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WORLD WAR II
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Gaylord Vanhorn

Clyde E. Vaughan
May 18, 1921 - Oct. 24, 1944
From Roanoke County. Worked at the Radford arsenal before the war. Served in the Navy. Killed during Gen. Douglas MacArthur's return to the Philippines. Vaughan was on the USS Birmingham, which had pulled alongside the USS Princeton to fight a fire on that ship; an explosion killed everyone on the top deck of the Birmingham. Survived by his wife, Marie Vaughan; parents, Frank and Lelia Vaughan; sisters, Margaret Henry, Pauline Daniels, Dulcie Martin and Jewel Wray; brothers, Claude and Vernon. Body never recovered. Vaughan and his wife got married while he was on leave and lived together only eight days. Says one of his sisters: "Now that I have a son of my own, I often wonder how did my parents cope with this. I guess my mom never got over it."
-- Submitted by his sister Dulcie V. Martin of Ruckersville

Dallie A. Vaughn
From Roanoke. Died March 7, 1944, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., following a brain hemorrhage. Survived by his mother, Florence.
-- The Roanoke World-News

Eugene R. Venable
From Roanoke. Graduated from Virginia Military Institute and worked for Appalachian Power Co. before the war. Joined the Cavalry Reserve in 1940. Developed an infiltration course at Fort Benning, which, according to a newspaper account, "received much comment from generals of the Allied armies." Promoted to lieutenant colonel. Killed Aug. 27, 1944, in a plane crash at Prestwick, Scotland. Survived by his wife, Susie; daughters, Susie and Eliza; mother, Mrs. W.P. Venable; brothers, W.P. and R.R.; sisters, Mrs. Charles Fox Jr. and Mrs. Lyttleton Waddell.
-- The Roanoke Times

 

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Delmar B. Wade
From Roanoke County. Killed Dec. 21, 1941, in an accident in Hawaii. Survived by his mother, Mrs. L.M. Clifton.
-- The Roanoke World-News

Lucian R. Walters
Aug. 11, 1924 - May 10, 1944
From Roanoke. Worked in the general offices of the Norfolk and Western Railway before the war. Served in the Army Air Forces as a bombardier. Killed when his plane was hit over Austria. Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Walters; brothers, Luther, Edward, Morris and Ray; sisters, Edna and Edith. Buried at Evergreen Burial Park in Roanoke.
--Submitted by his brother Edward Walters of Daleville

Edward D. Walton
1920 - July 15, 1944
From Roanoke. Attended high school before the war. Served in the Army. Took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Promoted to first sergeant after Sgt. James H. Obenshain was killed. Killed in action near St.-Lo, France. Survived by his wife, Lois.
-- Submitted by John "Bob" Slaughter, chairman of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation

William H. Watson
Sept. 15, 1925 - Nov. 12, 1944
From Roanoke. Attended high school before the war. Served in the Army under Gen. George Patton. Killed at Metz, France. Survived by his parents, Jesse H. and Mamie D. Watson; brother, James E. Watson; half-brothers, D. Willard Oakley and Peter B. Oakley; sisters, Clara F. Watson and Mamie E. Watson; half-sister, Maggie W. Mays. Buried at the U.S. Military Cemetery at Limey, France; later reinterred at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem. Says his sister: "He was a tall, friendly and happy young man. He was missed greatly by family and friends."
-- Submitted by his sister Mamie W. Newell of Vinton

Charles Watterson Jr.

Eldridge R. Weaver
Aug. 7, 1923 - July 27, 1943
From Roanoke. Went by the nickname "Buck." Worked as a deliveryman for Clover Creamery before the war. Served in the Army. Killed in France while driving a jeep for officers. Survived by his wife, Muriel Farmer Weaver; mother, Blanch G. Weaver; six brothers and four sisters, including Gertrude W. Lester. Buried at Mount Pleasant-Gearheart Cemetery in Roanoke County. He was the youngest of 11 siblings, 7 boys and 4 girls. Says his sister: "He was drafted into the Army after high school graduation. He said it was his chance to see the world."
-- Submitted by his sister Gertrude Lester of Vinton, and The Roanoke Times

M. Reginald Weaver
July 30, 1922 - March 5, 1945
From Roanoke. Played football for Jefferson High School. Voted most popular boy in his class in 1941. Worked as a clerk for the Norfolk and Western Railway before going to war. Served in the Marines. Killed by sniper fire during the invasion of Iwo Jima. Survived by his parents, Dana and Murrell Weaver; brother, Richard; sister, Dana. Buried at Evergreen Burial Park. Says a friend: "He was a young man of tremendous promise, a leader of his peers and a friend to all."
-- Submitted by a friend, Jack Coulter of Roanoke

William B. Weaver
Sept. 24, 1920 - April 20, 1944
From Roanoke. Worked in the main office of the Roanoke school system before the war. Served in the Army Air Forces. Stationed aboard the troop ship Paul Hamilton, which was steaming into port in Algiers when it was hit with a torpedo from a low-flying German plane. Ship sank; no survivors. The plane was shot down by a nearby ship. Survived by parents, William and Eva Weaver; brothers, Jack, David, Glenn and Howard; sisters, Georgie Helton, Dorothy Guthrie and Peggy Perdue; fiancee, Tony Pagan. Body never recovered; memorial marker erected in family plot in Evergreen Burial Park. His sister Dorothy Guthrie remembers him singing and whistling around the house: "He was proud to serve his country and would not want his death to be looked on as a tragedy."
-- Submitted by his sister Dorothy Guthrie of Roanoke

George B. Webber

Harold C. Webber

Orland I. Webley

Alvin P. Webster
From Roanoke. Worked for Armored Motor Payroll Service before the war. Joined the National Guard; activated into the Army. Killed in France on June 17, 1944. Survived by his mother, Mrs. T.F. Webster, two brothers and three sisters.
-- The Roanoke Times

Harold C. Webster
From Roanoke. Killed November 1943 in North Africa. Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O.H. Webster.
-- The Roanoke World-News

Julian J. Weeks

Manuel E. Weeks
From Vinton. Served in the Army. Killed June 15, 1944, in France. Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.T. Weeks; wife, Ethel; brothers, Lowell, Troy, Lloyd, Keith and Ackley.
-- The Roanoke World-News and The Roanoke Times

Ulysses B. Weeks

Jack W. Weston
From Roanoke. A track star at Jefferson High School and the University of Virginia before the war. Entered the Army Air Forces in January 1942. Killed when his bomber crashed while landing at MacDill Field in Tampa, Fla., on Sept. 8, 1942. Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Weston, and brother, Charles Weston. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
-- "Roanoke Valley Casualties in World War II," compiled by Buford Stanley

Walter O. Wheeler
Jan. 26, 1925 - Feb. 19, 1944
From Roanoke. Worked at Johnson-Carper Furniture Co. before the war. Served in the Army. Killed at Anzio Beach in Italy. Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lewis Wheeler; sisters, Vivian Settles, Ruby W. Hartman, Marguerite W. Maddox, Mildred L. Wheeler and Doris I. Wheeler; brothers, Ralph C. and John Randolph Wheeler. Buried at Evergreen Burial Park. He wrote his last letter home two days before he died. Says his sister Mildred Wheeler Prater: "His death was so hard for all to cope with -- especially my mother and father. It was the first time my mother ever saw my father on his knees in prayer."
-- Submitted by his sister Mildred Wheeler Prater of Roanoke

William O. White

Frederick C. Whitehead Jr.
From Roanoke. Served in the Navy aboard the USS Lansdale. Killed April 20, 1944, in the Mediterranean. Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F.C. Whitehead.
-- The Roanoke World-News

Ashby A. Whitlock Jr.

George C. Wickham
Grew up in Stewartsville; later lived in Roanoke. Killed in France on June 11, 1944, five days after D-Day. Survived by his wife, Edith; parents, Mr. and Mrs. S.A. Wickham; brothers, Arthur and A.L.; sisters, Edith and Marie.
-- The Roanoke Times

Edmund J. Wilcox
From Roanoke. Served in the Navy. Killed May 23, 1943, in the Pacific. Survived by wife, Myrtle.
-- The Roanoke World-News

Walter W. Wilkins

Leroi S. Williams
July 30, 1919 - Nov. 1, 1943
From Roanoke. Graduated from Hampton Institute before the war. Served in the Army Air Forces. Killed at age 24 in a midair collision with another plane over Selfridge, Mich. Survived by his mother, Cordelia Williams; sisters, Virginia W. Kent and Geraldine W. Twitty; brothers, Harold and James. Buried at Williams Memorial Park in Roanoke. His younger brother, Eugene Williams, pledged to follow his brother into the military and "complete his mission." Eugene Williams later died in a plane crash in 1949 during the Berlin Airlift.
-- Submitted by a friend of the family, Sallye Coleman of Roanoke

Nathaniel E. Williams

Erie M. Wimmer
Dec. 15, 1918 - Aug. 11, 1944
From Roanoke. Trained dogs for Smith Kennels before the war. Served in the Army. Survived by his wife, Alease Vaught Wimmer; parents, Owen and Cora G. Wimmer; sisters, Theodora Wood, Ocie Guilliams and Callie Fralin; brothers, Esley, Alvin, Charles and Horace; daughter, Norma Jean. Buried at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem.
-- Submitted by his niece Betty W. Wimmer of Hardy

Paul D. Winston

John A. Witt
Born in Vinton. Served in the Navy as a gunner's mate on the destroyer USS Cooper in the Pacific. Survived the battle of Ormoc Bay in the Philippines, where the Cooper was sunk and some 225 of his 350 crewmates perished. After 17 hours adrift, he and 51 others were rescued by an amphibious plane whose maximum capacity was 32. Finished his service on another destroyer. In February 1945, he was assigned to a fire brigade at the San Diego Naval Station. Killed in an explosion on the dock while fighting a ship fire. Body was never recovered. Survived by his parents, Wharton and Eugie Witt; brothers, Everett and Nelson; and sisters, Loraine and Betty Jane.
-- Submitted by his nephew John A. Witt of Richmond

Richard L. Witt

Royall K. Witt
March 8, 1913 - Sept. 15, 1944
From Roanoke County. Ran a grocery store near Evington; later worked as a carpenter on a defense job in West Virginia before the war. Served in the Army. Died in Lorraine, France, of a gunshot wound to his side. The gunfire back and forth was so heavy that no one could get to him; he bled to death. Survived by his mother, Elizabeth Dowdy Witt; sisters, Elinor Wood and Mary Thomas; brothers, Thomas, Donald, Price and Reede. Buried at Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery in Evington.
-- Submitted by his niece Shirley W. Ranson of Roanoke

Dexter S. Wohlford Jr.
July 25, 1917 - Oct. 19, 1944
From Roanoke. Worked as a bookkeeper at Lindsey Robinson Co. before the war. Served in the Army. Killed in the Apennine Mountins north of Florence, Italy. Survived by his wife, Gretta H. Wohlford; parents, D.S. and Emma Wolford (the father chose to drop the H from his last name); brother, Jack Wohlford. Buried in Italy; memorial marker in Mountain View Cemetery in Vinton. His wife never remarried, and his parents never really got over his death, says his friend Rachel Mowles of Roanoke.
-- Submitted by his nephew Jerry Wolford of Roanoke, and a friend, Rachel Mowles of Roanoke

Lewis F. Woodson

Rennie P. Woodson
Nov. 26, 1916 - Aug. 8, 1943
From Roanoke. Worked at American Viscose before the war. Served in the Army. Died at Camp Fanning, Texas. Survived by his wife, Evelyn Woodson; parents, Robert and Mamie Woodson; brothers, Joseph, Carl, Frederic and Bobby; sisters, Roberta W. Hodges, Dorothy Woodson, Rachel Woodson, Joyce Woodson, Shirley Woodson, Rosemary Woodson and Janice Woodson. Buried at Fair View Cemetery. Woodson's sister Rosemary was only 6 at the time of his death. She recalls how he used to pull change out of his pocket to give to her. She would pull out only the pennies; now she's 60 and still has some of those pennies.
-- Submitted by his sister Rosemary W. Palmer of Roanoke

William E. Wrench

Charlie M. Wright

Grover R. Wright
Served on the USS Juneau. Killed at the battle of Guadalcanal on Nov. 13, 1942. Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Wright; brother, Herman; sister, Kathleen.
-- "Roanoke Valley Casualties in World War II," compiled by Buford Stanley

James L. Wright
From Cloverdale. Killed June 6, 1944, in the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Wright.
-- The Roanoke World-News

Lawrence E. Wright

Sankey M. Wright
April 28, 1911 - Oct. 10, 1944
From Rocky Mount. Worked in a furniture factory before the war. Served in the Army. Killed in Germany. Survived by his wife, Elsie Mae Lynch Wright; son, Euell Wright; brothers, Dewey, Joel, Velty, Brad, Hobart, Frank and Molton; sisters, Marilda Mullins, Ruth Austin and Lola Brown. Buried at Mountain View Burial Park in Rocky Mount. Two other brothers, Crockett and Richard, were killed in World War I.
-- Submitted by his niece Evelyn M. Scott of Roanoke, and by a friend of the family, Faye Young of Rocky Mount

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George H. Yeager Jr.
From Roanoke. Attended the University of Notre Dame before the war, where he played fullback on the freshman football team. Served in the Army Air Forces. In May 1944, he escaped death when his bomber exploded over the English Channel. Eight men died; Yeager and another man survived several hours in the icy waters. Killed July 16, 1944, in a bombing raid over Europe. Survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Yeager.
-- The Roanoke World-News and The Roanoke Times

Thomas B. Youell Jr.

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George A. Zimmerman Jr.
July 21, 1921 - Nov. 26, 1943
From Blue Ridge. Nicknamed "Junior." Joined the Army Air Forces in July 1943. Was a gunner on a B-52 bomber. Shot down over Paris. Survived by his parents, George and Fannie Zimmerman, and brother and sister-in-law, Russell and Louise Zimmerman. Buried in Glade Creek Cemetery. Says his great-niece: "The family took it very hard."
-- Submitted by his great-niece, Crissy Zimmerman of Roanoke

Andrew L. Zini
Sept. 20, 1912 - Feb. 27, 1942
Grew up in Arkansas; later lived in Salem. Was a career Navy man. Died when the USS Langley was sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Indian Ocean south of Java. Survived by his wife, Evelyn Long Zini; daughter, Cecelia Zini Stoutamire; son, Edward Andrew Zini. Body never recovered. A memorial marker was placed in Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem. Recalls his daughter, Cecelia Zini Stoutamire of Salem: "Word was received that my father was missing in action (later to be declared dead). We were living with my grandparents, and I remember the crying as if it were yesterday. A few days after the telegram, a taxicab driver delivered a teddy bear to me from an "anonymous" friend. We never learned the kind person's name."
-- Submitted by his daughter, Cecelia Stoutamire of Salem

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