WORLD WAR II

World War II was the most significant event of the 20th Century. Over 14 million Americans served in the Armed Forces, and they were supported by nearly everyone at home. Pawnee County contributed over 1,000 sons and daughters to the conflict and over 100 did not return home. The local unit, Company B, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division did its part, but it was only a part of the county contribution. Rather than try to explain the entire war, here we will look at the chronology of Company B; review the heroism of two Pawnee countians who won the Congressional Medal of Honor; and list the 103 who served so well and died in the service of their country.

COMPANY B, 179TH INFANTRY REGIMENT, 45TH DIVISION

Aug 4/20 1940 - Participated in the Louisian Maneuvers. Largest peacetime exercise in US history.

Sep 16, 1940 - "M" Day. Unit mobilized. 1st Lt. Teddy H. Sanford in initial command. When he transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division, the commander became 1st Lt. Glenn Lyons who took the unit through training and combat in Sicily and Italy.

June 22, 1943 - Lands at oran, Algeria.

July 10, 1943 - Lands as part of 1st wave in invasion of Sicily.

Sep 10, 1943 - Participated in assault of Selerno, Italy.

Jan 29, 1944 - Joined the fight at Anzio, Italy.

Aug 15, 1944 - Lands as part of invasion of Southern France.

March 26, 1945 - Crosses the Rhine River into Germany.

May 1, 1945 - Captures Munich. War ends on the 6th of May.

Major Kenneth D. Bailey, USMC
Congressional Medal of Honor

Born in Pawnee County in 1910, Major Bailey was the commander of Company C, 1st Marine Raider Battalion at Guadalcanal. On September 12, 1942, the Japanese counterattacked against Marines holding a ridge overlooking Henderson Field. Some 2,000 strong, the bayonet attack forced the Marines in contact to begin to withdraw. Major Bailey and his company were ordered to stop the withdrawl and reestablish the line. During the fighting, Major Bailey was wounded in the head but refused evacuation and led his men in bitter hand-to-hand combat for ten hours until the line was restored. He remained with his troops and was killed in subsequent actions three days later. The "Battle of Bloody Ridge" was a critical action that showed that American troops could stand up to anything the Japanese could throw at them. For his bravery, Major Bailey was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

COMMANDER ERNEST EDWIN EVANS, US NAVY
CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR

Commander Evans was born in Pawnee on August 13, 1908, and graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1931. During the "Battle of Leyte Gulf", October 24, 1944, Commander Evans was in command of the U.S.S. Johnson, a destroyer assigned to support the American invasion of the Phillipines. The landing was surprised by the arrival of a large Japanese fleet of 31 warships including four battleships. Upon sighting, and without regard to safety for himself or his ship, Commander Evans ordered an immediate attack. For three hours, the U.S.S. Johnson fought it out with the battleships and heavy cruisers providing time for a US fleet to recover and save the landing. At last, torn from the hundreds of shells from enemy vessels, the U.S.S. Johnson sank, and its gallant commander was amoung the 186 killed in action froma crew of 327. His gallantry saved the day for American and he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

PAWNEE COUNTY LOSSES IN WORLD WAR II

EUGENE H ANDERSON; LOUIS A ARCHER; WILLIAM E ATCHLEY; JAMES R ATTERBURY; OSCAR R BARNES; KENNETH D. BAILEY; CLIFFORD BARNETT; GEORGE P BARRIER; LLOYD D BEACH; EDDIE G BEJCEK; JOHN W BENNETT; EARL R BLACK; ROBERT E BLACK; LEVA E BLEDSOE; ROY A BOETTGER; WILLIAM R BOST; PAUL L BOX; ROLLO M BYERS; HOWARD J BYROM; ROY L CALVERT; IRVIN W CASELY; ORVAL O CATHER; THEODORE C CAYWOOD; WILBURN F CHAPMAN; ERMY W CHEATHAM, JR.; RECTOR R COCKINGS; CHESTER L COLLINS; GEORGE D COONS; WILLIAM S COONS; FREDERICK B CRUSE; RAYMOND A CUMMINGS; WILLIAM EARL DORMIRE; MAYNARD B ELLIS; CLAUDE J ENGLISH; ERNEST EDWIN EVANS; RUSSLE EVANS;BENJAMIN F FENTON; THOMAS W FIELDCAMP; ALBERT C FOUST, JR.; CARL FUNKHOUSER; LESTER E GENTRY; ROBERT O GIFFORD; MAXON H GILLETTE; GRANT GOVER; KENNETH E GREINER; DON N HALEY; HENRY R HAMMACK; ROYL HARKER; EARL G HATFIELD, JR.; EDWIN M HELTON; REX HOCHDOERFFER; GEORGE L HOUSE; OTIS E HOWE; GEORGE HOWELL; HENRY E HUDDLESTON; OTIS A HUSTON; THOMAS K INGLE; CODY S JOHNSTON; CALVIN R JOHNSTON; FORREST L KERBY; ROBERT N KING; CHESTER D LANDERS; WILLIAM H LASLEY; DARVIN RUSSELL LEE; ROY E LEE; J V MCCLAIN; KEITH O'KEENE MARTIN; WILLIAM F MERRIMAN; CHARLIE J MILLER; HORACE J MILLER; CLYDE C MITCHELL; ROY R MOORE; WALTER MOORE; EUGENE V MOULDER; FLOYD L MULLENNAX; JAMES R MUSGROVE; WILLIAM A NELSON; CLEO O OGLE; SAM PACE; JOE L PATRICK; EUGENE PETERS; TOMMIE M PHILBECK; JAMES M PLACE; WILLIAM A POGUE; KENNETH D RAFFERTY; HOOLEY D RAPER; ROY E REED; WARREN A REMNSNIDER; HERBERT RILEY; RICHARD L ROBB; FRENCH M RUSSELL; RICHARD L SCHINDLER; EVERETT S SHARP; LEONARD SHARP JR.; FREDERICK C SHAW; GARETH SHAW; HERBERT R SKIDGEL; JOHNIE B SPURGEON; GEORGE E STEARMAN; TIMOTHY TALL CHIEF; OSCAR M TRIMBLE; JAMES W WALKER; ROBERT D WASHBURN; CARL J WILLIS; GEORGE S WOODWARD.

In the event that Joel Orcutt cannot be reached, please e-mail Robert Fender

Copyright 2002 by Robert Gale Fender
LAST_MODIFIED: 21 April 2002