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Source: Crawfordsville Journal Review - 21 October 1944 p 1
"Make Supreme Sacrifice" Among the two score or more Montgomery County men who have made the supreme sacrifice in WWII are Sgt Cyrus Edward Elliott, 24, of Crawfordsville and Pvt Vernon Eugene Chadwick, 20 of near Mace. Sgt. Elliott died from wounds suffered in France on July 6 while Pvt Chadwick was Killed in Action in Germany October 3. Sgt. Elliott, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Elliott, 306 Porter Street, enlisted in June 1942 and landed overseas with the 79th Infantry Division in April of this year. Born near Alamo Sgt Elliott was a graduate of Alamo HS with the class of 1938. Before going overseas he had training at Camp Pickett, VA; Camp Blanding, Fl; at Nashville, Tenn; Desert Training Center in California and at Camp Phillips, Kan. Sgt Elliott participated in the capture of Cherbourg in France, shortly after D-Day. Sgt Elliott has a brother, Technician 5th Grade Pressley Elliott now serving in Holland.
Pvt. Chadwick son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Chadwick of near Mace killed in action in Germany, left for service overseas in January of this year. He entered the service April 8, 1943, at Ft. Benjamin Harrison and was assigned to the engineers at Ft Lewis in Washington. He was stationed in England several months before going into France in June. With the 147th Combat Engineers, Pvt Chadwick was in France, Belgium and Holland before going into Germany. He was graduate in 1942 from New Ross HS. (picture of both men included)
Source: Historical (Fiction/Non) Highlights -- Montgomery Memories Magazine online August 2015
----- One of Montgomery County's brave young men who lost his life in WWII, was Vernon Eugene Chadwick (Gene), who had turned 20 years old less than a month before his death. It was in the morning (Tuesday) Oct 3, 19 44 when Gene's truck got hung-up and he lost his helmet in a fierce barrage of shells. When the shelling ceased, Gene and others went back to the make-shift camp. It seemed many had left their helmets behind at the bridge that the group had been building. Gene wasn't having that and went back to retrieve his. When he didn't return some of the men went to the bridge and saw a figure in the stream with coveralls on. Gene was the only one wearing coveralls and it was quickly acknowledged that Gene had lost his life via a wound in his head and another on the "left side of his neck."
Gene Chadwick's great nephew, Rodney Simpson, compiled the letters from Gene to his parents, grandparents and others in the book, A Soldier's Wish. Rodney's introduction and his own letter to Gene at the end are touching and helpful in getting to know this young man who endured a tragic ending.
Gene's company would bear another three weeks of intense battling before finally being relieved. A Soldier's Wish isn't about the last battle or the death of an extremely brave young man, however. It's about the life and loves of one of our own, Gene Chadwick. After finishing the work, the reader feels as if Gene were an old friend.
The book is also a rendition of army life in WWII times and especially that of a truck driver in the Engineering field. Sometimes it wasn't huge loads of gravel Gene carried, though, but an officer in a jeep. I loved some of Gene's advice. As far as a new car went for his fold s, he agreed with his dad that a Cadillac would be really fine, but Gene suggested a Chevy instead and "use the difference on a new bedroom or living room suit for mom." Brother Delmas often got life suggestions from his big brother, as well, sometimes about farming, driving and even girls and school (Sept 8, 1944 ). "Say, Squirt, what's the matter with the girls back there? You must be shopping around - don't take just anything and be careful what you do when you're out." In the next paragraph: "You darn well finish these eight months of school and don't go until you have to - this Army isn't what you'd think it is!" In Holland in mid-September of '44, Gene seemed to be more satisfied than he had in quite awhile, maybe because most of the people spoke English, they were friendly and thrilled "to see us Americans."
The homes and buildings were nice and he loved the ice cream cones which were "not like ours, more a frozen dessert." He got a haircut and shave and must have so on gone back out, moving from fox hole to fox hole. Not long before the end of Gene's letters, also in September '44 he wrote from Belgium, "that they were saying the war was over, but we have heavy fighting here." Then, slightly more than two weeks before his death, he wrote his last lines to his parents, one he had repeated many times in his correspondents, " Be back soon, I hope!" Hopefully, I've given you some insight into not only Gene, as a wonderful and unique person, but also a look into a very intense time in our history. If you'd like to read more about this fine man, check out the book at the Crawfordsville District Public Library. I loved it!
***Another piece about Vernon E. Chadwick http://www.facesbeyondthegraves.com/chadwick.html
*** Findagrave entry (I just 5-25-2017 sent in a correction for his birth added so hopefully, they will get that updated soon).