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Adair County's Forgotten Service Men: Missing from Monument

With the shattering of the tablet on the VFW War Memorial tablet, JIM sees the opportunity to right the wrongs to the Bailey, Collins, Harvey, Hurt, Keen, Garrett, Robertson, Shaw, and Wilmore families whose members made the supreme sacrifice but were not included in the original list of names.
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By JIM
Guest editorial

In the spring of 1948, seven months after the installation of the War Memorial, the Adair County News noted the "The list of names on the V.F.W Memorial Marker. . .is not complete and a stone worker will be here within a month to finish the job."

The article also noted that "The V.F.W. wants names of all who lost their lives during the war correctly inscribed on the monument" with the stated objective (the added emphasis is mine) "to secure a complete and correct list for the Memorial, which is a permanent record of Adair's war dead."

If one looked at the order in which the names of the World War II dead was inscribed on the old tablet, it was easily discernible that a large group of names was inscribed at one time, followed at a later date by a smaller group, then a handful more, the latter apparently at different times, as more names came to light and the V.F.W. attempted to honor all the Adair County service men who died during the war. Despite best efforts, however, the names of a few Adair County men who perished during the war, for whatever reasons, were never reported to the V.F.W. for addition to the marker. Perhaps then, good can arise from the stunning loss of the old tablet by adding to the replacement marker those seven names missing from World War Two, as well as the names of two Adair County men who died for the cause of freedom during World War One.

The names of the nine men are as follow :

World War One
Collins, Samuel "Sammie", son of Sam and Charlotte Collins, killed in action in France on September 26, 1918. He was a native of Adair County but had removed with his family to Missouri and enlisted from that state. In 1921 his remains were returned stateside for burial in the Mount Zion Cemetery near Bogard, Carroll County, Missouri.

Wilmore, Robert S., son of Luther M. & Sallie Browning Wilmore, died October 14, 1918 at Forty Riley, Kansas, according to a letter from his father, who was with Robert when he passed. Robert Wilmore and his parents were natives of the Gradyville section of Adair County, having removed to Carroll County, Missouri in the latter part of 1909. His remains were returned to Bogard, Carroll County, Missouri, for burial in the Van Horn Cemetery.


World War Two
Bailey, James Arthur, Tec 4, Native of Adair Co.; son of James A. and Mary Burton Bailey and husband of Dorothy Thompson Bailey, all of Christine. Inducted June 1940, place unknown; he was a resident of Casey Co. at the time. Killed in action on July 11, 1944 in France. Remains repatriated June 1948; burial Redmon Cemetery, Adair Co.

Garrett, Haskell M., Sgt, Native of Adair Co.; son of Ulis and Rosa Sparks Garrett. Inducted October 1942 from McHenry Co. IL. Killed in action (apparently) in the spring of 1945 on Luzon, Philippine Islands. Died April 22, 1945 (death mentioned only in passing in the Glensfork and Picnic newsletters in the May 30, 1945 News). Remains repatriated September 1948; burial Walworth Cemetery, Walworth, Wisconsin. (Findagrave.com reports he was killed in action and that he was awarded the Silver Star medal.)

Harvey, Delbert Wayne, Pfc, Native of Adair Co.; son of George A. and Sarah Effie Campbell Harvey and husband of Allene/Aline Kessenger Harvey. Inducted December, 1943 from Jefferson Co., Ky. Killed in action on March 26, 1945 in Germany. Remains repatriated December 1948; burial Columbia City Cemetery.

Hurt, William Kirtley, Cpl, Native of Breeding community; son of Sanford and Edna Hawkins Hurt, of Louisville, formerly of Breeding. Inducted Army Air Forces late 1942 or early 1943. Killed June 18, 1944 in an air mishap while on a routine training flight off the Florida coast. Remains never recovered. A memorial marker in the Columbia City Cemetery bears the inscription "Lost at sea."

Keen, John Samuel, EM1c (Electrician's Mate 1st Class), Navy Former resident of Adair Co.; son of Travis Keen and step-son of Lyda Keen. Mrs. Lyda's Keen's obituary (Adair County News, May 19, 1943) stated "[h]er husband, Travis Keen, died in 1926, two years after the family moved to Columbia." Inducted from Kentucky, specific place and date unknown to this researcher. Killed in action on November 13, 1942 when the ship he was aboard, the USS Juneau, was torpedoed and sank in the vicinity of Guadalcanal. His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines.

Robinson, Owen W., Sgt, Native of Adair County; son of Pearl Robinson. (One article states he was the grandson of Charlie Robinson of Christine and that he "was left an orphan in infancy and was reared by Mr. and Mrs. Huse Cannon of Crofton [Ky.].") Inducted December 1940 from Todd Co. KY. Died of wounds on May 30, 1945 from wounds inflicted by a German sniper on April 25, 1944. Remains repatriated November 1949; burial Bearwallow Cemetery, Adair Co.

Shaw, Joseph William, 2 Lt, Native of Adair Co.; son of Mrs. Lela (or Lila) Burk Shaw. Died on May 16 or 17 (records vary), 1944 at March Field, Calif., when the B-24J Liberator airplane he was aboard first struck a fence and then crashed into a hillside during a training exercise. Burial Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.

(Perhaps it should be noted that all military deaths from May 27, 1941, the date President Roosevelt issued a proclamation of unlimited national emergency, through December 31, 1945, are considered to be war related, regardless of cause of death -- killed in action; died of battle wounds; or non-battle death -- accident, illness, injury, misadventure, or suicide. The December 1945 date was extended for those men serving tours of duty in the occupied nations, thus the old tablet rightly and correctly carried the names of Pfc. Joseph Elmo Cooley and Cpl. Roy Franklin, each of whom was killed in a vehicular accident in 1949 while serving in Occupied Japan and Occupied Germany, respectively. One Adair County soldier, James Henry Todd, died. also in a vehicular accident, after the issuance of the May 1941 proclamation but before declaration of war; his name also appeared on the tablet.)


This story was posted on 2017-08-06 08:16:34
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