Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Today I am writing in honor of my grandfather, Cecil E. Newman jr. He was killed in the Korean War around August 18, 1950. I say around, because the date varies. While growing up I always knew that my mom, Cathy, had a "first Dad." Cecil was killed when my mom was 4 months old.

As a graduate of West Point Cecil wanted a career in the military. He had grown up in small town Cuero, Texas. He attendended Texas A&M and then left to join the Army in WWII. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge as an infantryman, and then came back to the states and got an appointment to West Point. He was a bit older at that point than the other cadets, and he got to wear special insignia as a war veteran. He was incredibly shy, and very musical.

While on training in Myrtle Beach, SC he met my grandmother Wes Anderson at a USO type dance for the cadets. He had been hanging out at the record player looking at the music when one of the upper classman approached him and ordered him to dance. He looked around, saw grandma, and "figured she wouldn't bite." They danced that night and then began a long correspondence. We are lucky to still have these letters from him. Most are about his plans to try to get from New York to South Carolina, and are almost always thwarted and leaving him miserable. From his letters I gather they only saw each other 4 times before they were married.

After they were married they were stationed at Fort Benning, GA where my mother was born.

In late July, early August of that year he was sent to Korea to fight. On August 15, 1950 on Hill 303 he was captured along with about 40 men and marched by the Koreans. He was tied together with the other men by commo wire. At some point in the next three days he and two other men (as we have now been told) managed to escape, and tried to get back down the hill to the Americans. They were captured and executed. A day or so later the other men were lined up and shot as the Americans advanced up the hill. A few men survived to identify the captors, but no one was convicted of a war crime.

Many great men and women in our family have served our country through the various wars, whether on the ground, or behind the scenes. Our family is proud of all the generations of soldiers, and remember those today that were killed while serving.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Hi Kelly, thank's for the comment I am glad you enjoyed checking out my posting.
I also must say how I enjoyed seeing yours. Looks like you have your hands full with 4 little ones. Your writing is quite good please keep it up I will look forward to seeing your next postings, take care and God bless. Bill