PERRY COUNTY, KENTUCKY MILITARY LEGACY

Written And Compiled By Waukesha Lowe Sammons

Copyright 2017           All Rights Reserved

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WORLD WAR II (1941 - 1945)

PERRY COUNTY, KENTUCKY SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN, MARINES

REMEMBER AND NAME, T - V
     A World War II Introduction With Medal Of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross And Silver Star Medal Recipients           Were Placed In The A Section.

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TAYLOR

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TAYLOR, CHARLES HOMER (1924-1944), KILLED IN ACTION, FRANCE, WWII.

Hometown:  HARVEYTON, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.

Other Residence:  River, Letcher County, Kentucky.

Date of Birth:  8 April 1924

Son of:  Nelva Shell and Reuben Taylor.

Entered Service From:  Kentucky.

Enlistment Date:  17 August 1940.

Service Number:  15044999.

Rank:  Private; Technician Fifth Grade.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Army.

Combat Organization:  5th Infantry Division, 5th Medical Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, Company C., WWII.

Date of Death:  29 July 1944.

Place of Death:  FRANCE, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Battlefield Burial Unknown.

Repatriated:  1949.

Cemetery:  Riverside Cemetery, Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  CHARLES H. TAYLOR carved on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Note:  “The 5th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, 9 July 1944 and 4 days later took up defensive positions in the vicinity of Caumont.  Launching a successful attack at Vidouville 26 July, the Division drove on southeast of St. Lo ...”  Source:  5th Infantry Division WWII Combat Chronicle; website:  army.mil.

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TAYLOR, ELMER (1922-1945), KILED IN ACTION, GERMANY, WWII.

Hometown:  BULAN, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.

Date of Birth:  23 November 1922.

Son of:  Lucinda Hollifield and Sylvester Taylor.

Entered Service From:  Kentucky.

Enlistment Date:  20 June 1940.

Service Number:  7041369.

Rank:  Private First Class.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Army.

Combat Organization:  9th Infantry Division, 60th Infantry Regiment, Company L, WWII.

Date of Death:  7 April 1945.

Place of Death:  GERMANY.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Battlefield Burial Unknown.

Repatriated:  1949. 

Cemetery:  Engels Cemetery, Fisty, Knott County, Kentucky.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  ELMER TAYLOR carved on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Note:  “The Ludendorff Bridge at the town of Remagen was used for a bridge head on March 7th [1945] ...  The 9th Division ... prepared to cross the river.  The 60th began crossing the bridge in the night of March the 8th, 1945 under heavy machine gun and artillery fire.”  Source:  “60th Infantry ‘The Go Devils’ Infantry; website: 9thinfantrydivision.net.

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THOMAS

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THOMAS, JAMES V. (1922-1945), KILLED IN ACTION, ITALY, WWII.

Hometown:  HAZARD, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.

Date of Birth:  30 July 1922, Letcher County, Kentucky.

Son of:  Ethel Scott and Martin Thomas.

Entered Service From:  Kentucky.

Service Number:  15054937.

Rank:  Private First Class.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Army.

Combat Organization:  91st Infantry “Powder River” Division, 361st Infantry Regiment, WWII.

Date of Death:  30 April 1945.

Place of Death:  ITALY, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Battlefield Burial Unknown.

Repatriated:  26 March 1949.

Cemetery:  Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  JAMES V. THOMAS carved on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Note:  “WWII deceased returned from Mirandola, Italy.”

Note:  “After crossing the Po River on the 23rd [April 1945] ... reaching Reviso on the 29th.  All enemy forces in Italy surrendered on 2 May [1945].”  Source:  “91st Infantry Division, WWII, Combat Chronicle; website: army.mil.

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TUCKER

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TUCKER, ASTER (1925-1944), KILLED IN ACTION, ITALY, WWII.

Hometown:  DWARF, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.

Other Residence:  Knott County, Kentucky.

Date of Birth:  1 July 1925, Perry County, Kentucky. 

Son of:  Mary Jane Hughes and Jack Tucker.

Entered Service From:  Kentucky.

Service Number:  35771452.

Rank:  Private.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Army.

Combat Organization:  45th Infantry “Thunderbird” Division, 157th Infantry Regiment, WWII.

Date of Death:  Friday, 26 May 1944.

Place of Death:  ITALY, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Temprary Cemetery 5260.  Permanent Cemetery 5202.

Cemetery:  Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  ASTOR TUCKER carved on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

U. S. Awards:  Purple Heart Medal.

Note:  “... the breakout for Rome ... started on 23 May 1944 ... The attack continued down the Cisterna-Campoleone Road ...”  Source:  “157th Combat History”; website: 45thdivision.org.

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TUDOR

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TUDOR, WILLIAM THOMAS “BILLY” (1923-1945) KILLED IN ACTION, PACIFIC, WWII.

Hometown:  PERRY COUNTY, Kentucky, USA. Per WWII Army Enlistment Records.

Other Residence:  Breathitt County, Kentucky.  Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky.   

Date of Birth:  25 April 1923, Breathitt County, Kentucky.

Son of:  Marion Scottie Johnson and Price Collier Tudor.

Entered Service From:  Kentucky and/or Spence Field Moultrie, Georgia.

Enlistment Date:  October 1940.  6 September 1942.

Service Number:  0-552178.

Rank:  Staff Sergeant; Second Lieutenant.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Army Air Force.

Combat Organization:  3rd Fighter Squadron, Commando, 3rd Air Commando Group, WWII.

Date of Death:  8 January 1945.

Place of Death:  PACIFIC, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Battlefield Burial Unknown.

Repatriated:  1949.

Cemetery:  Richmond Cemetery, Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  WILLIAM T. TUDOR carved on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Note:  “The 3rd Air Commando Group moved from Drew Field, Florida to Mangaldan Airfield, at Luzon in the Philippines in December 1944 with the 5th Air Force ...  The flight echelons of the 3rd ... Fighter Squadron ... moving to Leyte in January 1945.”  Source:  “3rd Air Commando Group, 5th Air Force in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) During WWII”; website: ozatwar.com.

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TURNER

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TURNER, JACK (circa 1917-?), UNITED STATES NAVY, WWII.

Hometown:  VICCO, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.

Other Residence:  East Whitesburg, Letcher County, Kentucky.

Date of Birth:  Circa 1917 in Kentucky.  Was his name, John C. Turner, Jr.?

Son of:  Drucilla Combs and John C. Turner.

Grandson of:  Matilda Blanton and Wilson Hensley Turner.

Grandson of:  Elizabeth Ritchie and Alexander Combs.

Fourth-Great-Grandson of:  Margaret and John “Soldier” Combs, Valley Forge, American Revolutionary War.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Navy.  Source:  Photographs and Letters.

14 May 1935:  Sassafras-Vicco Graduation Class Night, Vicco, Perry County, Kentucky.  Jack Turner was Salutatorian.  A speech was given by Daskum Combs, Valedictorian, who was the daughter of Juda Brashear Combs and Ulysses Grant Combs, Sr.  In 1941 Daskum married Albert Roy “Jake” Lowe, who was Killed In Action in WWII; they had one child, a daughter, Waukesha Lowe.    

17 May 1935:  Date on the Class of 1935’s Graduation Diplomas.

1935 or 1936:  Jack Turner enlisted in the United States Navy.

14 September 1936:  Daskum Combs received a special gift in the mail from sailor, Jack Turner:  a Navy Log photograph album and his photograph in a U. S. Navy military uniform.  On the back of the photo was stamped:  Courtney Studio Portrait and Commercial Photographer, 610 Broadway, San Diego, California.  

28 October 1936:  Daskum Combs received from Jack Turner a postcard packet from the Panama Canal.  Later on the back of another Post Card Photograph was stamped:  H. de FRANCEE PORTRAIT STUDIOS, 123 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction, Sydney.

1938:  Jack sent Daskum a photograph of himself, taken in a restaurant in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii.

WWII:  Information currently unavailable.

NOTE:  I placed my fifth-cousin-1-time removed, Jack Turner on my ~ Combs Collins Sumner Adams Holbrook Caudill Kelley Mullins; Brashear Young Campbell Cornett Woods Dorton Asher Bowling Sizemore ~ Maternal Family Tree, that I created on Ancestry.   

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TURNER, LETCHER “LETCH” (1921-1944), KILLED IN ACTION, ITALY, WWII.

Hometown:  PERRY COUNTY, Kentucky.  Source:  WWII Memorial Registry.

Other Residence:  Talbert, Breathitt County and Letcher County, Kentucky.

Date of Birth:  3 November 1921, Breathitt County, Kentucky on Birth Record.  Born 2 November 1921 on Memory Stone.

Son of:  Matilda Herald and Jesse Turner.

Grandson of:  Jemima Herald and William “Fiddler” Herald.

Grandson of:  America Turner and J. Talbert “Big Tal” Turner.

Entered Service From:  Kentucky.

Service Number:  35464636.

Rank:  Private First Class.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Army.

Combat Organization:  88th Infantry “Blue Devil” Division, 351st Infantry Regiment, WWII.

Date of Death:  Monday, 25 September 1944.

Place of Death:  ITALY, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED IN ITALY.

Burial:  Temporary Cemetery 5217.  Permanent Cemetery 5201.

Cemetery:  Florence American Cemetery, Via Cassia, Italy.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  LETCH TURNER carved within the WWII military section on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, a memorial located in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Memory Stone:  Floyd Herald Cemetery, Breathitt County, Kentucky.  Inscription:  “May Your Name Never Be Erased From Our [Unreadable].  We Shall Meet Again.”

U. S. Awards:  Purple Heart Medal.

Note:  “...the Division opened its assault on the Gothic line, 21 September 1944, and advanced rapidly along the Firenzuola-Imola road...”  Source:  “88th Infantry Division Blue Devils WWII Research Website”; mtmestas.com.

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TURNER, NATHAN T. (1920-1943), KILLED IN ACTION, ITALY, WWII.

Hometown:  DOLAN, Perry County, Kentucky, USA. Per 1930 Census.

Other Residence:  Fort Francis E. Warren Military Reservation, Laramie County, Wyoming.

Breathitt County, Kentucky.

Date of Birth:  14 April 1920, Breathitt County, Kentucky. 

Son of:  America Stamper and Chester Jess Turner. 

Step-mother:  Barbara.

1930:  Dolan, Perry County, Kentucky.

1935:  Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

1940:  Fort Francis E. Warren Military Reservation, Laramie County, Wyoming.

Entered Service From:  Kentucky.

Service Number:  6986109.

Rank:  Private First Class.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Army.

Combat Organization:  3rd Infantry Division, 15th Infantry Regiment.

Date of Death:  Wednesday, 13 October 1943.

Place of Death:  ITALY, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Temporary Cemetery 5205.  Permanent Cemetery 5202.

Cemetery:  Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, di Roma, Lazio, Italy.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  NATHAN T. TURNER carved within the WWII military section on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, a memorial located in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

U. S. Awards:  Purple Heart Medal.

Note:  “Nine days after the Italy invasion, 18 September 1943, the 3d landed at Salerno and in intensive action drove to and across the Volturno and to Cassino.”  Source:  3d Infantry Division WWII Combat Chronicle; website:  army.mil.

Note:  Audie Murphy was in the 3rd Infantry Division, 15th Infantry Regiment in WWII.

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UTLEY

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UTLEY, JOHN DELBERT “JUNIOR” (1925-1945) KILLED IN ACTION, GERMANY, WWII.

Hometown:  HARVEYTON, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.

Other Residence:  Tennessee.

Date of Birth: born 23 May 1925, Tennessee.

Son of:  Florence Samantha Lawson and John Harrison Utley.

Entered Service From:  Perry County, Kentucky.

Enlistment Date:  2 or 16 June 1943.

Service Number:  35803195.

Rank:  Private First Class.

Branch of Service:  U.S. Army.

Combat Organization:  3rd Infantry Division, 7th Infantry “Cottonbalers” Regiment, Company F, WWII.

Date of Death:  19 April 1945.

Place of Death:  GERMANY, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Battlefield Burial Unknown.

Repatriated:  1949.

Cemetery:  Willard Park Cemetery, Harriman, Roane County, Tennessee.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  JOHN D. UTLEY carved within the WWII military section on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, a memorial located in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Note:  “The 7th Infantry pushed onward from North Africa through Italy and France to Germany...”  Source:  “Seventh Infantry Regiment, “Cottonbalers”; website: warchronicle.com.

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VALENTINE

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VALENTINE, CLAY (1911-1945), SILVER STAR MEDAL WITH OAK LEAF CLUSTER, KILLED IN ACTION, LUZON, WWII.

Hometown:  PERRY COUNTY, Kentucky, USA.  (Source: Enlistment Record and U. S. Roster of WWII Dead.)

Other Residence:  Elkhorn, Leslie County, Kentucky.

Date of Birth:  5 January 1911, Leslie County, Kentucky (Kentucky Birth Index).

Son of:  Pauline/Perlina Baker and Matthew B. Valentine.

Brother of:  Mary Valentine England of Kaliopi, Leslie County, Kentucky.

1920, Elkhorn, Leslie County, Kentucky.

1930, A Soldier at Camp Henry Knox, Hardin County, Kentucky.

1935, A Soldier in The Philippines.

1940, A Soldier at Presidio of San Francisco Barracks, California.

Entered Service From:  Perry County, Kentucky.

Another Enlistment Date:  2 November 1940, California at Presidio of San Francisco.

Service Number:  6646244.

Rank:  Technical Sergeant.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Army.

Combat Organization:  25th Infantry “Tropic Lightning” Division, 35th Infantry “Cacti” Regiment, WWII.

Date of Death:  Thursday, 22 March 1945.

Place of Death:  LUZON, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Temporary Cemetery 7749.  Permanent Cemetery 7701.  Ft. McKinley 7749.

Cemetery:  Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  CLAY VALENTINE carved within the WWII military section on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, a memorial located in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

U. S. Awards:  Silver Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.  Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Note:  “By 5 March [1945] the 25th Division had accomplished its mission of opening Highway 5 from San Jose to Digdig ... on 10 March ... the Japanese were forced to retreat ... The 35th was chosen to lead the attack on Kapintalan.”  Source:  “25th Infantry Division Association Tropic Lightning; website: 25thida.org.

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VITATOE

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VITATOE, GILBERT NORMAN “PETE” (1924-1942), KILLED IN ACTION, GUADALCANAL, WWII.

Hometown:  ALLOCK, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.

Other Residence:  Meem-Haskins Coal Camp, on Montgomery Creek, Kodak, Perry Co, KY.

Date of Birth:  23 March 1924, Perry County, Kentucky.

Son of:  Nora Heath and Luther Owen “Dave” Vitatoe.

Grandson of: Louise Ellen Marlow and John M. Vitatoe.

Great-grandson of:  Mary Elizabeth Hays and Joseph Vitatoe.

First Cousin Once Removed of:  Ted Edger F. Vitatoe, a Prisoner of War, who was Killed In Action in the Palawan Massacre in the Philippines in WWII.

1930:  Age 6.  Resident of Meem-Haskins Coal Camp, Kodak, Perry County, Kentucky.  Pete might have attended the Kodak Grade School.

1940:  Age 16.  Resident of Allock, Perry County, Kentucky.  Pete might have attended Vicco High School, Vicco, Perry County, Kentucky.   

Entered Service From:  Kentucky. 

Enlistment Date:  22 January 1942, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Service Number:  364027.

Rank:  Private.

Branch of Service:  U. S. Marine Corps Reserves.

Combat Organization:  2nd Marine Brigade/Division, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), 2nd Battalion, Company F & G, WWII.

Date of Death:  Sunday, 22 November 1942.

Place of Death:  GUADALCANAL, WWII.

Status:  MISSING, KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  NONRECOVERABLE.

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  GILBERT N. VITATOE carved within the WWII military section on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, a memorial located in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Memorialized at:  Tablets of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines.

U. S. Awards:  Purple Heart Medal.

Note:  “On November 11, [1942] the Japanese sailed their battleships and cruisers into the waters near Savo Island and opened up on Guadalcanal beachhead ... The morning after, the marines were blooded, dazed and shaken.”  Source:  WWIIVeteran From Ponchatoula, Part One:  Guadalcanal by Mark Griggs 3/10 2ndMarDiv; website:  grunt.com.

NOTE:  I placed Gilbert Norman “Pete” Vitatoe on my ~ Combs Collins Sumner Adams Holbrook Caudill Kelley Mullins; Brashear Young Campbell Cornett Woods Dorton Asher Bowling Sizemore ~ Maternal Family Tree, that I created on Ancestry.

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VITATOE, TED EDGER F. (1915-1944), PRISONER OF WAR, VICTIM OF THE JAPANESE PALAWAN MASSACRE, PHILIPPINES, WWII.

Hometown:  LOTHAIR, Perry County, Kentucky and Rockford, Blount County, Tennessee, USA. 

Other Residence:  Bell County and Breathitt County in Kentucky.  Jefferson County, Alabama.  Roane County, Tennessee.

Date of Birth:  1 January 1915, Bell County, Kentucky. 

Son of:  Blanche Hensley and General George Washington Vitatoe.

Grandson of:  Mary Elizabeth Hays and Joseph Vitatoe.

First Cousin Once Removed of:  Gilbert Norman “Pete” Vitatoe, who was Killed In Action at Guadalcanal on 22 November 1942.

Spouse:  Gladys.

Children:  Virginia June (1931-2004), Edward and Donald.

1935:  His parents lived in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Enlistment Date:  21 February 1941 at Ft. McPherson, Atlanta, Georgia.

Service Number:  14047213.

Rank:  Private.

Branch of Service:  United States Army.

Combat Organization:  59th Coast Artillery Corps, 59th Cavalry Regiment, WWII.

Note:  “Assigned to 59th Coast Artillery Regiment Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays I Battery.  Corregidor Historical Society, Palawan Massacre Roster, Died In Massacre.”

Note:  Became a Prisoner Of War during the fall of Corregidor.

Date of Death: 14 December 1944, WWII.

Place of Death:  Philippines, WWII.

Status:  KILLED IN ACTION, WWII.

Disposition:  BURIED.

Burial:  Battlefield Burial Unknown.

Repatriated, Date of Interment:  14 February 1952.

Remarks:  “Returned from Leyte, Philippine Islands WWII.  Repatriated Program Group Burial.  Interred in same grave with:  See attached list.”  Next of kin, (Brother), Mr. Elmer Vitatoe of Lothair, Perry County, Kentucky.”  [Ted’s parents of Lothair had died before 1952.]

Cemetery:  Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri.

CEMETERY PLAQUE:  “Victims of the Japanese Massacre, Puerto, Princesa, Palawan, P. I., December 14, 1944.  These U. S. prisoners of war of the Japanese were on the island of Palawan, P. I., as slave laborers building an airfield for the Japanese military.  Believing that an invasion by the U. S. forces was imminent, the prisoners were forced into three tunnel air raid shelters, thus following orders from the Japanese High Command to dispose of prisoners by any means available, buckets of gasoline were thrown inside the shelters, followed by flaming torches.  Those not instantly killed by the explosions ran burning from the tunnels and were machine gunned and bayoneted to death.”

Memorial Plaque:  WWII Memorial Plaque, first displayed at the Bobby Davis Living Memorial; currently displayed at Memorial Gym in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

Monument:  TED E. VITATOE carved within the WWII military section on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, a memorial located in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.

NOTE:  I placed Ted Edger F. Vitatoe on my ~ Combs Collins Sumner Adams Holbrook Caudill Kelley Mullins; Brashear Young Campbell Cornett Woods Dorton Asher Bowling Sizemore ~ Maternal Family Tree, that I created on Ancestry.

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PERRY COUNTY, KENTUCKY MILITARY LEGACY

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