October 11, 2017 Edition

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Bittersweet memories of WWII

The number of surviving World War II veterans continues to dwindle. Walnut Ridge lost one of them on Monday night with the passing of William R. "Bill" Ellis, age 98.

In an interview prior to his 90th birthday, Ellis told of a phone call he had received about that time from Belgium. Many years had passed, but the phone call brought back vivid memories of World War II.

Ellis told of the bittersweet story of a 10-year-old boy and his mother whom he helped returned to their Belgium home place after the war. The mother and son had been displaced during the war, and Ellis and his division were responsible for returning them and others to their homes.
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Pictures of the Past

This photo shows Co. "A" 65th A.I. BN. in Camp Campbell, Kentucky, in 1944. At the far left (second row) is Lee I. Lacefield of Hoxie who was preparing to run around the back of the group and get back in the photo by the time the third section was photographed. In the full photo, you can see the left part of Lacefield's body at the right edge of the photo. He is also shown in the inset photo at left. Lacefield's daughter, Milena Smith, noted that Charles Schulz, founder of the Peanuts comic strip, was in her father's unit. He is near the center of the group photo (both vertically and horizontally) and can also be seen in the photo at the right. (Pictures of the Past is a cooperative effort of The Times Dispatch and the Lawrence County Historical Society. Readers are encouraged to submit historic photos.)
Photo courtesy of Milena Smith

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