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Remembering Sgt. Dallas Leonard Badger of Knifley, KY

By Pen

On December 7, 1944, Sgt. Dallas Leonard Badger of Knifley, KY, was killed by a sniper on Leyte Island in the Phillipines.

Sgt. Badger was a native of West Virginia, born March 12, 1918 to Cicero "CB" Bethel Badger and Callie Melvina Price Badger. The family had moved to Knifley, KY, some time after his birth. Dallas was listed among draft registrants in the October 30, 1940, issue of the Adair County News, and he was inducted in Louisville in August of 1941. He served in Co. I, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.

The first news of his death, dispatched on January 11 and 12, 1945--in the form of a telegram and letter from the War Department in Washington--mistakenly listed his rank as Private First Class.

It wasn't until a few weeks later, in a letter sent January 25, 1945, that reports finally filtered back to the family that Badger had been promoted to Sergeant prior to the time of his death.

Unfortunately, news of his promotion didn't make it into local newspaper accounts in the 1940s, which have been among partial sources for our own items reporting on local veterans.

In addition, transcription errors have listed him in the newspapers as Dallas Lillard Rodger (ACN, 1940-10-30), and Dallas Lillard Badger (ACN, 1941-08-20), while reports of his death listed only "D. L. Badger" (ACN, 1945-06-27) and finally "Dallas L. Badger" (ACN, 1947-03-26), and his name on the Adair County WWII War Memorial was listed as "Badge, R. Dallas." (Decades later, we at CM compounded things with an extra "i" in "Lilliard" on our Veteran's Page.)

Thankfully, Dallas' neice Ruby Badger Pruitt has been on the case, and recently sent copies of both a letter from the War Department and a West Virginia birth certificate to set the record straight.

Ruby says, "Dallas Leonard Badger was my Uncle. He was the oldest of my Dad, Marvin "Dale" Badger Sr.'s, brothers. While Dallas was fighting in Leyte, Philippine Islands, during World War II, Dad was fighting in Germany. I can't imagine how my grandparents felt, having two of their sons in the war. Another one of Dad's brothers, Delmer Badger, was getting ready enter the war as well when it ended." We've corrected both our Adair County Veterans Page and our article Adair Countians who died during World War II, to properly honor the memory and sacrifice of Sgt. Dallas Leonard Badger.

Sgt. Badger is buried in Caldwell Chapel Cemetery, Adair Co., Kentucky.

Note: Special thanks for Veterans Coverage on our site go to Columbia Magazine contributor JIM and Columbia Magazine contributor Mike Watson for their tireless research and contributions to the lists of Veterans of Adair County on Columbia Magazine, and to all the Adair County families who have sent in information over the years.

If you don't see your name or that of a family member on the list, or spot something that we need to correct, please let us know using our contact form.

This story was posted on 2020-12-07 11:30:29
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Twenty-two Called for Duty

2020-12-07 - Columbia, KY .
An article in the August 20, 1941 issue of the Adair County News, listed Dallas Lillard Badger of Knifley, instead of Dallas Leonard Badger.

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War Department Letter

2020-12-07 - Knifley, KY - Photo courtesy Ruby Badger Pruitt.
A letter to Mrs. Callie Badger of Knifley, KY, informing her that Dallas L. Badger's rank at the time of his death was sergeant instead of private first class.

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Sgt. Dallas Leonard Badger

2020-12-07 - Knifley, KY - Photo courtesy Ruby Badger Pruitt.
A family photo of Sgt. Dallas Leonard Badger, who was killed in action on Leyte Island in the Phillipines on December 7, 1944. Sgt. Badger is buried in Caldwell Chapel Cemetery, Adair Co., Kentucky.

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Badger Brothers in the Military

2020-12-07 - Knifley, KY - Photo courtesy Ruby Badger Pruitt.
Ruby sent this photo of Dallas Badger with his brothers, who also served in the military, part of their family collection of photos.

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