Camp Fannin Roll of Honor

The continued work of Elmer Horne

Fannin Veterans who died in uniform during World War II
All gave some, but some gave all.

ROLL OF HONOR

Delong thru Douter

DeLONG, Paul M., Cpl., 37726226. a) El Dorado, Kansas. b) 1 Dec. 1943 -19 April 1944. c) 15 March 1945, Germany. d) 52ndAIB/9thArmd Div. e) Battle of Remagen Bridge. f) Sunset Lawns Cemetery, El Dorado, Kansas. g) Sister, Elizabeth A. DeLong McKenna, P.O. Box 578, Sharon Springs, Kansas 67758. h) Deceased won American Legion Medal of Honor on completion of 8th grade; treasurer of Hi-Y in his senior year in high school; active in Boy Scouts, member of El Dorado Methodist Church; 19 at time of death. Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.

DEVER, William J., Pvt., 31435248. a) Suffolk County, Massachusetts. b) Sept-Dec 1944, 58/12. g) Carl A. Settle, 124 Culotta Drive, Hampton, Virginia 23666, a fellow-trainee at Fannin.

DEXTER, Loren Ray, Pvt., 36402402 a) Muskegon County, Michigan b) Stationed in Tyler Nov. 1942, location and duty not known, though Gordon Neilson’s book states “An Army Signal Corps Training Center opened in 1942 in the Tyler Commercial College building in downtown Tyler. Over 200 men were housed in the Blackstone Hotel [and other locations]”. c) 27 Nov. 1944, Leyte, P.I. g) Mrs. Kim Groff, 6414 Shoreline Drive, Little Elm, Texas 75068, phone (972) 294-8160, e-mail <kgroff@sbcglobal,net>. Mrs. Groff is author of The Fitzgerald House, which memorializes the home at 815 South Broadway Avenue in Tyler where Mrs. Lois Whiteman welcomed so many Fannin service men during the war. Mrs. Groff discovered letters to Mrs. Whiteman from many whom she had befriended including Loren Ray Dexter as she researched for her book. On 15 Nov. 1944 Ray wrote from Philippine Islands “A few exciting things have happened but there has been nothing dangerous at all. I haven’t even any firearms.” Then his mother wrote Mrs. Whiteman on 29 Dec. 1944: “ I can hardly write to you, but feel I must, through tears and a broken heart. My own precious boy has paid the supreme sacrifice. I know he would expect me to let you know.” h) Purple Heart.

DILLON, Robert Charles, Sgt., 39333705. a) Portland, Oregon. b) Summer 1944. c) 16 March 1945, near Remagen, Germany. d) B/393/99. e) Quoting brother’s letter: “He and his troops were pinned down by well-camouflaged enemy fire. Someone had to stand up and draw fire so they could locate the machine guns. He did--led the charge that eventually succeeded in destroying enemy position.” f) Originally in Belgium, later returned to his home in Portland, Oregon and buried in family plot, Mt. Calvary Cemetery. g) His older and only brother, James F. Dillon, 10938 Hansom Lane, Spring Valley, Calif. 91978, (619) 660-6614. Also Pat Fordney, 2770 S. Via Del Bac, Green Valley, Arizona 85614, who wrote in a letter printed in the Fall 1998 issue of Camp Fannin Guidon: “Robert Dillon was a boyhood friend of mine. I was standing right next to him when he was killed.” Brother James visited Robert and Pat at Fannin in the summer of 1944. Pat is listed as a pallbearer at Robert’s reinterment in 1947. h) Robert received the Silver Star (top left) for gallantry in action, the Bronze Star (bottom left), and the Belgian Fourragere. Robert’s high school English teacher wrote a poem in tribute ending with these lines: “They charged the hill through cannon fire, their trusted sergeant on ahead. They took that height with broken hearts: their valiant sergeant dead. In holy ground in Belgium ‘neath the arch of a lovely sky, Sergeant Robert Dillon rests. He can never die.”

DISTELHORST, W.A., Jr. (Bill.) PFC, 37677123 a) Des Moines County, Iowa b) Winter 1943-44, A/54/11. c) 1944, Pacific Theater. g) Willis N. DeSpain, DeSpain Investment Co., 627 Main St., Mediapolis, Iowa 52637; (319) 394-3969, in the same company at Fannin.

DOCER, Blayne. c) 1945. g) George Cason, Jr., 1705 Shelmire Drive, Dallas, Texas 75224-1339; (214) 942-7235.

DOYLE, Edward E. (“Buddy”), Sgt., 15315541 a) Morristown, New Jersey. c) Dec. 1944, Southern France. d) 179/45. e) Hospitalized in October for an infected arm, but soon rejoined his outfit. Wounded in action on Nov. 28 and died of his wounds in December. g) Joe Quade, 4 Cain Court, Montville, N.J. 07045; (201) 263-2433; fax (201) 263-2433. Joe trained at Fannin July-Sept. 1943, wound up in the 17th Airborne Div. after ASTP at MIT, and now is editor of the division’s official publication, Thunder from Heaven. h) Buddy Doyle wrote this to his friend John “Red” Cumisky on Sept. 16, 1944: “Right now I am in a deep hole and sweating out 88s…Believe me, Red, I’m not the fearless kid you knew back in Dublin (a section of Morristown). All that was taken out of me a while back. So far, so good, however, as I haven’t been touched. Close doesn’t count. Pray for me, please.” Buddy’s company commander wrote this to his parents: “Due to some particularly heavy fighting, I got to know some of my men very well. Among those men I got to know and admire as fighting men was your son, Sgt. Doyle.” Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge.

DRAKE, Aubrey E., Jr., Pvt., 38617930 a) Minden, Louisiana. b) 1944. c) 13 April 1945, Annarode, Germany. d) 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division. e) Stanton: The 3rd Armored Division reached the Rhine River at Roggendorf and Worringen 4 March 1945 and fought the Battle for Cologne 5-7 March 1945 assisted by the 104th Infantry Division. After maintaining defensive positions, it crossed the Rhine 23 March 1945 and attacked again 25 March 1945. It reached the Lahn River at Marburg 28 March 1945 then closed the Ruhr Pocket after the Battle of Paderborn 31 March-1 April. The division reached the Weser River on 7 April 1945 and the Mulde River near Torten 15 April 1945. f) First buried in Belgium, then reinterred in Minden City Cemetery, Section H, Minden, Louisiana. g) See <http://www.mindenmemories.org/Before 1945.htm>. h) Purple Heart.

DRENKHAHN, Edward A., Pvt., 42187111 a) Bergen County, New Jersey. b) Sept-Dec 1944, 58/12. g) Carl A. Settle, 124 Culotta Drive, Hampton, Virginia 23666, a fellow-trainee at Fannin.

DUKES, H.V. No further information.

DUTER, William H. Awaiting further information.