Hill Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery (aka Crooked Oak Cemetery), Mount Airy, NC. He married Myrtle Irene Senter March 19, 1932 in Surry Co., NC. They had five children. Submitted by: Wilma Hiatt
Ellis Franklin Jarrell
CO D 37 BATTERY OF VIRGINA CAVALRY
Ellis Franklin Jarrell is the son of Fountain and Fanny Jarrell. He was born 15 Jul 1836 in Rockingham County, NC and died 12 Jul 1923 in Surry County, NC. He married Nancy Susan Senter 30 Dec 1858. He and Nancy are buried in the Ivy Green Baptist Church Cemetery that is located on Old Lowgap Road on land that the Jarrell family donated for the cemetery, church and Masonic Lodge. Ellis Jarrell, age 27, married, and his brother Wesley Jarrell, age 20, single, are listed on the 74 Regiment NC Militia, Surry Co. on the 8th day of July 1862, A. Dunnagan Colonel.
Ellis F. Jarrell enlisted at Independence, VA 2 Aug 1862 in COD 37 Battery of Virginia Cavalry. He was active in the battalion until he became ill. In the book “36th and 37th Battalions Virginia Cavalry” by J. L. Scott is a history of the Battalion. It states Ellis F. Jarrrell was born July 15, 1836. Enl. in Independence, Aug. 2, 1862, in Co. D. Absent, sick on undated roll. Died July 12, 1923, buried in Ivy Green Cemetery, Surry Co., NC. A family member said, “That at one time Ellis’ son Sid had Ellis’ saddlebags that he used in the Civil War and that Evie (Sid’s wife) had a button that came off Ellis’ uniform but it is not known what happened to them. Ellis left a small diary he kept in the Civil War and is now in The Museum of Regional History in Mount Airy, NC.
Submitted by: Wilma Hiatt
Robert (Bob) Archie Willard
Robert (Bob) Archie Willard (1917-1963) was born in Mount Airy, Surry County, NC to Luther Green Willard and Bertha Elizabeth Caudle Willard. He married in 1940 to Alice Wiesner and they had four children. He is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.
Submitted by: Wilma Hiatt
Robert Archie Willard
Service info.: SFC US ARMY WORLD WAR II, KOREA Birth Date: 23 Aug 1917
Death Date: 20 Mar 1963
Service Start Date: 26 Oct 1951
Interment Date: 26 Mar:1963
Cemetery: Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery Cemetery Address: P.O. Box 6237 San Diego, CA 92166 Buried At: Section R Site 32-A Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA
Elmo Fleming registered on July 3. 1943 (see two pages attached). Private First Class Elmo Fleming, U.S. Army (34891511) enlisted on September 4, 1943, at Camp Croft, South Carolina and was killed in action serving with the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division during WWII. He received the Purple Heart. The American Battle Monuments Commission and graves registration card shows him buried as follows:
Full Name: Elmo Fleming Death: October 27, 1944 Buried at: Plot D, Row 5, Grave 82, Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
On October 20, 1944, the U.S. Sixth Army, supported by naval and air bombardment, landed on the eastern shore of Leyte, one of the islands northeast of Mindanao in the Philippines. Sixth Army forces landed on assigned beaches at 10 a.m. The X Corps, including the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division with PFC Fleming, pushed across a four mile stretch of beach between Tacloban airfield and the Palo River. Within an hour of landing, units in most sectors had secured beachheads deep enough to receive heavy vehicles and large amounts of supplies. Only in the 24th Division sector did enemy fire force a diversion of follow-up landing craft, but even that sector was secure enough by 1:30 p.m. to allow General MacArthur to make a dramatic entrance through the surf onto Red Beach and announce to the populace the beginning of their liberation: “People of the Philippines, I have returned! By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil.” By that time, the 24th Infantry Division had taken the high ground on Hill 522 commanding its beachheads. The Sixth Army made steady progress inland against sporadic and uncoordinated enemy resistance on Leyte in the next few days. The 24th Infantry Division under Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Irving, drove inland into heavy enemy resistance. After days and nights of hard fighting and killing some 800 Japanese, the 19th Infantry Regiment expanded their beachhead and took control of the high ground commanding the entrance to the northern Leyte Valley. PFC Fleming was most probably killed during this heavy fighting on October 27, 1944.
PFC Elmo Fleming was part of one of the most iconic moments in U.S. history when General MacArthur waded ashore on October 20. He protected the General that day by securing Hill 522 overlooking the beach. PFC Fleming was part of the Greatest Generation, who saved the world from tyranny in its hour of greatest need. It was truly an honor to be able to find information on this Surry County hero who sacrificed his life to protect his country and bring freedom the people of the Philippines. May he rest in peace in the land he helped liberate. God bless him and the 1,373 other men who died fighting with the 24th Infantry Division during that campaign.
Researched by, Courtney L. Tucker, SCGA, Northern Division
961 Stevens Road, Tully, New York 13159
This was wrote by Esther Draughn Johnson:
I lived in a neighborhood off of Galloway Street Ext. in Mt. Airy, N.C. which was a dirt street back then where we new everyone and a lot of the families married in and out of the same families and if we was not any kin we always felt close to these families. But I remember the day they brought the news that Elmo Fleming’s had been killed and I was 5 years old. My grandparents owned a neighborhood store and it was down below my house and I was there at the store that day when a young man came riding up on a bike and everyone there knew he was delivering a telegram to someone in the neighborhood. They ask him where he was going and when he told them the name someone said they bet something had happen to Elmo. They ask if they could see the telegram. Of course they did not open it but they held it up to the sun and they turned it a certain way and they could see enough to know that he had been killed. It was a sad day. I can remember hearing his mother crying all the way to my house. His parents was Bert and Grace Childress Flemings.
David B. Hatcher
John Henry Sparger
|John Henry Sparger|
Elizabeth Jane Sparger (1840 – 1899)*
John Henry Sparger (1841 – 1925)
William A. Sparger (1844 – 1916)*
Margaret Frances Sparger Patterson (1846 – 1923)*
Edith Eliza Sparger Creasy (1847 – 1931)*
James Henderson Sparger (1849 – 1922)*
Sarah Priscilla Sparger Boyles (1851 – 1937)*
Benjamin Franklin Sparger (1853 – 1946)*
Mary Emily Sparger Ashby (1856 – 1903)*
George Washington Sparger (1859 – 1938)*
Grayson S. Vaughn
|Grayson S Vaughn|
North Carolina, USA
Plot: Section 17, Lot 9, Plot 3, Row NCreated by: Lynn Eason
Record added: Oct 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30355936