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Fannin County veterans at D-Day
By Malinda Allison, Fannin County Historical Commission
Jun 6, 2019
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Fannin County, Texas -- The 75th anniversary of D-Day will be June 6.

The Fannin County Historical Commission is aware of the following young men of Fannin County who were killed at D-Day or soon thereafter in Europe.

PFC Elbert Ray Englandson of Mr. and Mrs. Preston W. England of Whitewright, was killed in action on June 17, 1944 in France.  Pfc. England was born Nov. 22, 1921 at Ector and enlisted in the Army March 22, 1940, being assigned to Co. L. 9th Inf., 2nd Div., at Fort Sam Houston, Texas., staying there two years and then transferred to Camp McCoy, Wisc., where he remained until being sent to North Ireland and then to England.  He was survived by his wife, parents and others.  He is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.
 
PFC Elbert Ray England

J. W. Herriage was killed on June 7, 1944, in the Normandy invasion.  Lt. Herriage was born at Moore's Chapel Feb. 3, 1916 and graduated from Bonham High School with the class of 1934. He lived on the farm with his parents, and at the time of his enlistment in the Air Corps in March 1942 was well known as a breeder and trainer of palomino horses. He received his training at Spencer, Iowa, Lubbock, Texas, Maxton, S.C., Randolph Field, San Antonio, Corsicana, Lamesa, Amarillo, Louisville, Ky, Ardmore, Okla., Ft. Bragg, N.C., and Ft. Wayne, Ind. He went overseas in November 1943. He was commissioned at Lubbock in December 1943.  A glider pilot, Lt. Herriage helped carry in the first American air-borne troops in the Normandy invasion.  He was survived by his parents and others.  He is buried at Moores Chapel Cemetery.
 
J. W. Herriage
 
Pfc. Earl Johnson, 22, paratrooper of the Mulberry community, was killed in action in France on D-Day.  Pfc. Johnson entered the service October 13, 1942, and received his training at Camp Blanding, Fla., Camp McCoy, N.C., and Ft. Benning, Ga., going overseas in December 1943, being stationed in England until D-Day.  Pfc. Johnson was among the first paratroopers to land in France on D-Day.  He is buried at the American Cemetery in Normandy.
 
Pfc. Earl Johnson

Sgt. Lewis Latimer, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Latimer and husband of the former Miss Frances Grimes, was killed in action on D-Day in the invasion.  Cpl. Latimer enlisted in the Paratroops in October, 1942. He received his training at Camp Blanding, Fla., Ft. Benning, Ga., and England. He served in Scotland, Wales, and England, before meeting his death in France.   His body was returned for reburial in the Leonard Cemetery.  His mother died the day before his body arrived, and a double funeral service was held.

Sgt. Lewis Latimer

Pfc. Harvey R. Manor, 22, serving with the 18th Infantry Division, was fatally wounded in France on June 15 1944 during the fighting in the Normandy area.  A native of the Hilger community, Pfc. Manor entered the Army at Bonham on Nov. 13, 1942 and received his training at Camp Wolters, Texas and Greenville, Pa.  He went overseas in April, 1943, saw action in North Africa and Sicily and was then transferred to England to prepare for the invasion of France and was among the first American troops to land in France in the early stages of the invasion.  At the time of his enlistment, he was residing with his mother on Bonham, Rt. 3. He had attended Ector schools.  He is buried at the Dodd City Cemetery.

 

Pfc. Harvey R. Manor

 

Pfc. C. E. Peterson, Jr.  was killed in action in France, July 7, 1944. He served in Co. I, 358th Infantry Regiment of the 90th Division.  He was among the first troops to land in France on D-Day.  He was survived by his wife, two children, his parents and other.  He is buried at Duplex Cemetery.

Pfc. C. E. Peterson, Jr.

 

Sgt. Glen H. Stevens, a paratrooper, was killed on June 6, 1944, D-Day at Normandy, France.He entered the service on Feb. 7, 1941 with the infantry at Brownwood, and was later transferred to the paratroop division at Ft. Benning, Ga. Sgt. Stevens went overseas in December, 1943, first being sent to Ireland and later to England. Born September 8, 1918, Sgt. Stevens was a graduate of the Leonard High School with the class of 1936.  He is buried at the Leonard Cemetery.

 

Sgt. Glen H. Stevens

 

S-Sgt. James M. Thomas, 24, son of Mr. and Mrs. L. O. Thomas, was killed in action June 22, 1944, during the fighting in Normandy.  Prior to entering the service July 7, 1940, Sgt. Thomas attended Clutter Point and Windom schools. He was first stationed at Ft. Sam Houston and then Nov. 22, 1942 he was transferred to Camp McCoy, Wis. In November of 1943 he was sent to North Ireland, then to England and went to France with the invasion forces.   He is buried at the Windom Cemetery. No photo is available for James. M. Thomas.

 

If you are aware of other Fannin County men who died in the D-Day Invasion, please contact the Fannin County Historical Commission at 903-583-5947 or by email at fchc1837@gmail.com or post the information on the Fannin County Historical Group Facebook page.  

The Historical Commission is also aware of the following who participated in D-Day and survived.  This information has been compiled from obituaries of individuals buried in Fannin County.  There are likely others who were buried elsewhere.

Selmon R. Beauchamp served with the U.S. Army as a member of the 502 Battalion, 101st Airborne Division and jumped into Normandy on D-Day. He was later wounded at both Arnheim and the Battle of the Bulge.  He died in Bonham in 1968 and is buried at Willow Wild Cemetery.

Dr. James Walter Davis entered the United States Navy in 1943 and served as a communications officer during World War II, including service in the Allied invasion of Europe on D-Day.  He died in 2002 and is buried in the Leonard Cemetery.

William "Bill" Farris  served in the U.S. Army and was part of the D-Day Invasion at Normandy.  He died in 2009 and is buried in Carson Cemetery.

Hugh Hoyle Fink  was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving with the 37th Infantry during WWII and Korea, seeing action in Bougainville, and on Luzon on D-Day.  He died in 1999 and is buried at the Ladonia Cemetery.

William (BillFranklin Marshall  served as a member of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion, which was one of the first units to land on Omaha Beach in the D-Day Invasion of France.  In a twist of ironic injusticehe died in Blois, France on September 22, 1992, while visiting the areas where he served his country during World War II.  He is buried at Willow Wild Cemetery.

Loyd (JoeNeal  served in an Army unit of the combat engineers which landed in France on D-Day.  He died in 1992 and is buried at Willow Wild.

Wyndell Edwin Russell  jumped into Normandy on D-Day with the 506th Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne.  He died in Bonham in 2002 and is buried at WIllow WIld Cemetery.

Edmond O. Sanford  served in the U.S. Army 101 Airborne Division during WWII, where he was a Paratrooper - Jumpmaster. The battles he served in were in Normandy D-Day, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe.  He died in 1995 and is buried at Lamasco Cemetery.

 James Smith Vinson was a combat engineer in France during World War II and participated in D-Day.  He died in 1987 and is buried at WIllow Wild.

Clifford Lee Warren  went to Europe on D-Day plus 3 with the Army Air Corp, serving in a repair and reclamation unit as a P-51 prop specialist. He saw duty in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe.  He died in 2004 and is buried at New Hope Cemetery.

Aaron Monroe Womack  served as a radio operator on a C-47 aircraft, and in the European Theater at Normandy during D-Day, also in Africa, Italy, and England.  He died in 2004 and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Honey Grove.