Patriotic News from Adair County

A Collection of Letters, News Articles and Memories of "Our Boys on the Front"

Ralph Bolin - 1942

Richard N. McClister - 1945 Gilbert Bryant - 1945 Barksdale Hamlett - 1942
Ed Shepherd - 1945 James W. Conover - 1943 Coleman Stanley - 1945  
Doyle Wheat - 1944 Curtis Lawless - 1944 Richard Cooley - 1942  

Ed Shepherd

A Letter from Germany - 1945 - Submitted By: Morris Shepherd

(Click on the thumbnails for a larger version of this letter)

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The 'Russell County News', October 22, 1942

Ralph Bolin Promoted to Ensign

  Ralph Bolin, son of Dr. and Mrs. B.J. Bolin of Columbia was
commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve on September 12.
Bolin joined the navy reserve about one year ago and was stationed at
the Navy hospital in Philadelphia, with the rank of Pharmacist mate 2nd
class, at the time he was given his promotion.
  He was an x-ray technician. He was recently transferred to San
Francisco, Calif., where he is assistant communications officer of the
Naval Reserve Base.
  Ensign Bolin's father, Dr. Bolin, is a son of Mrs. Sarah Bolin, and
the late W.G. Bolin of [Russell] county.


Undated clipping from an unknown newspaper (probably the 'Adair County
News'.) Wednesday, Nov. 24th, would have been in 1948.

Soldier's Remains Returned to Adair

  The body of Pfc. Doyle Wheat who was killed in action in Europe when
struck by a shell September 24, 1944, was returned to Adair County last
week for interment.
  Funeral services were held at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs.
L.F. Wheat, at Glensfork, on Wednesday, November 24th, at 1:00 p.m. Rev.
Luther Young, of Dunnville, conducted the service and interment was in
the Columbia Cemetery.
  Pfc. Wheat, who was 19 years old at the time of his death, was born
and reared at Glensfork. He entered the Armed Forces September 22, 1943,
at the age of 18, and was sent overseas in March, 1944. He was wounded
while serving with the Fifth army in Italy April 13, 1944, and remained
in a hospital until July 29, when he returned to duty and was killed two
months later.
  He is survived by his parents; three brothers, Burnal, Noel, and Lynn
Wheat, and five sisters, Mrs. Carl Passaw, Mrs. Ben Wright, Mrs. Hollis
Meyers, Miss Pauline Wheat, Mrs. Edward Brown, Mrs. Millard Young, and
Mrs. [?]Thious Andrews.
  The pallbearers were: Brother Powell, Shelby Strange, Welby Hamon,
Hubert Morrison, Larney Wesley, and Wilmore Hays.

The 'Russell County News'
August 30, 1945

(in the 'News From Our Boys' column)

  With Sixth Infantry Division on Luzon -- Staff Sgt. Richard N.
, son of Mr. and Mrs. F.O. McClister, Fairplay, Ky., has been
awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement in action during
the Luzon campaign.
  The citation stated that McClister's front-line rifle company of the
20th Infantry regiment, while making a night attack in the Shimbu line,
20 miles east of Manila, was stopped by enemy rifle and machine gun
  McClister, a squad leader, took command of a platoon and initiated
another assault, successfully completing the operation, and allowing his
company to continue to advance. He was also awarded the Purple Heart for
wounds received in this action.
  Before coming to Luzon, McClister served with the Red Star 6th
Infantry division in the Hawaiian Islands and New Guinea, where he
participated in the Maffin Bay and Sansapor campaigns. The Red Star
doughboys are presently engaged in mopping up remnants of Jap resistance
in the Cordillera mountains of northern Luzon.

The Russell County News

June 24, 1943

Russell County Soldier Lost

   Sometimes the war seems far away but it comes closer when someone we know loses his life in battle.

  Last Monday's Courier-Journal reported the death of James W. Conover of Russell Springs, a son of Ed N. Conover. His death had been reported to his family a few weeks ago.

 Transcriber's notes

Pvt. Conover was a native of Adair County, and his mother was the former Miss Fannie Atchley. A grave marker in the Conover cemetery, Highway 80, near Russell Creek Hill, Adair County, gives this information: Pvt. James Will Conover, 12-15-1917 - 5-6-1943. His name appears on the Adair County World War Two Honor Roll of Dead and Missing.



 The Russell County News

 2 November 1944

To Mr. and Mrs. Osbern Lawless and Son Carson

  We, the officers, teachers, and members of Liberty Union Sunday school, as a token of the deeply felt sympathy and friendship that we feel for our much-loved friends, neighbors, and fellow Sunday school members, Mr. and Mrs. Osbern Lawless and son, Carson (the latter now with U.S. forces in Europe) we beg to offer the following resolutions to try to express, as best we can, the deep degree of sympathy we feel for you in this, you dark sad hour of bereavement.

  Resolved: First, that in the death of our friend, neighbor, and schoolmate, Curtis Lawless, who recently fell in the Far East while fighting for his country, that his home, his friends, and his community as a whole have sustained an irreparable loss.

  Second, that we hereby express to the bereaved father, mother, brother, and other relatives the deep degree of sympathy, friendship, and condolence that we feel they so richly, graciously deserve.

  Third, that to the bereaved father, mother, brother, and other relatives, we by this token extend a hand of brotherly love and sympathy and that we point them to our loving gracious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lovingly sympathizes with all who are in sorrow.

  Fourth, that we, the members of this Sunday school, offer to a sympathizing Savior our petition for the alleviation of the sorrows of our deeply bereaved friends.

      J.M. Kearnes, Superintendent

      J.V. Dudley, Secretary

      W.M. Loveless, Teacher

      Joe Dudley, Teacher

      Willie Lee Dudley, Teacher


Transcriber's notes

Pfc. Lawless' name appears on the Adair County World War Two Honor List of Dead and Missing. His mother was the former Miss Bertha McKinley.  


The Russell County News

 March 15, 1945

Sgt. Gilbert Bryant Killed in France

  s/Sgt. Gilbert L. Bryant, brother-in-law of Mrs. Stella Bryant, Russell Springs, was killed in action in France January 9. Sgt. Bryant had been in service since July, 1944, and was shipped overseas in October. His brother, Pfc. Milton Bryant, husband of Mrs. Stella Bryant, is serving with the Ninth Army in Germany.

Transcriber's notes

Sgt. Bryant was a native of Adair County, and his name appears on the Adair County World War Two Honor List of Dead and Missing. His mother was the former Miss Gertrude Cravens.  

The Russell County News

 March 15, 1945

 Colman Stanley Killed in France

   Word has been received that Coleman Stanley was killed in France November 27, 1944. He was the husband of Doris White, Sano, Ky., and was a member of the Lockland Baptist church. His home was in Clinton, Tenn.

 Transcriber's notes

Mr. Stanley's connection to Adair County is somewhat tenuous. Although the Sano post office was in Adair County, the Sano community lay athwart the Russell County - Adair County line. 


The 'Russell County News'
July 2, 1942
(reprinted from the 'Columbia Times')

  Sgt. Richard Cooley, son of Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Cooley, this city
[Columbia], was one of the 176 officers and enlisted men of the U.S.
Marine corps, 4th Regiment, decorated and commended for heroism in the
Philippines, the army announced from Washington.
  Sergeant Cooley, who received the Silver Star, was a former student of
the Columbia High school, and about 10 years ago enlisted in the armed
  Mr. Cooley, we understand, had not heard from his son for about six
months. Sergeant Cooley was at that time at Shanghai, China. His
brother, Robert A. Cooley, Jr., was inducted into the army last July.
  No information was available as to the actions for which the
decoration and commendations were made.


The 'Russell County News'

March 26, 1942, page 6

(Reprinted from the 'Adair County News')

Local Man Advanced to Rank of Major

  Mrs. Barksdale Hamlett received word last week that her son, who is an
instructor in gunnery in the field artillery school at Ft. Sill, Okla.,
had been promoted to the rank of major.
  Major Barksdale Hamlett, who graduated from the United States Military
Academy in 1930, is at present engaged in teaching selected groups of
enlisted men who are applicants for commissions. He has been stationed
at Ft. Sill since September, 1939.


from the 'Russell County [KY] News', Thursday, February 26, 1942, page 1:

Adair Soldier Accidentally Killed in Hawaii

Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Gilpin of Sparksville, Adair county, were notified
last Friday by the secretary of war that their son, Herbert Gilpin, a
soldier in the U.S. army, was killed by gunshot wounds accidentally
Gilpin is believed to be the first Adair countian to die while serving
in the present conflict. He was inducted into the army September 2,
1941, and sent to Camp Roberts, California, and from there to Hawaii.
Besides his parents, Gilpin is survived by one brother, Robert Gilpin
and two sisters, Mrs. Noah Flatt, of Columbia, and Mrs. Thomas Harvey of




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